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The Ellen Payne Odom Genealogy Library Family Tree
The Family Tree - December/January 2003
Family Reunions • Gatherings • Meetings

by Edith Wagner

Considering a reunion? Now’s the time of year to make your decision because time’s a’ wasting for next summer. If you do decide, here’s a bit about the company your keep.

Reunions magazine recently completed a survey of family reunion organizers conducted with the Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism Management Department at East Stroudsburg University in Pennsylvania. The survey focused on practical reunion organizing matters. These are some of the findings.

  • Family reunions are large. Seventy three percent (73%) host 50 or more attendees, 35% have over 100, and 6% percent include over 200.

  • Family reunions are frequent. Almost half meet each year, while one-third gather every two years.

  • Most reunions last a few days: 74% (±7%) last up to two days. However, 19% last from three to five days, and 7% last six or more. The average amount spent per person by 54% is over $200. However, many reunions spend much more: 19% reported per person expenditures of over $400.

  • Many planned their next reunion at a relative’s home, but 64% plan to use hotel, resort or similar accommodations. When asked to name the most important factors in selecting a reunion site, the most frequent responses were: reasonable travel time, cost and location.

  • The amenities that provide maximum adult and kid interaction (together and apart) are vital to one respondent. Shifting locales is a common reunion practice to accommodate relatives across the country and encourage those who can’t attend one year to come the next.

  • Most frequent reunion events mentioned were entertainment and worship. Local attractions, sports and special family ceremonies also were cited as common activities. Many reunions said they provide their own entertainment; contests, talent shows and games are the most popular. Other reunions mentioned visiting theme parks, sporting events or using options provided by the reunion site.

These are some upcoming family reunions.


Descendants of William Douglas Barnes. July 4-6, 2003, Shreveport LA.

Cumberland County PA

July 18-20 2003, Shippensburg University, Shippensburg, Cumberland County PA. The Brady Family Heritage Association is hosting. Reunion activities include a surname registry, the opportunity to participate in the BYU Molecular Genealogy Project, a

frontier settlement with period crafts people such as a blacksmith, soap/candle/map/gun makers, weavers and spinners, and basket weaver; a quilting discussion and display of Heritage Quilts; a 1700's Ranger encampment; and a Revolutionary War re-enactor encampment. Activities planned for the kids include covered wagon and pony rides. water balloon toss, revolutionary and pioneer crafts. Anyone with an ancestor of any surname who lived in Cumberland County PA during the 1700s is welcome. Donna Cuillard,;


Family of Bernard & Annie Butler Curtis of St. Mary's County MD. July 5, 2003. C/B Reunion, 29861 Charlotte Hall Road, Charlotte Hall MD 20622;


July 4, 2003, Giacoletti Ranch in Bisbee, Arizona.

Idom & Boykins

28th family reunion. June 26-30 2003, Gulfport MS. Cris White,


July 3-6, 2003, Archbold OH. Carol Purtee-Zemke, 6151 W. Howard Avenue #27, Greenfield WI 53220; 414-671-7631 (days);;


6th annual national reunion of the Self-Selfe-Selph family in America; Apr 26, 2003, Shelby NC. Self Family Newsletter, 106 Northside Drive, Calhoun GA 30701-2919;;

Want more?

For more reunion information, visit Reunions magazine at where you can request a free sample of Reunions magazine. Also see Reunions Workbook and Catalog and The Family Reunion Sourcebook by Edith Wagner (1999, Lowell House, Los Angeles) in bookstores. List your reunion (also free) by emailing info to

Return to Dec/Jan 2003 index


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