President’s Message

Charting a new course.  That’s what Gaithers will be doing when the Society holds its next reunion in June 2017 on an Alaskan cruise.  The 34th Reunion and Annual Meeting will be held aboard Celebrity Cruises’ ship, the Infinity.  For seven days, Gaithers will be cruising the majestic Inside Passage and visit Sitka, Juneau, Ketchikan, as well as the Hubbard Glacier.

Shaped by the staggering force of massive glaciers millions of years ago, Alaska’s Inside Passage boasts wildlife-filled fjords and lush island scenery — habitat for bald eagles, sea lions, porpoises and whales.  Its mountains are carpeted with majestic forests. Inside Passage Alaska is home to Tlingit, Haida and Tsimshian Indians whose history is reflected in towering totem poles.  Russian settlers left a legacy of onion-domed churches gleaming with icons.

Tall, wide and generally massive, Hubbard Glacier is a mesmerizing natural wonder framed in striking glacial blue.  The largest tidewater glacier in North America at a whopping 76 miles long and 1,200 feet deep, Hubbard has been nicknamed the "galloping glacier" because of how quickly it's advancing toward the Gulf of Alaska through Disenchantment Bay.  Rapid advancement results in major calving -- the dramatic breaking off chunks of ice at the edge of a glacier.  Watching ice melt has never been so exciting! This area is also rife with wildlife

This is a great opportunity to take a trip of a lifetime and combine it with a family reunion.  If you have not attended a Gaither Reunion, this is your opportunity to chart new opportunities that you will cherish for a lifetime.  And if you have attended before, make this an extra special event by getting your immediate family, close cousins, and even friends to join you. 

I promise you’ll have a wonderful time, meet new cousins and make so many great memories.  Check out the details here on this website and register soon.

Best wishes,
Mack Gaither

2017 John Gaither Society Reunion Location Announced

For the first time ever in the history of the Society, the 2017 Reunion & Annual Meeting will be held at sea on an 8-day Alaskan Cruise. The Society's Board of Directors decided at their quarterly meeting to break from tradition and to set sail June 18, 2017.  This is an excellent opportunity to combine the Gaither Reunion with a dream vacation to Alaska.

Gaze in wonder at the steep Inside Passage and visit the bucket-list wonder Hubbard Glacier. Tour the last frontier town, Ketchikan, famed for feisty salmon and Alaskan culture and Sitka, considered Alaska’s most beautiful seaside town.  Lastly, you depart from and return to Vancouver, BC, named the Top Destination in Canada in TripAdvisor's 2016 Travelers’ Choice awards. Arrangements are under way and details should be announced here within the next few weeks.

Independence Day Greetings from The Society of John Gaither Descendants

As we celebrate this Fourth of July with picnics and fireworks, the Society would like to pay homage to our forefathers and mothers whose love of, and commitment to, America were so great, and their personal sacrifices so significant, that they are almost unimaginable today.

In 1776, 240 years ago, Gaithers from different Colonies joined the Revolution for Independence. In Maryland alone, no fewer than 50 were on the rosters. Gaithers joined militias, were Continental soldiers, were contributing food, goods and more - - sacrificing in so many ways. Some made the ultimate sacrifice.

Gaithers responded to the Revolutionary cause as a family that had called America home for 156 years. At least 5 generations of Gaithers had been born on American soil prior to the War for Independence. Our roots run as deep as any American family - - as do our family’s collective contributions to our Great Nation - - something of which to be so proud this Independence Day!

NOTICE: 2015 Slate of Directors

The Secretary of The Society of John Gaither Descendants apprises the members of the Corporation of the following slate of directors to be presented at the Annual Meeting of the Corporation on May 31, 2015.  If any member wishes to designate an additional slate, please send such slate to the Chairwoman of the Nominating Committee, Catherine Allison, at cga67@swbell.net prior to May 31, 2015. Continue reading

President’s Message

Re∙un∙ion(Noun)

  • an instance of two or more people coming together again after a period of separation
  • a social gathering attended by members of a certain group of people who have not seen each other for some time

We will come together this May for the 32nd Annual Meeting of the Society of John Gaither Descendants to not only conduct the business of the Society, but also to REUNITE, as in REUNION. We will not only RENEW old friendships with our cousins, but we will likely make new acquaintances within our extended family. We can also use this opportunity to REMEMBER those that have passed. Continue reading

Calling for Volunteers

The Society of John Gaither Descendants needs volunteers in positions critical to increasing membership and improving communications. If you or someone you know can fill any of the following roles and are willing to give a few hours per month to help, we would appreciate your help.

Membership Promoters - Responsible for making phone calls to prospective members and assisting the Membership Director in other ways.  Put on your "Thinking Cap" and let's find the best way to grow the Society's membership.

Genealogy Researchers - Responsible for reading documents such as marriage and death certificates, deeds, and wills recording key information. This work is fundamental for the Society to create an accessible, searchable library of family documents, photographs, and history for current and future generations of Gaithers.

Graphic Designers - Responsible for conceptualization and design of direct mail membership materials as well as all other Society print materials such as brochures, posters, and invitations.  Other responsibilities may include creating graphics for the Society website.  This position is critical for future growth of the Society.

Website Managers - Responsible for operating, maintaining, and enhancing the Society’s web site.  This person will be in forefront of moving the Society forward technologically for the next generation of Gaithers.

If you or someone you know can fill any of these positions critical to the Society's viability, please complete the form below.  We will be in touch soon. Thank you.

Map of Past SJGD Annual Meetings Now Available

You can now see a map of the locations of the 31 past Annual Meetings of the Society of John Gaither Descendants by clicking here.  Be sure to click on each pinpoint to see the host's name and year of the event.  If you have fond memories of some of these Annual Meetings or want to recommend a future location, please comment by clicking on the “Leave a reply” or “Reply” button below.

Read all about it!! Gaither Connection Past Issues Are Available

Thanks to the tireless efforts of Arleen McGinn all but one of the past issues of The Gaither Connection have been added to the Gaither website.  We are searching high and low for the Spring 1988 edition.  If you have it, we'd like to borrow it.  This brings the number of issues posted on the website to over 60 that have been continuously published since the Society was founded in 1984.  There is a treasure trove of information and interesting stories in the newsletters.  Past issues of The Gaither Connection are available only to paid members of the Society.

Interesting tidbits from past issues include:

  • Biographical sketches, histories, and photographs of prominent Gaithers
  • A listing of the 70 Gaithers that served during the Revolutionary War
  • Read about the report filed by Pat Garrett, Customs Agent and the alleged killer of Billy the Kid, about engaging in "fisticuffs" with George M. Gaither in 1903 on the streets of Albuquerque, New Mexico.
  • Net membership increased by 14% to 293 in 1985, with a whopping 73 in North Carolina, followed by 29 in Indiana, 19 each in California and Texas.  Find out when membership topped over 400.
  • Incoming SGJD president Rowan Gaither, an attorney with the U.S. Department of State, implored members to "obtain as much information from your elders as possible" and to "record it in a format that can be preserved."
  •  Touring the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and hearing from gospel music legends Bill and Gloria Gaither during the 1989 Reunion
  • How the efforts of Benjamin Gaither changed the named of Log Town (c. 1765) to Gaithersburg in Maryland after he arrived in 1802, surveyed his tract of land he called "Self Preservation" and built his home, tavern-store, and blacksmith shop
  • The unpublished papers of George Riggs Gaither regaling stories of Ralph de Gader from 11th-century England.

To read the past issues, click on The Gaither Connection in the black band at the top of any page.

More Gaither Connection Past Issues

Thanks to the tireless efforts of scanning past issues of The Gaither Connection by Arleen McGinn, eight issues from the late 1980s and early 1990s have been added to the Gaither website.  This brings the number of issues posted on the website to 18 out of the over 60 that have been published since the Society was founded in 1984.

There is a treasure trove of information in the newsletters and the intention is to have all past issues eventually scanned and placed on the website.  Past issues of The Gaither Connection are provided only to paid members of the Society.

Interesting tidbits from just these eight new issues include:

  • Incoming SGJD president Rowan Gaither, an attorney with the U.S. Department of State, implored members to "obtain as much information from your elders as possible" and to "record it in a format that can be preserved."
  •  Touring the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and hearing from gospel music legends Bill and Gloria Gaither during the 1989 Reunion
  • How the efforts of Benjamin Gaither changed the named of Log Town (c. 1765) to Gaithersburg in Maryland after he arrived in 1802, surveyed his tract of land he called "Self Preservation" and built his home, tavern-store, and blacksmith shop
  • The unpublished papers of George Riggs Gaither regaling stories of Ralph de Gader from 11th-century England.

To see all 18 issues, click on The Gaither Connection in the black band at the top of this page.