Newsletter 2013

Dear Family and Friends,

I want to thank everyone who made the 55th annual reunion last year so successful!  Now it is time to invite you to our 56th reunion, bringing together descendants of Reubin and Rachel Thompson along with allied families.  Sunday, October 6, 2013, is the big day.  As always, we will gather at Ebenezer Methodist Church in Kemp, west of Swainsboro, Georgia.  The church doors will open at 9:30 for registration and visiting, with the program starting at 10:30.  Casual dress is fine.

Our speaker this year is Dr. Fred Brogdon, a former professor of history at Georgia Southern University.  He is a well-known authority on Georgia history and also director of the Altamaha Heritage Center in Lyons, Georgia.  He will speak on frontier life of families on the Ohoopee River around 1800.  It will be worth coming just to hear him!

Dinner on the grounds will begin at noon.  As is our tradition, the Robert Thompson family will be serving their delicious barbecue.  Please take time to thank them for all their hard work.  There will be several containers around the picnic area for donations to cover the meat expense.  Please bring several side dishes to add to the barbecue.  There will be a special table for desserts.  Plates, cups, utensils, napkins, table coverings and ice will be provided.  Some folks enjoy bringing tables and chairs so they can linger.

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 our memorial service.  Please send this right away, as it is very hectic to put together on the morning of the reunion.

Our budget is always strained, so please consider mailing a donation to help with our many expenses, primarily the upkeep of historic Ebenezer church and cemetery.  If our family heritage is to be remembered, it is up to each one of us to do our part.  I look forward to seeing you at our unique reunion.  We are so fortunate to have this lovely church, our ancestral “home” to gather at and to renew old family acquaintances and make new ones.  Mark your calendar.  Come visit under the towering pines.  Remember, it won’t be as good a time without you there.

Yours truly,                                                              Saturday, October 5th
Philip Stephens, President                                     1:30-3:00  Sharing at
Reubin Thompson Memorial Foundation            Farm & Home Museum
1083 Woodland Drive                                             2:00-4:00 Tours of
Soperton, GA  30457                                              the museum buildings
912 529-3624                                                          Sunday, October 6th – Reunion                                                9:30-10:30 Registration

Reubin Thompson Memorial Foundation, Inc. NEWSLETTER

Kemp, Georgia                                September 2013

Including: Beasley, Coleman, Flanders, Hall, Hooks, Kea, Kirkland, Kitchen/s, Lumley, Moore, Riner, Rowell, Scott, Sumner, Thigpen, Webb, Youngblood & more

2012 Reunion  Once again the reunion proved to be a resounding success!  Dr. John Derden presented a very interesting program about a little known Civil War prison.  Members of the Kitchen/s family were recognized and facts about their ancestors discussed.  Special music, old hymns and a short business meeting rounded out the events, followed by delicious barbecue and other tasty dishes brought by kinfolk.

As Philip has noted, the event is Sunday, October 6h, at Ebenezer Methodist Church, beginning at 9:30 for registration and visiting.  The speaker will be history professor Dr. Fred Brogden.  The Beasley family will be recognized and some  family history related.  The Sharing Time this year will be at Emanuel County Home and Farm Museum, 161 Museum Road, beginning at 1:30 Saturday, October 5th.  This small group setting is for the sharing of family stories, photos and genealogy.  The museum site contains a number of original old homes, farm buildings, a one-room school and even an outhouse!  It will be open for family members to visit from 2:00-4:00, refreshments to be served, no charge for visiting.  Come to see what our ancestors’ farms, homes and lives were really like!  [DIRECTIONS: From downtown, go north on U.S. 1, turn right on Ralph Lee Rd., follow Fair Ground Road to Museum Road.]
Emanuel County Home and Farm Museum – Google Map

200th BIRTHDAY CELEBRATION!  As reported in the mid-year electronic newsletter, the 200th birthday events of the founding of Emanuel County were great very successful.  The dedication of the twelve-foot granite monument, held on December 8th, was grand. Be sure to see this monument in front of the new courthouse, and look for two paver stones near its base.  One has the names of Reubin and Rachel Thompson and another is for George and Grace Thompson.  [These were purchased by Marilyn and Rob Lear]  Many local persons and families are honored on various bricks.

New Tombstones  As a result of your special donations, six new pillow stones were placed at Ebenezer Cemetery in March.  The list includes: Henry Daniel Curl, Sarah Katherine Kitchens, Fannie E. Lumley, Sarah Elizabeth Moore, William Robert Moore, and Linton C. Thompson.  Sadly, Sarah Kitchens, known as Sadie Kate, died in January of 1914, age 16, after an illness of several weeks.  Her stone was placed near her parents, John Wesley and Martha Kitchens.  The six persons mentioned above will be detailed in October.  Close family members of those named are urged to be present at next month’s reunion.

Pine Log Echoes  This huge book of local history, including old photographs, genealogy, colorful stories and much more was published last May.  There are a number of pages about our Thompsons as well as many other Kemp families.  To order send a check for $65 to ECHPS, P.O. Box 353, Swainsboro, GA 30401, plus $8 for mailing.  In Emanuel County, copies may be bought at Swainsboro Antiques, 106 West Main St., open from 10:00 to 5:00, Monday through Saturday.  For more information call Mary Ann Smith at 478 237-9322 or email her at

NOTE!  A second volume of Pine Log Echoes is coming.  Send your information to Mary Ann Smith at the above address.  Contact her for requirements. (Deadline November 30th)

Good News of Mission Trip  Our cousin Ted Clark Thompson of Auburn, Alabama, went to a small town near Recife, Brazil, for a two-week stay in July.  He and others from two churches worked to construct a large church building and make contact with the local children and adults.  (Please send in other good news.)

Joining DAR, SAR, and CAR  These patriotic organizations accomplish much in the way of service, education, historic preservation and more. DAR members, for example, volunteer more than 60,000 hours a year to aid U.S. Veterans. All direct descendants of Reubin Thompson are eligible to join one of these groups. Other Patriots buried in Emanuel County, are Darrell Boatright, Matthew Curl, Jacob Durden, David Edenfield, Francis Richard Flanders, John Flanders, Joshua Gay, Ephraim Herrington, William Hooks, Joseph Sumner, Travis Thigpen, Solomon Yeomans and others.  [Source: Georgia Revolutionary Soldiers’ Graves by Arnold & Burnham, pp 224-229.]  Included with this letter, to those who asked, are some helpful suggestions for joining. I will be glad to assist anyone in our family who would like more information.

Final Words – This is your family association. Volunteers are needed to keep the organization running smoothly and to take the place of those who can no longer be as active.  Get involved in whatever way you are able. Children should be brought to the reunion so they will appreciate their roots. Our family is a terrific treasure, one with an interesting past and a great future!

Newsletter editor & family historian:
Marilyn M. Lear              
4106 Riverside Drive                    912-265-5916
Brunswick, GA  31520

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


You can download the 56th Annual Thompson Family Reunion Newsletter from HERE