Long Island’s Barci Family Celebrates Reunion

Four generations of the Barci family held a reunion at Belmont Lake State Park in North Babylon to celebrate 100 years of their lineage in America and their Italian ancestry on Saturday, July 27, 2014. (Credit: Meghan Fitzgerald)
Four generations of the Barci family held a reunion at Belmont Lake State Park in North Babylon to celebrate 100 years of their lineage in America and their Italian ancestry on Saturday, July 27, 2014. (Credit: Meghan Fitzgerald)

The following is from the August 2, 2014 edition of Newsday.com:

One hundred years after the first member of the Barci family emigrated to America, four generations gathered to remember their Italian roots and learn more about their history.

On July 27, nearly 70 members of the extended Barci family attended a reunion at Belmont Lake State Park in North Babylon. Older generations looked through family photos while younger folks crowded around picnic tables strewn with sandwiches and chased a family dog. But they were all there to commemorate the brave journey of Angelo Barci from Tarsia, Italy, to Ellis Island on April 29, 1914.

Read the full article.

Scottish Pensioner United with Siblings After 70 Years

The following excerpt is from an article posted in the April 9, 2014 edition of scotsman.com:

A Scottish pensioner has been reunited with his long-lost brother and sister for the first time in 70 years.

Grandfather William Rae, of Clochan in Moray, grew up with a foster family and spent decades trying to trace his roots.

Now Mr Rae, 72, has met younger brother Ian, 69, who lives in Bristol, and sister Jean, 67, from Falkirk, for the first time in their adult lives.

The former marine, who has eight nieces and nephews he never knew about, said yesterday: “It’s wonderful. It has taken many years, but we’ve finally made it.”

William’s luck changed after his stepdaughter, Christine, researched the ancestry of the family. She achieved impressive results with the help of an Aberdeen-based amateur genealogist, who used his birth certificate to start a web search for his long-lost family.

Read the full article.

Genealogists Needed for Global Family Reunion in 2015

The following press release was received from Thomas MacEntee:


26 February 2014: Genealogists at WikiTree, the free global family tree website, have teamed-up with best-selling author A.J. Jacobs to find cousin connections for the Global Family Reunion to be held Saturday, June 6, 2015, at the New York Hall of Science in Queens, New York. Our shared goal is to show how much of the world can be connected through family relationships.

The Global Family Reunion
The idea of a global family reunion, conceived by A.J. Jacobs, will be the subject of his next book and a feature-length documentary in collaboration with director Morgan “Super Size Me” Spurlock. Jacobs jumpstarted the publicity for the reunion with a February 1, 2014, op-ed in The New York Times entitled “Are You My Cousin?”

During February 2014, Jacobs has been interviewed twice on National Public Radio, including a February 13 appearance discussing “Crowdsourcing and the New Genealogy Boom” alongside Judy Russell (the “Legal Genealogist”) and Dr. Spencer Wells of National Geographic’s Genographic Project.

A Family Reunion Based on Genealogy or Mythology?
The idea of a global family reunion based on a crowd-sourced world family tree does have its skeptics. Many experienced genealogists shy away from collaborative family trees since they can be filled with inaccuracies and lack sources.

To make sure the Global Family Reunion has a solid genealogical foundation, WikiTree is seeking the help of more volunteers familiar with sound genealogical research methods.

How You Can Help
Are you willing to help research A.J. Jacobs’ ancestors and their descendants? If you are not already a WikiTree member, register here. WikiTree is entirely free but members need to express their desire to help with the mission and their willingness to abide by the Wiki Genealogist Honor Code.

Once you’ve registered, contact the Global Family Reunion Project leader Abby Glann. Abby will help you find a line that needs your research help.

“I am honored to have genealogists at WikiTree helping grow my tree for the Global Family Reunion. Abby and the project members are talented and smart. Which makes sense because they are all cousins with Albert Einstein. Though in some cases we’re still figuring out how.” -A.J. Jacobs

About WikiTree
Growing since 2008, WikiTree.com is a 100% free shared family tree website that balances privacy and collaboration. Community members privately collaborate with close family members on modern family history and publicly collaborate with other genealogists on deep ancestry. Since all the private and public profiles are connected on the same system this process is helping to grow a single, worldwide family tree that will eventually connect us all and thereby make it free and easy for anyone to discover their roots. See http://www.WikiTree.com.

Your Family Reunion: How to Plan it, Organize It, and Enjoy It

Most family historian recognize not only the value of connecting with their ancestors, but also the critical value in establishing close bonds with their living family members. People grow up establishing bonds with parent and siblings, grandparents, aunt, uncles, and cousins. Some of these connections are close friendships and others are, well, part of the family. Family provides a framework by which people grow and live. Habits, morals, ethics, food preferences, parenting styles, and so much more often begin in the family. However, modern communications and travel capabilities means families live further apart than ever before. Children may not get the opportunity to establish those close connections with many of their family members. Older generations may have gone too long without reaffirming those old bonds. One possible solution is to hold a family reunion.

Your Family Reunion: How to Plan it, Organize It, and Enjoy It will help any interested person prepare and successfully manage a family reunion. The larger the family and the greater the distances family will need to travel may discourage some into not even trying to organize such an event. However, with help from this guide anyone can find the assistance needed to pull off a great event, no matter how large or how small. Working with family needs and desires is all a part of planning a successful reunion.

The book teaches how to determine the size, scope, and location of a reunion. Details cover budgeting and finances, working with vendors, working with others in the family to divide the labor, how to manage the actual reunion, creating activities and lasting memories, and so much more.  With the Internet such a big part of modern life, the book even provides a list of online resources to help with the planning and execution of a reunion. No matter who you are, or your position in the family, whether this is a first family reunion or the tenth, this guide can help make your reunion a memorable one.


Table of Contents


Introduction: Why Have a Family Reunion?

  • What Is a Reunion?

Chapter 1: The Size and Scope of Your Reunion

  • Soliciting Input
  • What to Do With the Responses
  • Sizing up the Reunion
    • A Small Reunion
    • A Medium-Sized Reunion
    • Larger Reunion
  • Location, Location, Location!
    • The Hometown
    • Convenient In-Between Location
  • Timing is Everything!

Chapter 2: Organizing for Success

  • Your Starting Point
  • Building the Team
  • The First Meeting
  • The Next Step: Widening the Circle
  • Defining a Schedule

Chapter 3: Figuring the Cost of a Family Reunion

  • Reunion Expense Categories
    • Communication Expense
    • Location Expense
    • Permits and Licenses
    • Catering and Food Expenses
    • Transportation Expenses
    • Hired Personnel Expenses
    • Decorations and Signage
    • Commemorative Clothing and Other Items
    • Supplies and Equipment
  • Developing a Realistic Budget

Chapter 4: Record-Keeping Systems

  • Types of Information
  • Summing Up
  • Software Resources for Record Keeping

Chapter 5: Locating Family Members

  • Networking with Your Relatives
  • Using Professional and Other Types of Directories
  • Internet Search Tools
  • Hiring a Professional Investigator
  • Combining Your Resources

Chapter 6: Announcements and Ongoing Communications

  • Communications for Large Reunions
  • Compiling the Family Address Book
  • The Series of Communications
  • A Reunion Web Page
  • The MyFamily.com Site
  • Defining a Communication Schedule for Your Reunion

Chapter 7: On-Site Preparations and Set-Up

Chapter 8: Ice Breakers, Mixers, and Games

  • Nametags
  • Mixers and Games

Chapter 9: Pursuing the Family Genealogy and the Reunion

Chapter 10: Managing the Details at the Reunion

  • Locating People
  • Signage
  • Announcements and Newsletters
  • Arrival and Sign-In
  • Hospitality Events
  • Banquets and Other Food Events
  • Transportation
  • Cleanup
  • Evaluations

Chapter 11: After the Ball

  • Looking toward the Next Reunion
  • Appendix A: Family Reunion Resources on the Internet
  • What is a Search Engine?
  • The Best Search Engine
  • Using a Search Engine
  • What about Using Directories?
  • The Ancestry.com Library
  • Publicizing Your Family Reunion on the Web
  • Building a Family Web Page at MyFamily.com
  • Summing Up

Appendix B: Family Reunion Worksheets

  • Family Reunion Survey
  • Family Contact Sheet
  • Registration
  • Reunion Planning Summary
  • Reunion Announcement
  • Registration Cover Letter
  • Mail Tracking Log
  • Family Reunion Budget Spreadsheet
  • Registration Follow-up Letter
  • Family Reunion Evaluation
  • Thank You Letter
  • Family Genealogy Correction


About the Author


Your Family Reunion: How to Plan it, Organize It, and Enjoy It is available from Family Roots Publishing; Item #: TP973, Price: $19.55.

A Family Reunion is Genealogy Heaven

The following is by my friend, Edith Wagner, editor of Reunions magazine.

Family history is the one thing everyone at a family reunion has in common.

Celebrate it!

If, as a genealogist, you’ve always wondered how to share the family history you’ve collected, your family reunion is a captive audience.

Genealogists often originate reunions to take advantage of the opportunity to share their outcomes and excitement. Prepare your materials for display and sharing at the reunion. Family trees, charts, photos, books including Bibles, spreadsheets, print outs, maps, memorabilia, tools, toys, crafts and scrapbooks are obvious displays. Or use these ways to highlight fascinating family history …

  • Collect and organize pictures of ancestors and their homes.
  • Plan visits by bus or caravan to the very places they lived, went to school and church, worked and played.
  • Visit cemeteries and take the opportunity to tell family stories.
  • Collect ancestors’ clothing and artifacts and add explanations about what they are/were used for.
  • Assemble oral history tapes from family elders.
  • Bring a computer to enter new and update information.
  • Use a scanner to copy photos and documents.

If you’re planning a reunion as beginner or have been planning reunions for years, Reunions magazine and Reunions Workbook along with an enormous web site, can answer questions, provide motivation and inspiration and give you many ideas. Request a sample (http://www.reunionsmag.com/survey/sample.asp) or qualify for a free subscription (http://www.reunionsmag.com/reunionarticles/form_help_us.html).

A Long-Distance Holiday Reunion This Evening

I got the following note from my friend, Marlo Schuldt, this morning. It seems that they are having a holiday family reunion this evening, and Marlo is determined to involve his daughter and her family, who are away at medical school in Buffalo, New York. So he’s planning to involve them using his computer, television, and some high-tech tinkering… I’ll do an update later in the week on how this works out for him…

All our kids will be here with the exception of daughter number 2, her husband and four children. They are far away in Buffalo New York attending medical school. At this time of year that’s hard on us since we can’t all be together as in years past. Kind of tugs at the old heart strings of this grandpa just a bit since they will be missin’ an important family event.

Here’s my plan which will push the bounds of technology just a little. However, that seems to have been the trend of my whole life so what’s new!

I’m currently doing a crash push to make a slide show in Heritage Collector. Leanna created a script and I recorded her yesterday and edited the sound files this morning. I’m now busily importing photos and associating each sound file with the image in the slide show. This part is relatively easily and I even learned how to use Audacity to filter out the loud fan noise from the notebook fan I accidentally recorded since the notebook was too close to Leanna which I didn’t notice until very early this morning. No time to do it again.

Here my plan to use technology to make the kids in New York a part of our annual Christmas party even though they are for away in Buffalo.

1. Connect my notebook to the big screen (HD) TV for the family to see and hear the presentation here.
2. Test to see if internal mic on the notebook will pick up the sound. If not I will attach an external mic and put the mic near one of the speakers.
3. Fire up Skype and do a video call to the kids in New York.
4. Use the “Share Desktop” option in Skype allowing them to see whatever comes up on my notebook screen. This will be Heritage Collector running the slide show. This should give much better image quality than facing the notebook to the TV using the video camera. The microphone should pick up the sound.

In theory this should all work.

They have DSL with can be a bit flaky at times but should work.

I’m taking one other precaution. I’m going to attach the notebook to our network using the network cable so I should get a better stream than using the wireless connection in the notebook. I’m also going to shut down all the other computers on the network so I will have the best bandwidth possible on this end which should make the stream a little better.

I will give all of you a report later in the week of what happened so you can do the same thing with your family

Mister Wizard (in training)

Descendants of Stephen Tarpley Dedicate a New Headstone at Annual Reunion

Following is an excerpt from a good genealogy story found in the August 8, 2010 edition of GoDanRiver.com. The honored ancestor had 13 children and something in the area of 1800 descendants.

For more than 75 years, the descendants of Stephen Tarpley have held family reunions, and this year, over the Fourth of July weekend, Stephen Tarpleymore than 270 descendants reunited in Danville and dedicated a headstone to their ancestor, buried at Union Hall Baptist Church.

In 1941, The Danville Register recorded the obituary of Tarpley in Swansonville.

The article noted Tarpley had been a slave on a plantation owned by Robert Tarpley in Callands during the Civil War, serving as a blacksmith for Confederate forces.

An article in an unidentified newspaper in 1939 said Tarpley fashioned swords for the Confederate Army and help construct breastworks to protect Danville from the invading Union Army.

Supposedly, he was baptized at Tarpley’s Chapel at the age of 100 and had a habit of sleeping on the floor in front of the fireplace where he could reach out and warm his rheumatic hands. His diet consisted of bread and the occasional watermelon.

He died of the flu at the age of 110.

Read the full article.

Here’s a link to a post by Lisa Sanford, one of the descendants, and author of Ethnic Scapbooking.

The Hess Family Reunion

Tuesday’s Davis County Clipper (the local bi-weekly her in Bountiful) had a short article in the Davis People section about the Hess Family Reunion which took place last week. The following is from the paper:

Farmington – The Hess Family Reunion saw close to 200 people last week as people paid for histories and had their pictures taken.

Bruce Parry, chairman of the Northwestern Shoshone Nation, a Shoshone Indian and direct descendant of Sagwitch, spoke during the reunion. He told stories of his family and accounts of activities with the Shoshone Tribes.

Later on, both Chuck and John Hess also spoke about their work with the tribe. John Hess talked about farming and raising cattle as well.

Other family members performed musical numbers and James Arrington performed “The Farley Family Reunion.”

Lunch was served, including watermelon, salads, sandwiches and cookies.

For more information or to view the photos available, visit www.johnhess.com or www.myfamily.com.

From the Davis County Clipper.