Monday, June 6, 2016

It's Time For a Family Reunion!!

We are into the full swing of Summer [finally!] and what do genealogist love to do in Summer?? 
—that’s right, attend family reunions!

Whether annual family association gatherings of 500 people or a lunch date with 8 cousins – ‘reunions’ are a great way to further research and to maintain contact and relationships with living, breathing relatives!

This Summer is particularly active for me, in the family reunion department! I've been spearheading a large reunion for one branch of my family over the last year & a half. It will finally be later this month. As anyone who has organized a large reunion knows, it can be a lot of work. Unfortunately, while this is a very large extended family, the attendance seems to be far less than I'd hoped for.... it can be challenging to find a date/location that works for a large family that is spread across the United States.
A 1940's reunion full of unidentified relatives of The Dead Relative Collector

July is when I have the opportunity to attend 2 other family reunions! One has been happening for 70  years! And while the last decade has seen us lose so many of our treasured older generation – we still come together the second Sunday of July and celebrate what connects us! Later in the month, the siblings of my Grandfather & their families gather for a reunion as well.

It's a wonderful time to catch up with those living breathing relatives that we don't always get a chance to see or spend time with... and a time to share stories or photos as well! I know I always drag along a bunch of "mystery photos" in hopes of getting some of them identified.

In case you are thinking of planning your own reunion & are looking for a few resources-- here are a couple of links for planning a reunion of your very own!
Mister Spiffy's Reunion Planner
Your Midsize Family Reunion: A Planning Checklist
Family Tree Magazine's- 10 Steps to Family Reunion Success

  • Do you have any annual family reunions? 
  • Or at least one scheduled for this year?
  • What traditions do you have?
  • Do you have a program?
  • When was your last one?

Have you found it a benefit in having a program – or do you think folks prefer the big group free flowing social time?

If you haven’t had a family reunion in a while [or for some- EVER!] perhaps it’s time for you to start planning one!

Please feel free to post family reunion ideas, dilemmas, or links to your family reunion stories the comments below!

1 comment:

  1. We don't do one every year, but we do have one. I appreciate the links! Last year we had one and our daughter was in charge of coming up with a program. She asked for some family history stories from us. The afternoon of the last day, one of the activities was to paint the "backdrop" for the play. She had water soluble paint and had sketched on a large sheet the outlines of mountains and trees etc. The kids had a great time painting! That evening she pulled different groups of kids aside and told them the story and then the kids acted it out. It was a riot and a fun way to include family history stories.