English Family Reunion
Material Donated by Laurence Beach "Beachie" Dryden Township Coordinator for the
Tompkins County NYGenWeb Site.
A Family Re-union
On Tuesday afternoon last, together with L. H. CULVER Esq, we accepted an invitation from our friend Mr. Jesse ENGLISH to be present at a family gathering to celebrate his fifty-eighth birthday. Mr. ENGLISH, lives about three miles East of this village in the town of Dryden. On our arrival at the house, we found a very large assembly collected, and as the weather was uncomfortably cool, they were of necessity obliged to remain indoors. This family it seems have seldom, if ever before been called together, as on this occasion, to celebrate the birth day of one of their number. This family like most other families, have married, and are separated many miles apart. Some living in the West, one or two of the family in Steuben county, others in Schuyler county, but a large proportion still remain in this county. They consisted originally of fourteen children; thirteen of whom are present at this gathering, one death only having visited the family. On this occasion, not only were the brothers and sisters present, but the relatives of the family, numbering about one hundred, and not including the unmarried portion. There are three or four of the family older than Jesse, but are still in the vigor of life. While in the house the company were treated to several choice pieces of music and songs by some of the ladies present, accompanied by the Melodeon.
When dinner was announced, we found a long table of about seventy-five feet, had been spread in the yard to accommodate this happy company. We will not attempt to give a list of the 'Bill of Fare," or particularize, but will only say, the table was loaded with the choicest viands of the season, among which were several varieties and pyramids of cake, and on the one near the center of the table we read the name and age of the host "Jesse ENGLISH, age 58."
After the company were seated Elder WHITE, a cousin, invoked the blessing of Divine Providence, to rest upon those who had assembled on this occasion, that they might remember the giver of all good, and look to HIm, to prosper them in the future as in the past, and that they all might hereafter, have a happy re-union in that upper and better Kingdom.
After the Elder had concluded, the dinner was served, and with a good cup of Coffee, (which the Elder enjoyed muchly,) delicious cream, and a corps of efficient waiters, were discussed the merrits of this well filled table, among the smiles and pleasantrys of the occasion.
We would not forget to mention that his own family made him a present of an Album and a large quarto, Family Bible, bound in Turky Morocco, with clasps.
This re-union, perhaps the first, (and may be the last) will not soon be forgotten by this happy family, although again separated as they will be when they return to their several homes.
Thank you Beachie for retrieving this material from the Dryden Township Historical Society
for the Tompkins County NYGenWeb Site.
Transcribed by Janet M. Nash
© 2000 Copyright by Janet M. Nash All Rights Reserved