Half-Shire Historical Society
August 10, 2007

The summer reunion season is in full swing in the North Country. We note in every week’s paper at least one mention of a gathering big or small. The tradition of family reunions seems to be an essentially American one, and since the nineteenth century reunions have been more commonplace.
On Saturday August 4, the Descendants of Marvin and Beulah (Munger) Randall gathered in Greenboro at the 204 year old Randall farm to celebrate the 90th birthday of family patriarch Vernon Valoris Randall. “Uncle Bill” was actually born March 24, 1917, but the celebration was postponed in deference to his wish to have all his family around him for a hot dog roast “under the old maple tree” at the farm. Bill’s wish was granted when the entire family came together. They included: his wife Marie, two daughters and sons-in-law, Richard and Lowana Davenport of Brooktondale and Dale & Judith Huyck of Saranac Lake; grandson Russ & Traci Huck and their son Deryck; grandson Brian and Terri Huyck and their sons Matthew and Steven; granddaughter Chris Day and sons Randall & Steven; granddaughter Cathy Caveney and her girls Carley & Morgan. A friend stopped by and took a family photo of the occasion which will be surely cherished by generations.
Bill’s Great-grandchildren are the eighth generation of the Randall family to wander the fields and woodlands
On Saturday August 11, three notable gatherings will take place: In Mexico the 80th annual reunion of the descendants of Rolan Edgar Dennis & Addie (Rogers) Fox will be held at the community park just east of town. This reunion encompasses hundreds of people scattered across the world that descend from an early Redfield family. Our friend Sarah Darling Rector keeps track of the growing family tree, and will surely be there to enumerate and sort the attendees. Meanwhile, in Pulaski many members of the Alonzo & Grace (Colven) Flagg family will be in attendance at the Pulaski Public Library to fete the family matriarch, Pearl Flagg Bontomaise on the occasion of her first book signing. For many years Pearl has written poetry, and finally at the insistence of her family (particularly granddaughter Angela) Pearl is able to present her poetry to the public. Half-Shire will have copies of Pearls book for sale among our books, but first editions will only be available on the 11th at the Library.
Also on August 11, Half-Shire will host graduates and attendees of Redfield Schools for the 22nd annual school picnic. The reunion was moved from Redfield this year due to the closure of the Century House and also to allow attendees to look through Redfield photos and scrapbooks at our facility. George Widrig, Erma Schroeder and Shawn Doyle will be heading up the kitchen staff for an old fashioned chicken and biscuit dinner. Anyone who ever went to school in Redfield is welcome to attend!
On Saturday September 1, the Ballou and McCaw families of Redfield will be gathering for their annual reunion during old home days.
Any other upcoming reunions we will gladly publicize. We also may be able to help organizers add a little bit of history to the event. Half-Shire now has hundreds of family files, and many are computerized for ease of printing. Major north country families such as the Yerdons, Casters, Joyners, Randalls, Howards, Buells, Ballous, McCaws, and countless others are all kept updated as we take in information. Contact us for your specific request for information! On Tuesday July 31, former Volney Historian George Wise paid a visit to us for a day of cemetery inspection and research. In an upcoming column we will go over our joint findings from that day that will add a new chapter to Pulaski’s George Washington/Henry Lyman story. New evidence of the abolitionist movement in our region has been found by George, and in our travels we linked other clues to flesh out the story.
Work continues on the Richland Revolutionary War Veteran book due out this fall. New material has been obtained on the David Soule and Abraham Bull lines. Significant work has also been done on the Doane families. Thanks to Alice Campbell Gasperini for the loan of some DAR papers that have assisted us in sorting out the Doane families. One interesting facet of this project is that each of the 25 veterans we have identified can be linked with at least one of the other veterans either by service or family record. It truly is a small world.
Half-Shire Historical Society is open every Friday from 12 -4 p.m. or by appointment. We can be reached at P.O. 73, 1100 County Rte. 48, Richland, NY 13144 or on the web at halfshire@hotmail.com our columns are also posted on our blog at: halfshire.blogspot.com/

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