Below this message is a lengthy newspaper press release that went out a few weeks ago.
The National Allison Family Reunion on the weekend of October 14 is an annual event of the National Allison-Allanson Family Association, composed of the descendants of Thomas Allanson/Allison (1639-1684), Lord of Christian Temple Manor, a Gentleman of London, England and Charles County, Maryland.
Huge number of the family still reside in and around McDowell County after migration to that spot from Maryland in an incremental move by dozens of family members beginning 1778 and continuing until around 1800.
The members of the organization invite all members of our family, regardless of surname, to attend as our guests. Note that reservations with advance payment for catered meals a must!
The huge annual gathering is held in western North Carolina in the charming town of Brevard, near Asheville and just below the Blue Ridge Parkway. Brevard is the site of our Allison family's oldest surviving documented home, built ca. 1815.
As of this moment, we still have hotel and motel rooms available. I will gladly assist in making room reservations as long as the rooms last, which won't be much longer. We're expecting a crowd of up to 600-700 for portions of the weekend festivities!
Hope this message reaches more of our lost tribes of cousins out there somewhere.
Please contact me if you descend from this early Maryland family through its many branches that were spread all across western North Carolina, South Carolina, northeastern Georgia, Kentucky, Brooke County, VA/Hancock County WV, Spencer County IN, Holmes County OH, several areas of Texas, Missouri, Tennessee (especially Cocke County TN), and many other areas of the country.
See below for the lengthy details of this exciting event packed weekend heritage celebration.
Michael Allison, President
National Allison-Allanson Family Association
Much larger than normal crowds from all across the country will gather in Brevard, North Carolina on the weekend of October 14 for the 2006 National Allison Family Reunion, marking the 10th anniversary of the founding of the National Allison-Allanson Family Association and the National Allison Family Reunion. 2006 also marks the 348th anniversary of the family’s departure from London, England for America in 1658.
This year the huge heritage celebration focuses on the Cherokee heritage of this tri-racial pioneer family. The event is dedicated to the memory of Cherokee Chief Leon Jones, former Principal Chief of the Eastern Band, a devoted member of the National Allison-Allanson Family Association and supporter of the reunion. Chief Jones passed away last December 30 after a seven year battle with cancer.
A distinguished delegation from the Eastern Band composed of tribal leaders, Allison family members, and friends of the family, will travel to Brevard for the festivities. Included will be Cherokee Chief Michell Hicks, Principal Chief of the Eastern Band, and Chief Larry Blythe, Vice Chief of the tribe. The two tribal chiefs will participate in the reunion memorial service that includes a special tribute to Chief Jones.
Leading Cherokee Indian musicians, singers, and dancers will perform in memory of Chief Jones, providing a rich cultural experience.
Flutist Tommy Wildcat, acclaimed nationally known Cherokee recording artist from Tahlequah, Oklahoma, will join living legend Cherokee elder, 88 year old Walker Calhoun, one of the most respected elders of the tribe, who will sing the ancient social dances for the Raven Rock Cherokee Dancers. In a solemn moment, the Raven Rock Dancers will form a circle to sing a beloved Cherokee melody for Chief Jones, translated to English as “Guide me Jehovah.”
Former world champion pow-hoop dancer Eddie Swimmer of Cherokee will delight all ages with his exciting show that uses over 40 hoops in motion. Swimmer was featured on a US postage stamp in full regalia in the Postal Service tribute to Native American dance.
Respected elder and the master living potter of the tribe, 85 year old Amanda Swimmer, will demonstrate traditional pottery making while delighting the Allison children with Cherokee stories.
The Old Antioch Cherokee Singers will perform at the reunion memorial service, singing in both English and Cherokee, accompanying themselves on traditional stringed mountain instruments.
The Cherokee are bringing a very special artifact exhibit to Brevard College for the reunion, featuring works by now deceased Cherokee Allison artists, including master woodcarver brothers Albert Allison and Boyce Allison, plus potters and basket makers. Janice Allison Jones, daughter of Albert Allison and wife of Cherokee Chief Leon Jones, will host the exhibit.
The tribe is also presenting an educational exhibit that interprets the history and culture of the Cherokee. The Cherokee exhibits will join more than 150 feet of Allison family history that will be displayed.
The Cherokee performing artists join a huge line-up of over 80 mountian heritage entertainers taking the stage over the event packed weekend, including Buncombe Turnpike, the Stoney Creek Boys, Pyramid Brass, Southern Mountain Fire Cloggers, Cool Creek Ramblers, Ironweed, the Pisgah Pilgrims, and the Pisgah Travelers.
Events begin Friday evening, October 13 with a welcome party with coffee and dessert, a family history swap-shop, and an old-time mountain gospel sing. Festivities begin early the next morning at Brevard College for the program and banquet luncheon followed by the memorial service, then in mid afternoon the crowd moves to the historic Allison-Deaver House for an open house hosted by the Transylvania County Historical Society. The day concludes with the Harvest Hoedown -- a fabulous dinner, dance and show, outdoors on the banks of Davidson River.
The Allison family story will be presented during the morning program at Brevard College, detailing the last five centuries in the life of this wandering British family. All three races of the culturally diverse Allisons — Cherokee, white European, African American — will gather to celebrate the story that binds all three groups in blood kinship as a family.
All Allisons and kin, including those under many other surnames today, are cordially invited and encouraged to attend. Due to catered meals and elaborate planning necessary to accommodate the massive crowds, attendance at reunion events is by advance reservation only with advance payment for all catered meals. For more information, including all details and how to make reservations, please contact the National Allison-Allanson Family Association. Contact Phyllis Miller, Brevard, at (828) 862-5453; Faye McCall, Pisgah Forest, (828) 877-4066; association president Michael Allison, e-mail: email@example.com
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