Sunday, September 28, 2008

TFA - Towne Family Association

I did something new this weekend. I've been a member of the Towne Family Association since January 1990 [that's the first date shown on my quarterly newsletters].CLICK FOR LINK TO THE TOWNE FAMILY ASSOCIATION WEBSITE. This weekend was the 28th annual meeting of the organization. This meeting was held in Branson Missouri. The previous 27 meetings had been held in:

  • MA 9 times
  • VT 3 times
  • NH 2 times
  • ME 2 times
  • NY 2 times
  • VT 1 time
  • CT 1 time
  • CA 1 time
  • OR 1 time
  • SD 1 time
  • NB Canada 1 time
  • IN 1 time
  • WA 1 time
  • LA 1 time

The Indiana and Louisiana meetings were fairly close, geographically, to me, but this was the very first meeting I've attended.

I've been corresponding with some of the members for years, via USPS mail and then e-mail, but this was the first time to meet my "cousins". My husband went with me, and we drove to Branson via the backroads so he could have some photography opportunities. We arrived in Branson Friday afternoon and took a bus to a dinner theater variety show. Saturday morning was the business meeting for the organization and in the afternoon there was an excellent DNA Workshop with an explanation of our on going TOWNE DNA PROJECT, given by Margaret Press. Saturday evening was a banquet with acoustic guitar and singing entertainment.

This was also my first visit to the city of Branson, and it will probably be my last. I was really not impressed. It seems to be a town that has been scraped from the hard rocky Ozark mountains with entertainment/theaters plopped on every corner. It might be someone elses cup of tea, but I guess it isn't mine. The drive through the Ozarks to get there was quite pretty though.

My new cousins were all so nice and they all had the common hobby of researching our TOWNE line. I volunteered for a couple of committees; I'm going to submit an update to our family DNA from 37 to 67 markers.

The meetings they held in Massachusetts allowed them to visit sites associated with the Towne family - Rebecca Nurse's homestead, among them. In the meeting in Branson, I think it was missing that component. The association has made a couple of trips to England to visit sites associated with William Towne. I think I would have preferred that kind of meeting. I guess it's a trade-off in being able to afford to drive to Branson and not having to buy a plane ticket to Massachusetts.

Here are a few pictures of my new cousins:

As much as I enjoyed meeting new cousins, I have to say that the meeting left me a bit dissatisfied. I think I wanted more genealogical "meat". I wanted to talk about OUR research. I wanted to talk about the branches of the family as they have spread across the U.S.. It would have been nice to have a member of each group talk about the research challenges for each of the children of William Towne. I guess I just wasn't ready to drive 6 hours to attend a regular business meeting. I guess I was looking for more genealogy. Maybe all those things were discussed at the previous 27 annual meetings and I just missed it. I guess every group that collects money from its members and has expenditures has to account for that money and get consensus for new monetary distributions, but it just wasn't what I had expected. Oh well, I have a survey form to send in, and I know if you want something done, you can volunteer to do it, but making next year's meeting [it's in New Hampshire, I think] will be a little difficult, so my volunteering will be limited this time. Oh well. It was a new experience, and a good experience to meet some new relatives.

1 comment:

Randy Seaver said...

Hi Deb,

Thanks for posting this about the TFA. I'm not a member, but I could be - I also have Rebecca Nurse in my ancestry.

I was a member of the Soule Kindred for about five years - just long enough to send in my line, score a scholarship for my daughter ($1000 - she was impressed that genealogy actually paid off!) and figured out that the meetings probably were not wonderful if you weren't part of the "in" crowd.

I'm glad you enjoyed the drive and the scenery - I've never been to MO or AR and have only been to TN in the Nashville airport.

Cheers -- Randy