All Allisons and kin cordially invited to attend the 2002 National Allison Family Reunion, weekend of October 19th, Brevard, North Carolina.
The huge heritage celebration is an annual event of the 564 member National Allison (Allanson) Family Association, composed of the descendants of Thomas Allanson/Allison, Lord of Christian Temple Manor (1639-1684), a Gentleman of London, England and Charles County, Maryland. Thomas was the founder of the American branch of the English family.
Beginning in 1778 in an incremental move, a transplanted colony of Maryland born Allisons was formed in western NC and quickly spread to most of the western Counties of the state. The reunion annually reunites not only the North Carolina Allisons, but all descendants of Thomas, Lord of Christian Temple Manor in most areas of the nation today, plus those in England.
According to reunion reservations, it will be necessary to go backward in time to the year 1639 to the point in time that all kinships in the massive crowd converge into the life of a single ancestor. Reunion guests will come from England and up to 40 American states! Crowds of up to and possibly over 600 people are expected for portions of the "by reservation only" festivities.
VERY SPECIAL REUNION GUESTS OF HONOR
The family is honored to announce that a host of local, regional, and international dignitaries will attend as honored guests. Among them are:
It's a great honor for the Allisons to welcome our reunion keynote speaker, the Honorable Leon Jones, Principal Chief of the Eastern Band of the Cherokee. The Chief will be accompanied by his charming wife Janice Allison Jones, a member of one of the large Cherokee branches of the Allison family. Chief Jones will be sharing with the family and honored guests something of his own pioneer heritage as a an early American in the truest sense of the word.
The National Allison (Allanson) Family Association is both honored and delighted to announce that a very distinguished international guest, a British VIP, will be coming to Brevard for the huge cultural event, adding yet another touch of rich heritage to the celebration. Our special British guests will join Cherokee Chief Leon Jones as reunion guests of honor.
Michael Bates, OBE, Her Majesty's Consul General, and his charming wife Janice Bates will attend as official representatives of Great Britain, the Allison family's ancestral homeland. The Consul General has been in service to Her Majesty's Government since 1966. As a diplomat he has traveled to the four corners of the globe on behalf of the British Government.
In addition to years of distinguished service abroad, H. M. Consul General Bates served a prestigious stint in the inner circle of the British Prime Minister, as Assistant Press Secretary to Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.
As a British diplomat, he has served in such far-flung locales as Moscow during the height of the Cold War, Brussels, New Delhi, Singapore, Riga, and in Bratislava first as Charge d'Affaires and then as Her Majesty's Ambassador to Bratislava. His career also included service as Deputy British High Commissioner in India. In recognition of his outstanding foreign service, Consul General Bates was awarded the Order of the British Empire by Her Majesty the Queen in 1994.
H. M. Consul General and Mrs. Bates will be joining the large delegation from the Eastern Band of the Cherokee for a unique celebration of heritage that spans two continents, the Atlantic Ocean, and 5 centuries of Allison family history.
A HISTORIC GATHERING
The 2002 National Allison Family Reunion is truly unique, even after a string of unique gathering for years in advance. 2002 will mark the first full reunification of a multi-racial, multi-cultural family.
For the last 344 years, the Allison bloodline Transplanted from London, England has been evolving in the great American melting pot. Today cousins come in a rainbow of hues. There are a number bi-racial lines of the family today, including the descendants of slaves who bore children with white Allison men, as well as descendants of Cherokee women and Allison men who began other lines of the family. Never before have all three branches of the family come back together to celebrate the common bond, the tie that binds!
A host of weekend entertainers will make for a truly unforgettable cultural experience. Performing in concert several times during the weekend celebration will be "Briar Pickers Jubilee", a superb six member group presenting a vast repertoire ranging from ancient British Isle music, including Celtic and lively English contra tunes, to barn burnin' blue grass. The dueling fiddlers of this talented group, being brought in from out of state, will no doubt bring the house down.
Presenting the best of Blue Ridge Mountain music with a true local flavor is "Blue Kudzu String Band", performing on Saturday evening, October 19 along with Briar Pickers Jubilee. Blue Kudzu presents the pure, genuine, earthy sounds of old time music on the upper French Broad. Both bands will be performing from the open air stage on the evening of Saturday, October 19.
A distinguished delegation from the Eastern Band of the Cherokee will be performing on the evening of October 19 for outdoor, fireside festivities. Leading the delegation is living legend ceremonial song and dance leader and Cherokee medicine man Walker Calhoun. Cherokee Flutist Eddie Bushyhead will present a captivating program entitled "Through Native Eyes", encompassing centuries of Native American musical traditions, from the ancient to relatively recent times. Cherokee Tribal Council Clerk Myrtle Driver, an authority on Cherokee history, heritage and culture, will share the wonderful Cherokee legends, as well as bring to the event the dance troop she founded and directs -- the Anikuwih Cherokee Dancers. The performance by the Anikuwih Dancers will thrill all ages. These talented young people present the most traditional of Cherokee dances. Walker Calhoun will be singing for the dancers as well as explaining the ceremonial significance of each dance and the story behind it.
And that's only a portion of the entertainment line-up for the weekend! There's much more! There will of course be clogging and buck dancing all during the weekend, as well as several talented vocalists at various times.
"THANKSGIVING IN OCTOBER"
Hundreds of cousins will gather at noon for a Thanksgiving feast on Saturday, October 19 with roasted turkey and all the very traditional trimmings in great abundance. This huge fully catered meal will be served during main reunion events on the Brevard College campus and will include even more live heritage dinner music.
"THE MAGIC OF AUTUMN PAST"
A special outdoor evening reunion event for 2002, English Chapel, Pisgah National Forest!
Take a walk back in time across centuries of western North Carolina's rich past! Shuttle bus service will transport reunion guests to the secluded, heavily forested site, illuminated solely by hundreds of torches and luminarias, as well as an October moon!
The huge crowd will gather around a massive fire circle in front of an outdoor stage with live mountain music, and a rustic dinner under the stars served on candlelit tables. There will be revolving dinner seating for approximately 160 people seated at one time. Special guests Cherokee Chief Jones and our special British guest, Her Majesty's Consul General, Michael Bates, plus many others.
At dark the real entertainment begins with the Eastern Band of the Cherokee in the center of the fire circle.
The elaborate weekend also featured historical programs, reunion raffles and door prizes, and much, much more. Extensive historical displays will detail the last 502 years of documented Allison family history, with photos of surviving family homes and burials in both England and America.
Also, while in Brevard, tour the 1816 Allison-Deaver House, oldest surviving Allison family home in America today, now fully restored and open to the public.
Attendance at all reunion events is strictly by advance reservation only. For more information about the reunion, a full schedule of events, and how to attend and how to make reservations, please contact me direct.
NOTE: Although the reunion is a private event of the National Allison (Allanson) Family Association, all Allison family members with advance reservations are invited to attend as guests of the organization. Please be aware that due to extensive planning and preparations needed to produce such a huge celebration of heritage with such extensive events, including elaborate catered meal service, we are unable to admit "walk-in" arrivals without reservations. Reservations are limited due to space and will be closed once the maximum capacity is met for the various facilities used for the weekend.
Looking forward to the grandest gathering ever of a proud old American pioneer family!
Michael Allison, President
National Allison (Allanson) Family Association
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