Mike and I look forward to celebrating the roots of our Gaither heritage with you. We have many stories to share about the first generations of Gaithers as we visit the very places those events occurred almost 400 years ago! What a wonderful way to commemorate our Society's 35th anniversary. Historic Annapolis is the perfect setting for our celebration. Here are a few pictures I took the other day, on my morning walk, to give you an idea of the fun in store. Hope to see you at the Reunion!
Nancy Jones - 2018 Reunion Host
For the 35th Reunion, the family will return to Annapolis, Maryland, the city where the Society of John Gaither Descendants was formed in 1984 and to where John Gater fled in 1649 to escape the religious intolerance of Virginia. If you haven't registered yet, don't delay and don't miss the deadline. Click here for more information and registration.
With our upcoming Reunion taking place in Annapolis, Maryland, you may ask yourself - - why was it that John Gaither relocated to Maryland from his Virginia homestead? What could possibly have forced him out of that valuable holding, which he settled as virgin land, and had held for 14 years? Was it a natural disaster, need for better land, adventure? The answer is a broken promise of freedom.
At our June 2018 Reunion in Annapolis, Maryland, a highlight of our activities will be visiting "Abington", the Gaither family seat beginning in 1649 - - 369 years ago!
John Gaither and Robert Proctor were the original patentees of the 875 acres of what they named "Abington". Its size and Gaither family ownership has waxed and waned over the succeeding centuries. While I have not yet completed my research into the chain of title for the property, as late as 1855, a Thomas and Rebecca Gaither sell 46-1/2 acres of Abington, which were conveyed to them by Rezin and Sarah R. Gaither in 1853. Gaithers, by far, have enjoyed the longest period of ownership at over 200 years!
Today, Abington is a horse farm in private hands, with a fraction of the original acreage remaining under that name. In 1975, it was accepted into the National Register of Historic Places. The land's wonderful fundamentals, which surely motivated John Gaither's astute selection, are still apparent.
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.
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.
All that attended exclaimed the 33rd Annual Reunion as “outstanding”. Plenty of socializing, sightseeing, and dining occurred over the three days in Pensacola Beach, Florida, world-famous for its sugar-white sand beaches and emerald-green waters. Hosted by J.D. and Sandra Gaither, with the help of their adult children, Rebecca Yates and Frank Gaither, this year’s event attracted an impressive 36 attendees with one-third attending their first reunion ever. This included the two youngest attendees, Dylan and Logan Rothe, 10 and 8 years old, respectively. Also, you can see the record-breaking number of photographs taken throughout the event by clicking here.
A pizza party kicked off the Reunion Thursday night in the Reunion’s Hospitality Suite, overlooking the Gulf of Mexico from the ninth floor of the Hilton Pensacola Beach. The sound of Gaithers becoming acquainted with newly found cousins and catching up with long-known ones filled the rooms. The party lasted until late into the evening.
Getting to Know Pensacola Beach
The next day, rain and wind battered Pensacola Beach for most of the day, but that did not deter many of the Gaithers from exploring the areas many sites, restaurants, and history. By mid-afternoon, the skies had cleared, and the clan took to the water and cruised Pensacola Bay. Highlights of the expedition included many dolphin sightings, seeing historic Fort Pickens and the Pensacola Lighthouse. After the cruise, Gaithers found many of the area’s best restaurants to quench their thirst and satisfy their appetites, including McGuire’s Irish Pub, famous for “Feasting, Imbibery, & Debauchery” and over one million dollar bills hanging from its ceilings. Continue reading
2015 SJGD Reunion Chattanooga
The photos from Chattanooga are finally here online. Yes, it has taken much more time than it should, but the wait is worth it. From everyone greeting each other in the hospitality room, to the riverside picnic, battlefield, education session, and family dinner, there is proof in these photos that we had a great time. Be sure to find the hot air balloon that some of our members rode at sunset. CLICK HERE TO ENJOY!
Chattanooga, Tennessee was the site of our 32nd Annual Reunion, and what a wonderful time we had! Our three days together were packed with plenty of socializing, sightseeing, dining, meeting, and learning. President Mack Gaither, our local member/hostess Deb Cates, Reunion Committee members Rebecca Gaither, Linda Beardslee, and Arleen McGinn, and Rita Allison really know how to have a Reunion! Continue reading