Jamestowne 2020

Fall is here (Thank Goodness!) and the 400th anniversary of John Gaither’s arrival in Jamestown, Virginia is fast approaching. Larry Campbell and I looked at various venues to host our 2020 reunion while we were in Williamsburg in July. After discussion with the Board, we selected the Best Western Williamsburg Historic District Hotel. The dates for the reunion are

Thursday, June 4th through Sunday, June 7th, 2020. I am excited to announce that we were able to secure a room rate per night of $135.28 (taxes included). That rate is nearly ½ the amount quoted to us by other facilities. Because of the low cost, we expect our block of rooms to fill up quickly. Make your reservations EARLY! While this hotel is not a destination resort, it has all the amenities - - -pool, fitness center, restaurant, lounge and meeting rooms. Best of all, it has ample parking near your room and is located about one mile from Colonial Williamsburg. It is an easy walk! We will receive a full, hot buffet breakfast with our rooms. You are going to need a full breakfast because you will be busy the remainder of the day! As it stands now, the schedule is as follows: Continue reading

Bruce Gill Leonard

Bruce Gill Leonard was born on March 29, 1940, in Catawba, NC, to C. T. and Genevieve Leonard. He was preceded in death by his parents and 3 brothers, James, Joe and Phillip. He is survived by his wife of 57 years, Janie Sigmon Leonard, and their children, Alaric Leonard, Lisa Carlay and Andrew (Angie) Leonard. He is also survived by his 4 grandchildren, Casey, Nicholas, Reid, and Evan.

After graduating from Duke University in 1961 with a BS degree in Civil Engineering, Bruce was employed by Harland Bartholomew & Assoc, in Memphis, TN. Then he was transferred to Raleigh where he continued until he was hired by Kimley-Horn & Assoc, where he remained until his retirement is 2005. During his 45-year career, he was responsible for the preparation of construction plans for Interstate and State highways, city streets, traffic operation analyses, and parking analyses in many states.

As a creative and responsive designer, he often worked long hours to meet or exceed professional standards, deadlines and client expectations. He was a Registered Professional Engineer in several states including NC, SC, TN, and VA. He also served as an elected officer in several state and /or regional professional organizations, including the Institute of Transportation Engineers and the American Society of Civil Engineers.

Bruce was a loyal Duke fan and supporter and enjoyed reading, bird watching, studying genealogy, working puzzles, and photography. He was a member of Hayes Barton United Methodist Church for 54 years where he was member of the original Bob King Fellowship Class, Methodist Men, and A Few Good Men.

A memorial service will be held in Catawba County, NC at a later date.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Alzheimer’s Association (225 N. Michigan Ave., Fl. 17, Chicago, IL 60601) or Transitions Lifecare (250 Hospice Circle, Raleigh, NC 27607

The Society of John Gaither Descendants visits Gaither’s at Myrtle Creek Farm

 
 
COVINGTON — Every year since 1984, the Society of John Gaither Descendants has held a special gathering hosted by a different member. This year, Roy Gaither was in charge of planning the event and chose to have the lunch at Gaither’s at Myrtle Creek Farm in Newton County.
A total of 22 members attended, including Clinton Daly from Baltimore, Marilyn Gaither Ray from Leesburg, Virginia, and Steve Beardslee from Seattle.
 
Attendees were given a tour of the Gaither farmhouse as well as the church and other sites on the property.“It is important to know your family history,” said Beardslee. “I remember when my son asked me where do we come from ...That’s when I decided to find out.” 
 
The Society of John Gaither Descendants is a family organization, founded and incorporated in 1984 in Maryland. In most instances, the Gaither family members in America can trace their ancestry back to John Gater I.
John Gater I, born 1599, was the first Gater/Gaither in America, arriving on the ship “George” in Jamestown, Virginia, in 1620, where he appears on the Muster in 1623, sixth on the list under Sir Francis Wyatt, governor, and again in 1636 on the “Assurance” when resettling in Maryland at the invitation of Lord Baltimore.
It is believed Gater’s first wife was named Joan Morley, and they had two children: Elizabeth, born 1632, who married first John Freeman and later Robert Proctor, and John, born 1634, who married Ruth Beard, daughter of Richard and Rachel (Robbins) Beard. The family remained in Maryland until about the time of the Revolutionary War when some members moved south or west.
Next year for the 400th anniversary, the society will have its annual gathering in Jamestown, Virginia.
To learn more about the society, visit www.johngaither.org.
 
Gaither’s at Myrtle Creek Farm, previously known as Gaither’s Plantation, is a Wildlife Management Area and events facility owned by Newton County where a number of festivals and private events take place.
Newton County acquired Gaither’s Plantation in 1996, and there have been several attempts to make it a more marketable events facility. The property is described as one of a few remaining examples of mid-19th to late 20th century farms and cotton plantations in northeast Georgia. On the site are the Gaither house, circa 1855, a church building, a cabin and some barns. Some of the buildings were moved to the site from other parts of the county. There are also two 19th century cemeteries, the Gaither family cemetery and a slave cemetery. 

Hunter Terrell

Covington native and proud Valdosta State alumna, Hunter has previously worked with The Covington News and Valdosta Daily Times. She started working for Rockdale/Newton Citizen in June 2018.
Roy D. Gaither
 

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Marriage of John Gater and Mary Waters/Walters

The marriage of John Gater and Mary Waters/Walters is recorded in St Luke’s Church, Chelsea, Middlesex, England on 31 Oct 1642. Thanks to Fredric Z Saunders for passing along this information. With the apparent birth date of John II, this would be the marriage of his parents, our ancestors. Research by Nancy Jones and Mary Jane Simpson show John Gater was back in England at this time according to court records.  

Ruth Beard Gaither

By Nancy Jones

It has long been accepted, by Gaither and Beard families alike, that John Gaither married Ruth Beard. While there is circumstantial evidence supporting this claim, the absence of a record of their marriage has frustrated genealogists and invited doubt.  Now, however, a newly discovered court case, from 1716-1717, establishes that Ruth Gaither is a Beard.  This discovery, plus new, extensive research that we've undertaken into the Beard family, gives us the original source documentation needed to prove Ruth is a Beard and to refute claims to the contrary. Continue reading

Sara Rachel Cole Gaither

Rachel (Cole) Gaither(1935 - 2018)
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Rachel Cole Gaither, born November 29th, 1935, was reunited with her beloved husband and best friend, Dr. James "Jim" Gaither, this Saturday, the 25th of August. Rachel and Jim were inseparable in life and throughout their 57 years of marriage they both shared a passion for serving the medical and health needs of the people of Catawba County. The health and welfare of the people of Catawba County was much more than a chosen vocation. It was truly a mission to which they mutually dedicated their lives. Continue reading

Annual Meeting

The Society of John Gaither Descendants
Annual Meeting/Reunion
Stone Mountain Park, Georgia
June 20-23, 2019
Time to make your plans
Arrangements have been made at The Atlanta Evergreen Marriott Conference Resort, Stone Mountain Park Georgia, for June 20-23, 2019. A special room rate of $160.00 plus state and local taxes (currently 16%) and a $5.00 Georgia Hotel/Motel fee per night has been locked in for all Society Members. Rooms are standard rooms either 1 king or 2 double beds. Continue reading

Tina Marie Gaither

On February 12, 2019, the Angels in Heaven called Tina Marie Gaither home. At the young age of 33, she crossed over to be with her dad. She was born on August 14, 1985 at Forsyth Hospital, on a day when greatness was thrust upon the world. Tina was a social butterfly, with a heart of gold and full of cheer, who never met a stranger. She always stood out from the crowd, and was known by her friends and family by many names: Tuna Fish, Frenchy, Wiener, and Tiener Wiener. Tina loved to shop, spend time with family and friends, and cuddle with her fur babies Oreo (dog) and Boogie (cat). Shortly after graduating from UNCG with a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work, she started a career as a social worker at River Landing. As Tina reunites with her father, Randall Clay Gaither, she is survived by her mother, Teresa Gaither, and her sisters, Krystal Gaither, Angela Koenig (Leo), Shannon Gaither, Nancy Bellous, and Amanda Fulp. Her two nephews, Sean and Ason, and her niece Jordan, as well as, her many aunts, uncles, and cousins will miss her dearly. A Celebration of Life service will be held at 2:00 PM Sunday, February 17 at River Landing at Sandy Ridge 1575 John Knox Dr, Colfax, NC 27235. . In lieu of flowers, they request that memorials be considered for American Heart Association, P.O. Box 744806, Atlanta, GA 30374-4806.

Lineage: Tina Marie, Randall Clay, Gurney Clay, William Lucian, Francis Marion, Noah, Zachariah, Benjamin, John IV, John III, John II, John

Cecil “Michael” Gaither

Michael Gaither was born 14 Mar 1945 in Elmore County Alabama to Cecil Spencer and Lucy Vines Gaither. He was a veteran of the US Army Military Police Corp retiring with the rank of Master Sergeant. A life member of the Paralyzed Veterans of America, Chaplain of the William T Carlton Masonic Lodge, he and his dog "Honey" were co-founders of " Kids for K9's".
Michael passed away 24 Aug 2018 just five months after his partner, "Honey". He is survived by his wife Kaye.