Showing posts with label Lineage Week. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Lineage Week. Show all posts

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Society Saturday - Saving the Sarah and Peter Clayes house

The Associated Daughters of Early American Witches held their annual meeting one Saturday morning in April.  This is a group of 540 ladies who can trace their ancestry to someone who was accused, tried, or convicted of witchcraft in 17th century american colonies.

The speaker was Janice Thompson, Board President of the Sarah and Peter Clayes House Trust.  She gave an interesting program about their quest to save the home of accused Salem witch Sarah Towne Clayes/Cloyce.  The house is located in Framingham, Massachusetts and was built in 1693.  This is where Sarah and her second husband Peter moved after she was released from prison.

ADEAW helps support causes such as this, as a way to honor the memory of our ancestors.

After the program, new officers were elected and installed, beginning another term for this unique organization.

Saturday, June 07, 2014

Society Saturday - Anthony Benezet, the father of Atlantic Abolitionism

The Annual meeting of the National Society Descendants of Early Quakers was held as a tea during Lineage Week.  Our guest speaker was Dr. Maurice Jackson who spoke about Anthony Benezet, the father of Atlantic Abolitionism.

Dr. Jackson was an extremely knowledgeable gentleman who is an expert on this interesting man.  Mr. Benezet was a French Huguenot who converted to Quakerism and immigrated to Pennsylvania in 1731.  While there, he started a school to educate former slaves, and founded the world's first Anti-Slavery society.  It was very interesting to learn about the abolitionist movement that was gaining ground a century before the civil war.

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Society Saturday - Touring the O Street Museum

The Daughters of Founders and Patriots of America always conclude their General Court meeting with a fun tour of a local site.  This year's tour was particularly novel.  We walked about 1/2 mile to the O Street Mansion.

Some of our ladies waiting to go in the mansion
This mansion is also a museum, bed & breakfast, meeting location and gift shop.  It consists of five row houses which were acquired over the years and combined into one unique building.  Several of the bedrooms have themes, such as the John Lennon bedroom, the Teddy Roosevelt bedroom, the Rosa Parks bedroom, and the Log Cabin bedroom.  The walls are covered with artwork and there are books, and knickknacks throughout the building.  Everything is for sale - if you see a painting on the wall that you want, you can purchase it.

Standing in the entry hall listening to a brief history of the mansion.
The most fun part of the building are the secret doors.  We were told that there were 72 secret doors and that over half were accesssible to the public.  Thus the hunt began.  We were able to spot about 10-15 of them.  Some were small, and simply opened up to storage areas, but some were full size and were the only way in or out of part of the building.

I am standing in the wine cellar, entered only by one of the secret doors
After touring the museum, we had a nice brunch in one of their dining rooms.  This is definitely someplace fun to visit when in DC.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Society Saturday - Happy Birthday to the NOC

Just prior to the Annual General Court meeting of the Daughters of Founders and Patriots of America, there is a luncheon of the DFPA National Officers Club.  The Club consists of former and current National Officers of the Society.  This includes Chapter Presidents.  This year marked the 50th Anniversary of the National Officers Club.

Club President Carla Odom did a wonderful job presiding over this special anniversary meeting.  Everything had a "Golden Anniversary" theme, from the table decorations to the candy favors.  Everyone who attended received a special pin for the Club Anniversary.  The Club luncheon is always a nice way to meet with friends before the actual meeting starts, and this was no exception.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Society Saturday - How the Railroad helped win the War

At the Annual Banquet of the National Society Daughters of Founders and Patriots of America, we were entertained by Mr. David Shackleford, Chief Curator of the B&O Railway Museum.

I had the pleasure of sitting next to Mr. Shackleford during dinner.  He was a very interesting person, telling me of his career in the army, and his attraction to trains.  He seemed genuinely interested in our Society as well.  It was clear that he has a love for history.

His talk was on the history of the B&O Railroad and how it helped the Union win the civil war.  During the talk, he gave us a lot of information about the history of the railroad itself.  For example, each railroad company laid its own track and the gauge (distance between rails) of one railroad often was different from another.  Even if the difference was only an inch or two, a train built for one gauge of track could not run on another company's track.  Most trains only ran between 2 cities.  Thus, the cargo was pulled by horses through the city streets to get from one train to another.

During the Civil War, rail lines were a prime target for Confederate soldiers, who knew that destroying the rail system would weaken the advantage of the North who used their trains to move troops and supplies. The railroad was the target of several raids, including the Great Train Raid of 1861. Although the railroad was considered collateral damage during the war, this did not stop the B&O agents from helping the Union cause.  They often would pass along information about Confederate troop movements.  This intelligence helped the Union forces know when and where to prepare for battle.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Society Saturday - The National Museum of the U.S. Army

At the Candlelight Dinner of the National Society Daughters of American Colonists, we learned about the building of the National Museum of the U.S. Army.

This museum is being built at Fort Belvoir, Virginia.  It will tell the history of the United States Army as well as teach what it is like to be in the army.

There will be an interesting exhibit about Artwork depicting the Army, and a unique experiential learning center where groups of school children will simulate problem solving on a rescue mission.

The museum is still in the construction phase but it sounds like a very interesting place to visit when it is completed.

Saturday, May 03, 2014

Society Saturday - First Families of Maine and New Hampshire

On Tuesday of Lineage Week, there is a joint meeting and tea for the Order of the First Families of Maine and the Order of the First Families of New Hampshire.  These two organizations have met jointly for four years and it works well.  There is a lot of overlap in membership.

The Order of the First Families of Maine conducted their business first.  Membership is open to men and women who can trace their ancestors to Maine prior to 1652. Their prime objective is to support historical projects in Maine and it was agreed again to support the Maine Historical Society.

The Order of the First Families of New Hamsphire offers membership to men and women who can trace their ancestry to that state prior to 1680.  It was exciting to see the Order's Flag presented.  This was a dream of Founder Shari Worrell, and it took nearly 3 years to raise money and find a company to make a suitable flag.

Historian Margie Knight told of the origin of the Order's seal which is depicted on the flag.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Tombstone Tuesday - Wreath Laying at Arlington Cemetery

One of the duties of the National Chaplain of NSDFPA is to prepare a wreath-laying ceremony at the end of General Court.  The wreath is used during the annual memorial service where one carnation is inserted for each member who died during the preceding year.

This year, the memorial wreath was placed at the grave of one of our Honorary National Presidents, Anne Holle, who is buried at Arlington National Cemetery.

Anne Carter Baldwin was born on 2 May 1907.  She was married to Major General Charles G. Holle.  They lived in Washington DC.  She was a member of several lineage societies in addition to the Daughters of Founders and Patriots of America.  She served NSDFPA in several capacities, including National Corresponding Secretary from 1967-70 and National President from 1970-73.  She died on 26 November 2002 and is buried next to her husband and his first wife.

National President Irene Walker knew Mrs. Holle and gave a lovely personal tribute to her.  To add to the ceremony, it was a beautiful day and the Cherry Blossoms were blooming.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Society Saturday - Breakfast with the Children of the American Colonists

Every year during Lineage Week, there is a friendship breakfast hosted by the Children of the American Colonists.  It coincides with the meeting of one of its parent organizations, the Daughters of the American Colonists.

National President Mitchell Clouse talked of his project to help fund the Mountaintop Activity Center at Jefferson's Monticello.  This will be a hands-on area for children to learn about Thomas Jefferson's life and times.  His theme is "Fortifying the Past, Building the Future".

He concluded by inviting everyone to the 2014 General Assembly to be held at Monticello in June.  

This is a nice way to visit before the busy day begins.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Society Saturday - Hosting the Magna Carta

Lineage Week began for me this year at the Rendezvous of the Women Descendants of the Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company.

This group of ladies met for a business meeting during the day, then relaxed at the banquet that evening.  Our banquet speaker was Robert Newlen.  He is the assistant Law Librarian for the Library of Congress.  His topic was about the Magna Carta, which is coming to the LOC this year.  The Magna Carta will celebrate its 800th anniversary in 2015.  The LOC will have an exhibition featuring one of only three original 1215 copies of this document.

Mr. Newlen showing a slide of the Magna Carta

Mr. Newlen spoke a little about the history of the Magna Carta, some facts about the various copies, and told of the preparations surrounding the exhibit.  When asked how the document would travel, he stated that it flies first class with its own escort.

This was an interesting start to this busy week in Washington DC.

The Illinois delegation to A&H Rendezvous

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Society Saturday - Grandma Mary was a Witch

My stay in Washington for Lineage Week concluded with the Associated Daughters of Early American Witches breakfast on Saturday morning. 

This is one of the most fun groups to belong to.  Partly because of all of the wonderful ladies (over 500) who belong, and partly because it's just fun to tell people that you're a "witch". 

ADEAW has a breakfast every year that is always well attended.  This year, our speaker was Bernice Telian, one of our members.  Bernice had written a book about her ancestor Mary Barnes entitled "My Grandma Mary was a Witch".  She gave an interesting talk about how she learned about her grandmother's brush with witchcraft.

Bernice Telian with President General Kathy Carey

Mary Barnes was the wife of Thomas Barnes.  They had four children: Sarah Barnes (married John Scoville), Benjamin Barnes, Joseph BArnes, and Hannah Barnes.  Mary was tried for witchcraft in January 1662/3 in Connecticut.  She was found guilty and hanged on 25 January 1662/3.  Several of the ADEAW members claim her as their ancestor.

Bernice concluded with a personal request for the Connecticut legislature to exonerate Mary.

Chaplain Kelly Carey conducts the memorial service with the assistance of our page.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Society Saturday - Dining with the Washingtons

Alright, so I'm getting farther behind with my postings.  I still have a couple to post from Lineage Week, not to mention a few more national meetings since then.

The National Society, Sons and Daughters of Antebellum Planters, 1607-1861 met on Friday of Lineage Week.   They joined the Descendants of Bench and Bar for a black tie dinner at the Army Navy Club.  Both groups have quite a few members that overlap, so it makes sense to have a joint meeting.

In addition to the usual business consisting of a few reports, appointing a nominating committee for Bench & Bar, and installing new officers for Planters, we had an interesting program.

Stephen McLeod, from Mount Vernon entertained us with his program on "Dining with the Washingtons".  He was quite knowledgeable about all of the social events taking place at Mount Vernon when George and Martha lived there.  We learned a little about the interior design of the mansion, the types of food that was served, and how it was served, as well as some of the roles of the slaves who worked there.

This is one of the more enjoyable meetings of the week - not too much business, an interesting program, and, most importantly, good friends to socialize with.

Saturday, June 01, 2013

Society Saturday - Tour of the State Department

Every year, following General Court, the ladies of  the National Society, Daughters of Founders and Patriots go on a tour somewhere in the greater Washington DC area. 

This year they travelled to the U.S. State Department for a tour of the Diplomatic Reception Rooms.  Upon entering the State Department building (after clearing airport-style security), we were led down a series of drab hallways with a very "government-issue" look to an elevator.  When we exited the elevator on the top floor, the surroundings had changed dramatically.  We were greeted by a guide who explained that the Secretary of State, Vice-President and a few other select government officials could use these rooms for diplomatic functions.  The reception rooms were established in the 1960's and furnished over the next 20 years with pieces representing early American art.

Our guide upon entering the Reception rooms explaining the history of some of the furniture.

This is a Skippet - a box that holds an official wax seal - used for signing treaties.

A portrait of John Hancock hangs in the Gallery.

Our Guide points out several items of interest in the Gallery. 
National President Irene Walker looks on.

In the John Quincy Adams Drawing Room stands the desk that the Treaty of Paris was signed on.

In the desk is one of the original copies of the Treaty of Paris.

Our tour group in the Thomas Jefferson room

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Society Saturday- DFPA General Court

The National Society, Daughters of Founders and Patriots of America had their General Court (annual meeting) in April.  This event lasts almost 3 days. 

Wednesday morning begins with an Executive Board meeting.  This is followed by the luncheon of the National Officers Club.  General Court itself begins Wednesday evening with a banquet.

The banquet is in the elegant Mayflower hotel and is always a nice start to the meeting.  After everyone met the National Officers in the recieving line, they were treated to an excellent meal.  Our banquet entertainment this year was a group of ladies who sang selections from the 1940's, in the style of the Andrews sisters.

The business meeting of General Court was held on Thursday.  A memorial service was conducted to remember 42 ladies who had died over the previous year.  We were grateful for our pages Frances and Donna who helped with the memorial wreath.

On Friday, there was a brief Executive Board meeting followed by a group tour of the State Department (more on that next week).  After the tour, some of us took the memorial wreath to the Women in Military Service Memorial (WIMSA) for a brief wreath-laying ceremony.

Betsy Gauld, Peggy Christie, Frances Lowe and Kimberly Nagy at the entrance to WIMSA

The ladies in the Hall of Honor.

Conducting the ceremony.

Placing the Wreath.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Society Saturday - Descendants of Early Quakers

On Friday afternoon of Lineage Week, the National Society Descendants of Early Quakers has their annual tea.  This is a group of men and women who can trace their ancestry to a member of the Society of Friends (Quakers) prior to 1835. 

Although the organization has no official ties with the Quaker religion, they do try to reflect some of its terminology and practices.  For example, they do not make motions or vote, but instead, "Agree in Unity".  The Officer titles are unique as well.  For example, there is a Presiding Clerk, a Recording Clerk, and a Keeper of the Common Fund.

The Presiding Clerk was Marlene Wilkinson.  She led the meeting through the reports of officers, an election, and a decision to make a charitable donation to Earlham College in Indiana (a Quaker school).

The program was given by Rick Hollis on "Cultivating Simplicity" and was very informative .

After the program, the officers for 2013-15 were installed by Past Presiding Clerk Carole Belcher.  The new National Presiding Clerk is David Stringfellow.

Saturday, May 04, 2013

Society Saturday - Daughters of American Colonists

National Society Daughters of American Colonists meets at the beginning of Lineage Week.  Due to other commitments I was only able to attend their Candlelight Supper on Tuesday evening.

This is a formal banquet with candle votives on the table, but there is more lighting in the room than just candlelight.  At the beginning of the banquet, there is a candle lighting ceremony.  Three candles are lit:
  • The first represents the past - our ancestors - and is usually lit by an Honorary President or Honorary Vice President
  • The second candle is the present - what our society is doing now - and is lit by a current National Officer
  • The third candle represents the future - and is usually lit by the National President of the Children of the American Colonists.  (CAC is sponsored by DAC).
 After dinner, there are introductions of those seated at the head table.  The introductions are somewhat unique - in addition to the usual name and title, the person giving the introductions will tell something educational.  This year, we learned about state trees.  For example, when the National President Carole Holt was introduced, we learned about the Western Hemlock, the state tree of  her home state, Washington.

After introductions, we had our program.  Dr. Henry Miller of Historic St. Mary's City gave a very interesting program about some of the women who lived in Early Maryland.  He of course, spoke of Margaret Brent, the first woman in the colony to not only speak before the legislature, but to ask for the right to vote.  He told the story of Anne Wolseley Calvert, wife of Philip Calvert, an early leader of the colony.  He also spoke of several lesser known women who each contributed in her own way to the establishment of the colony.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Society Saturday - First Families of Maine and New Hampshire

On Tuesday of Lineage Week, two societies meet jointly for a tea.  They are the Order of the First Families of Maine (OFFME) and the Order of the First Families of New Hampshire (OFFNH).

OFFME was founded in 2003 to honor the memory of ancestors who settled in, owned land, or conducted business in what is now present-day Maine prior to 1652. 

Similarly, OFFNH was founded in 2009 to honor the memory of ancestors who settled in, owned land, or conducted business in what is now present-day New Hampshire prior to 1680.

There is an overlap of membership between the two organizations, and similar missions.  Both organizations donate to historical charities in Maine and New Hampshire, respectively.  Because of this, they have a joint meeting every April.

OFFNH Governor General, Marlene Wilkinson called the joint meeting to order.  After their business was concluded, OFFME President General Kimberly Nagy presided over the OFFME business meeting. 

This was an election year for OFFME, and the new slate of officers was installed.  New OFFME President General Timothy Finton was installed, and the members enjoyed refreshments and fellowship.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Society Saturday - Children of the American Colonists

Tuesday morning of lineage week started with the Friendship Breakfast of Children of the American Colonists. 

The Children of the American Colonists is an organization for boys and girls age birth to 22.  The objects are patriotic and educational.  Members trace their lineage to a colonist who rendered civil or military service to the colonies prior to July 4, 1776.

Every year, the Society chooses a project to fund that reflects its purpose.  National President Anthony Panei told us about his national project. He is raising money to restore the old schoolhouse at St. Clement's Island in Maryland.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Society Saturday - Women Descendants of the Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company

National Lineage Week started on Monday with the Annual Rendezvousof the National Society Women Descendants of the Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company.

This lineage group consists of lineal descendants of the famous Massachusetts military company.  President National Beverly Sceery presided as the National Officers, Chairmen, and Court Presidents gave their reports.

At the Banquet, our speaker was Dr. Nancy Bazar who told of her quest to confirm the history of her house as a stop on the underground railroad.

After the program, new officers were installed.  Jeannine Kallal was installed as the new President National.  She will lead the society for the next 3 years.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Home from Lineage Week

Well, last week was great!  I saw lots of old friends, made some new friends, ate too much, and didn't get enough sleep.  I got home yesterday afternoon, and am now back at my "real job".  I will try to post some highlights from each of the groups over the next few days.