East Tennessee Germanna Descendants Reunion

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Tennessee Germanna Descendants Reunion
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To Be Held on 13 & 14 September, 2003.

(The link to the page containing a list of Tennessee Germanna Families, maps of the area, driving directions, hotels/motels, etc., is found at the bottom of this page, or can be accessed directly by clicking here.)

This page contains information on the Tennessee Germanna Families Reunion, which will be held at the Philadelphia Cumberland Presbyterian Church, in Washington Co., TN, on the 13th & 14th of September, 2003.  This Reunion is held in conjunction with the annual SIMEON BROYLES Descendants Reunion.


The Philadelphia Cumberland Presbyterian Church has been holding an annual SIMEON BROYLES Reunion and Family Dinner on the second FULL weekend in September for many years.  Saturday was usually devoted to a hamburger and hot dog cookout, sponsored and put on by the youth of the Church, some old-fashioned country singing, and just a nice get-together of all the "cousins" in the area.  Sunday was for attending Church services, and participation in a "pot-luck" dinner on the grounds, with various religious singers performing for everyone.

Gradually, over the years, cousins from other areas and states started visiting also.  Then, some of those who attended started talking about all the other "cousins", those who descended from Simeon's brothers and sisters, from Simeon's grandfather's brothers and sisters, and on back through the generations.  It soon became apparent that just about everyone in lower Washington County and upper Greene County was related, not only through the Broyles clan, but through most of the other Germanna families that had settled in the area at the same time the Broyles did.

Then, after several Tennessee Germanna descendants really became genealogy addicts, and started communicating with cousins from all over the country, it was found that many, many Tennessee Germanna descendants were extremely interested in the area from which their ancestors had come.  This included not only BROYLES descendants, but descendants from virtually all other Tennessee Germanna families.  It is a rare East Tennessee descendant who does not have an ancestor from one of the families in East Tennessee Germanna Surnames table, in his/her family tree.  In fact, most have several of these families in their ancestry.

All Tennessee Germanna descendants are invited to this year's Reunion and we hope to have at least 50 "cousins" at Saturday's session.  In addition to cousins from the immediate area, we want to see repeat visitors from past Reunions, as well new cousins who have not attended before.

The following Germanna families were represented at past Reunions.  (Keep in mind that most of the cousins attending had several families in their ancestry.)

Blankenbaker Bowman Briles Brown Broyles
Click Clore Cook Copp Crim
Crum Fleshman Hoffman Huffman Holt
Klug Kupp Martin Mauk Miller
Painter Rush Snapp Waddell Walters
Wayland Wilhite Wilhoit Yeager Yowell
(If I omitted any families above, it was inadvertent.)


We will start Saturday off by gathering at the church's picnic area at 12:00 Noon, and getting acquainted.  (Actually, many of us "locals" will be there much earlier than that, so if you wish to arrive earlier, please do so.)  Visitors are encouraged to bring pictures of their ancestors, genealogy charts and family trees, genealogy books, and computer databases and photos on disks.  In the past we have had a great time looking at the various pictures and family trees.

We will have a "cookout" on Saturday, after returning from our tour of the area.  Some visitors may be interested in a trip to the Broylesville Community, which is located across the Nolichucky River, about 3 miles away.  (Actual driving distance is about 6 miles.)  You will be able to see many of the original Broylesville buildings, including the Broyles Mercantile Establishment, the Broylesville Inn, the Cobler's House, and the Bashore Mill.  The home of Adam Broyles, founder of Broylesville, is still standing and is occupied; we hope to visit it, as well as the Ira Green House, the Thomas Telford House, the Garst House, and the four Nineteenth Century farm buildings (two log barns, a frame barn, and a log corn crib).

The old Broyles Inn, although structurally sound, is in a scandalous state inside.  It was built c.1797, and the foundation, walls, and roof are in great shape.  It is the interior that has suffered, due to neglect and to "remodeling" attempts by several previous owners.

The Broylesville Community has been accepted by the National Register, under criteria A and C, for it's historical and architectural significance.  You can read the history of the community by going to the Broylesville web page.  There you can read about the magnificent interior decoration of the Inn, which is still evident, and which we will be able to see.

After the tour we will return to the church.  (We also hope to visit some of the local graveyards where many Germanna ancestors are buried.  As a matter of information, the Broyles Family Graveyard at Broylesville was obliterated years ago.  It was a very large cemetery, holding many branches of Germanna families in addition to the Adam Broyles family.)

One side trip will be to the nearby Salem Presbyterian Church and Cemetery, where many East Tennessee Germanna ancestors are buried.  Anyone wishing to visit other sites should contact me soon to see if we can arrange visits to them also.  (My email addresses are posted at the end of this page below.)

Upon our return, we will have our cookout and then adjourn to the church for our formal get-together.  We will have as speakers, John Blankenbaker, the unofficial Germanna "guru", and writer of the now famous "Germanna Notes"; and Thom Faircloth the President and CEO of "The Memorial Foundation of the Germanna Colonies of Virginia", otherwise known as "The Germanna Foundation".  They will speak on the overall Germanna presence in America and, specifically, on the migration of many of the Germanna families from Virginia to what is now East Tennessee.  (At the time, the area was in western North Carolina.  Tennessee officially became a state in 1796.)

John's presentations have always been interesting and informative, in fact, mesmerizing!  I'm sure he will have a very interesting presentation this year, since he has been involved in an extraordinary amount of Germanna research since his last visit two years ago.

Even though, in the past, John and Thom have not collaborated before-hand concerning their talks, it is amazing how in synch they have been with their presentations.

We hope to hear Thom speak on the Watauga Settlement in Eastern Tennessee (actually part of NC before 1796), and on the "Germanna Foundation" -- how it came about, its history through the years, and expectations for the future.  He will also speak about the recent Germanna Foundation-sponsored trip to our homeplaces in Germany and will have copies of some very interesting documents found there, relating to our German ancestors.

After the talks, we will introduce ourselves, tell where we are from, and identify our Germanna ancestors. 


At 10:30 AM on Sunday everyone is invited to join the local congregation at the church.  We will enjoy choir singing, devotional services, and gospel singing.

About 12:00 Noon we will all adjourn to the picnic area for a table-breaking-dinner.  All our cousins will bring their favorite dishes and we will have a feast.  In addition to all the kinfolk we had met on Saturday, we will get to meet several hundred more local cousins.

(NOTE:  For those of you who come from "out of the area", DON'T worry about bringing a dish.  I assure you there will be more than enough to go around.  Should any of you absolutely insist, you can always stop by Kentucky Fried Chicken, or other fast-food restaurant, or the deli at a local supermarket, and pick up something -- but, REALLY, you DON'T need to bring anything.)

If you plan to attend the 2003 Reunion, PLEASE RSVP early, AND start making your plans NOW!!!!!  Since we need to know how many cousins to cook for on Saturday, and how many chairs & tables are needed both days, we ask you to reply as soon as possible if you plan to attend.  I'll be keeping a list of all out-of-the-area visitors, and would appreciate the following information:

Germanna Connections
Number in Party
Any other information you would like to send

(To send me your RSVP, click here.)

(To view the web page for the 2001 Reunion, held on 8 & 9 Sep., 2001, click here.)

(If you can possibly make it, we WANT to see you at the Reunion.  Start planning NOW !!!!!    SgtGeorge, George W. Durman)

(You can email me at either of the following addresses:

(Maps, driving directions, and area lodging are found here.)

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