Place: Elkins and Beverly, West Virginia
Dates: Thursday, 15 August to Sunday, 18 August
Host/Hostess: Randy & Donna Allen
Headquarters: Davis and Elkins College
Theme: "Take me home, country roads..."
The second reunion committee from Elkins and Beverly, West Virginia, were pleased to welcome the cousins to the Second Chenoweth National Family Reunion which convened at another bustling college town and important Civil War historic site.
Actually, this reunion was a John thing. For those whose ancestor chart runs back to John (2), it was a real treat to meet at the very place where most of their cousins never left, Randolph County, Virginia, now West Virginia. Other main features of the second reunion was information about using DNA as a tool for genealogy, stories and tours featuring historic West Virginia bridge builder, Lemuel Chenoweth, and opportunities to study historic sites at the site of the first land engagement of the American Civil War.
Phyllis Baxter, public historian, was the first featured guest speaker at the reunion and her presentation was entitled Voices of the Staunton-Parkersburg Turnpike, a keynote address that fit into the reunion theme nicely.
Virginia Byrd Johnson, the matriarch of Chenoweth genealogical records in Randolph County, West Virginia, participated twice during the reunion program while serving with Jon Egge on an update discussion of the lineage of John (2) and then in her annual reading of the Roll Call Ceremony, thirty-two descendents of John (2) who had died during the time since the last reading. It was the eighty-third iteration of this event.
Virginia does the annual Roll of Honor presentation on Saturday evening - an eighty-three year tradition in Randolph County.
Hunter Lesser, a consulting archaeologist and historical interpreter lives at Elkins, West Virginia, and lectured on Civil War history and how the Chenoweth family fit into and participated in that history including confirmed stories involving the family of Lemuel Chenoweth.
The Civil War and the Battle of Philippi were of interest. Randolph County was very divided in sediment during the war. Many claim that Philippi was the opening land battle of the war. Most of the Chenoweths were generally for the South but the Harts and Kelleys were generally for the North.
Lesser told a story of a young David Hart (not a Chenoweth, but his family which descended from John Hart, one of the signers of the Declaration, was closely allied with the Chenoweth family. Most notably one of the daughters of Revolutionary John, Eleanor, married John Montgomery Hart and Lemuel had married Nancy Ann Hart.) who helped the Union forces move around Cheat Mountain to overtake the Confederate position. This victory is what gave McClellan fame and notice to Lincoln which led to his promotion to the head of the Army of the Potomac. Lemuel's son, Joseph Hart Chenoweth, had graduated from VMI and served as a Major under Stonewall Jackson. He died in the spring of 1862 at Winchester. (Note this is quite close to the area that the first Chenoweth families settled in Virginia.) Lemuel's wife, Nancy, afterwards always wore his picture on her dress. She was quite bitter about his death and Hunter Lesser told a story of how she would smuggle supplies under her dress to the Confederates outside of Beverley. Lemuel's house was surrounded by Union Troops who were stationed there to guard the bridge that Lemuel built. One of these soldiers eventually married one of Lemuel's daughters after the war.
Bill Rice, spoke on his involvment with discovering, cataloging and saving a number of early records in the basement of the Hampshire County, West Virginia, courthouse and what it was like preserving and cataloging them. He also went through records he had some across involving Randolph County Chenoweths which would prove to be helpful among our descendents. This talk to was of interest and well done.
Donald Rice, West Virginia educator and author on the history of Randolph County, West Virginia, related many historical facts of the county and its people. Chenoweth participants filled out four generation ancestry charts and donated saliva DNA samples for the ongoing mapping of our planetary family of humankind. Additionally, the ground work was laid with this company for building a data base for individuals within the family.
Mike Chenoweth, one of the founding members of the Chenoweth National Family Reunion activity, presented his Genealogy, A Social Anthropology Perspective lecture.
Douglas Fogg, came from Salt Lake City as a Vice Presidential representative of Sorenson Molecular Genetics Foundation and provided a lecture - demonstration of using DNA sampling to anchor genetical research. Many cousins provided saliva samples to Sorenson Molecular Genetics research projects that are a spin off and a continuation of Brigham Young University's Professor Woodward's study of DNA mapping of the world's genealogies. The family reunion committee has started to create a Chenoweth family DNA data base by establishing a person who will act as a liason with the family and the Sorenson community.
Sirocco Wind Quintet played in concert at the Tygart Valley Presbyterian Church in Huttonsville, West Virginia, during the course of the family reunion. This church was originally built by Lemuel Chenoweth and that building was destroyed by fire and was rebuilt in 1892 using the concepts of Lemuel's original construction and floor plan. The quintet enjoyed the perfect concert acoustics of the building immensely which is a tribute in itself to the building skills of Chenoweth.
The Saturday event was the convening of the second biennial national family picnic. There were three other families having reunions in the Elkins City Park. The damp weather didn't dampen the spirit of the day. The photographs that follow are a record of the day.
CHENOWETH FAMILY NATIONAL REUNION
Elkins, West Virginia
August 15-18, 2002
TOP ROW, left to right: Ann N. Lieberson, Chris Reese, Lynda Reese, William Charles Chinworth, Ian Harrison Chinworth, Lois K. Akehurst, William E. Akehurst, Barbara Hemmerling, Bob Hemmerling, Ford E. Chinworth, John Brown, Jr., Robert O. Bond, Marie Chenoweth Hohmann, Ashley S. Hohmann, Nancy Ann Bain, George Samuel Chenoweth, Mary Ann Chenoweth.
ROW 2: Debra Claire Cordray, Michael LeBlanc, Cassandra Cordray, Alta Blacklock Derryberry, Bobbie Glyn Derryberry, Sherwood Chenoweth Johnson, Paula A. Johnson, Dorothy Phares Poore, G. Robert Chenwoeth, Susan Connard Chenoweth, Geoffrey B. Chenweth, Carolyn Chenoweth Newby, Beverley Brehm Buchanan.
ROW 3: Jason Andrzejewski, Jennifer Briere, Stephanie R. Briere, Cynthia M. Lundgren, Diana Marie Johnson Briere, Hellen Bollen, Sherry Johnson, Sean Mark Johnson, Stephen Andrew Finley, Debra Lynn Finley, Kacie Lane Finley, D. J. Gaskin, Barkley Gemmell, Carolyn J. Gemmell, Randy Allan, Donna Allan, Sheila Mashburn, Sharon Matthew, Sarah Talbott, Holt Chenoweth.
ROW 4: Carmelita Cordray, Daniel Fred Chenoweth, Gilberto Chenoweth, Kellyn Lawrence, Jessica Wilson, Kyleen Wilson, Kendall Wilson, Dale F. Daniels, Judy M. Daniels, Greg Wulker, Jon Egge, Amanda Egge, Deanna Egge, Katherine E. Hamilton, Mary Lou Klatt, Ruth Trim, Floyd Trim, Robert Alan Meadows, Margaret Hitt.
ROW 5: Richard Wiegand, M. Leonita Smith, Donald J. Smith, Michael A. Chenoweth, Kay L. Chenoweth, Virginia Chenoweth, Gary L. Chenoweth, Robert Clee Chenoweth, Benjamin Gray Chenoweth, Sheila Mosley Chenoweth, Dale L. Fulton, Peg Fulton, David E. 'Gene' Chenoweth, Robert James Chenoweth, Jr., Edmund P. Willis, Robert G. 'Bob' Buckey, Martha Hamilton Grammar, Judson Gary Chenoweth, V. Ren. Powers Chenoweth, Caroline Shea Chenoweth.
ROW 6: Joyce Wiegand, Isabelle Overlock Hallam, O. Keith Hallam, Jim Carson, Norvil Dulaney, Mary Dulaney, Christina D. Carson, Karen Lahti, Gene Smith, Betty Ann Legan Smith, Jim Tharpe, Carol Tharpe, Warren Lee Brooks, Rita Jean Chenoweth Brooks, Laverne Harstine, David W. Biser, Richard V. Hamilton, Eva Chenoweth, Sam A. Chenoweth, Jr., Austin Samuel Chenoweth.
ROW 7: J. Leon Hays, Peggy J. Hays, Pat Chenoweth Crume, Theresa E. Chenoweth, Pauline Mead Reyman, Robin Hutzell Gates, Butch Crusie, Nola Marie Johnson, Mike W. Brown, Darlene Dolbey, Virginia Ross, Mildred Staley, Joseph Chenoweth, Carolyn Henson Urchek, Lynda Darlene Chenoweth King, Burchard Wheatley, Mary Louise Wheatley, James C. Potter, David Ross Hamilton, Harold D. Newby.
ROW 8: William R. Barnes, Jr., Christina M. Barnes (holding) Alexandra R. Barnes, Mary Ellen Hays Johnson, Richard M. Johnson, Scherrie Hutzell Bussineau, Becky Porter, Laura Bartlett, Myra Crusie, Carol Jean Smith Brown Power, Angel Marie Sullivan, Gabrielle Johnna Sullivan (child), Eric Dulaney, Rhonda Dulaney, Rissie Evans, Virginia Bird Chenoweth Johnson, Hazel Chenoweth, Marjorie Chenoweth Henson, September Dawn Coll, Sara L. Ham, Ronald A. Ham, Geraldine Hamilton, Jane F. Hamilton, Emmet Harstine.
ROW 9: (Seated on the floor): Andrew R. Barnes, Steven Johnson (holding) Gavin Johnson, Michaela Johnson (holding) Emily Johnson, William Clement Chinworth, Steven D. Carson, Jacob Dulaney, Rachele Dulaney (holding) Rebecca Dulaney (The youngest Chenoweth - Yay!), Victoria Lahti, Sydney Dalyn Coll, age 5.