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.

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.

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.

2015 Hollingsworth Reunion

DVHSS 22nd Annual Reunion

June 17–21, 2015, Winchester, Va.

Harpers Ferry Lower TownThe 2015 DVHSS reunion in Winchester, Va., will be remembered for the number of new members that attended and their integration with the group’s other members. The members became close during the unplanned meals that were attended en masse. The Out Reach Committee located several of the newcomers, and other neophytes came from DVHSS member’s extended families. A big thank you goes to Carey Hardy, Randy Hollingsworth, and Jo Hollingsworth for their efforts in attracting new members. A total of 61 Hollingsworths attended the reunion.

Several groups deserve special mention. Kathy Hutchison brought her daughter and son-in law, Kiersten and Coleman Wooldridge (Ohio), and Dewey and Harpers Ferry ReenactorsDonna Hollingsworth brought their daughter Lynn from Texas. Ohioans Kathryn Ripper Smith and her father and mother, Richard and Betty Smith, were delightful additions. Probably the most raucous new group was the “West Coast Gang,” consisting of Jim Hollingsworth (Spokane, Wash.), his son Erik from Montana, Jim’s brother, Stephan (San Raphael, Calif.), and Stephan’s son, Jeffrey from Los Angeles. The presence of youth to our group is important for our Society’s future health.

Wednesday’s activities started with a morning excursion to Harper’s Ferry, site of the famous  pre-civil war raid by anti-slavery advocate  John Brown.  The lower town is maintained as it was in the mid-1800's and is staffed Hollingsworth Quilt at Waterfordby volunteers in period costumes that did an excellent job of explaining the workings of each shop. The morning culminated, for most, with lunch in Harper’s Ferry. The group dispersed to other local attractions and ended up in the Hampton Inn’s lobby. An improvised dinner at Piccadilly Public House saw the group get together and discuss the day’s events.

Thursday morning found the group in historic Waterford, Va. Waterford, a village founded by Quakers, includes many homes resided in by early Hollingsworths. The morning started at the Waterford Foundation with an introduction to Waterford by Bronwen Souder. The highlight occurred when she displayed a Hollingsworth quilt,DVHSS group photo at Waterford and we discovered that new member Barbara Suhay (Birmingham, Mich.) had relatives that had worked on the quilt. Bronwen then directed a walking tour of the village, noting the Hollingsworth residences and their history. As usual, our merry group set off to do their own investigation of the town.

Thursday’s lunch kicked off at Susan and George Webber’s home in Leesburg, Va. The catered lunch was well attended with newcomers Alan, Joyce, and Abigail Brower from Sterling, Va., and Cathryn Lynch of Orlean, Va., attending. George Webber introduced Rich Gillespie of the Mosby Heritage Foundation, who gave an extremely entertaining and well-informed discussion on John Singleton Mosby. Mosby, a Civil War cavalry officer under Jeb Stuart, was leader of the Confederate cavalry known as Mosby Raiders, which operated in the Loudon Co., Va., area.

Lunch at Weber'sJames Morgan, of the Friends of Ball’s Bluff and author of the Battle of Ball’s Bluff, then took our group on a tour of the Ball’s Bluff Civil War Battlefield outside of Leesburg. James’s in depth description of the battle was shortened by a sudden thunderstorm that soaked many of our intrepid travelers. Dinner at One Block West was well attended.

The Gettysburg National Battlefield tour was Friday’s scheduled event. The trip saw “The Green Team” (Valentine Hollingsworth, Jr.’s descendants) take over the back of the bus. Green Team newcomers Rich and Cathy Hollingsworth (Ellisville, Miss.), Pierce and Vicki Hollingsworth (Wheaton, Ill.), and Debbie and Todd Arnold with their daughters Madison and Megan (Kemblesville, Pa.) joined us for the Gettysburg tour, as did our good friend Cora Anne Ferrara (Md. ).

The tour included a visit to the Cyclorama and museum in the morning, lunch at Pickett’s Charge Buffet, and a ranger-guided bus tour of the battlefield. As expected, our guide was outstanding in the details of the battle and Devil's Den viewed from Little Round Top at Gettysburggave us a clear picture of how the battle evolved. After a dinner stop at the Shamrock Inn, we returned to the Hampton Inn.

Saturday’s DVHSS annual meeting included the election of officers. The meeting saw Jo Hollingsworth (Ohio) step down after eight years as president of the DVHSS. During her tenure our group has continued to expand in areas too numerous to mention. Good job, Jo, and thank you for your tireless efforts.

Harry Hollingsworth (Ga.) was awarded a Hollingsworth medallion for his long attendance and support.

The meeting ended with Dewey Hollingsworth’s (Texas) rollicking auction of Joanne Powell’s (Fla .) two handbags made from Hollingsworth tee-shirts by the Hoosier Ladies (Barbara Copeland, Sandra Profant, and much missed friend Shirley Lashbrook).

Abram’s Delight gave our members a guided tour following the annual meeting, which was followed by lunch at Brewster’s Pub. The afternoon activities included a visit to Centre Meeting House and a historical review by Jim Riley (Va.). Jim led some of the group on a tour of the Hollingsworth-Parkins Cemetery.

DVHSS group at Abram's DelightSaturday’s finale was a sumptuous dinner at the Strasburg Inn where Kristen Laise from the Belle Grove Foundation gave an enlightening talk on the early history of the Winchester area. New members Steve Hollingsworth (Woodstock, Va.), Charles and Ruth Ford (“Green Team” members from Hockessin, Del.), Cathrine Cashwell (Va.), and Boyd and Deena Hollingsworth (Falls Church, Va.) joined the group for dinner.

Sunday was the day for departure with some of our members attending the Hopewell Meeting. As always, departing is an emotional event as we say goodbye to our friends and relatives. Any reunion is a function of contributions by unsung heroes.

Thanks should go to Susan and George Webber (Va.) for opening their home to our members. Susan and George were also instrumental in lining up our four outstanding speakers. Cathy Copeland’s (Ind.) name cards were, once again, professionally done. John R. (Ala.) and Randy Hollingsworth (Iowa) did a yeoman job at indoctrinating our new members. Special thanks go to those of you that manned the vehicles that took our crew safely  around the Virginia landscape.