Ancestral Notes

My Family History blog

Our First Fairbairn Family Reunion

Well, the rain kept a lot away from the reunion on Saturday, but, after the rain quit about suppertime, a few more families came out for the evening. The kids enjoyed themselves getting their faces painted and trick-or-treating around the campground for a couple of hours.


There was a dance later in the evening for the older kids. The adults had a chance to do some catching up while they were busy. I met a few cousins who braved the weather and came out, and we discussed a lot of family history.

On Sunday the rain had quit, but the temps. were in the 90’s, and humid. There were the mandatory water balloon fights, with our table being designated the “Safe” table.
One cousin, Lynn Davison, came out for a couple of hours and shared lots of information with us. His aunt was the author of The Fairbairn Family – 200 Years in America, and he’s been working on the continuation of his aunt’s work for years. I’m glad he was able to attend, and I hope he had a happy birthday yesterday.

Me, Lynn Davison & Darla Geauvereau (organizer of the reunion)

Another cousin, David Fairbairn, is going to be a volunteer for the Fairbairn DNA project. He was interested in joining but didn’t know how to go about it. He and his sister, Judy, are my mother’s first cousins, although she had never met them. They came down from Sudbury and Toronto and camped out.

David and Judy

Allen Fairbairn, was able to come out for a few hours on Saturday and Sunday. He just lives a few miles from the campground. Allen was the oldest cousin attending, he’s 77. He had hoped to see more older relatives, but he had a few stories to tell.

Breelyn, my brother’s youngest granddaughter, was the youngest family member in attendance.

The kids had fun staying cool on Sunday, going swimming, riding bikes and playing games. There were a lot of raffles for the kids too, they all went home with a few prizes.

We had a great weekend and the kids had a memorable time no matter what the weather. There were no major catastrophies, no injuries, we have a DNA project volunteer and everyone that attended were glad they came and are looking forward to the next one, so, I would say that our first reunion was a success!

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Filed under: Genealogy,

I Hope There’s A “Plan B” – Fairbairn Family Reunion

To quote a famous Scot, Robert Burns , “the best-laid plans of mice and men oft go awry”. So it goes for the weather and planning an outdoor family reunion. Our 1st Fairbairn family reunion has been in the works for 1 1/2 years and is finally here. The two day event this weekend is being held at a campground, and, of course, there are severe thunderstorms predicted for the area tomorrow, not all day at least, and temps in the 90’s on Sunday. I think this might bring the attendance down, but I hope it doesn’t dampen the mood for the family that braves the storms. Those who don’t come tomorrow will probably come out and join us Sunday. I’m glad it’s a two day event!

We are brainstorming, trying to make a Plan B, for inclement weather. We are going to be doing more indoor activities. I think we’ll have to set up a big tent, an expense we hadn’t planned on, and a safe place to go nearby if the winds pick up.

We are going to have to have a euchre or cribbage tournament instead of a baseball tournament. We will probably have a couple of tables for playing Texas Hold’em and Blackjack. The little ones are going to be doing crafts and playing games. I’ll bake some cupcakes for them to decorate. I don’t know what the park is going to do about the hayride and trick-or-treat if it’s raining. The group photos are going to have to be taken on Sunday, there’s going to be a lot of sun, the best chance of rain will be in the evening. The kids will be able to go swimming, it will be hot, the hottest day of the summer for our area.

Even with the rain, I think we’ll have a great week-end, I’m planning on having a good time anyway.

Filed under: Fairbairn, Family Files, Genealogy,

Fairbairn Family Reunion – Aug 8 & 9, Amherstburg, Ontario


I am busy with as much of the last-mintute preparations for the family reunion this weekend as I am able to do. My cousin is going to be here on Sunday, she’s driving here from British Columbia, they left last Sunday. We have to get together next week and finalize all ot the details. She has to pick up the T-shirt order, there were enough orders to get the T-shirts at a great discount, so there will be plenty extra for sale at the reunion.

I bought the blank CDs and DVDs and jewel cases online to make photo DVDs of scanned old photos and reunion photos and Rootsmagic4 shareable CDs. I made enough in my yardsale to pay for them. I will be able to make copies at a bargain price, much less expensive than if I would have printed out Family History books. Family History books can be printed from the CDs for anyone who would like one as well as all of the other features of Rootsmagic4. I will be printing a small number of the photos at the reunion as well, if requested.

I went shopping the other day for Raffle Items. I bought some large Seagrass baskets on sale 75% off, and am filling them with different theme items. I have one for Bar-b-Q (Meat thermometer, planks, salt/pepper grinder, grill brush, grill set, etc.), I’m making a Scottish theme (Tartan Coaster set, Family History Book (to be filled in), some tins of cookies, Scotch whiskey, smoked fish, etc.) , a Picnic theme (linens, plastic dishes, pitcher and glasses, condiments, thermos, coolers, citronella candles), and an Summer Activities theme (fishing rod, tackle, badminton set, frisbees, beach toys, kite, etc.). I’m hoping the proceeds will pay for at least one DNA test for the Fairbairn Surname DNA Project.

We aren’t going to be camping but I’m going to take a tent and set it up as a “Welcome” tent, to get name tags, information, wall chart, first aid and have a couple of tables, one for the Raffle items and tickets and T-shirts, one for the PSC and my laptop, I will be spending a lot of time here. I am going to have coffee, tea, lemonade and baked goods there also. I’m going to be busy doing some baking this week. I’m making cupcakes for the kids to decorate with Hallowe’en theme candies.

I will be gathering some decorations for the Hallowe’en theme weekend at the park as well. I’m going to be taking a skeleton, and a hammock, Christmas lights, solar lights, and a variety of small decorations to put up around the group campsite.

In keeping with the Hallowe’en theme, we may even tour the Fairbairn Family Cemetery after dark!

Filed under: Genealogy, , , ,

Our First Family Reunion – Counting The Days

The first Fairbairn Family Reunion is less than a month away, on August 8th & 9th. My cousin and I are organizing the two-day affair to be held in Amherstburg at the Jellystone Campground. This is my first experience at organizing a family reunion so we’ll see how it goes. My cousin lives in British Columbia, so we have been keeping in touch through Facebook, Fairbairn Family Reunion group on Facebook, the reunion website, Twitter, emails and since we switched to cable for our phone, I can call her anytime, at no cost.

I am going to be making shareable CDs with my Rootsmagic4 program. I was going to make printed copies of a family book, but since I already have the program, I think family members would have fun playing around with all the features of Rootsmagic4,, and if they want a book, they can design and print one up themselves. The shareable CD is the full program, but it is not editable. There is only one database. There will be a lot of old family photos to be scanned to CDs and photos of the reunion activities and group photos that I will be putting on CDs as well. It will keep me busy, since I won’t be participating in any activities, I will be recovering from major surgery. I am going to make a giant wall chart to be filled in at the reunion by the family members also. We put a form on the website for updating family information too.

The RSVPs and t-shirt orders are coming in steadily, and there will be a quilt raffle at the end of the reunion. We are taking orders for t-shirts and raffle tickets for the quilts on the reunion website, through Paypal, or by mail. My cousin and I decided that even those family members who are unable to attend the reunion, should be able to participate in the quilt raffle, t-shirts and CDs, so we are requesting a shipping address with the orders.

We are planning a scavenger hunt of a different sort, so the little ones can play too. Insteead of a list of items to find, the participants have to find any item that starts with the letters that make up the words FAIRBAIRN FAMILY REUNION.

We are also going to have a softball tournament, weather permitting, and since I have tons of fabric, I am sewing team “shirts”, actually more like halter tops, one size fits all, in two different colours.

My cousin reserved the group campsite for the reunion, and there will be a tent set up where I will be scanning and making CDs. I would like to hold some family interviews there too. I’m looking forward to it, and I’ll let you know how it turns out in a month. If this one is successful, I might just organize a family reunion with my dad’s family!

Filed under: Fairbairn, Family Files, Genealogy, ,

Fairbairn Family Reunion – 6 months away

The first Fairbairn Family reunion will be held this August in Amherstburg, Ontario. We are starting to get organized, gathering contact information, updating family information and fund-raising.

We have a Timmy’s challenge between the Ontario host families and the out-of-province host families. Everytime we go to Timmy’s, we set aside the price of a cup of coffee to go into the fund. We will be holding yard sales as soon as weather permits, I think my cousin will have hers earlier, she’s got warmer weather where she’s at in the B.C. interior. I think I will organize a multi-family yard sale, for the long weekend in May. I have to see what the best place will be to hold it, maybe at my brother’s house, he lives on the highway and there’s a lot of traffic.

We are also having a ‘slogan contest’ , we have to think of a family slogan to put on the t-shirts, the winner of the contest will be chosen by another cousin, who is designing the t-shirts, and he/she will get two free large t-shirts.

There will be a hand-painted family crest plaque with the winning slogan on it, to be raffled off. A couple of family members are going to get together and make a baby quilt and a full-sized quilt to be raffled off at the reunion as well, with tickets available soon.

Filed under: Fairbairn, Family Files, Genealogy, , , ,

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