Jamestown. Williamsburg. Just the words bring to mind the birth of America and many American families that can trace their roots back to those bold new beginnings. On the last Friday in September and the first Saturday in October, our great American family will come together for our first reunion ever in Williamsburg, Virginia, and here of our extended family connections to these historic places. What a moment not to miss!
Our family home base for the weekend will be the Williamsburg Woodlands Hotel & Suites, located right at the entrance to the Williamsburg visitor center. Thanks to the inspiration of cousins Jimmy Palmer and Joyce Browning, we will fulfill our longtime vision of taking our great family reunion to Williamsburg and Jamestown. So much American history is packed into this special tidewater peninsula, including Yorktown, and Jimmy & Joyce are planning an expanded two day program of activities so you’ll see all the history, and hear of our various family connections to this great place in American history.
Starting with the free continental breakfast at the hotel on Friday morning, we’ll begin our Williamsburg day with a walking tour of Williamsburg led by Jimmy, followed by a Governors Palace tour after lunch. We’ve got some very special activities around the town planned during the day, so you won’t want to miss out. Friday night dinner will be extra special too, where we’ll celebrate another great year of family activities and present our annual awards to our deserving family members! We’ve been able to reserve a private dining room in the famous Shield’s Tavern, right in Williamsburg, and we’ll have a tasty menu to select from, and have our annual family festivities there, as well. On Saturday morning, we’ll car caravan down to Jamestown, where we will explore the archeological site in detail, with lunch at the café on site. Following lunch, we will head on to Yorktown, the great battlefield where we beat the redcoats. That evening, dinner will be on the wharf at Yorktown’s famous Riverwalk Restaurant, where we’ll toast the day and close out our great Williamsburg Reunion weekend! Such a two day fun-packed weekend of family, history, and celebration! Jimmy & Joyce have worked hard to plan such an incredible weekend, so don’t miss out on the excitement – call Sandra at Woodlake Travel to book your travel plans today at 713-499-7107. She can handle all your travel needs! As of my writing in June, a few reasonably priced rooms are still available at the Williamsburg Woodlands Hotel, so plan to check in on Thursday 9/29 and checkout Sunday 10/2. See the attached flyer with details about hotel booking & airport options. The fun begins when you get there!
Reunion in Temple, Texas
Last fall, our 2010 Reunion in Temple, Texas was another big Texas-size success. Thanks to the great efforts of “sweet & sassy” Texas belle, Jerry Hill, we had an exciting day of family history, enriched by great presentations from Ret. Gen. Marc Moore, Sara Jane Fields, and Jay Moore. From the Stratford House Inn in Temple, we car caravanned to Gatesville and the Coryell Museum, where Sara Jane spoke smartly about Gen. John Creed Moore, and showed us the cannonball that she donated which came from the Battle of Shiloh, where the General had fought. Jay Moore then shared some of his fascinating research on the general, and we all then drove over to the Stockyard Steakhouse restaurant for lunch. Sara Jane presented many photos from her Cleon family line there, and everyone greeted each other and had a wonderful lunch with plenty of visiting. Certainly, a highlight of the gathering was the outstanding presentation on General John Creed Moore by his descendant, Ret. General Marc Moore. Marc has a real gift for speaking, and everyone intently listened to all the details. Many thanks to Marc for making such an effort to present his years of research, in such a colorful and interesting presentation.
From the restaurant, we headed on to the Osage Cemetery where Gen. John Creed Moore is buried, and we placed a wreath at his grave commemorating his memory and the blessing of his life passed. Several of our younger family members made charcoal sketchings of his gravestone. Onward we drove to General Moore’s last home, not far from the cemetery, and then just a short distance more to the Crawford Coffee House, made famous by President George W. Bush, whose ranch is nearby. A good coffee break and rest stop was enjoyed by all, along with photos taken next to the Bush cardboard cutout picture there in the lobby. Finally, everyone motored on to dinner at the local Cracker Barrel in Temple, for a great “vittle refueling” stop, and the opportunity to tell more stories and share fellowship for a few more hours. After a lot of hugs and handshakes, we all headed back to the hotel to prepare for our journeys home.
Of course, it wouldn’t be a reunion without our annual award presentations. I presented a President’s Award plaque to Jerry Hill, for her outstanding work on the newsletter and the reunion, as well as to Jack Railsback, who could not attend due to illness, for his great presentation at our last Texas reunion. Sadly, Jack passed away just a few months later in December, and our hearts go out to his lovely spouse, Billie. We will miss Jack tremendously, and we should all keep Billie in our prayers.
Our great Treasurer, Jay Moore received the Distinguished Service Award, for his exemplary service in handling and keeping all our treasury needs and records. Jay’s son Blake has just graduated from medical school and is getting this October, just a week after our next reunion. Congratulations to Son and Dad & Mom!
We also recognized Bill Woodard for his 2009 Distinguished Service Award, which he could not attend last year, and Bill spoke eloquently about his experiences with Merle, Beverly, “Whacker” Bill, and Robert Earl, in the early days of the Association.
We also awarded a Distinguished Service award posthumously to board member Bill Cole, who had passed away earlier in the year. After the meeting, I sent the plaque with a note to his widow, Audrey, who wrote me back, “Bill enjoyed being with you and learning about his Moore relatives. Keep up the good work. It means so much to find one's ancestors and keep in touch with relatives. He was proud of all.”
Bill and Jack will be missed by us all, and we thank them both for their dedication, efforts, and commitment to the Association.
On Sunday morning, your Board met to review the year’s activities, and elect two new board members. With the passing of Bill Cole and Bob Franklin’s decision not to seek another term, the Board elected Ret. Gen. Marc Moore, a Cleon descendant, and Jon Moore of Missouri, a Ewell descendant to replace Bob. The Board also voted to elect Mary Hughes to the everlasting position of Emeritus Board Member. We can’t say enough about Mary’s contribution to the Association over the decades, and this is a designation that will immortalize her with Merle forever, as well. Your Board for the next two years now has 13 members, including myself, Priscilla Rogers, Louise Murphy, Jay Moore, Charles Moore, Jerry Hill, Larry Moore, Bill “Whacker” Moore, Joyce Browning, Sarah Jane Fields, Pauline Malos, and our two newest members, Jon Moore and Marc Moore. I thank Bob Franklin for his past service on the Board, and continuing interest in the association. I want to take this opportunity to invite and encourage you to become more involved with helping lead this wonderful family association. We always need your ideas, thoughts and prayers, AND we need your energy and enthusiasm to do what we all can do for the family. It's a great way of giving back to the family, and the country that our forefathers & foremothers helped build. If you have an idea or just want to get more involved, please contact any Board member, or you can e-mail me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Well, some of our cousins have suggested that we establish a presence for the Association there, and we are looking into it, as I write this. I have personally never joined, but am reconsidering it, but in a very restricted sense. I would predict that we’ll eventually get there, but several board members and I want to be assured of doing it in an appropriate manner. If you have some suggestions and pointers on how the Association might establish ourselves on Facebook, send me an e-mail at email@example.com.
We’re still anticipating a future “Rodey 3” volume someday, that would contain an updated Rodeham Moore Descendants Association family tree. What Merle achieved took many, many years of compilation. However, as I said in my last column, this seemingly herculean project may now be easier in this digital age than in the past, thanks to new computer software that makes data files more combinable. Family Tree Maker 2010 – available for just $29.95 – appears to allow the combination of multiple digital files, which we need in order to avoid retyping data into one central database. Any family group can compile their family tree in a family tree maker file from this software, and we should be able to combine it with our master file. Years ago, I was able to convert Merle’s Rodey 2 digital database into an earlier version of Family Tree Maker, but could not easily combine multiple digital files into it. Now, it would appear more possible. So, if you’d like to update your lines in the next edition of Rodey, get busy with FTM 2010, and then send us just one digital file, with all your data, and it should be combinable into our master Rodey family tree file. I haven’t heard from many families yet, so let’s get to work this summer, and let’s update Rodey!
Lastly, it is time for our annual dues appeal and request. Please consider using the enclosed envelope to send us your $25 annual dues, since those precious funds pay for the continued cemetery maintenance, new gravestones, newsletters, and website. All you have to do is write the $25 check, slip it into the envelope, and stick a stamp on it, and you're done for another year. If you can afford a small donation with your dues too, we would all be very, very grateful for that too. It’s never easy to pay the bills without those special donations! Thank you again for your prayers, dues, and support. We can't do all these wonderful deeds without you!
Thank you again for your support, prayers, and efforts on behalf of the family. Williamsburg should be a tremendously historical reunion, and we’ve tried to plan it economically for everyone to afford to come. If you’ve not made your plans yet, please check out the flyer and call Sandra today. It will be a weekend of great fun, great memories, and great history. What better way to see these great American historical sites than with your Moore family cousins.
See you in Williamsburg!
P.S. Blake A. Moore was awarded the degree of Doctor of Medicine from Wake Forest University School of Medicine in Winston-Salem, North Carolina on Monday, May 16, 2011. Blake is a 2003 graduate of Morristown-Hamblen High School East and a 2007 graduate of Carson-Newman College where he graduated with a B.S. in Biochemistry with Honors, summa cum laude. He graduated in the top quarter of his class. He will continue his graduate medical education at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, where he will be completing his residency in anesthesiology. He hopes to return home and to serve east Tennesseans following residency and fellowship training. Outside of training, he enjoys mountain biking and hiking with Lesli, his fiancé, and Willa, his Vizsla pup. He also loves returning to Tennessee to fly fish as often as possible. He is the son of Jay and Regena Moore.