Sunday, July 10, 2016

Sentimental Sunday - 2016 Perkins Family Reunion (June 17 - 19)

Wow, it's hard to belief that it's already been a month since I posted about my mother and I being excited about heading off to Arkansas to meet the descendants of my Great Grand Aunt, Penny Rome Perkins. As a reminder, Aunt Penny was my grandfather's, Oscar Lucillous "LC" Hosch, aunt and the younger sister of his mother (my Great Grandmother), Sallie Rome Hosch Coleman.

Outside of hearing about my Great, Great Grandparents (Wyatt and Alice Rome) and Granddad's Aunt, by marriage, Mamie Rome, and granddad's first cousin, Henry Rome, I don't ever remember hearing much about other relatives on the Rome side of the family. But thanks to old fashioned research as well as the Internet, I was able to determine what happened to this branch of the tree and have written about this previously.

While at the family reunion and also via the family's family reunion site, I learned that my Great Grand Aunt and her family ended up in Arkansas thanks to her father-in-law, Bill Perkins. Bill was born into slavery in Georgia. After emancipation, Bill saved then traveled to Arkansas where he purchased 40 acres of land and set up a grist and saw mill. Arkansas was selected because Bill had heard things were better in Arkansas than they were in Georgia. At some point in time, Bill became ill and sent for his son, Wesley Perkins, Aunt Penny's husband. Bill died in 1917, leaving all his assets to his son Wesley and as they say, the rest is history.

Via blogging, as well as Ancestry, I've had contact with several of Aunt Penny's descendants during the past 5+ years. So, as stated in my previous post, when mom and I found out about the 2016 Perkins Family Reunion. we just needed to go, even though it was on the same weekend as the Hosch Family Reunion.

So without further ado, here is a short pictorial story of mom and I meeting our cousins for the first time.

My mother meeting her 2nd cousin, Willie "Bam" Perkins for the first time at the Friday Meet and Greet. I have an entire other post that I need to dedicate to Cousin Willie "Bam". Seems that he is an famous Walmart Greeter.

Willie's father, Willie "Lane" Perkins, would have been my grandfather's first cousin.

Cousin Regina, who I also met at the meet and greet is my 3rd cousin 1X removed. Her dad was my 3rd cousin. Cousin Regina was funny. When I asked her who she was, she started spouting off all these names that I had never heard of. I had to slow her down and explain, who we were and that we didn't know them, yet.

Saturday, at the picnic at Perkins Park (part of the 40 acres that Bill Perkins purchased), we met even more cousins (some we actually met on Friday but I don't have any pictures of them from the Friday Meet and Greet).

Mom meeting her 2nd cousin Troy Perkins and his wife. I've been in contact with cousin Troy's sister, Viola, for several years. Cousin Viola is the one who passed on the information to us about the 2016 Perkins Family Reunion. Unfortunately, Cousin Viola was not able to attend, so I didn't get a chance to meet her in person which also means I don't have any pictures of her.

Mom and her 2nd cousin, Essie Mae

Cousin Essie Mae's sister, Unfortunately, I keep forgetting her name.

Cousin Essie Mae and her children, who would be my 3rd cousins

Cousin Kirk Perkins and his sister, Annette Perkins  Jones. They are my 3rd cousins. Cousin Kirk was one of the organizers and requested that I do a short speech on how I connected with / found this branch of my family tree.

Cousin Rhea, the oldest living of Aunt Penny's descendants, mom, and me. Cousin Rhea is mom's 2nd cousin.

This is cousin Dawn, my 3rd cousin 1X removed, and yours truly. Cousin Dawn and I have been in communication for several years through Ancestry. She is cousin Essie's granddaughter and agreed to help me procure her grandmother's DNA. Yes I came to the family reunion equipped.

Pictures of Aunt Penny's husband and 9 of her 11 children. Sadly, there was no picture of Aunt Penny. Looking at the pictures of my grandfather's first cousins I could see the family resemblance. Several of my cousins would tell me that I looked like someone and mom and I were doing the same.

At the banquet on Saturday night, I connected with another one of Aunt Penny's descendants, Carissa Davis, who I had recently met online through Ancestry.

That's me in the middle and Cousin Carissa on the right.

Unfortunately, the great time we were having had to come to an end. So while the others headed off to church on the final day, Sunday June 19th, mom and I had a goodbye breakfast with our cousin Vonda Perkins Douglas, one of the organizers of this great event.

By whatever means necessary, mom and I plan and hope to keep in touch with our new to us cousins. And somewhere in heaven, I just know that Great Great Grandpa Wyatt Rome, Great Great Grandma Alice Rome, Great Grandma Sallie Rome Hosch Coleman, Great Grand Aunt Penny Rome Perkins, Granddady Hosch and all of Aunt Penny's children where smiling. Just as I find gratification from finding the ancestors, I think I gain even more gratification from locating and connecting with the living descendants of long forgotten lines.

With the exception of the picture of cousin Carissa and myself, all of the pictures posted are owned by me, the owner of this blog.

The picture of cousin Carissa and myself was obtained through Annette Perkins Jones, via Facebook.

The history of Bill Perkins was obtained orally through the presentation presented on Saturday, June 18th, by Kirk Perkins and via the Perkins Family Reunion Site.

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