Louise Hawley, Lillian, Alabama, wrote that the Thomas Stanton Society meets every three years for a three-day reunion on property in Stonington, Connecticut, owned by the family since the 1640s. They have no problem “breaking the ice.” First, they provide nametags with lineage on the reverse side and a packet of relevant historical information. We encourage everyone to bring whatever information they have to share. This always includes computer printouts, photos and stories of their immediate family and even artifacts (such as a 1740s gun which was later donated to a local museum).
The first evening is always given over to family members with a story to tell. What is so great is to see young cousins meet for the first time or find out that another family member might share the same lineage for a number of generations. “Yes, it’s work to plan and notify everyone, make the tags and prepare the folder and program. It pays off in developing a rewarding connection, not only to other kin, but to our country’s history as well,” says Hawley.