See Photos from the 2015 SJGD Reunion

2015 SJGD Reunion Chattanooga

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!

Colonel Henry Chew Gaither, Revolutionary War Hero

Until recently, I did not appreciate fully the extent of the service in the Revolutionary War of our patriotic ancestor, Colonel Henry Chew Gaither. By happenstance, I had the pleasure of encountering Colonel Gaither in two Revolutionary War settings this past summer that “book-end” his illustrious service. First, when paying a family visit to Greensboro, North Carolina, I learned that he was an officer in the battle of Guilford Courthouse in which the Patriots weakened and delayed a superior British force, directly leading to their final defeat at Yorktown.

My second surprise encounter was at a Maryland State Archives seminar about their research into the Battle of Brooklyn (also known as the Battle of Long Island). This British-won battle was the first major engagement of the Revolutionary War. The Archives’ project is to identify and formally recognize the Marylanders who fought in that horrific battle, holding their line and earning the appellation adopted by Maryland as the “Old Line State”. The project has identified Henry Chew Gaither as one of the heroic “Maryland 400” soldiers in that battle.

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Did you know . . . you can get lots of Gaither documents on the Maryland State Archives website?

The Maryland State Archives in Annapolis, Maryland has a treasure trove of historical documents on the Gaither family. Fortunately for genealogists, Maryland claims to have digitized more documents than any other state, and many gems on the Gaither family can be found on line.

Maryland’s State Archives’ Internet address is, and the homepage provides an overview of its contents. Two particular sites that are especially helpful for conducting research are: 1) Archives of Maryland Online, which contains a variety of records, including probate, judicial, and military records; and, 2), which contains digitized land deeds back to the 1600s.

You won’t be disappointed in what you’ll find on these sites.  To whet your appetite check out Volume 10, pages 194-195 (beginning at the bottom of p. 194). It is the record, often referenced, in which: “Letters of administration were issued to widow Mary on John Geather’s estate, 24 November 1652.” As a researcher, it’s exciting to have the source of that oft-quoted synopsis, and to read the entire court entry, which is as follows:

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2015 Reunion Major Success

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

Obituary – David Alan Crater

David CraterDavid Alan Crater passed away on Tuesday, August 18, 2015. Born in Greensboro, NC on July 1, 1957 David was the son of Henry Crater and the late Dorothy Cox Crater. He fought a long and courageous battle with cancer and died at Hospice of the Piedmont in High Point, NC.  David was the son of Henry Crater, Grandson of Ruth Gaither Crater Weir, in the Gaither line of William Henry, Elijah, Zachariah, Benjamin, John III, John II, and John I. Continue reading

Did you know . . . about the huge discovery at John Gater’s first American home, Jamestown?

If you haven’t heard, there’s been a huge discovery at the ongoing archaeological dig at Jamestown Fort! The Jamestown Rediscovery Team, in conjunction with the Smithsonian Institution, has identified the names of the four men buried within the Chancel of the 1608-1617 original Church. All four were leaders in the earliest years of the Colony: Reverend Robert Hunt, Captain Gabriel Archer, Sir Ferdinando Wainman, and Captain William West. Continue reading

Obituary – Mary Francis Gaither Logan Rupard

Mary Frances Gaither Logan Rupard, 68, of Harmony, passed away Thursday, June 04, 2015 at her residence. She was born in Iredell County on January 12, 1947 to the late Roy A. Gaither and Mary Templeton Gaither, who survives. Mary's lineage is Roy, Sr.; Alexander Milton; Noah Spurgeon; Milton; Zachariah; Benjamin III; John IV; John III; John II, and John Gater. Continue reading

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 prior to May 31, 2015. Continue reading

Obituary – Ida Mae Claiborne

Ida Mae Claiborne, 89, of Joplin, Missouri formerly of Baxter Springs, Kansas, passed away on Monday, February 16, 2015, at Joplin National Health Care. She was born January 18, 1926, in South Coffeyville, Oklahoma, to William Baker and Lura (Coursey) Gaither. She was united in marriage to Dr. Richard Henry Claiborne III, on June 11, 1949, in Coffeyville, Kansas. Continue reading

Obituary – Marie Burton Long

Marie LongMarie B. Long, 74, of Manor Township, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania passed away peacefully on Saturday, March 21, 2015 at Lancaster General Hospital surrounded by her family. She was born August 13, 1940 in Harmony N.C. Marie is the daughter of Mattie Mae Gaither in the line of Robert Franklin Gaither - John Martin Gaither - Greenberry Gaither - Jeremiah Gaither - John Gaither V.

Marie was the wife of Paul E. Long to whom she had been married for 51 years. Previous to moving to Lancaster County, they had resided in Maryland, Virginia, and North Carolina. She enjoyed playing bridge, ballroom dancing, attending theatre and was a member of the Coterie Club, Unwind Dance Club, and the Couples Dance Club. Marie was a longtime member of the Society of John Gaither Descendants and will be missed by all. Continue reading