2019 DVHSS Annual Reunion

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

Reunion Group at Valentine Memorial
House Containing Thomas Cabin
House Containing Thomas Cabin

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.

Reunion Group at Kennett Meeting House
Reunion Group at Centre Meeting House

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

Old Kennett Meeting House
Old Kennett Meeting House

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

St. Mary Anne's Church
St. Mary Anne's Church

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

Hollingsworth Quilt at Elk Landing
Hollingsworth Quilt at Elk Landing

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 group at the Museum of the American Revolution
Our group at the Museum of the American Revolution

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.


DVHSS 27th Annual Reunion - South Carolina & Georgia

DVHSS 27th Annual Reunion - 2018 South Carolina & Georgia

The Hollingsworth cousins gathered once again during the first week of May for a great reunion, visiting sites in both South Carolina and Georgia. We headquartered in Columbia, SC, and our first DVHSS Reunion 2018 1RMurphrey-Hollingsworth Cabin at Hagood Mill Site day of adventure on Thursday was to Pickens County, SC, where we initially visited the Pickens County Museum of Art & History for a taste of the local culture . Lunch was on our own in Pickens before boarding the bus to head to the Hagood Mill and Murphrey-Hollingsworth Cabin. We were met at the site by our guest speaker Billy Crawford, who filled us in on the history of the mill and the cabin, once owned by an early pioneer Hollingsworth family. After exploring the site, we returned to Columbia for dinner on our own.

Day two saw us boarding the bus for our trip to Augusta, GA. First stop was the Augusta Museum of History, where we had a guided tour that walked us through years of Augusta history. Following our tour, we were treated to presentation on the Hollingsworth Candy Company, a treaured fixture in Augusta for most of the 20th century. Speaker Bill Baab kicked DVHSS Reunion 2018 2RSpeaker Julie Berry & Past President Jo Hollingsworththings off with a history of candy making in Augusta, followed by a terrific presentation by Julie Berry, daughter of the company's chief engineer, on the history of the company with lots of pictures from the company while in operation. From there, we travelled a few blocks to the Augusta Canal Discovery Center, for our Canal Boat ride. For the next hour we motored up the canal and back, learning about its vital role in the history of Augusta and the surrounding area. After a boxed lunch at the on-site Fat Man Cafe, we boarded the bus for a Sardis, GA and the Sardis Baptist Church. The Church was co-founded in 1803 by Jacob Hollingsworth, and pastored in the 1950's by Rev. Troy Hollingsworth, bookending the long history of the church. Our VP Randy Hollingsworth and Georgia Hollingsworth researcher Lillian Talbert gave a presentation on the history of the church and on the ongoing research into DVHSS Reunion 2018 3RRiding the Augusta Canal Boatthe genealogy of the early Georgia Hollingsworths in the area. It was then on to the beautiful General Elliott Inn in Akin, SC, where we had a terrific dinner amidst the rolling countryside of the self-proclaimed polo capital of the USA.

Day three started out at with a carpool to Newberry County and the Newberry County Museum, which is located in the Coppock House and also includes the Gaunt house a few steps away. The museum has an impressive collection of artifacts and displays, relative primarily to the history of Newberry County and the Gaunt House provides a glimpse into the setting of a dwelling typical of the county in the early 1800's. Following lunch on our own, the group drove to the Bush River Quaker Cemetery. We were fortunate to have Judy Russel speak to us about the history of the cemetery and the efforts starting in 2002 to reclaim the cemetery from nature after years of neglect. Today this final resting place of many of our groups' anccestors is a well maintained DVHSS Reunion 2018 4RReunion attendees at New Berry County Museumand peaceful setting. After the drive back to Columbia and dinner on our own, our reunion concluded with our annual business meeting, which was kicked off by an inspiring talk by James Willbanks, author of the recently released biography of Lt. General James F. Hollingsworth, call sign Danger 79er.

DVHSS Reunion 2018 5RBush River Cemetery TalkThe reunion was a great opportunity to catch up with cousins we have known for years and also to meet new cousins attending for the first time. For those not able to make this year's reunion, we hope you will join us next year in Delaware, where it all started, for our 2019 reunion.

2017 Hollingsworth Reunion - Dallas / Ft. Worth

2017 Hollingsworth Reunion - Dallas / Ft. Worth

Attendees gathered in Dallas at Embassy Suites, Dallas DFW Airport South. The first full day,  Thursday, began with a tour of Fort Worth, stopping at the Fort Worth Water Gardens and Sundance Square. The next destination was20170427_113300_resized1.jpg the Fort Worth Stockyards featuring the historic  cattle drive. After lunch on our own, we departed for a self-guided tour of the U.S. Bureau of  Engraving and Printing. Greenwood Cemetery and Oakwood Cemetery were the next stops  where five descendants of Valentine, Sr. are buried in each cemetery. Dinner was awaiting our  group at Joe T. Garcia’s Mexican Restaurant.

Dallas/Fort Worth National Cemetery with four burials of veterans who were descendants of  Valentine, Sr. was our first stop on Friday morning. Next was the John F. Kennedy Memorial and  a self-guided tour of the Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza. Lunch was at the revolving  restaurant atop Reunion Tower. A self-guiding tour of the George W. Bush Presidential Library  and Museum was our next event. A visit to Sparkman-Hillcrest Memorial Park was a tribute to  one of Valentine, Sr.’s descendants buried there. Our seats had been arranged for dinner and a  jousting tournament at Medieval Times.

Saturday morning we traveled to Tom Bean, Grayson Co., Texas, to visit White Mound Cemetery.  Carey Hardy provided stories about his ancestors buried there. Lunch had been prepared for us  at Rick’s Chophouse in McKinney, Texas. The county seat of Collin Co., McKinney was named for  Collin McKinney, a signer of the Texas Declaration of Independence. Rick’s Chophouse is located  in an historic hotel that dates back to 1885. The restaurant is decorated with restored repousse  (pressed tin) ceilings, leather, and dark mahogany wood. The ambiance is enhanced with  wrought-iron chandeliers, Western pictures, limestone walls, and wood floors.   Back at our headquarters hotel, we had a couple of hours to relax before the hotel’s  barbecue buffet dinner. The final event of the reunion was the Annual Meeting at the hotel.

20170427 184132 resized1To honor some of our Hollingsworth veterans buried in Dallas and Fort Worth, a small bouquet  of flowers was placed at a veteran’s gravestone (or at the cemetery entrance if the burial location  was unknown). Placing a bouquet at Oakwood Cemetery was Dewey Hollingsworth, at  Sparkman/Hillcrest Memorial Park was Kathy Hutchison, at Greenwood Cemetery was Betty  Hebert-Reese, and at Dallas/Fort Worth National Cemetery were John P. Hollingsworth, Pat Neal,  and Boyd Hollingsworth.

Hollingsworth Annual Reunions

Texas 2012Each year, members of the Descendants of Valentine Hollingsworth Sr. Society gather together to renew family ties. The reunions are generally held over a three day period and the location is moved to different locations around the country that have significant Hollingsworth heritage or are of significant interest to DVHSS members. The reunions generally include a day focused on touring one or more local Hollingsworth sites and a day devoted to the general sites of interest in the local area that cousins from other parts of the country may not have seen before. The third day is devoted to the Societies annual business meeting and to additional Hollingsworth interest sites. Two of the three days generally include a group dinner, often at a location that also has Hollingsworth connections.

Delaware 2011The reunions are a great way to get to know your Hollingsworth cousins and are always informative and enjoyable. They also provide an opportunity to discuss your Hollingsworth genealogy questions with other members from your Hollingsworth line and with organization genealogists. You do not have to be a member of the DVHSS to attend the reunion, although pre-registration for the event through DVHSS is required. Additional information on this year's reunion and on prior year reunions are included in the other articles in this category.

2016 Hollingsworth Reunion - Atlanta

2016 Hollingsworth Reunion - Atlanta


CNN TowerThe 2016 Hollingsworth Reunion  was a four day event  held from Wednesday April 20th through Saturday April 23rd, centered on the beautiful city of Atlanta, Georgia and a region rich in Hollingsworth history. Reunion activities kicked off on Wednesday morning when our early-bird members took a three-hour, guided bus tour of Atlanta. After lunch at the CNN Food Court, most of the members of the group chose a museum for their afternoon tour, including the Georgia Aquarium, the Center for Civil and Human Rights Museum, the Centennial Olympic Park, In Studio Tour at the CNN Center, the College Football Hall of Fame and Museum, and the World of Coca-Cola. Some also took advantage of the Georgia State Archives, located justdown the road from our hotel, to do some genealogy research. The archives is a treasure trove of information regarding early Georgia history in a state where researchers often face challenges resulting documents lost in court house fires before, during and after the Civil War. On Wednesday evening, members were on their own to sample some of the exellent restaurants that wee in the area of our hotel.

On Thursday our group opened the Atlanta History Center and was given a 90-minute guided tour of “The Turning Point: The American Civil War.” We were priveledged to have an excellent guide who pointed out a number of unique items in the Turning Point exhibit. These included the flag that flew over Atlanta when captured by General Sherman's forces and one of the supply wagons used by Union forces that captured the town. The History Center includes a number of other interesting exhibits and members had the opportunity to visit those as well.

Our band was then treated to a delicious light lunch in the formal BelleNita Room of the Swan Coach House, located on the center’s grounds. Next stop was a guided tour of the Swan House, a 1920s Atlanta mansion, located down the hill from the Coach House. It is preserved as it was in the 1930's and the tour was provided by a guide costumed in 1930 era fashions and who provided insight into the life of the Atlanta rich and famous in the 30's. Also of interest is that the house was a movie set for one of the recently popular Hunger Games movies.The remainder of our time at the center’s main campus was spent wandering the gardens or visiting other exhibitions. Our finale for the day was a guided tour of the original Margaret Mitchell House (author of Gone With the Wind), which was done exceedingly well.

Friday’s first stop was at the Rex Mill in Rex where Jerry and Gayle Beddingfield greeted us when we departed our bus. Jerry took us through the mill’s history from its construction in 1835 by Isaiah Hollingsworth to the present. While the mill, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, is no longer functional, many area residents still remember it in the days when it functioned as a grist mill for local farmers. The Beddingfield’s are working hard to repair the mill and bring it back to life. Their warm hospitality made our departure difficult.

The Smyrna Presbyterian Cemetery (SPC) in Conyers was our next destination. We were met by a dozen members of the SPC Trust who had flagged all of the Hollingsworth graves. In addition to their heartfelt welcome, the group offered help locating our ancestors. Our gracious hosts even passed out water bottles to those needing refreshment. The attention to detail by our hosts made this stop memorable.

Our group stopped for lunch at the Monastery of the Holy Spirit and visited the Abbey to hear the Gregorian chant. Traveling east, our merry band was treated to a guided bus tour of Madison, “the town Sherman refused to burn.” The tour included stories of the Southern antebellum homes and their residents and a tour of Heritage Hall. This Greek Revival style home was built in 1811 and served as a private home for multiple families through 1977 when it was gifted to the local historical society. The home is decorated as it would have been in the 1800's and provided members with a feel for life during that period. An exquisite buffet at the Blue Willow Inn on the journey home completed a long day for our weary travelers.Everyone was encouraged to consider eating desert first so as not to miss the Peanut Butter Pie for which the Blue Willow is famous.

Saturday was our “Day at the Fort", and our day could not have been better. Fort Hollingsworth, which was built in 1793, is the last surviving fort on what was at the time of its erection the Georgia Western Frontier fort. Due to a mistake in the initial boundary survey, the initial settlers in the area learned too late that they were actually on Indian land, and the local Native Americans were not happy with their presence, often raiding the settlers. This necessitated the building of forts until a new treaty could be settled that finally secured the land.

The weather was marvelous for our visit, and the costume portrayals by the Northeast Georgia History Organization were wonderful. However, best of all were the Hollingsworth relatives that welcomed us. A tasty Southern barbecue completed the perfect afternoon.

The day concluded at the historic Wayman Hollingsworth House in Fayetteville, where Angela Pendleton of the Fayette Co. Historical Society spoke to us on Fayetteville history. The DVHSS annual meeting after a catered dinner put the final touches to the week.