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Enhancing Family Histories Part 3, Reunions: Smith, Ferree, Anstine, Barshinger

My Ferree TriCentennial T-Shirt                    (S. H. Smith Photo)

This is the third in a series of posts that will provide suggestions for authors to enhance their family histories.  The suggestion for today is the inclusion of details about reunions associated with your ancestors’ surnames.

As an example, I’m using the Ferree Reunion that I attended two weeks ago.  This reunion lasted several days with people coming from all over the country.  It was held in Paradise, Lancaster County in conjunction with the 300th-year anniversary of the September 1712 establishment of the Ferree settlement in Paradise.


Before writing “Barshingers in America” I reviewed a number of past Family Histories that won in the annual National Genealogical Society’s Genealogical Writing Competition.  All of the winning entries contained accounts of the author participating in family reunions.  Many times national family reunions were mentioned in addition to local family reunions.

In “Barshingers in America” I noted two local Barshinger Reunions.  The reunion of the Descendants of Emanuel & Cora Barshinger, that has been held the fourth Sunday of September for as long as I can remember; I was there last Sunday. The reunion of the Descendants of John Henry & Ellen Barshinger is another Barshinger Reunion that I attended prior to writing the book; it is held each summer.

I attended and presented at a national Anstine Family Reunion prior to writing my book.  That reunion was a 250th Anstine Arrival Anniversary Celibration; it was held over three days at Algonkian Regional Park in Virginia.  My presentation at the Anstine Reunion became part of my chapter on Barshinger Heritage.

I’m connected to the Ferree surname via my Great Grandfather Jacob Henry Smith’s marriage to Mary Ann Ferree.  The reunion celebrating the 300th-year anniversary of the September 1712 establishment of the settlement by Marie (Warenbuer) Ferree & Family in Paradise; it was exceptionally well organized and attended.

[WARNING–The 3 links in THIS PARAGRAPH all go to the Internet site maintained by the national organization The Descendants of Marie Ferree.  In the past year I’ve had trouble gaining access to the Ferree Internet site for weeks at a time.  However I’ve kept the links embedded because there are also time periods when the links work properly.]    The Ferree Reunion web site is loaded with family information.  Several years ago I submitted an article on Mary Ann Ferree’s father Samuel Ferree.  This web site contains many other submissions by other Ferree descendants; including old photographs.

Samuel Ferree (1826-1855) remains the most mysterious of my 16 Great-Great-Grandparents.  He only lived a short life of 29 years.  The few records that exist for Samuel contain contradictions. Samuel Ferree is the only Great-Great-Grandparent that I have not discovered a final resting-place.

Lineages from Samuel Ferree (1826-1855) of York County, PA back to Marie (Warenbuer) Ferree                   (S. H. Smith)

Samuel Ferree has three different lineages back to Marie (Warenbuer) Ferree; as shown in the chart.  Currently all of this information comes from prior research by other family historians and genealogists; I have only done spot checks of a few original documents to verify these published and posted findings.  No new research was presented at the reunion two weeks ago to contradict any previous findings in my chart.

Like myself, almost all Ferree’s in York County descend from the union of second cousins Andrew Ferree (1758-1831) and Mary Ferree (1762-1828); shown near the center of my chart.  On Monday, I’ll post a map showing location of Andrew & Mary Ferree’s property in York County.

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