First Family Reunion
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.
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.
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.
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.
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."
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.
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.
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.
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."
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 Ancestry.com and RootsWeb.com to learn more.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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)
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).
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
- 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.
(a Porterfield and Gholston descendant)
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October 12, 2019 2:59 PM
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