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.

2014 Hollingsworth Reunion

DVHSS 21st Annual Reunion

June 12–15, 2014, Salt Lake City, Utah



The 2014 Reunion was held in Salt Lake City and highlighted the prominent role played by Hollingsworth descendants in the early Mormon community and  provided an outstanding opportunity for genealogy research at the world leading LDS Family History library facilities.

Day 1 - Thursday, June 12

Thursday was arrival day and several members gathered that evening at Gracies restaurant for dinner.

Day 2 - Friday, June 13th

LDS Family History LibraryOur destination Friday morning was Temple Square. Some of our group spent time researching in the Family History Library, while others explored the historic buildings and houses across the street from the library or shopped at City Creek Mall.

A favorite spot for lunch was the Garden Restaurant on the 10th floor of the Joseph Smith Memorial Building.

Friday afternoon’s guided bus tour of the city began with a stop at the magnificent Utah State Capitol Building. Unfortunately, our itinerary allowed our guide, Michael, just over a half -hour to tour us through the three floors. He did an amazing job, but everyone wished we could have spent much more time there.

Our next stop was historic Trolley Square, composed of barns built in 1908 to house the city’s streetcars. The streetcar system was dismantled in 1945, and in 1972 the barns were converted into a two-story shopping center. Noted for its unusual architecture, the center consists of winding hallways, brick and wooden floors, fountains, old trees, and wrought-iron balconies.

Then it was on to Wheeler Historic Farm, a real working farm, established in 1887. We toured the two-story farmhouse and enjoyed a very informative blacksmithing demonstration.

Dinner was enjoyed by all at Chuck-A-Rama Buffet before Michael returned us to Crystal Inn, our headquarters hotel.

Day 3 - Saturday, June 14th

Saturday morning after breakfast at Crystal Inn, we boarded our bus and headed to Pioneer Park to stroll through the Farmer’s Market. More than 250 vendors —farmers, crafters, musicians, cooks, and bakers— offered locally-grown fruits and vegetables, fresh-baked bread and pastries, cheese, meat and seafood, jam, honey, house and garden plants, art, gifts, and jewelry.

Our next destination was Salt Lake City Cemetery to visit the grave of Spencer Woolley Kimball, a 7th great-grandson of Valentine, Sr. and the 12th LDS President.

Our 2014 DVHSS Reunion was scheduled to coincide with the Heber Chase Kimball Family Reunion which is always held on the Saturday closest to Heber’s birthday (June 14) at "This Is the Place" Heritage Park in Salt Lake City. The park has something for everyone—food and shopping; pony rides, a livery stable and  blacksmith shop, a petting corral, a Native American village, gold panning at the Mountain Man Camp,  self-guided tours of historic buildings, homes, cabins, and a pioneer cemetery; and much more—and transportation  through the park is provided by two replica trains.

DVHSS President Jo Hollingsworth conducted the annual meeting on Saturday afternoon.  
After dinner, we met again and were joined by Arlene Eakle who has the genealogy papers of the late Harry Hollingsworth, publisher of the Hollingsworth Register.  Arlene, a professional genealogist, is director of the Genealogical Institute and Genealogy Library Center in Trementon, Utah.

Day 4 - Sunday, June 15th

The culminating event of the 2014 Reunion was an inspiring, special  Father’s Day performance by the world-famous Mormon Tabernacle Choir.

The Salt Lake City Reunion was a great blend of touring historic sites and genealogy research opportunities. Members came away with a much greater appreciation for the struggles endured by the Hollingsworth descendants that were LDS members and impressed with the Salt Lake City area and all it had to offer. Many expressed a desire to return in the future to be able to more fully utilize the unique research facilities and to explore more of the fascinating history of the area.

2013 Hollingsworth Reunion

20th Annual Reunion
Descendants of Valentine Hollingsworth, Sr. Society
June 6–9, 2013, Harford Co., Md.

Little Falls Meeting HouseThe 2013 reunion was held in Harford County, MD, and  highlighted our Quaker heritage. The reunion was held in conjunction with the 275th anniversary celebration of the Little Falls Quaker Meeting. Many Hollingsworth ancestors were members of this Quaker group and the reunion  included a tour of the house of one of those Hollingsworth ancestors, in addition to other tours of Quaker sites in the local area. That all happened after our morning business meeting on Saturday, June 9th.

The first day of the reunion (June 6th) featured a tour of sites in Delaware, providing first time attendees a chance to see some of the key sites in the life of Valentine Hollingsworth and his family. This included a visit to Newark Union Cemetery, where Valentine and his second wife are buried, and a trip to Elk Landing, the Hollingsworth family site of key strategic and economic importance during the Revolutionary War. The trip  also provided a first time opportunity to see the 1699 log cabin home of Valentine's son Thomas, enclosed within a beautiful contemporary home in northern Delaware.

The second day of the reunion  featured a tour of Baltimore's Inner Harbor area and a visit to Ft. McHenry. Attending this year was especially meaningful,  as we celebrate the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812 and the events that led  Francis Scott Key to pen our National Anthem.


The third day of the Reunion began with our annual business meeting, held at the Little Falls Meeting House. The afternoon provided an opportunity to celebrate the Quaker Heritage of the family as many of the local sites of significance to the early Quaker community in the area were open for tour as part of the 275th anniversary of the Little Falls Quaker Meeting. One of the sites included a home originally owned by a Hollingsworth family that is believed to have been a site on the Underground Railroad. The day concluded with a wonderful dinner at the Main Street Tower in Bel Air.

On Sunday morning several reunion goers attended the Little Falls Meeting for Worship, and at 1:30 Dr. Charles Cherry, Professor of English, Villanova University, Friends Historical Association, spoke on “William Penn, Man of Peace.” As always, a great time was had by all.