For more than 60 years, the Germanna Foundation has held an annual reunion and conference centered around the descendants of the Germanna Colonies. In its earliest days, the Reunion was a Sunday afternoon potluck picnic and the conference portion consisted of one or two prominent Virginia speakers giving presentations on genealogy or family history of the Germanna colonies. Today, this three-day event draws approximately 200-250 people attending tours, social events, and program sessions covering genealogy, history, and archaeology.
For the first time, the Germanna conference will not take place in person this year due to the pandemic. Instead, Germanna is going online! We will miss the chance to meet in person, of course. However, moving events online allows a much larger national and even international audience the opportunity to participate, learn, and engage with both the past and modern history of the Germanna settlement.
We will present six live online presentations over the same two-day period for which the reunion/conference was planned, July 17–18, 2020. The presenters will use a combination of narration, photographs, and video for their sessions. Participants will be invited to pose questions at the end of each of the sessions.
On Friday, July 17, the first two sessions have been planned in tandem to explore the part that Germanna settlers played in the larger picture of migration from Europe to the Virginia frontier in the 18th century before moving on to newer frontiers beyond the mountains after the American Revolution.
The first session, which begins at 1:00 p.m., will be led by Dr. Katharine Brown with Fauquier County as its focus. The 1714 Germanna families were among the first settlers in that county, by 1719 in Germantown. They spread from there to other parts of the county, founding Rectortown, and intermarried with English settlers around them. The Plains settlement will also be explored, as well as Germanna interactions with the family of Thomas Marshall, father of the future Chief Justice John Marshall.
The second session will begin at 2:30 p.m. with Foundation Trustee Kristie Kendall. Most of the 1717 Germanna colony took up land on the Robinson River in what became Madison County after their service to Spotswood. Criglersville, the Aylor community and the Blue Ridge settlement have strong Germanna ties that will be explored. These lands attracted many other settlers migrating to the mountain frontier so that the Germanna group was part of a larger community. This session will also explore that story.
The final session of the day will begin at 4:00 p.m. “Beginning Genealogy: Where to Start and How to Do it Right” is ideal for those new to genealogical research or wanting a refresher course. Germanna Foundation Trustees and Genealogists Cathi Clore Frost and Barbara Price will teach you how to get started, observe recognized standards, and avoid common errors in your family research. They will share examples not only from their own families, but also from other Germanna families. Cathi and Barbara will encourage participants to ask genealogy/research questions.
$30 for the online FRIDAY conference webinar with three sessions starting at 1:00 pm and ending at 5:30 pm, Eastern Time.
Register & Pay $30 for FRIDAY’s online Conference Webinar
On Saturday, July 18, the events begin at 1:00 p.m. with Dennis Loba, and his session, entitled “Explorers, Indians, Refugees, and Settlers—The Road to Germanna 1650-1714,” will reference primary sources to paint a picture of the history before Germanna and the forces that influenced Lt. Governor Spotswood to explore and settle the Germanna peninsula and its surrounding area.
The second session of the day, at 2:30 p.m., will be led by Dr. Eric Larsen, with Dr. Bernard Means, Professor of Archaeology, Virginia Commonwealth University, and the four Germanna summer field interns. Entitled “An Update for Germanna Archaeology in 2020,” the presentation will provide updates on the findings up until that point from the summer’s archaeology field season. Participants will gain insight into what it takes to run a field school as well as what interns and students can gain by participating in such an experience.
The final session will begin at 4:00 p.m. and is a panel led by Dr. Eric Larsen who will be joined by Dr. Bernard Means, Dr. Elizabeth Moore, State Archaeologist, Virginia Department of Historic Resources, and others. This panel will present “State of Virginia Archaeology,” discussing the variety of current archaeology projects and opportunities available within the Commonwealth of Virginia.
$30 for the online SATURDAY conference webinar with three sessions starting at 1:00 pm and ending at 5:30 pm, Eastern Time.
Register & Pay $30 for SATURDAY’s online Conference Webinar