Wednesday, June 29, 2016

90th Birthday

Ruby Walsh  90th Birthday
My maternal great-aunt Ruby (Lambertson) Walsh celebrated her 90th birthday today!  It was nice to see her today and several of my Lambertson cousins as we celebrated this milestone birthday!  I hope that I share the longevity gene!

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Weekend Packed With Family Reunions

This past weekend turned out to be packed with family reunions, both on my side and my wife's side of the family.

On Saturday, Eileen and I attended the Pefley-Lewis reunion at Bozarth's Campground in Lagro, Indiana.  It had been several years since we had last attended this reunion of her mom's side of the family.  This is a combined family reunion that has been held for about twelve years or so.  Eileen's mother was a Pefley and her grandmother was a Lewis.  There were two Pefley brothers who married Lewis sisters, so the Pefleys who were there are all Lewis, but not all the Lewis members are Pefleys. 

Their reunion is held inside, with everyone bringing a covered dish.  There was a table set up where pictures and family documents were displayed.  One neat find this year was that a letter written by Eileen's great-grandmother, Sarah (Peeples) Pefley to her children.  Eileen took pictures of it and I hope that I can use it for a future blog post.  This reunion also has a silent auction to raise money to pay for the rental of the facilities, etc. and holds a bingo game. 

Eileen & I at the Pefley-Lewis reunion
This group was pretty large and spread out from across the country, so name tags were used to help identify who was who.  Also, everyone went around the room and identified themselves and how they were related to either the Pefley or Lewis clans.  This was helpful as many were 2nd cousins or so, and it can be hard to keep track of who belongs to which family.  A sign up sheet to track attendance and update contact information was also kept.

On Sunday, my mom and I went to the Pierce family reunion at Beulah Park in Alexandria, Indiana.  I joked that we were crashing the reunion. Mother's grandmother was a Pierce. This reunion has been held for several years, though neither of us had ever attended.  Mom wasn't aware of her dad ever attending, but we do know that her aunt Clara Ellen attended.  Mainly these are the descendants of my 2nd-great grandfather, William Francis Pierce.  Mom and I descend from the first marriage, while most of the attendees are from the second marriage.

Everyone at this reunion also brings a covered dish and since it was held inside on a hot day that worked out well.  After eating, everyone went around the room and introduced themselves and how they were related, etc.  Mom introduced us and we were very welcomed.  It was nice to put faces to the names that I had collected in my family research.  We let them know that mom had recently become a member of the DAR through this particular line, and I shared some of my genealogy research.   There were six Pierce boys from the second marriage, so there are a lot of cousins.  I was struck in particular how one looked a lot like my grandfather, who was his first cousin.   Because of the age differences, my grandfather was the same age as many of his uncles.  Mom didn't remember ever attending this reunion as a child, but thought they were probably at the lakes when it it was held.

A business meeting was held for this reunion as well, and cash prize of $1 was given to the youngest and oldest member there.  Reports were given of any births, deaths or marriages within the year as well.  The winner of the youngest member was the cutest little four-year old boy.  A group picture was taken of all of the attendees as well and they had a sign up sheet to track attendance and update contact information for the record.

2016 Pierce Family Reunion, Alexandria, Indiana

All in all, this weekend was a positive experience on the family front, seeing some faces who were familiar and meeting some "new" family members.  In addition, there were several ideas on how to host a reunion that can be incorporated into our LeMaster reunion.