Getting ready for a family reunion

Getting ready for a family reunion

A.J. & Rhoda Brown and their children

I’m very excited to be attending the Brown family reunion, in Nevada, Missouri, at the end of next month. These are descendants of my great grandparents, Arthur John and Rhoda Wheeler Brown. I have my interest in genealogy (and this blog) to thank for my even knowing about the reunion. My grandparents left Missouri for Washington state when my mother was three. So I haven’t had a connection with that part of my family, until my mother’s cousin, Jerry Brown, found my blog and added me to his email list of cousins. Last year I traveled to western Missouri and met some cousins (and my now-departed great aunt) and did some cemetery visits.

As I look toward the reunion, I started thinking about how I might get the most out of it. I know I’ll enjoy meeting these cousins in any case (all the Browns I’ve met so far have been so welcoming), but I think I’ll enjoy it even more if I do a little preparation. I came up with a little list of things to do before going to the reunion:

  • Finish filling in the Brown collateral lines in my Reunion software
  • Spend a little time memorizing the names and relations
  • Go through family pictures I’ve been emailed so I can recognize some people
  • Gather up all the family photos in my possesion that need identification
  • Create a photo album of my little branch of the family to share with others on my iPhone/iPad
  • Come up with a few questions/research holes that my cousins might answer
  • Pack my LiveScribe pen and notebook so I can record the talk cousin Jerry will be giving on the genealogy of our family
  • Spend some research time on the Browns (which happens to be this quarter’s research line)

My husband’s family has periodic reunions and I go to them. His family is less far flung (at least his generation and those preceding were) and he knows many of the people there. This will be the first family reunion of my own family I’ve ever gone to and I look forward to meeting some family members for the first time!


  1. Jerry Brown says:

    Janine I will bring handouts of my talk and a poster of family tree
    I think I told you my sister Janet was accepted in DAR through Peter Van Bibber and Sister Judy has applications in for Jacob and Anthony Ten Eyck so I will definitely cover those lines

    • Jerry, excellent! I’m really excited to hear what you have to say. I will plan to record it with my LiveScribe pen, if that’s okay with you. And thanks for the reminder about the DAR and your suggestion that I apply. See you in June!

  2. I would recommend bringing a scanner (either a FlipPal or other scanner) for photos that others may bring with them. Also practice taking photos of portraits that maybe in large frames that cannot be scanned to get the right amount of flash with out the glare or flash reflection. I found out how important it was when I was visiting my step mother a few years back and she has her maternal family line in a very long frame. Impressive to look at, but difficult to copy.

    • Jim, that is a great suggestion. Thank you so much. I have to admit, I’ve been looking for a reason to buy a FlipPal, so you may have given it to me! Thanks so much for commenting.

  3. Marian Koalski says:

    Sharing some things (photos, family diagrams, etc.) in advance with an interested cousin can open doors. I’ve been surprised to have “new” cousins waiting for me at a reunion, who had spotted a relative in a photo or wanted to learn more about a common relative.

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