First Annual Reunion of the Descendants of the


First Family Reunion

November 4, 2000


Marjoree Cooper Borders (a Porterfield and Gholston descendant) called the meeting to order and introduced the six families represented at the reunion. Marjoree’s son, Tommy Hooks, explained the plans for taking family photographs. Gail Carrington Goldberg (a Carrington, Porterfield, Gholston and Thompson descendant) outlined plans for the children to construct family trees to take home with them.

Diane Carrington Bradford (a Carrington, Porterfield, Gholston and Thompson descendant) was asked to serve as official keeper of the family research group’s central database and Webmaster of the group’s Web site. She accepted that responsibility.

Diane then gave a brief outline of the founding of Madison County and referred attendees to the Leaves From Our Tree handout she distributed for additional information. She called attention to the last paragraph of the handout by pointing out that between l800 and 1919 there were 56 known separate marriages between descendants of the six families. For three of those 56 marriages the number of offspring were unknown at the time of the reunion, but the other 53 marriages produced 148 identified and documented children between them. Those present at the reunion were the descendants of some of those marriages and were cousins of some degree to each other.

Marjoree Borders described her memories of the Methodist and Baptist churches she attended as a child in Comer, Georgia. She also gave out maps of various points of interest in Madison County including cemeteries, churches, and so forth.

Tommy Hooks detailed a trip to Scotland to investigate the Porterfield heritage. Porterfields originated in Scotland, in the area of Renfrewshire. Porterfield descendants migrated to County Donegal, Ireland and eventually to the United States in the early 1700s.

Tommy told of his adventures in Scotland in the summer of 1997. He found the church and graves of the early Porterfields. He saw the door of the Porterfield tomb from 1564. The Postmistress told him of a book the vicar had about the Porterfields that told of their early history. The vicar couldn't be found so she also showed them the Porterfield house, named Duchal while they were waiting for the vicar to return. A Lord and Lady Maclay live in the house now. While they were looking around, Lady Maclay showed Tommy and his wife, Anne, around the house. The house had been in their family since 1915. She also showed the couple books that once belonged to the Porterfield family. When Tommy and Anne returned to the post office, the Postmistress had found the vicar, who had also found the author of the book. They spent some time with the author discussing the book. After shopping, they came across a road named Porterfield Road. The couple later received a Christmas card from the Postmistress. Tommy finished by quoting William Faulkner "The past isn't gone, it isn't even past."

After lunch, the Reunion Planning Committee members "passed the hat" to collect donations to help defray the reunion expenses including decorating the tables; providing plates, cups and tableware for the lunch; printing of reunion announcements and registration forms and postage to mail them; printing of the various handouts and renting the Lion’s Club building.

Sara Buckmaster related some of the history of her family, the Carringtons. She spoke of Carrington lines in Virginia and Maryland. One line of Carringtons originated in England and immigrated to America via Barbados. The first Carrington to settle in the Madison County area was Rev. Timothy Carrington and his wife Winnifred King who migrated to Georgia from Loudoun County, Virginia via Wake County, North Carolina. Land records for the area show that Rev. Timothy was granted 300 acres in 1786. The National Archives in Washington, DC, had on file a partial Bible page listing Rev. Timothy's wife and several of his children. All but one of his children were listed also in the settlement papers for Rev. Timothy’s estate recorded in Madison County in October of 1822. The 1788 Register of the Baptist Church listed Rev. Timothy Carrington as the pastor of Millstone Creek Baptist Church in Wilkes County. He later served as pastor of Scull Shoals Baptist Church and was a founder of Lystra Primitive Baptist Church in Madison county. Several members of the early generations of Carringtons moved to Troup, Coweta and Harris Counties in west Georgia. Others through the years, including Sara Buckmaster’s ancestors, migrated to east Texas where land was less expensive and more arable.

Linda Brown related early Gholston family history. The Gholstons were originally Vikings who at some point in history settled in Wales (in Great Britain) where they owned Galway Castle. Lula B. Gholston discussed the early beginnings of Comer and talked about the first Gholston, Dabney, to settle in the area. He and his wife were buried in Old Fork Cemetery near Carlton, Georgia, which may have been on or near Dabney Gholston’s land. Many Gholston descendants were buried at the Lystra Primitive Baptist Church Cemetery, and others were buried in Comer City Cemetery.

J. Polk Gholston related the story of "Gholston’s Stand." Polk’s great-grandfather, Dabney Gholston, was on friendly terms with the Cherokee Indian chief. One afternoon the Cherokees told Dabney of a raid being planned by the Creek Indians in the late 1780s. The Gholstons and several other nearby families took up a defensive position at an old country store on the Bowman Road near Comer. The Creeks attacked but the settlers were ready for them and won the fight, managing to kill six or seven of the Creek Indians in the process. The settlers buried the dead Indians nearby, and Polk Gholston mentioned the approximate location of that burial ground. That fight was the last Indian attack in the area and the location of it became known as Gholston’s Stand and is still included on maps today. The Gholstons were cotton farmers and were recognized in the Atlanta Constitution as being the "Kings of Cotton."

Mr. David Sims, who is related to the David family through his wife, detailed the beginnings of the David family in Madison County. Isaac David, the first of his family to settle in Madison County, obtained a bounty land grant after the Revolutionary War. Mr. Sims also pointed out that for researching one’s genealogy, the Internet is an outstanding resource. He suggested that family researchers visit the Web sites of and to learn more.

Mr. Ed Warren, also related to the David line through his wife, had additional information on the Davids. The Davids have held family reunions in Hollywood, Florida for many years and more recently in Stone Mountain, Georgia. Unfortunately, no Georgia Davids were able to attend the reunion.

Elaine Carithers Bricker (a Carrington, Gholston, Porterfield, Thompson and Carithers descendant) was the representative for the Carithers family. She has researched her family tree back to Robert Carithers in 1744. He was a Revolutionary War soldier from Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. Many Scotch-Irish immigrants—including the Carithers, the Porterfields and the Thompsons—settled there before the Revolutionary War. His great grandson married a Carrington.

Marjoree Borders conducted a brief business session by asking attendees if they wished to hold another reunion next year. A majority of those present voted yes. Diane Carrington Bradford announced that Saturday, November 3, 2001, was a possible date since the University of Georgia did not have a football game scheduled in Athens that weekend. She said that the final date for the 2001 Reunion would be confirmed by the planning committee for that reunion and asked for volunteers to work on that planning committee.

Diane also reminded attendees to give their completed Family Group sheets to her or to mail them to her at a later date. She also asked those with family pictures to share for the Web site to mail her a copy or send her a scanned copy in *.jpg (pronounced "jaypeg") format as an e-mail attachment.

Ellen Carrington Morris (a Carrington, Porterfield, Gholston and Thompson descendant) announced that she would begin a Reunion Scrapbook and asked those present to contribute pictures for it. Ellen then presented the awards to the "Superlatives," i.e., the person(s) who:

  • Descended from the most of the six families represented: Elaine Carithers Bricker and her sister, Jean Carithers Murphy (5 of the families—Carithers, Carrington, Porterfield, Gholston and Thompson).
  • Traveled the longest distance to attend the reunion: William and Carolyn Schenck of Colorado (he is a Porterfield descendant).
  • Was the most senior descendant attending the reunion: Polk Gholston of Georgia
  • Were the youngest descendants attending the reunion: 18-month-old Joseph Rogowski (a Carrington, Porterfield, Gholston and Thompson descendant) from Virginia; 2-year-old Caleb Carrington of Mississippi; and 2-year-old Timothy Hooks (a Porterfield and Gholston descendant) fromGeorgia. The older children attending had an "outside" party during the afternoon. They worked on building a family tree for their families and received party favors.

Respectfully submitted,

Kelly Meigs (a Porterfield and Gholston descendant)
Recording Secretary

Home | Madison County Index

Backgrounds and graphics created by Diane Carrington Bradford
Copyright © 2000, 2004,2005, 2019, Diane Carrington Bradford, All rights reserved.
This Web Site was Created Feb 18, 2000; major revision Jun 2005, Jul 2019.
Last updated October 12, 2019 2:59 PM
This site is generously hosted by