Family Reunions and Cousins and Genealogy . . . Oh My!

Steele/Marshall Land Vinton County Ohio

Steele/Marshall Land Vinton County Ohio

It’s June and you know what that means . . . . graduations, weddings, Father’s Day and the start of the family reunion season! Reunions seem to have faded in my family. My older siblings talk of the wonderful reunion days when they were kids, spent with seldom seen cousins. They remember these times with nodding heads and happy smiles, but you know how it goes. Families grow up and are scattered across the country, many lose interest, so family reunions just aren’t held in my family these days.

That is until my sister was contacted by a distant cousin via her family tree on After sharing information, my sister and I were invited to the Steel/Steele family reunion which was held this past weekend in Vinton County, OH. My sister and I were a bit on the collateral end of the family tree, something like third and fourth cousins depending on who you were talking too! Yet we were welcomed with open arms as if long-lost relatives who finally came home.

First we walked the local cemetery as our hostess pointed out the family members of interest. I snapped pics of a 3G aunt and uncle and a couple of their children. We went back to the community room we were meeting at and ate heartily on Midwestern picnic foods. We laughed and talked with each other as we compared our place on the family tree.

As we visited with our “new relatives” we gathered bits of additional information to add to our family charts. We exchanged addresses, emails and had a really great time.

Our hostess (who I would guess was mid 70’s) had a short power point family history lesson for us (I was impressed!) after our meal and later we all gathered for a group picture.

More of the Steele/Marshall Land Vinton County Ohio

More of the Steele/Marshall Land Vinton County Ohio

As my sister and I left for our drive home we were able to stop and see the land purchased by my 2g grandfather and his first wife along with his sister and husband, which are my 3G aunt and uncle. My 2g grandfather eventually sold his portion of the land to his sister and brother-in-law and moved to Allen County, OH. Good for me, because that set the stage for him to marry my 2g grandmother when his first wife passed away, leaving him with a house full of children. How cool to stand where my 2g grandfather stood in 1851! Now that’s something I never would have done and information I never would have had if we hadn’t attended the reunion!

Are you attending a family reunion sometime this summer? Why don’t you list the surname and area where the reunion is being held in the comments. Wouldn’t it be cool if someone found a family line and attended a family reunion through the comments? Just think of the info that could be swapped! Type quick, who knows who might be reading and thanks for stopping by!


  1. Cindy, our family also had a reunion this July for the first time in maybe 15 years. You are right, it is a wonderful feeling, with everyone welcoming everyone else. People brought charts and photos. I would like to have one every year, if I could just snap my fingers and make it happen. I love your description of standing where your 2g grandfather stood in 1851. It makes time seem like such a strange concept. Thank you for posting!

    • Mariann – Thanks so much for your comment. Your article on your family reunion is excellent reading. Everyone can find it here.
      I so enjoy your writing!
      Thanks for stopping by my blog. I can’t tell you what it means to me! ~ Cindy

  2. Any connection to the Steele family of Sussex Delaware?

    • Hi Nicole! In my tree I have a John Steel born in Northumberland County, PA in 1782, the family lived in Beaver County, PA and finally Lawerence County, PA. His daughter Nancy married James Hayes Marshall Jr and eventually ended up in Allen County OH. I don’t have anything before 1782 or Sussex Delaware. Did any of your Steels end up in PA?
      P.S. Thanks for stopping by and your comment!


  1. […] you remember my post a couple weeks back about meeting distant cousins at a family reunion? We swapped emails with the promise of trading info and recently received some photos and an obit. […]

  2. […] James Jr. and his wife Nancy purchased property in Vinton County along with James’s sister and… The Marshalls stayed in Vinton County long enough to produce two children. Father James Sr. had received land for his service in the War of 1812 and gave these parcels to his five sons. Which is how James Jr. and his family ended up in Allen County, Ohio. […]

Speak Your Mind