Reunion of Upcountry Families returns April 24-26 to county

COUNTY — Get out those new 2014 calendars and save the dates of Thursday, April 24 through Saturday, April 26 for the fifth annual Reunion of Upcountry Families in Pickens County. This three-day event includes speakers, classes, tours of local family history research centers as well as popular cemeteries, and concludes with an all-day genealogy reunion.

Activities begin on Thursday at the Hampton Memorial Library in Easley with genealogy classes to be held in the Computer Lab, including one designed for third through sixth grade students. An Open House is scheduled in the Gregorie Historical Room in the afternoon.

At the library that Thursday evening, Professor Tim Drake will discuss “Death, Burial and Mourning Customs in the 18th and 19th Century South.”  Drake is a noted historian and descendent of Revolutionary War General Andrew Pickens. He is the vice-president of the Pickens County Historical Society, a member of the Pendleton Historic Commission and the Old Pendleton District Genealogical Society.

On Friday, several cemetery tours are planned at different times. Also, visitors can tour the Pendleton District Commission Archives. Guest speakers will be scheduled for Friday evening in Folger Auditorium on the campus of Southern Wesleyan University in Central.

The main event is Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Founders, located downstairs in the University Dining Commons at Southern Wesleyan University. Families will display genealogical research, pictures, Bibles, old documents, and other ancestral memorabilia. A copier and printer will be available to help share information, charts, pictures and other items.

During the day, guest speakers and special tours are scheduled. In addition, local historical and genealogical groups will be available. Participants can enjoy lunch upstairs in the Dining Commons.

This unique Upcountry family history event continues to grow thanks to funding from the Pickens County Accommodation Tax, and is sponsored by the Birchwood Center for Arts and Folklife, Old Pendleton District Genealogical Society, Southern Wesleyan University, Central Heritage Society, Faith Clayton Family Research Center, Pickens County Historical Society, Pickens County Museum of Art and History, Pickens County Library, Anderson County Genealogical Society and Pendleton District Commission.

For more information or to reserve a table, contact the Birchwood Center or Ken Blakeney at