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Leasa Garvin
15 March 2009, 07:08 PM
Hi Folks,

My cousin and I are planning a family reunion for this summer. Neither of us have done this before. I attended one reunion back in 1973.

Our Gram celebrated her 95th birthday in December and our parents (and my cousin and I) planned a party for her. It was so much fun my cousin and I thought we should hold a family reunion this summer.

Using Reunion 9, I prepared a 3 ring notebook for Gram with her ancestors, descendants and siblings in separate chapters. For the wall I made a relative chart which I printed out on card stock and pieced together. (my cousin took that home) And using each of Gram's descendant photos from Reunion files, I made a card stock "ornament" that looks like a quilt square using different color for each of her children and each generation after that and hung them on a "family tree". I made a video with a bit of tape from everyone wishing Gram a happy birthday telling a story or something, edited it using iMovie and put it on a dvd for her and others to enjoy. All that was FUN!!!!

Many of our family camp so we picked a favorite campground near here as a place to meet. We want to keep it simple and informal.

I'd like to gather more info on the younger folks in the family and share what I've discovered and of course gather more information from the older folks. Maybe have people bring photos to show and share.

Anyone have advice for us? We have no experience and want to have a nice time.

Leasa Garvin
Eastport, Maine

Terry Medlar
16 March 2009, 11:13 AM
What a wonderful party! My recommendation for the family reunion is to have charts made up by Family Graphics. The owner is Tim Lundin and he is a member of this forum. Their work is superb and not very expensive. They use fine paper and in the end it is probably cheaper than all the card stock and pasting you did. They also make recommendations that really improve the charts. Have fun!
http://www.familygraphics.com

theKiwi
16 March 2009, 11:38 AM
What a wonderful party! My recommendation for the family reunion is to have charts made up by Family Graphics. The owner is Tim Lundin and he is a member of this forum. Their work is superb and not very expensive. They use fine paper and in the end it is probably cheaper than all the card stock and pasting you did. They also make recommendations that really improve the charts. Have fun!
http://www.familygraphics.com

I would only caution though, that unless you already pretty much know everything, these charts would become quite outdated the moment the first people at the Reunion see them.

My whole interest in genealogy goes back to a family Reunion I attended in 1989, where a cousin of my father had spent who knows how long producing a 40 page register report on a typewrite.

Over the course of the 2 days, nearly every page had additions and corrections made to it by attendees, which meant that the entire thing would need to be retyped, and me with my first Macintosh computer I'd bought about 6 months before that was thinking "there has to be a way to get a computer to do this" so that the production of an updated report would be nearly effortless.

And here we are.

So I would suggest you have 1 or several copies of printouts made so that people can add to them with new children, spouses, etc etc that you can then take away and add at your leisure. I've had a computer at events like this, but find you tend to get bogged down stuck to the computer inputting data that people want to tell you, so having a means for them to write it down for you would be helpful

Yes, Tim's big charts are amazing, and would be sure to be a talking point too.

Roger

ttl
16 March 2009, 02:23 PM
I always say the surest way to make a chart obsolete is to print it and show it to somebody! :)

I love the opportunity to help create something special to display at reunions, but the most important thing is to get that chart up one way or another and it sounds as if the the OP has that covered. I know of some people who have had the same experience as Roger (they get their chart all marked up) and then treat the chart as a keepsake personalized by all the attendees. I feel compelled to point out though that starting out with a great-looking chart makes the keepsake great-looking too!

Bottom line is that a chart makes a great research tool, either as a discussion leader, or as a reference to help people visualize and compare their own knowledge to yours.

ttl
16 March 2009, 03:21 PM
Here's what one person did with her chart... note the felt markers hanging from the bottom of the chart with alligator clips.

http://www.familygraphics.com/GalleryPage.html

AnneA
16 March 2009, 07:55 PM
Hi Leasa Garvin,

Family reunions can be great fun. It's very nice to keep it informal. The chart works WONDERS. Parents can finally illustrate to their children how their extended family is related just by pointing. It's wonderful! Tim Lundin has assisted me in several (3 or 4) reunion plannings - and his printed out Reunion chart makes it seem like I know what I'm talking about. The idea of having pens attached to a mounted chart is a terrific one. (Mounted as in glued to Foamcore - you can do it yourself).

Pre-plan: Send out questionnaires to families ahead of time. Try not to waste the time you are together - filling out information. Let people fill them out, and send them to you ahead of time - and you can present them in a binder too. Ask ALL of the pertinent questions and more. Ask for photos, memoires, etc. Let them have time to think about it... and maybe research on their own at home. Give them a DEADLINE to return the forms. Also, include your own, filled-out Form as an example. This usually makes everyone much more comfortable about sharing their own personal information with you. Include your own photo (head shot) in the form.

Ask people to BRING OLD PHOTOS. Have a scanner available. Get about 3 people to help you write all this down -- and write WHO said what. If someone has a video camera - set up a area to have 1 to 3 people sit and tell stories to the camera. It has to be away from the crowd and noise, or you will not be able to understand a thing.

Make a list of things to do during the reunion: i.e. set up food, refresh food, clean up food area, - lead kids in games, parking, general trash pick up, drinks, etc. THEN, assign 1 person IN CHARGE of that - who can pick up others to help. Get everyone involved. It's their family. You have to supervise others - and fill the gaps during the day. Plan on having someone assigned to drive in stakes to hold up the Family Tree.

Be especially attentive to the oldest attendees. They'll love the attention, and you need to get their information NOW. Ask about THEIR earliest memories. Give awards for the Oldest Attendee. Ones who came the longest distance... not big prizes, but fun ones. Have a UNRELATED friend come to take photos. Send a follow-up note/email to everyone. Be prepared to be exhausted, but in a wonderful way. Have fun.

Anne

Leasa Garvin
11 July 2009, 10:55 PM
The reunion is only a couple of weeks away!

I'm very excited! My sister made quilted flags to mark the route, Cousin Donna is in charge of food, Cousin Lorraine is in charge of the paper products....great baskets are being put together for the kids--including a nice scroll with family chart and photos, hand made puppets by Auntie Sylvia, hand made ornaments by Auntie Janie, sea shells from FL, and kindereggs from Germany!....you get the picture?

We have over 60 coming! From FL, PA, NY, CT, RI, MA, lots from ME and across the border from NB too!

Three events are planned over three days a Friday night campfire, Saturday noon cookout and Sunday afternoon ice cream social.

This week is barn cleanup in case of rain.

I'm wondering about prizes I've been gathering some and thought it would be nice to hear what others do like oldest, traveled the most distance?

Any last minute tips or advice will be most welcomed.

What made your last reunion a fun time or a drag?

Leasa

John M. Leggett
13 July 2009, 07:42 PM
The reunion is only a couple of weeks away!

I'm wondering about prizes I've been gathering some and thought it would be nice to hear what others do like oldest, traveled the most distance?

Any last minute tips or advice will be most welcomed.

What made your last reunion a fun time or a drag?

Leasa

I received a beautiful certificate ready for framing at our last family reunion. It expressed appreciation for my presence as being the person who traveled the greatest distance. The oldest and youngest persons present were also recognized similarly.

John

Al Poulin
13 July 2009, 08:45 PM
We have over 60 coming! From FL, PA, NY, CT, RI, MA, lots from ME and across the border from NB too!

Lots from Maine you say? And a barn perhaps means a barnyard. Ask the Mainers what they know about "bean hole beans." Several times, years ago, my cousin in my home town of Winslow, ME served bean hole beans at family reunions in his back yard. They were the greatest! A google search gets you many hits, including:
http://www.umaine.edu/folklife/beanholebeans.htm
http://www.yankeemagazine.com/recipes/search/onerecipe.php?number=2562

kmgenealogy
08 August 2009, 07:19 PM
The reunion is only a couple of weeks away!

So, Leasa, how did the reunion go? We're waiting for your report!
Kaye

Bob White
09 August 2009, 02:55 PM
One more thing that no one above mentioned. Make sure you get the source of each piece of information. It's really easy for this to get away from you when 8 people are all trying to give you info at the same time.

If you have a chart spread out on a table, believe me, people will "correct" info, write new info, etc... That's all well and OK. Just tell everyone up front to sign their name or initials if you are busy talking with another person or whatever.

That way, when you are home and rested up, you can determine who said what including the ability to followup by contacting that person.