52 Ancestors Week 28: Reunion

+12 votes

52 Ancestors and 52 Photos sharing challenge badgesTime for the next 52 Ancestors challenge!

Please share with us a profile of an ancestor or relative who matches this week's theme:


From Amy Johnson Crow:

Summer time is often time for family reunions. Does your family hold reunions? If not, perhaps you could write about a family reunion you would like to have or an ancestor who you would like to be reunited with. Maybe share the story of an ancestor who was separated from his or her family and whether or not they were reunited.

Share below!

Participants who share every week can earn badges. If this is your first time participating and you don't have the participation badge, or if you pass a milestone (13 in 13, 26 in 26, 52 in 52) let us know hereClick here for more about the challenge. 

in The Tree House by Eowyn Langholf G2G Astronaut (1.4m points)
edited by Eowyn Langholf
No family reunions to speak of, so hoping I'll find a path in once the alternate interpretations of this week's theme is posted. :)
Posted :)

48 Answers

+19 votes

It was a disastrous reunion, for me anyway, when the Cowgill Cousins got together in Seattle in about 1999.  I was driving the Chevy Corsica I had inherited from my late father-in-law.  Who knew you were supposed to check the oil in it?  On the way to the hotel the engine blew out and I limped into the parking lot.  I don't remember his name but I remember the kindness of one of the Cowgills who helped me get a tow truck.  I also don't remember how I got back to Everett but I do remember the Chevy was a total loss as well as some items left in it that also got towed away.

I was the only one at the reunion, attended by some serious genealogists, who belonged to the line of Rachel Cowgill and whose descendants ended up in Oregon.  https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Cowgill-35 The surname comes from Yorkshire and doesn't have anything to do with cows; it is related to Coghill.  Just about all the Cowgills in the United States are descended from either John Cowgill or his brother Edmund.

by Margaret Summitt G2G6 Mach 4 (42.1k points)
edited by Margaret Summitt
I can relate to your "pain" about blown engines as I did it as well to a VW bug in my younger years. An expensive lesson, but one well-learned. Thank you for sharing this story.
Margaret, that is a great "reunion" story.

Thank you for sharing!
+17 votes

There's no guidance yet for this one so here goes...

One of my maternal ancestors that I know only a little about is Elizabeth (Kernohan) Simpson.  I had some basic information, shared by a generous genealogist who was distantly related to me, based on some 'old school' book research she had done about twenty years ago then parked as she had hit a brick wall.

When following up on a different, well researched branch of my paternal family, I was able to meet up with a fifth cousin, who had been extensively researching that branch of the family for many years.  He was able to give me the output from a Kernohan family reunion in 2010 where lots of different family members all got together, and worked together on a version of that family tree which was pasted onto the wall of the church hall where the reunion was being held.  I can imagine the noise levels in the hall must have been pretty high with all the chat and reminiscences!

Not only did this help with a few question marks on my dad's side of the family, it gave me information on two more generations back on my mum's side, working back from Elizabeth above.  It just goes to show you never know what will turn up!

by Linda Hawkes G2G6 Mach 1 (15.5k points)
Linda, you are right. You just never know where you will get information on your family. And your resource is an unusual one, and I love your story.

Thank you for sharing.
If only I could get my family to work on our family tree during a weekend reunion! Great story ;-)
+17 votes

When I was younger, we always attended the Kenneth Raynor reunion held the last Sunday of July in the Milton, Florida area. Kenneth Raynor was my great-great-grandfather. The reunion continued to be held until a few years ago when my cousin, Johnny Brazil, who was helping to organize it, was killed in a wreck. As far as I know, after that, there was no one who wanted to take over the organizing and the reunions are no longer being held. In the photo, taken about 1976, I'm sitting in the foreground with my back to the camera, my mother and father are seated, Standing in the back, my grandfather Hildreth is holding my son, my great-aunt Harriet Raynor Barker, my great-uncle Floyd Raynor, and my great-aunt Carthia Raynor Cassidy. These last three were, at the time, the surviving children of Kenneth Raynor. They have now all passed away.Aunt Carthia was able to play the piano by ear and I loved to hear her play at these Raynor Reunions. 

by Nelda Spires G2G6 Mach 9 (95.7k points)

Nelda, What a great story, and how sad that the passing of your cousin, Johnny Brazil, stopped the reunions. It looks like there was a good turn-out.

It is nice to hear that your great aunts and a great uncle attended. I bet your were able to get "great" information from them.

Cheryl, yes, they were well attended "back in the day." I wish I had paid more attention then to the stories that were told. I was young and didn't realize then the importance of them.
+17 votes

Though I've been to a number of informal family reunions with both sides of my family, as well as those of my husband's family, the one I remember the most fondly was the one held for my maternal grandparents, Otis and Bertha Witcher, in 1962 for their 60th wedding anniversary.

It was held in November in Colorado and there was lots of snow. This made the reunion all the better for my siblings and me as we were from coastal California where it never snows. So in addition to getting to meet "new" cousins, visit with long-known relatives, and go to the wonderful anniversary party, we had a lot of fun playing in the snow, skating on a frozen pond, and all the other good things those of you who live with that white stuff enjoy annually.

The best part of that visit, though, was seeing the wonderful time my grandparents had having all of their seven children and most of their grandchildren (and great grandchildren) around them.

by Robin Shaules G2G6 Pilot (268k points)
Robin, you bring back such wonderful memories to me. I can just see all of you as kids, playing in the snow. Making your first snowmen, and having your first snowball fights.

I bet you did have a great time.

Thank you for sharing your family reunion with us.
You're right, Cheryl, we did have a wonderful time. One of those lifelong memories. Many of my best memories were made there in Colorado with my grandparents.
+17 votes
I'm pretty fortunate to have a close relative that has continued to put on a family reunion.  https://southcountynews.org/2016/08/08/munn-family-observes-100-continuous-reunions/

The Munn family reunion has gone on for the past few years and actually just occurred yesterday for the 103rd time.

If I were closer to another family reunion I'd be going to those as well!
by Eric McDaniel G2G6 Mach 2 (25.7k points)
103 years is astounding!

It is amazing that your family has had that many continuous reunions, Eric. I am sure you have not gone to all of them though. laugh

Are there the usual games of who came the farthest, and who is the oldest, and who has been married the longest?

I bet you guys have a great time getting together!

Thank you for sharing.

Haha yeah I wish I could have been to all of them from the start!  It really is more or less local relatives now.. some do travel a little though.  It is unfortunate that the numbers are starting to dwindle.
Eric, I am glad that you have a sense of humor. I was hoping that I didn't come across rude. My step-father used to have very, very large family reunions, but he is now 91, and about the last one left, so the numbers are down to 25 or 30 people now. I know it makes him very sad.
+14 votes
In 1982 a cousin of my paternal grandmother organized for the first time a reunion of grandma's paternal family. There were about 60 people there, because my great-granddad had 9 siblings. My mum knew less of 10 people, so to get all the "cousins of your mother-in-law" straight, she painted an ancestral tree. In fact, one of my greatgrandaunts borrowed her a book which contained informations about the family back to 1784. With all this, mum had a long night, but the next morning she presented the  complete ancestral trees with all the informations she got. I still have that tree, it's actually my foundation of that part of the family and the informations of the book turned out to be correct judging by the documents I could find online.
by Jelena Eckst├Ądt G2G6 Pilot (181k points)
What a wonderful story, and a wonderful asset to your research. Thank you for sharing this story, Jelena.
Jelena, you are very lucky that your paternal grandmother organized that party. It sounds like you were the winner in getting all of that free genealogical work done for you.

You are giving me an idea.  Summer is not over yet!

Thanks for sharing your story with us!
+12 votes

I have one for this.  When my ancestor Simon Giffen died in 1774, three of his children were with their mother-in-law in Boston, and the oldest son George was presumed to be lost at sea.  Then came the Revolution.  

In the late 1800's a family genealogist came to Halifax from New England to view his ancestor's grave, and was astonished to discover that there were so many Giffens in Shelburne and Guysborough Counties in Nova Scotia, all descended from George, who was presumed by our American cousins to have died without issue. After over 100 years, that was an interesting reunion!

by Laurie Giffin G2G6 Mach 5 (52.2k points)
Laurie, can you imagine coming to a strange place to view a grave and finding all of those relatives. And what a wealth of information that family genealogist must have gotten. I bet he thought he had struck a gold mine.

What a great story.
+12 votes

I was lucky that my parents took me with them to the "Pruett Family Reunion" held at Bodega Bay, California in the summer of 1975.  It was a gathering of all the children, grandchildren and great grandchildren of Ralph Pruett.  I remember the bonfires on the beach and gathering together to watch the sunset each night.  I was about 15 years old and it remains one of my favorite childhood memories. Family is precious. 

by Caryl Ruckert G2G6 Pilot (122k points)
Caryl, you wrote your story with so much love, I could almost feel myself being there with you on the beach. If we could go back to being 15 and enjoy those sunsets again.

You wrote a beautiful story about family reunions.

Thank you
+17 votes

This is a newspaper article about the big family reunion my Long Family had 25 Jun 1994 to celebrate 100 years since the Oklahoma Land Run. We had 118 there, and my Great Aunt Phoebe came from Texas, and my Great Uncle Robert came from California. This was our best reunion. 

by Alexis Nelson G2G6 Mach 5 (55.7k points)
Alexis, now that sounds like a party. Music, food and genealogy records to explore. I hope you were able to attend. With people coming from all over, I bet a good time was had by all.

What a great reunion story you shared with us.  Thank you so much.
Yes Cheryl,  I got to eat lunch that day with a cousin once removed that no one knew even existed. We all thought his father never married or had a child, and he looked exactly like his deceased father. I am surprised he found out about the reunion. I think everyone had a wonderful time.
Alexis, now that makes the reunion worthwhile in itself. I  am glad that "YOU" had a great time, my friend.
+12 votes

http://www.wikitree.com/Campbell-1786 General William Campbell is my 6x great uncle, who I am honoring this week in the Week 28 challenge. The biography in his profile speaks for itself.  It is the following familial history that is of intrigue now.  His sister, http://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Campbell-4370 Jean Campbell Tate is my 5x great grandmother. Her granddaughter http://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Bowen-1187 Jane Campbell Bowen married my 3x great grandfather http://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Edmiston-347  Andrew Edmundson, who was the son of http://www.wikitree.com/wiki-EDmiston-48 Colonel William Edmiston. Colonel Edmiston's father http://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Edmondson-835 Thomas Edmondson married http://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Campbell-21318 Martha Campbell, who was General Campbell's great aunt.  My maternal grandfather, http://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Edmondson-1197 Dr. Campbell Creighton Edmondson was the 5x grandnephew of General William Campbell and 2x great grandson of Colonel William Edmiston, both from the Virginia militia who fought at the Revolutionary War Battle of King's Mountain.  Dr. Edmondson married http://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Miller-64464 Margaret Oakley Miller.  http://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Miller-3173 Reverend (Sgt.) Robert Miller, her 4x great grandfather and 

http://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Pickens-150 General Andrew Pickens her 4x great uncle, were both from the South Carolina Troops who probably fought at King's Mountain and, led by General Pickens, were victorious at the Battle of Cowpens shortly thereafter.  The intrigue lies in 1) the likelihood that all of these, my direct ancestors, may have known each other and fought together; 2) that the bloodlines were joined in the marriage of my maternal grandparents; and 3) that most of these facts I have first learned of and confirmed since I joined WikiTree.    

by David Richards G2G3 (3k points)
One thing I really enjoy about genealogy is finding the common threads between families as you have found with your ancestors. I have a few branches on my family tree that come back to meet each other in similar ways. Undoubtedly, your ancestors also knew at least a couple of my ancestors, my 4th Great Grandfather Jacob Boy, served under then Colonel William Campbell at King's Mountain as did my 5th Great Grandfather Samuel Vance who was an orderly Sergeant. I am fairly certain others of my ancestors were part of the Overmountain Men who joined the militia for King's Mountain. Rev. Samuel Doak who sent them off with a rousing sermon was my 7th Great Uncle.
+13 votes

After finding my grandfather's family in Iowa my uncle and I began a decades long online relationship.  I have since been to Iowa twice to attend the annual Baty reunion that is held every July 4th.  It was at the family reunions that I heard about the tale of Joseph Taylor who was killed by Indians.  The story lived in the space of reality for nearly a century until I disproved it with written records and DNA.

by SJ Baty G2G6 Pilot (522k points)
SJ, it is nice that you began a relationship with you Uncle. Sometimes they are able to give us information that we are not able to get anywhere else.

You are such a great researcher to be able to debunk a century old family story.

Congratulations, and great story.
+9 votes

The Curtis/s Family Society (I'm a member) holds a reunion every year. This year's is in Virginia. I descend from one of the New England immigrants who came from Nazeing, England. There were several, most related to each other. I think I've untangled most of the early New England families on Wikitree. Jemima Curtiss was my last Curtiss ancestor.

by Anne B G2G Astronaut (1m points)
Anne, I think we must be related because my Curtis (Curtiss) ancestors also came from Nazeing.  I can't check, though, because your profile is private.  Maybe you could tell me.  Thanks.
I'm related to the Curtises that went to New Haven and Wallingford.

My profile isn't particularly private, but I don't actually have any family connected except my husband.
Nice job, Anne, in untangling the early New England families on WikiTree.

That could not have been an easy job!
+10 votes
My grandmother, Margarete Van Wye (Van_Wye-58), was the last Secretary of the Carlton-Dunlap Reunion Association, a group of people who lived in and around Warren, Ohio in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, all descended from two Revolutionary War veterans, Francis Carlton and William Dunlap.  I now possess the original minutes book covering 1898 through 1942, when the group apparently disbanded as wartime needs took precedence.  I have transcribed all the births, deaths, marriages, and other events recorded in the minutes.  I have located, with the help of a friend, nearly everyone mentioned in the minutes and posted the events to my Ancestry tree.  I've not yet got them listed on WikiTree but this is a good reminder to do so (maybe a good Connect-a-Thon project!).  Meanwhile, anyone who thinks the information might help them is welcome to contact me.
by Julie Kelts G2G6 (9.7k points)
Julie, I bet that was an interesting, but challenging job for you. Some of their writing isn't that easy to read.

I bet it is going to be interesting to read once you get the minutes on WikiTree.

Thank you for sharing
+12 votes

I don't come from a big family and we have never had a reunion. If we did it would not require a large venue. Unfortunately in the past couple of months my immediate family has become even smaller as I lost my brother and my only remaining Aunt. The ensuing funerals have provided a chance to connect with relatives I have not met since I was a child but they were not really appropriate occasions for discussing family history.

I had the perfect subject for this week's theme but unfortunately my wife Linda has beaten me to it so I cannot talk about the Kernohan reunion in 2010 which enabled us to add a few generations to her family tree and validate a lot of other information. I will just add that after receiving the information about the Kernohan reunion I decided to do a Kernohan name study and have added over 500 Kernohans to WikiTree covering most people with the surname Kernohan living in Ireland between 1850 and 1920.

So instead I will take a different slant on this week's theme.
Guy Edward S Broderick Bullock (also known as Guy de Pitard) was born in Germany to English parents and moved to Australia where he married Helene Julie Jennu Kalbe. Unfortunately they divorced in 1924. But then they remarried in 1928. So there is your RE-UNION!

by Ray Hawkes G2G6 Mach 1 (17k points)

Ray, I was reading all of your information and it was very interesting and thought you were going to be very serious.

When I read your last line, I literally busted out laughing.

Thank you for that.  I needed a laugh at the end of the day! laugh

I like your interpretation of Re-union.

Funerals do seem to be a bit like family reunions among our relatives, too. A sad occasion, sure, but good to see loved ones we haven't in a while.
+8 votes

Reunions are great. But, what if they're really Christmas eve parties? https://allroadhaverhill.blogspot.com/2019/07/52-ancestors-week-28-reunion.html

Hope you guys like five different ways to prepare calamari.

by Chris Ferraiolo G2G6 Pilot (232k points)
We had those, too, when my parents were still alive--it was more just the immediate family. Dad would make shrimp gumbo and after eating we'd play games like UNO or Scrabble. Then, Christmas night we'd get together with the grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins on my mom's side and eat left-overs from everyone's Christmas dinner and exchange gifts. Lots of fun--yes, those were the days!
Ahh, Uno. The relationship killer. =) The creators of that game knew what they were doing when they made it possible to have people have 2 draw fours, a few reverses etc. Not that I...ever did that. (Yes, I did.) Sounds like you had a great time, Nelda!
+7 votes
It's been a while since our grandfather and his siblings' descendants got together for a family reunion.  The family is scattered in Washington, Arizona, Ohio, Michigan, California, Kentucky,and New York When the geographical spread involved shorter distances,it was much easier,
by David Hughey G2G6 Pilot (454k points)
+7 votes

My 6x great grandparents Samuel Knighton and Elizabeth Whaples were married on November 29, 1773. One of the witnesses was Henry Wade, who was my 7x great grandfather. Their descendants, Ernest Knighton and Ethel Robinson would be married almost exactly 138 years later on November 28, 1911. That's one way to define a 'reunion' I think.

by James Knighton G2G5 (5.1k points)
+10 votes

52 Ancestors Week 28 - Reunion

Ok - my reunion goes something like this.

My son and I were living in California and had not been home for a couple of years. I let mom and dad know we were coming home so they could pick us up at the airport. I don't care what year or time of day you are doing it, but flying in to O'Hare Airport is never fun. 

We arrived on time, and of course, my parents were lost. With approximately 2,400 flights landing there each day, we decided we would just go to the luggage retrieval and hope they would go there also. (No cell phones back then). We finally ended up having them paged and met them at a particular place, and headed back home.

I was very tired and looking forward to soaking in the tub, and Michael wanted a shower. We talked a little on the ride home, but napped off and on during the hour and half ride. 

We turned to go to my parents house, but then they turned left. I asked where we were going, and they said to my sister's house. Trying to hold my horror in, because I was exhausted, I asked "Why?"

They both turned around at the same time smiling and said, "We are surprising you with a family reunion." surprise

Two blocks down the road and there wasn't a place to park. My entire family was there. My grandparents, aunts and uncles and all of my cousins. All sitting in my sister's backyard having a great time. Looking at Michael and I walking towards them, as if to say "Aren't you surprised?"

"Why, yes we were."

I went into her bathroom and freshened up a bit. Then I joined the party. They were cooking the regular foods; steak, hamburgers and hot dogs, and my sister's kitchen was full of desserts and salads. The kids were playing games. 

It is always nice to be around family when you haven't seen them in a long time, and my family is very loving. I brought a Camcorder with me, and wanted to get everyone on it, so when we went home, Michael and I could look at it when we got lonely.

That was when the fun began. Michael was holding the recorder, and of course, nobody wanted their picture recorded. You know how they all turn away. So we got an old hat and asked everyone to try it on. The women were really having a great time with this, modeling that hat for everyone. Until we got to my Aunt Joanne. She looked terrific in the hat. She was a beautiful blonde. Michael was asking her questions. He was a big tease. She was joking along with him, and we were all laughing. 

She got brave, and started to tell a joke. She would start the joke, mess up and start it again. She did this a couple of time, and we were all laughing really hard. She said, "I don't understand what is so funny". Michael said "Aunt Joanne, it is going to be funny when we play this back because you started the joke so many times".  She said "What do you mean?" Michael said the same thing back to her to which she replied, "You mean this thing is recording my voice too?"

Everybody was hysterically laughing at this point. My tiredness was all gone and so was Michael's.

We had a great reunion, and were so glad we had the recording.

by Cheryl Hess G2G6 Pilot (491k points)
Cheryl, glad you had a great time. Often the hassle of getting there is a mess, and flying is not what it used to be, but I think once we get there we are glad we went. So glad you got to spend this time with your family.
Another wonderful life story, Cheryl!! Thank you for sharing it -- would love to see that video.
What a great memory! Thank you for sharing!
Thank you Alexis, Robin and Nelda. Not long after that visit we moved back home because my dad had heart problems.

My family was funny when they got together, and I am sure they are like all of yours. So many different personalities.

All of you are wonderful and so sweet!
+6 votes

Only back in March I attended a Goodwin Family Reunion for the descendants of James Goodwin and Mary Ann Gleeson (my 2x great-grandparents). Further back in my childhood, I vaguely recall memories of attending a Fletcher Family Reunion for my Fletcher side (my maternal grandmother's maiden name was Fletcher) but I do not remember much of it, unfortunately.

by Amy Utting G2G6 Pilot (141k points)
+5 votes

The descendants of Green Field Slape and Hattie Mae Moore meet each June for a family reunion. Their children, grandchildren, etc. met for many years in the late '40s and early '50s until the practice dwindled away. It was picked up again later, and the family held their most recent reunion last month in Texas.

Hattie's profile includes a clipping from the El Paso newspaper with news about the 1953 reunion. All 10 of the living children, and most of the grandchildren, were present that year. Others who attended were Green Field's sister, Paralee Finley and her family, and Hattie Moore Slape's brother, J.D. Moore and some of his family. 

by Thena Jones G2G3 (3.5k points)

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