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Summary of Reunions of the Descendants of Gamaliel Gerould, held at East Smithfield, Pennsylvania.
The seventy-third anniversary of the settlement of Jabez Gerould in the township of Smithfield, Bradford County, Pennsylvania, was celebrated September 5, 1874, by the descendants, who gathered from Kansas, Illinois, Michigan, Ohio, New York, and Pennsylvania. About two hundred were present. Old scenes were revived, old stories rehearsed, and anecdotes retold; and it was a time replete with enjoyment. Dr. Henry Gerould, of Cleveland, Ohio, gave a brief outline of the genealogy of the Jerauld (Gerould) family. Dr. D. Bullock, first and oldest physician in the township, gave a most interesting account of the coming to Smithfield of Mr. Jabez Gerould and the struggles and privations of his wife Demaris and her eight children, after the death of the husband and father, which took place about a year after his settlement there.
A motion was carried at this meeting to hold another gathering five years from the date of this one.
The second reunion of the Gerould family was held in East Smithfield, Pa., September 15, 1879. On account of the inclement weather, it was held in the Christian Church instead of the grove. Dr. Henry Gerould, of Cleveland, Ohio, delivered the address of the day, which was largely historical and genealogical. Dr. C. C. Corss related incidents concerning the early settlers and the new settlement.
An historical committee from each family was appointed at this meeting.
The third reunion of the Gerould family was held September 15, 1884, in a grove on the old homestead of George Gerould. New York, Ohio, Illinois, and Pennsylvania were represented at this gathering. The principal part of the program was an address by Dr. Henry Gerould, giving reminiscences of the early settlers and incidents in the lives of many assembled on that occasion. He told something about the home of our ancestors in Languedoc, France, and of the persecutions of the Huguenots. At this meeting a permanent society was organized and a constitution adopted, meetings to be held every fifth year at Smithfield, Pa., on the 15th day of September. At the conclusion of the exercises, the assembly repaired to the cemetery to dedicate a beautiful monument to the memory of Jabez and Demaris Gerould, and Rev. G. C. Corss and Dr. Gerould gave brief addresses on the life and character of this worthy couple.
The fourth quinquennial reunion of the Gerould family was held in the Christian Church in East Smithfield, Pa., September 14, 1889. The historian. Dr. Henry Gerould, of Cleveland, Ohio, gave his report on the history of the last five years. A resolution was made and adopted expressing appreciation of the hard labor and valuable time expended by Dr. Gerould in the preparation and publication of the Gerould Genealogy. A collection was taken for the purchase of a gold headed cane to be sent to the Rev. Samuel L. Gerould, of New Hampshire, as a slight testimonial of esteem for the valuable services rendered by him in these genealogical labors.
The fifth quinquennial reunion of the Gerould family was held in East Smithfield, Pa., August 29, 1894, with two hundred and fifteen present. At this meeting there were present descendants of all three sons of Gamaliel, son of James, the original ancestor in this country. The family of Stephen was represented by Miss Frances Gerould, of Vine Valley, N. Y.; that of Dutee, by Miss F. Nellie Jerauld, of Galesburg, Ill., and that of Jabez by over two hundred. The program took the form of toasts, of which there were quite a number. Among others were "The Family Name," to which a response was given by Rev. Samuel Gerould, New Hampshire, "Our Fathers" responded to by Dr. Henry Gerould; while to "The Day We Celebrate" and "The Babies" were given very clever responses in verse by Mrs. Laura Craig and Mrs. Julia Gerould respectively. Loren Grace of Chemung, N. Y., in behalf of the descendants of Susan Gerould Rice, presented Dr. Henry Gerould with a gold headed cane as an expression of esteem and appreciation.
It was voted to change the date of these meetings to the fourth Thursday of August every fifth year.
The sixth quinquennial reunion was held August 24, 1899. Over two hundred member registered. The program consisted of some reminiscences related by a member of each of the eight families of the Smithfield branch.
The seventh quinquennial reunion was held August 25, 1904, and was participated in by over two hundred members of the family, representing four generations. For the second time the families of Stephen and Dutee had representatives present. Stephen was represented by B. M. Green and Mrs. Marie Gerould, of Rushville, N. Y.; and that of Dutee, by Prof. and Mrs. O. C. Darney of Allentown, Pa. Mrs. Julia Gerould gave an interesting talk that included the establishment of the Gerould Memorial Station at Rath, India. After her address resolutions were presented by Mrs. Laura Craig to the effect that as Mrs. Julia Clapp Gerould, wife of Dr. Henry Gerould, had established to his memory a mission station in India called by his name, that, in appreciation of the services of Dr. Gerould and the fidelity of his wife, an offering be taken to place at that station under the name of the Gerould family some permanent memorial to Dr. Gerould. The resolution was adopted and the offering amounted to $38.35.
The eighth quinquennial reunion was held September 2, 1909, in the Disciple Church. The register showed an attendance of one hundred and sixty. After a number of letters of greetings from members of the family who could not be present had been read, Mrs. Fanny Andrus Bailey of Jamestown, N. Y.; Mrs. N. L. Bird, and Mr. C. H. Phelps, and Mr. Otis Gerould of Covington, Pa., were called upon and made some remarks.
A motion was made and carried that Miss Effie Gerould have charge of selling the Genealogies and Supplements. Mrs. Laura Graig gave a report of the Gerould Memorial Station. The money given by the Gerould Genealogical Society was spent in the construction of a well at Rath, India.The question of the publication of the Supplements was left to the following committee: Mrs. Bennett, George Ballentine, Mrs. Lucy Gillett.
The ninth quinquennial reunion of the Gerould family was held August 27, 1914, in the Methodist Episcopal Church and the dinner was served on the church and parsonage lawns by the ladies of that church. One hundred and sixty-four persons registered.
After the usual opening exercises and a few letters of greetings had been read, Mr. Otis Gerould of Covington, Pa., made some remarks; also Charles Bullock of Canton, Pa., and Diton Phelps, of Smithfield. The historian, Mrs. Lucy Gillett, reported that she had not received enough data to make a full report and was excused from making a full report at that time. During the discussion of the sale of the Supplements on hand and the printing of others, it was voted that the Supplements of 1904 be sold and the proceeds be used for the publications of later editions. It was also voted that all the Supplements since 1884 be printed in one book. Nothing was done to finance this.
The tenth quinquennial reunion was held August 28, 1919, in the Disciple Church. One hundred and fifty members were present. The ladies of the Federated Church served the dinner in the church parlors. At this meeting Dr. John Ballentine, of Clarion, Pa., gave an interesting address.
The historian, Mrs. Lucy Gillett, made a report covering the years from 1904 to 1919, as no report had been made since 1904. From this report it could be seen that the family is by no means dying out. She reported the manuscript for the new volume of supplements as ready for the printer and had been submitted to him and an estimate of the cost obtained. The price was put at $1.25 per volume. The book covers the period from 1884 to 1919. In order to secure the funds for the publication of this volume, orders with cash payments were taken.
At this meeting the following officers were elected:
President — Roy Andrus
Assistant Historians — Miss Effie Gerould, Mrs. Lena McGill, Mrs. Ethel HarrisFamily Historians — Mrs. Flora Bennett, Mrs. Susan Graham, Mrs. Lucy Gillett, Mrs. Bird G. Knudsen, Mrs. Lena McGill, Mrs. Ida Gooding, Miss Effie Gerould, Miss Mollie Rice, John GillettExecutive Committee — Charles French, Merritt Gerould, James Gerould
Memorial Committee — Mrs. Grace G. Benjamin, Ernest Gerould
The eleventh quinquennial reunion was held in the Baptist Church in East Smithfield, Thursday, August 28, 1924. One hundred eighty-four persons registered. During the exercises Mrs. Laura Gerould Craig called for a showing by standing of the representatives present and how large a number. There was response from all but two branches. The oldest member present was found to be Mrs. Mary Ellen Gerould (Lewis B.) aged 91 years and sole survivor of that generation; and the youngest was Louis Neilson French, 2 weeks old, son of Mrs. Helen Gerould French. Mrs. Grace G. Benjamin, chairlady of the Memorial Committee, reported 55 deaths in the last five years, among them being Mrs. Phebe Gerould Hendrick, Mrs. Almira Campbell Gerould (wife of Orville Gerould) and Mrs. Julia Clapp Gerould, (wife of Dr. Henry Gerould). All of these were octagenarians. Mrs. Lucy G. Gillett, Historian, reported that for the last five years there had been reported 70 marriages, 138 births, and 55 deaths. Of course this does not include all, as reports could not be secured from a large number of families, and some of those received were very imperfect. Reports were received from every branch, but not from every family of each branch. In the Supplement account she reported that she had 39 copies still unsold and $29.53 in the treasury for the publication of genealogical volumes.
Vice President — Eva Bennett
Secretary — Mrs. Ethel Harris
Historian — Mrs. Lucy G. Gillett
Executive Committee — R. L. Bird
The twelfth quinquennial reunion of the Gerould family was held in the Federated Church in East Smithfield, August 22, 1929. Two hundred thirty-four persons registered.
The meeting was called to order by the President, E. O. Gerould, and an interesting program presented. During the exercises, Mrs. Laura Gerould Craig conducted the memorial service for those who died during the past five years. All were asked to join her in Chautauqua's unique ceremony for the honoring of its dead called the "Drooping of the Lilies." (Handkerchiefs were taken in the right hand, held by one corner only, but crushed and concealed in palm. At the words of leader, "We droop them now," they were slowly released and gently swayed back and forth.) During the demonstration, Mrs. Craig repeated the following original lines:
The tribute we would pay is better seen than said,
A service, simple, brief, in which we take a part,
The drooping of the lilies, The fragrant, pure in heart.
Resembling Easter Lilies, resurrection flowers,
We droop them now in memory of risen friends of ours,
They've joined the Great Reunion for which we're on our way,
And may that last Great Day report
No Gerould Kin away."
The Historian, Mrs. Lucy Gillette, gave a very complete report. For the last five years (1924 - 1929), there were reported 123 marriages, 219 births, and 68 deaths. Reports were received from all but three families.
She reported that the treasury for the publication of the Supplements contained $42.50, which sum paid exactly one-half the expense for printing the Supplement 1919-1924. These and Supplement No. 1 (1884-1919) were on sale and a large number took advantage of the opportunity to secure them.
Vice President — Clarence BallentineSecretary — Mrs. Doris Durfey MillerTreasurer — James NicholsHistorian — Mrs. Eva BennettAssistant Historian — Mrs. Carrie BirdExecutive Committee —Everett Ballentine
The thirteenth quinquennial reunion was held in East Smithfield August 23, 1934, in the Federated Church, beginning with dinner served by the Baptist Ladies Aid. Two hundred eight relatives and two guests were present.
The Historian, Mrs. Eva Bennett, reported that to date she had record of 26 deaths, 105 births and 34 marriages, but she had heard from several branches of the family. The oldest present was Mrs. Phoebe Andrus, age 91 years; the youngest Mary Ellen Gerould, daughter of Lewis Gerould, age 9 months, 10 days.After reading a list of those who have passed on since the last reunion, the historian led in a short impressive memorial service.Roll call of those present according to the branch of the family to which they belong gave the following information.
Descendants of Susan Gerould Rice 3
Descendants of Ephraim 5
Descendants of George 23
Descendants of Ziba 49
Descendants of Jabez L. (none living)
Descendants of Judson 0
Descendants of Theodore 7
Long, long ago, long, long ago,
Begins a story we all love to hear,
Long, long ago, long ago.
Heroic pioneers, Gerould by name,
Into the township of East Smithfield came,
To found a home, and a wilderness tame
Long long ago, long ago.
Jabez, Demaris and eight children they,
Founded the group represented today,
In eighteen one, in eighteen one.
Jabez, the father, soon sickened and died,
But brave Demaris her troubles defied;
God was the Helper on Whom she relied,
In eighteen one, eighteen one.
After some seventy-three years had passed
Sixty years ago, sixty years ago.
The Gerould descendants as first cousins classed,
Sixty years ago, sixty years ago
Came to old Smithfield from many a state
Their common forbears to here celebrate;
Their common history tales to relate,
Sixty years ago, records show.
Many reunions of Geroulds have had place,
Thirteen today, thirteen today
We, here, feel lucky, and rich in God's grace,
Thanks for the day, we all say.
All the first cousins have now passed away;
The second cousins are not long to stay;
Then cousins Third, you'll be given full sway.
God bless your day, we all say.
President — Lewis Harris
Vice President — Everett Nichols
Secretary — Mrs. Doris Miller
Treasurer —James Nichools
Historian —Mrs. Eva Bennett
Assistant Historian — Mrs. Carrie Bird
Executive Committee — Guy Harris
The fourteenth quinquennial reunion of the Gerould Genealogical Society was held at the Federated Church August 24, 1939 in East Smithfield with 130 relatives and 1 guest registered.
Dinner was served by the Methodist Ladies Aid after which the regular business session was held. Letters from various absent relatives were read.The two oldest relatives present were Mrs. Flora Gerould Bennett, 82; and Joel Harris, 84. The youngest was Irvin Douglas Nichols, son of Mr. and Mrs. Ray Nichols, who is two months and six days old. Miss Helen G. Bullock from San Jose, Calif., came the farthest. A collection of $16.62 was taken.
Vice President —Everett BallentineSecretary — Mrs. Mildred Gerould WoodTreasurer —James Nichols
Historian — Mrs. Eva BennettExecutive Committee —Bird Sumner
report of births, deaths, and marriages since the last reunion, and no new supplement has been printed during that time. The following committee was appointed to help Mrs. Bennett as historian:
Carrie Ballentine Bird Ethel Harris
In June of 1944 the officers and executive committee decided to postpone the reunion because of the war in which we are engaged making gas rationing necessary and thus impossible for many relatives to attend.
The fifteenth quinquennial Gerould Reunion was held August 22, 1946, in the Federated Church in East Smithfield, with 95 registered. Because many foods were available only with food stamps, because of the war, the churches were unable to serve the dinner. We therefore enjoyed a basket picnic on the church lawn as they did at earlier reunions.The meeting held in the sanctuary was opened by singing America. After prayer by Truman W. Gerould, Roy Andrus gave the address of welcome to which Mrs. Lura Harding Donner replied.
The treasurer reported a balance of $19.39. A collection of $29.50 was taken and expenses paid, leaving a balance of $29.35. The nominating committee recommended that the present officers be re-elected and the report was accepted and the following re-elected.
Vice President — Everett Ballentine
Secretary — Mildred G. Wood
Treasurer — James Nichols
Executive Committee — Bird Sumner
After some entertainment, letters of greeting from Mrs. Lena McGill, Mrs. Nellie Knowles, Mrs. Laura G. Craig, and Mrs. Grace G. Benjamin were read.Our Historian, Mrs. Eva Bennett, reported 25 deaths in the past seven years, and regretted giving an incomplete report as the result of a poor response to her plea for data from all families.
Special greetings were given Mrs. Nellie French (84 years) as the oldest; Carol Anne Huff (4 months), daughter of Mr. and Mrs. George W. Huff, as the youngest; and to Miss Helen Bullock from California as having come the farthest.
Following discussion, it was on motion resolved that the date of the Reunion be changed from the third Thursday to the third Saturday of August. It was on motion further resolved that the next reunion be held in 1950, the thought being that it come on a year divisible by 5.
The sixteenth quinquennial reunion of the Gerould Family was held on Saturday, August 19, 1950, in the gymnasium of the high school in East Smithfield. In spite of heavy rain, 101 relatives were present. Dinner was served by the High School Seniors. After musical entertainment, Dr. Ginn, Pastor of the Federated Church, gave a fine address of welcome to which Manley Bird of Monroeton responded. The treasurer reported a balance of $29.35 and expenses of the meeting $6.58.
Vice President — Bert Sumner
Secretary — Mrs. Mildred G. Wood
Treasurer — James Nichols
Historian — Ruth B. Hills
Executive Committee — Lewis Harris
The eldest and youngest were Mrs. Nellie French, 88; Ed. Gerould, nearly 87; and Brian, son of Mr. and Mrs. Eugene Harris, 4 mo. Letters were read from Jo Burris Holmes, Kansas, and Hattie Harding Burwell, Calif.
The seventeenth Quinquennial Reunion was held in the Federated Church in East Smithfield Saturday, August 20, 1955. Ladies of the church served a delicious and bountiful ham dinner in the Disciple Church parlors at noon.
At 2 o'clock the meeting was called to order by Pres. Manley Bird with all singing America. Reverend R. Harry Dick, led us in prayer after which he gave an entertaining address of welcome to which Roy Andrus responded.Secretary, Mrs. Mildred G. Wood, read the newspaper accounts of the first three reunions, the first of which was held in Thomas Grove on September 15, 1874, that being the 73rd anniversary of the settling in East Smithfield. The treasurer reported a bill of $10.55 for 300 reunion notices and $1.15 for a new secretary's book. Collection $28.00. The following officers were elected:
Vice President — Henry L. Andrus
Treasurer — Lewis A. Harris
Secretary — Mrs. Mildred G. Wood
Historian — Mrs. Ruth B. Hill
Executive Committee — Lewis A. Harris
Mrs. Sereno Stetson, the eldest member present, lives in New York City. Kathleen Ann, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. J. L. Donner was the youngest. Mr. and Mrs. Claire R. Gerould of Kalamazoo, Mich., who have never before been in Penna., came the farthest.
The historian, Mrs. Ruth Hill, regretted that because of insufficient data she could not give a list of the births and deaths. The beautiful gladioli used to decorate the church were given by Mrs. Margaret Huff as a memorial to those who have passed on in the last 5 years.
After some discussion, it was decided to make a concerted effort to collect all data, as of this day, and publish another supplement. This will cover the period between 1924 and 1955, and the cooperation of every family will be necessary. Anyone willing to be responsible for the records of his branch is asked to notify Mrs. Ruth Hill, R.D. #1, Milan, Penna., as soon as possible and start work gathering the necessary information at once.
After closing the meeting with the hymn "God Be With You" groups gathered on the lawn for visiting. Mr. Richard Work took movies of the relatives as they moved about. A number of families drove to the cemetery to look up family graves and those of Jabez and Demaris Gerould.
This reunion was unusually small, but those present seemed to especially enjoy the renewing of old acquaintances and making new, and were already looking forward to the next reunion. Many cousins who have passed away, and others too feeble to be present were greatly missed.
The eighteenth quinquennial reunion of the Gerould Genealogical Society was held Saturday, August 20, 1960, in the Federated Church in East Smithfield, Pa. Ladies of the church served a delicious dinner in the new dining room after which the gathering moved to the sanctuary.
The meeting opened with all singing "O God, Beneath Thy Guiding Hand," which seemed particularly fitting for the descendants of our Gerould ancestors. Following the invocation. Rev. Zenas Bean, Pastor of the church, made the address of welcome to which Everett Humphrey of Kenmore, N. Y., responded. After the minutes were read and approved, the treasurer reported a balance of $116.00. Expenses of the reunion were paid after a collection of $30.00 was taken. The balance was placed in savings.
Vice President — Eugene Harris
Secretary — Mrs. Mildred G. Wood
Treasurer — Lewis Harris
Historian — Mrs. Ruth B. Hill
Mr. Richard Work delighted us with movies taken at the last reunion. Following this the question was asked, "Why can't we have a new Genealogy Supplement?" The feeling was very strong that one should be printed before the next reunion; with the officers and others whom they would appoint gathering material, after sending letters to all families asking for necessary information and for donations to finance the printing of the supplement.
The nineteenth Quinquennial Reunion of the Gerould Genealogical Society was held August 21, 1965, in the Federated Church in East Smithfield, Pa.
The ladies of the church served a delicious fried chicken dinner; following, Richard Work showed movies taken at the last two reunions, and some taken in Medford, Mass., at the Gerould Homestead, which Jabez and Demaris Gerould and their eight children left in 1798 to move on west, settling in 1801 in East Smithfield.
Following the pictures, the gathering moved into the Sanctuary, where many stopped to admire a navy and white woven counterpane and beautiful beaded black cape and bonnett given Mr. and Mrs. Harold French by his Mother, Mrs. Nellie Tompkinson French.
The meeting opened by prayer by Rev. E. Eugene Booker, Pastor of the church, followed by the hymn, "0 God, Beneath Thy Guiding Hand." The President called for the eldest relative present. She was Mrs. Florilla Campbell Safford, 87, who lives in a home for the aged in Kingston, N. Y., and came to the reunion with her son, Raymond, from Staten Island. Miss Reva Hess from Denver, Colo., a retired school teacher, who recalled attending 40 years ago, came the farthest.
Mrs. Ruth B. Hill, Historian, conducted a memorial service in which she read the available names and dates of death of those who had passed on since the 1960 reunion and then; read a poem written by a friend for a memorial to her sister, Helen Bennett Beckwith. She reported 47 deaths, 46 marriages, and 121 births.
The collection of $33.17 was turned over to the Historian for the publishing of the Gerould Genealogy Supplement, on which the committee have been working. The treasurer reported a balance before the meeting of $81.18.
Vice President' — Manley Gerould
Secretary —Mildred G. Wood
Treasurer — Everett Nichols
Historian — Ruth B. Hill
Relatives came from various points in New York and Penna., besides Florida and Colorado. There were 92 present.
Following the meeting some families went to the cemetery on the hill where they located family and ancestors' plots with the help of Mrs. Donald Nichols, who had with her maps of the cemetery.