Newsletter 2012

Dear Family and Friends,

Once again, it is time for our annual Thompson Reunion, along with allied families. This will be the 55th year of the gathering. Sunday, October 7, 2012, is the date so mark your calendars. As always, we will meet at  Ebenezer Methodist Church in Kemp, west of Swainsboro. Our speaker this year is Dr. John Derden. Dr. Derden is a Professor Emeritus of History from East Georgia College and one of the leading Civil War scholars in Georgia. We are looking forward to his presentation concerning his work in the excavation of Camp Lawton in Millen, Georgia. The church doors will open at 9:30 for registration and visiting, with the program starting at 10:30. Casual dress is fine.

Dinner on the grounds will begin at noon. As is the tradition, the Robert Thompson family will be serving their delicious bar-be-que. Please take a minute to thank them for all their hard work. There will be several buckets around the picnic area to collect donations to cover expense of the meat. Also, bring your favorite dish or dishes to go with the meal. If you don’t want bar-be-que, it’s fine to bring other meats as well. Plates, cups, utensils, napkins and table coverings will be provided.

You will notice that we have a new tin roof on the church. Also termites were found in the Church along with extensive damage. Repairs were made and the termites have been exterminated.

Our family cookbook (Cooking at Kemp) will be available for $10.00. This will probably be the last chance to get one as they are very limited in supply.

If you have lost a loved one in the last year, or know someone who has, please send me the names, dates and other information so they can be included in the memorial service. I need this information right away, as it is difficult to organize on reunion day. We will also have notebooks to record recent family marriages and births.

Thanks so much to those who have donated to the foundation in these hard economic times. Many of our older relatives are fading away so it’s our responsibility to step up to take their place. Please consider mailing a donation to help with our many expenses, (primarily the upkeep of the Historic Ebenezer Church and Cemetery).

I look forward to seeing you on our Big Day! Come and visit with cousins old and new under the towering pines. Remember, it won’t be as good a time without you there!

Yours truly,                                                            Saturday October 6
Philip Stephens, President                                   1:30 – 4:00 Sharing Time
1083 Woodland Drive                                           Swainsboro Library
Soperton, Ga. 30457                                             Sunday October 7
912-529-3624                                                       9:30 Reunion Registration, 10:30 Program                                               Ebenezer Methodist Church

Reubin Thompson Memorial Foundation, Inc. NEWSLETTER

Kemp, Georgia                                                                        September 2012

Families: Beasley, Coleman, Flanders, Hall, Hooks, Kea, Kirkland, Kitchen/s, Lumley, Moore, Riner, Scott, Sumner, Thigpen, Webb, Youngblood and others.

Reunion News: Another successful reunion was held in October of 2011. Our own cousin Hugh Thompson, a justice on the Supreme Court of Georgia, told of recent travels to Egypt. You saw his name on July’s ballot if you voted in Georgia!! This year we will hear about a little known Georgia Civil War prison from our speaker Dr. John Derden. Also, we will have information about and special recognition of the KITCHEN/S family. Come and be a part of our informative and inspiring family gathering on October 7th.

Cemetery News: Thanks to special contributions over the last few years, our foundation has placed and order for six more stones for Ebenezer Cemetery. Five of these are for persons who have no marker present and one is a replacement stone. Granite markers have bee ordered for: Henry Daniel Curl, Sarah Katherine Kitchens, Fannie E. Lumley, Sarah Elizabeth Moore, William Robert Moore, and Linton C. Thompson. You will hear more about these cousins at the reunion, some of whom have touching stories. [The completion date for the markers is not know at this time.]

Church News: As reported by Philip, our Ebenezer Church has a new metal roof, thanks in part to $5000 from our family association. This roof will be very durable, lasting many years in the heat of south Georgia. The foundation also gave money to help the church pay for repairs after termite damage.

Final call for our cookbook, since only a few copies remain. Many thanks are due to Martha Walker who has handled the sales and to editor Vivian Wiegand. Martha is our new foundation treasurer, due to the relocation of Rhetta and Garry Pittman to the Atlanta area. Thanks are also due to Rhetta for her faithful service as treasurer!! She is remaining on the Board of Directors.


Lots of exciting events are planned for this fall in Emanuel County. One of the biggest will be the dedication of a Bicentennial Monument, seventeen feet tall, near the courthouse on Saturday, December 8th. Granite pavers with your choice of wording, 4” x 8”, are being sold to be placed around the monument. The deadline for purchase is September 17th. Please contact Carol Canaday at 478-237-8620 for information. The long-awaited book Pine Log Echoes featuring local history, family genealogies and stories, photographs and more will be available for purchase sometime after December 1st. [Cost not known at this time.] Please contact Mary Ann Smith at or 478-237-9322 for details about the book and other events. Scheduled are:

September 15th Trail Ride for horsemen
October 6th Bike Rides in 3 lengths “Tour de Pines”
October 17th Rountree Log Cabin dedication and more in Twin City
October 25th Fall Festival and Bicentennial Event in Swainsboro
November 2nd & 3rd “Pine Bark Stew” live play about local heritage
December 8th events at the courthouse and the Farm and Home Museum

The following is a summary of the county’s history, taken from The Forest Blade:

This county, created by Acts of the Legislature December 10, 1812, and December 6, 1813, is named for David Emanuel, Governor in 1801, several times a legislator and President of the Senate. A place one mile from the center of the county was designated as County Site in 1814 and named Swainsboro for a prominent family in 1822. The name was changed to Paris in 1854 but the original name was later revived. Our county was taken from the territories of Bulloch and Montgomery Counties and was located near the frontier. As more families moved into the area, the native Indians were pushed farther westward. Its original area was about 1,800 square miles, and by 1820 there were almost 2,000 pioneers who settled along the rivers. As time passed Emanuel County give up much of its land to Johnson (1858), Jenkins (1905), Toombs (1905), Candler (1914) and Treutlen (1918) Counties.”

Emanuel County, Georgia Bicentennial Logo

Emanuel County, Georgia Bicentennial Logo

Bicentennial logo At its regular January meeting, the Emanuel County Board of Commissioners approved an official Bicentennial logo design. The theme is “Celebrating 200 years of shared heritage.” It depicts important elements of the local economy. An upper background shows a sky, representing hopes for a brightly-lit future. The lower background is a field, representing our heritage, rooted in green farms and forests. Superimposed in the oval ring are symbols of the Pine Tree Festival, a graduation mortarboard cap representing education, a set of buildings representing business and industry, and a tractor depicting growing crops In addition, eight stars represent eight incorporated cities with Emanuel County. [The Forest Blade]

You can participate in your family association in lots of ways: make a generous donation to the foundation, come to the sharing time and reunion in October, volunteer to help with the reunion and send us news of your family. We have a wonderful family heritage to research and to celebrate!!!

Newsletter Editor and Family Historian:
Marilyn M. Lear
4106 Riverside Drive
Brunswick, GA 31520

Officers and Directors: Philip Stephens, President, Martha Walker, Treasurer, Bo George, Clarke Johnson, Marilyn Lear, Rhetta Pittman, Allen Thompson, Andy Thompson, Rev. Clarence Thompson, Robert Thompson.


Philip Stephens, President
Reubin Thompson Memorial Foundation, Inc.
1083 Woodland Drive
Soperton, GA 30457


James Allen Kitchen family

James Allen Kitchen family

NOTE: you can also download the Thompson Family Reunion Newsletter 2012 in .pdf format – you will need Adobe Acrobat Reader (a free .pdf file reader) in order to read it.