July 10th, 2004 Smith reunion was a great success!

Submitted by:    Website
Dear Smith family!

I believe the John J. Smith reunion was a great success! I know I had a wonderful time! It was so good to finally meet people I have communicated with for several years by e-mail, as well as meet new family.

First for the statistics:

There were 161 descendants in attendance (possibly more who didn’t sign the guest book or register beforehand).

There were 11 of the 22 children represented by descendants and their spouses. The breakdown by family is as follows:

Seaborn “Seab” – 7
James Monroe “Roe” – 75
Clarinda Adeline – 3
John Newton – 21
Thomas “Tom” Lindsey – 8
George Right – 34
Martha A. – 1
Hester Ann “Hessie” – 1
Laura Jane – 21 (20 of these were also counted above with James Monroe’s family)
Charlie N. – 2
Minnie Lee – 2
(plus 6 friends and stepchildren of descendants)

The one with the most grandchildren was Betty “Jean” Smith Roach – 11 grandchildren (James Monroe descendant)

The youngest was Betty “Jean” Smith Roach’s granddaughter N. Baker (James Monroe descendant)

The oldest was Neal Monroe Smith (James Monroe descendant)

The one who traveled the farthest was James Bradley “Jim” Smith (John Newton descendant) from Oklahoma! (Others came from GA, AL, FL, OK, and TN).

The charts on the wall contained 3888 people with a small number duplicated in more than one chart (cousins marrying cousins!) They covered 66 feet of wall space in width!

Again, I want to thank all of you who came on Friday and helped with the decorating, organizing and taping of wall charts! Unfortunately, we missed one in the recognition on Saturday, so Linda Trentham, let me thank you personally here! For those of you who don’t know Linda, she has been researching this family for a long time, and has shared so much with me. The more I talk to her, the more I realize what a wonderful resource she is. She volunteers at the Etowah Valley Historical Society that is located in the old courthouse in Cartersville. Go by and visit her when you are ready to research this family on your own. (Linda, my apologies to you for not recognizing you on Saturday!!! I told you I’d make some big blunders before it was over and this was a really big one!) Also thank you to those who stayed around and helped clean up. The tables and chairs all had to be moved out of the gym and decorations taken down.

For those of you that weren’t there (and why weren’t you!!!?), we had a wonderful meal of Bar-B-Q that included the whole hog! Thank you David Smith for that surprise! Dessert was provided by some wonderful Smith cooks and no one went away hungry (if they did it was their own fault!).

The Church at Liberty Square that allowed us to rent their facilities went far beyond what I had expected and provided a van to carry us over to the John J. Smith house and cemetery (thank you, Tim Daniels). The house is now being used as a food pantry by the church, but we were still allowed to see all the rooms. A few lucky people got to go at the same time as Frances Smith Appling and hear her stories about what it used to be like when she was a little girl (I missed that myself but heard about it later). The church had also done an excellent job of cleaning up the cemetery with weedeaters and killing back some of the poison ivy and such that was growing there.

The only real problem during the day was the sound system in the gym. From what I can tell, the majority could not hear the speakers very well (including me). Two things I would like to recap:

1.. Frances Smith Appling (descendant of James Monroe Smith and Laura Jane Smith) told a story about the magnolia tree to the right of the John J. Smith house. (You wondered why we used magnolia leaves on the tables as decorations!). Her grandmother, Laura Jane Smith Bishop, traveled to Plains, GA in Sumter County to visit her brother Charlie. Before leaving, she got a sapling from a magnolia tree and brought it back on the train. She planted it beside the house when she got home. That tree can be seen in the photo on the bookmark you received as a memento of the reunion (it was in your packet you received at registration). The flower on the bottom of the bookmark is an actual flower on this tree! (By the way, Wanda Smith Capps made the bookmarks and program you received – thank you Momma!)

2.. Sherri Smith Walker (descendant of Seaborn Smith) told about coming to the John J. Smith cemetery as a child when her father would come to clean it up every year or two. After her father died, many years went by before she felt compelled to return and take up where her dad left off. She has set a date of the first Saturday in November as the yearly cleanup time and would like to invite all of you to come with hoe in hand ready to weed the land. Maybe over time we can create a fundraiser to raise money for a fence and upkeep for the cemetery.

The other speakers were James Ernest Smith (descendant of George Right and my great uncle), Lilla “Marjorie” Smith Patterson (descendant of Thomas Lindsey Smith), and Brenda King Harris (descendant of Charlie N. Smith). Thank you to each one for sharing a little of their family history with us!

Margaret Mines brought a watercolor print of the John J. Smith house to sell. She painted it in 1983. It was beautiful! I believe she sold a good number during the day. Thank you Margaret.

I know I’m leaving out some very important thank-you’s, but to each person that was involved: God Bless YOU!

I hope a good time was had by all, and that you will come again when we repeat this event. We have discussed several options, including every leap year for a big reunion, and a smaller scale reunion in two years. I have already heard from some who are willing to help with the next one. Speak up now if you want to see this happen again! It will take more involvement from others to keep it going. If you have the time, please drop David Smith a note, thanking him for sharing his resources with all of us so that we could keep the cost down for you: Dbsouthinc@aol.com.

By the way, some of you may not realize that Cliff Smith, (David’s uncle) got sick at the end of the reunion and had to be taken to the hospital by ambulance. He had a pacemaker put in just a few months ago, and they were not sure if that was the problem or not. While in the hospital, his wife Mary Lou Barrett Smith went into shock and has had to have tests run. Cliff is now home, but I am not sure about his wife. Please keep this family in your prayers.

Let me hear from you with more family tree information, stories about your family and ancestors, and PHOTOS! (Now do you understand why I kept asking for them!) I would especially love to receive copies made at the reunion of individuals as I did not get photos of everyone myself. I still have some gaps in the wall charts!

With love,

Melanie Capps (Wanda Colleen Smith, Arthur Maxwell "Max" Smith, James Arthur Smith, George Right Smith, John J. Smith)



John J. Smith Reunion 2004

Would you like to be part of a BIG family reunion? We are ready to begin contacting descendants of John J. Smith of Bartow Co., GA for a reunion to be held July 10th, 2004. The Church of God that now owns the John J. Smith house has agreed to let us tour his old home as part of our reunion! The cemetery behind the house can also be toured that day. The home is now being used as a Food Pantry to meet needs in the community. Part of the cost of our reunion will go to support this program. David and Tina Smith of Cartersville have already paid for and reserved the church gym (air conditioned!) for this reunion. David is a descendant of James Monroe Smith, who is probably the second oldest son of John J. and Nancy Adlaide Spurlock. (Thank you, David!) David's e-mail is Dbsouthinc@aol.com

What is known at this time:
Date: July 10, 2004
Time: 10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Place: The Church at Liberty Square, 2001 Liberty Square Drive, Cartersville, GA.
Up front cost: $10.00 each for adults and children.Meal will be catered by a local Bar-B-Que restaurant. All money above the cost of the meal will go to the Food Pantry. This will need to be sent in AHEAD OF TIME in order to know how much food to order.
Checks should be made out to:
John J. Smith Reunion and mailed to: David Smith , P.O. Box 525 , Cassville, GA 30123

What to bring: a Dessert - Smith's are known for their fine cooking. Those who live close enough are encouraged to bring a delicious homemade dessert to share!

Would you be willing to HELP the day of the reunion? We will need people to set up tables for lunch, hang the genealogy wall charts, man the registration tables containing name tags, lead tours to the cemetery or to the house, and CLEAN UP afterwards!

What to do ahead of time:

1. Find your name and your immediate family listed on the John J. Smith web site. We will be printing out a HUGE descendancy tree for the reunion including birth, death, and marriage information, so you can see how you fit into this wonderful family. (Begin here at the index - there are 3 pages, listed alphabetically.) If it is NOT there, send me information on your part.

Here is what I need: Family Group Sheet: .pdf - Acrobat Reader File OR IMAGE . Feel free to just type the same information into an e-mail. Be sure to tell HOW your family is connected to the John J. Smith family! Fill out one for EACH family group. (Feel free to send stories about your ancestors (deceased) that you would like to see included in the web site.)

2. Search through your family photographs for pictures of John J. Smith, either of his two wives, and any of the 20 or so children. Be sure to ask older relatives and other family members about this. (The children are listed here. Of the 20+ children, we only have photos of George Right Smith and Hester Smith Richards. I KNOW there must be more out there!)

3. Send photos of you and your family members (by e-mail or regular mail). Photos can be added to the descendancy tree and would be wonderful to SEE along with the names. If you would be willing to scan pictures (or ask a friend for help) of members of your families (in .jpg format preferably) and send them to me at mmcapps@bellsouth.net there would be no cost involved. Be sure to identify each family member in the file name of the photo/scan. (Many people already have digital cameras and photos that are ready for this.) CLEAR face shots are best. There can be more than one person in a photo, but large group shots do not work well for this. I will be cropping faces out to include in the wall chart. PHOTOS OF LIVING PEOPLE WILL NOT BE USED ON THIS WEB SITE!!!

If you have no way to scan them, you may send regular photos to me at: Melanie Capps; 733 Wynsom Dr.; Huntsville, AL 35803

Please mark the envelope "PHOTOS ENCLOSED - PLEASE HAND CANCEL". Your photos will be returned at the reunion. CLEARLY mark who each person is in the photo, and who they are to be returned to on the back of EACH photo.

4. Send us your e-mail and home address. If you have an e-mail address, information will be sent that way, but knowing that these addresses often change, be sure to send you home address too.

5. Contact ALL of your John J. Smith relatives and share the above information with them, asking them to send in their name too! Send info to Melanie Capps.

To read current information on the reunion, go here: http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.com/~mcapps/jjsmith/reunion.html

To see if you fit into this family begin here: http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.com/~mcapps/jjsmith/ (a little outdated, but will be revised in June – also has photos and other data) or http://worldconnect.genealogy.rootsweb.com/cgi-bin/igm.cgi?op=GET&db=jjsmith&id=I343 (most current but no frills)

For more information, please contact me:   Website mmcapps@bellsouth.net


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