Place: Bowling Green, Kentucky
Dates: Friday, August 4 to Sunday, August 6
Host/Hostess: Bill Chinworth
Highlights: Family picnic, lectures, committees, genealogy, pictures, historical events
The Chenoweth National Family Reunion Committee was pleased to welcome the Chenoweth cousins to the bustling college town of Bowling Green, Kentucky, on the 4th, 5th, and 6th of August, 2000. Bowling Green was the heart of gracious living, Kentucky style.
Richard Harris had presented the papers from the decades of research done by he and his late wife Shirley to the Kentucky Museum, located on the campus of Western Kentucky University. As arguably the best place to begin searching for your Chenoweth roots, Bowling Green seemed the ideal location for our first national family reunion.
The reunion committee gathered the first time at Bowling Green on the first weekend of August in 1999. It was the first time the three of us met Jon Egge and his cheery nature and broad knowledge of living Chenoweths was an instant immense asset to our organizational effort. Bill had rented the Bazil Griffin County Park for the reunion picnic the previous year and the main reason to meet in Bowling Green was to check out the weather in August. We went to the park. Temperature was 102 degrees. In ten minutes we knew we couldn't take a chance on subjecting ourselves and the cousins to such heat the following year. We came back to the Ramada Inn and proceeded to plan for a motel area family gathering.
Joyce and Bill met at the Fort Wayne library in late 1998 and wrote out a menu for a typical family picnic. We presented that to the Bowling Green caterers and they all came back with alternatives and suggested their house specialties. The Ramada Inn accepted our menu and carried it out fully. So, one of the basic meeting areas of cousins at this reunion dealt with that favorite of meeting spots, the family kitchen. Most of our gatherings involved eating.
We talked about and had people present lectures concerning incorporating the family name into an organization so that future work on behalf of the family history and education would qualify as volunteer effort and would allow for eventual building of a family data center in the form of the necessary equipment to gather, store, and use all those pieces of paper that prove who we were and are. An awesome collection goal and task.
Cora Spiller came and presented her grand wit and her knowledge of the Daughters of the American Revolution to us and also pitched information about the National Society Magna Carta Dames and Barons. She was ably assisted by her daughter.
Mike Chenoweth presented maps and details of migration trails which impact on every family's history when they want to know why something happened in the course of human events. Jon Egge expanded on this in his lecture later on in the weekend.
Joyce made one of the parameters of the reunion a family photograph with all persons in the picture identified. The committee advertised for a Bowling Green photographer to take such a picture. John Carmon's resonant bass voice was on the other end of the telephone line not long after the adds were mailed out. "Why, hell. That's easy. We just tell 'em to lean to the left and count off." We'd just found our man.
Mr. Carmon got the job and we've got the picture to prove it. Great shot! One-hundred-seventy-seven of us! You'll note the youngest person in the picture is Caleb Patrick Chenoweth perched in his father's arms down in front. God bless Caleb and Victoria, Lauryn, James, Stephanie, Samantha, Ian, Nichelle, and all the other young cousins who were present with their parents.
CHENOWETH FAMILY NATIONAL REUNION
Bowling Green, Kentucky
August 4-6, 2000
Naturally, we will long remember Randy and Donna Allan of Beverly, West Virginia, as they spent four days on the balcony of the living room at the motel talking about the history of the Chenoweth family in their area. They covered the balcony area with displays, a working model, and history of the Lemuel Chenoweth legacy in Randolph County, Virginia/West Virginia. Donna and Randy would go on to become the hosts for the 2002 National Family Reunion in Elkins.
Jon Egge said, "Give me a spot on the program and stand back." He was exactly right. For three hours Jon enthralled all who would listen on all the historical data he had gathered through years of building the Chenoweth Family Genealogical web sites he sponsors. Anyone who didn't enjoy Jon's presentation simply needs time on a battery charger or something. He undertook to explain all the stories promulgated by Cora Chenoweth Hiatt's book, History of the Chenoweth Family, and how they were wrong, what was wrong or right about each one and how Richard Harris did or did not fix historical errors in the new Chenoweth Family in America book.
The stars of the family reunion weekend were Jean and Richard Harris. They returned to Bowling Green and signed newly purchased copies of Richard's family history book and talked individually with every cousin who wanted to meet with Richard. The family presented the Harris' with a commemorative serving platter.
Undoubtedly, a lot of family address lists grew as a result of participating in this lovely event.
Historically, during the last year or two, we've learned that 2002 or 2003 is the likely third centenary anniversary of John Chenoweth meeting and marrying his sweetie, Mary Calvert, in Pennsylvania or New Jersey and that perhaps his father's name was William instead of John which may eventually connect us back to Cornwall, England, and half of our roots. We know that four of Mary's siblings were born in Ireland, while she and three other siblings were born in Pennsylvania.
John - blue
Mary - white
Richard - red
Hanna - turquoise
Arthur - orange
Thomas - green
William - gold
Ruth - purple