20th Cloud Family Gathering, 1997

The Cloud Family Association

The Cloud Family Gathering at Chadd's Ford - A Trip Report

My wife Joyce and I arrived at about 5 p.m. on Friday evening, after a long trip from GA.

On arrival, we found the hospitality room in full swing, with a lot of folks chatting and exchanging Cloud information. This went on for the rest of the evening. Since we had a lot of new folks attending there was an exceptional amount of exchange taking place.

Early Saturday we attended a great talk by Jan Cloud concerning use of the Veterans Pensions for research. Jan has a way of making all this very interesting and kept all of us laughing throughout the talk.

We then had a very short business meeting, dispensing with much of the formal stuff and getting right to the important stuff at hand. It was decided that the next gathering would be at Raleigh, North Carolina. For 1999 we selected Atlanta, GA.

After a really nice luncheon we met again for a really interesting talk about Quaker history.

The last head count I heard was 138 folks [later reported as 160] from 28 states. (We have identified-photographs of 125 attendees.) The farthest travelers I met came from Alaska. We talked with a lot of local area folks who couldn't understand the problems we have tracing our Clouds; theirs all came from right around Chester County.

We spent the the rest of the day meeting and exchanging data with everyone. Sunday was scheduled for a couple of bus tours lead by Taylor Cloud. The morning tour was to have been of the Brandywine battlefield, however it turned out it was closed till noon, so Taylor improvised. We then made a quick pass of a couple of Quaker cemeteries and then made our way to the old Kennett Meeting and Cemetery. We all wandered about the cemetery checking all the headstones for our ancestors. We found many Clouds from the early days there. [Several in our group pointed out their Cloud grandparents and great-grandparents as well as the locations where their earliest ancestors in the colonies are thought to be burried in the unmarked graves customary with these colonists at that time.] It was strange, yet good to know we were walking the same steps many of our ancestors had. The meeting [house] was opened especially for us and this was even more moving than the cemetery. The present leader of the Kennett Meeting gave a very interesting talk about the church and how it had evolved over time. We took lots of pictures. We then toured the roads around the lands owned by William Cloud and his sons. We drove a loop around the 700 acres and were amazed at just how big that is. We then visited the old Bethel Church that was important in that early Cloud history.

Since we had a long drive home, we elected to leave after lunch, however the afternoon tour was to include the New Castle area, site of the first Cloud landings.

We both felt that this was the most enjoyable gathering we had attended and came away really satisfied with the event.

Hope this gives you a flavor of the gathering, I probably left something out or got it wrong, but we had a real good time. --- Ken Cloud 7/24/97 (mod. 8/4/97)

Add-on by page editor:

The break between tours on Sunday allowed us a good sandwich buffet for our group at the Ramada.

The tour of New Castle gave us a chance to see the waterfront where the settlers landed, the courthouse where judicial and historical government affairs were conducted, and the row-houses developed here by an architect/developer named Cloud. We had spirited and well informed guides. I learned a lot about Delaware and Pennsylvania history.

I might also comment that I learned a lot of history from the presentation Jan Cloud and Sherrill Cloud gave on migration patterns that took Clouds and many other families from the original settlements to the south and west. This put the journeys of our ancestors into perspective. One factor that I had not considered before was the depletion of the land after a very few years of growing crops. This was at least 100 years before contour plowing, crop rotation, and no-till planting methods were developed.

An interesting talk was also given by Kitty Cloud Templeton, who has enjoyed publishing her first book at age 85 (a very young 85). The book, The Rightous Rebel, tells the story of a Rev. Cloud and his struggles of conscience in ante-bellum Mississippi. She told about her experiences in writing and publishing the book. -- Cecil Stokes 8/4/97

Some of the events noted here are shown by the photographs linked from underlined words above or accessed from a system-generated directory of "event" photos. -- Cec

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This page was last updated by Cecil Stokes on 7/19/98