DVHSS 28th Annual Reunion
2019 Newark, Delaware
April 25 - 27, 2019
For the first time in several years, DVHSS members gathered together in New Castle County, Delaware, where our Hollingsworth journey in America began. Nearly 337 years after our ancestor Valentine Hollingsworth Sr. first stepped foot on American soil, his descendants were back where it all started to celebrate his and his children's legacy. This was to be a reunion jam packed with places that were rich in Hollingsworth tradition
Day 1: April 25th
Registration started Wednesday evening, April 24th at our headquarters hotel, the Embassy Suites in Newark, DE. The following morning found us on the bus bound for our first stop at Newark Union Cemetery, where Valentine and his wife were buried. We all gathered around Valentine's Memorial Marker to commemorate our return to honor our immigrant ancestor. We were also able to see the inside of the Newark Union Church on the cemetery grounds, and were privileged to listen to a talk by Ann Daly, owner of a home adjacent to the cemetery that was originally one of the buildings on Valentine's 960 acre plus property.
Our second stop was at the gorgeous home that today encloses the one room cabin originally built by Valentine's son Thomas. For the second time, owners Mitzi &
Blake graciously welcomed our reunion group to their home and allowed us to marvel at the preservation of Thomas's cabin, originally built in 1699. From there, it was on to the Friends Centre Meeting House. Valentine's son Thomas was a founder of this meeting and is buried there along with numerous other Hollingsworth family members. At Center Meeting we heard a short talk by one of its current members regarding the history of the Meeting. After Centre Meeting, we moved on to lunch at Buckley's Tavern in Centreville.
Following lunch, it was on to the Old Kennett Meeting House. This Meeting was the successor to the Newark Monthly Meeting, and Valentine's sons Samuel and
Valentine Jr. and their families were members of this meeting. Both Samuel and Valentine, Jr. along with several family members are interred at the Old Kennett Burial Ground. Our day finished with a short visit to the Brandywine Battlefield Visitors Center. It was in the days leading up to this battle that our ancestor, Col. Henry Hollingsworth, was wounded.
After returning to the hotel, the day was capped off by dinner at the Docklands Restaurant in Wilmington.
Day 2: April 26th
Our second day began with a tour of St. Mary Anne's Episcopal Church and grounds in Elkton, MD. St. Mary Anne's was the church the Valentine's oldest son Henry belonged to after he parted ways with the Quakers. We were provided a talk by a church staff member on the history of the church and what the area was like in the early days. From there, it was on to historic Elk Landing, built by Henry's grandson Zebulon Jr. around 1800. Also on the property is
the earlier Stone House, built sometime around 1783 based on tree ring dating. Our group heard an interesting talk regarding the rich history of Elk Landing and were able to explore both the Hollingsworth House and the Stone House. Of particular interest were the displayed Hollingsworth Quilt and Bible on loan to Elk Landing from DVHSS.
After Elk Landing, we headed to Partridge Hill in Elkton, the home built in 1768 by Col. Henry Hollingsworth, and now the local American Legion Post. After lunch, it
was time for our annual Business Meeting, which included in addition to our normal reports a short presentation on Col. Henry Hollingsworth and his critical role in the American Revolution.
Day 3: April 27th
Our reunion final day kicked off with a bus ride to Philadelphia, our destination, the newly opened Museum of the American Revolution.The museum is state of the art, taking visitors on a chronological tour of the events leading up to the revolution and through the war itself. The museum features numerous period artifacts, including Washington's Tent, General Washington's traveling office and sleeping quarters for much of the war. We were fortunate to have a guided tour, with our host providing a fascinating commentary as we moved from gallery to gallery, including areas that replicated the famous Liberty Tree, Independence Hall, and a privateer ship. All in all a remarkable museum and one that we could have spent hours more at!
After the museum, we were dropped off at the Reading Terminal Market in downtown Philly, a veritable smorgasbord of eating and shopping options. Many of the food venues were operated by folks from the nearby Pennsylvania Dutch Country and the food was universally great. From the Terminal, it was on to Valley Forge, where we first stopped at the Visitor Center, and then on to Washington's Headquarters for a tour of the building. We can take pride that our ancestor, Col. Henry Hollingsworth, was one of those who managed to keep the soldiers of the Continental Army supplied despite the difficulties in getting materials through to the camp despite winter weather, barely navigable roads, and the need to avoid British troops.
Our reunion came to a close with our bus ride back to the hotel. It was a great reunion and everyone had nothing but praise for the reunion team that put together this terrific event. For those that missed it, we hope you will be able to
join us for next year's reunion.