Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Searching for Family Associations

Yesterday I talked about my first experience at a family association conference. So today I thought I would check to see if there are any existing family associations for my some of my ancestral families.

I'm going to try the two approaches that I mentioned yesterday:
  1. The Directory of Family Associations online
  2. Google Searches (+surname +"family association")

I don't really expect to find family associations for the newer lines but I would expect to find some for the 17th century lines.
 Here's a list of surnames and the results I found:

SurnameAncestorFamily Association
MountRichard Mount, d. 1723, NJNone found
Van Schaick Cornelis Aertsen Van Schaick, d. 1669, NYNone found though I did discover the Holland Society for which I don't think I qualify because my Dutch lines aren't "direct
FondaDouw Fonda, d. 1780, NYNone Found
WalleckJoseph F. Walleck, d. 1916, PANone Found
VroomanMaritje Vrooman, d. 1756, NYNone Found
GurneyRichard Gurney, d. 1691, MANone Found
BartlettWright Bartlett, d. 1747, MASociety of Descendants of Robert Bartlett
ShawJohn Shaw, d. 1704, MANone Found
MitchellChristopher Mitchell,
d. 1688 ME (was MA)
None Found
ManchesterThomas Manchester,
d. 1691, RI
None Found
AlbroJohn Albro, d. 1724 (RI?)None Found
QuayleLeonora Quayle, d. 1879 EnglandNone Found
LearnedWilliam Learned, d. 1646, MANone Found
HillJohn Hill, d. 1664, MANone Found
NellinsWilliam Nellins, d. 1864 EnglandNone Found
NungeChristian Nunge, d. 1915 PANone Found
RoemerMagdalena Roemer,
d. 1911 PA
None Found
SilverJames Silver, d. 1759 NJNone Found
GeorgeJacob William George,
d. 1865 PA
None Found
BeckJohn William Beck,
d. 1777 PA
None Found
CoggeshallThoms Coggeshall,
d. 1771 (RI?)
None Found
McClarenWilliam McClaren,
d. 1817 (PA?)
Clan MacLaren
SissonRichard Sisson,
d. 1684 RI
Sisson Family Association

Findings: I am very surprised that I didn't find more family associations, especially for those older lines. I only found one new one, the Bartlett Assocation, and I need to confirm whether that is the same family.  I added Clan MacLaren and the Sissons at the end because I knew they already existed.
Perhaps my search was too restrictive. Perhaps I need to search for +surname +"Family Reunion" or some other combination.

I'm a little disappointed that there aren't more already established family associations in existence.

Definitely food for thought.


  1. I only know of two for my lines, but I haven't looked for quite a while. Thanks for the reminder to look again.

  2. Cyndis List has a category "Surnames, Family Associations & Family Newsletters" at that may help.

  3. The 4th Ed. of the Directory of Family Associations (2001)lists thousands of associations. This book was located in my local library and available to check out. I have it here and will also do a post on it.

  4. As a board member of one of those 17th century immigrant family associations, I can honestly say that it is definitely a labor of love. Run by volunteers, it can be very hard to "keep it going". Usually the "annual" dues are nominal, barely covering the costs of semi-regular newsletters, whose content is another challenge to find. I would encourage everyone to "find" their existing family associations and not only join but consider picking one to volunteer for!

  5. There are goodles of them. One family that came into your neck of the woods is the ("my") Chapman family, of Edward Chapman, Essex County. That url is Some Skinner lines came into NE, and I know there's a Skinner association, etc....and I'm aware of quite a number of others just in my own 'collection' of ancestors. I'd try one-name groups, too, for info.

  6. Try checking on bulletin boards at Ancestry or NEHGS. Usually folks post reunions there about a year ahead of time, and do a good job of answering questions and generating interest. And don't forget the announcements in journals- everything from Genealogy journals, Reunion magazine, and even Yankee magazine!

  7. I browsed yesterday after reading your post and found nothing for my surnames. I know when I was younger we would always get mail about the yearly O'Connell gathering, I do not remember if it had an association that went along with it (I would assume though).

  8. I forgot to mention using Facebook to find family associations. I belong to several on Facebook. The biggest one is the HOLT family of Hawaii. They also have a website They are the most serious family association I know, with several meetings a year, reunions in Hawaii and Las Vegas on a regular basis, and several serious researchers compiling genealogy data. The reminiscing, family jokes and sharing of photos and videos on Facebook is like a family reunion every day!

  9. Clare Turncliff GunningJune 28, 2012 at 7:46 AM

    Here's your opportunity to start one. All the associations had to start someplace.