1959-2019: A Family Reunion Of Local Significance

Wednesday, August 14, 2019
Sixty years ago, in the summer of 1959, the Roark-Conner family held its first reunion in Birchwood, Hamilton County. On Sept. 27-29, the Roark-Conner Association (R-CA) will hold its 61st annual family reunion in two locations (Cleveland and Charleston) in Hamilton County. The R-CA Reunion is an important gathering of Roark and Conner descendants and relatives of local pioneer families who settled, during the mid to late 1830s, in the eastern portion of Hamilton County, TN.
A brief summary of reunion events follows.

The R-CA Reunion will begin on Friday, Sept. 27, from 4-8 p.m. in the Hampton Inn, 355 Frontage Road NW, Cleveland, Tn. 37312, Phone: 423-458-1222. Activities include: early registration, (4-6 p.m.), a “Meet and Greet” session (6-8 p.m.), and a presentation by the Tennessee Society Sons of the American Revolution (TNSSAR) at 6:30 p.m. The cost is $5.00 and includes a “snack supper.” 

During the “Meet and Greet” session, TNSSAR will talk about the ceremony they will conduct on Oct. 12, honoring Revolutionary War veterans Thomas Palmer (a Roark-Conner ancestor) and William Jefferson Moore. TNSSAR will install memorial markers at the grave sites of these two patriots, who are buried in the Conner family Cemetery on private property. Patriots Palmer and Moore were early settlers of Hamilton County, which is currently celebrating its 200th anniversary as an organized county. Descendants of both patriots still reside in Hamilton County.

The R-CA Program will continue on Saturday, Sept. 28, from 8 a.m.-5:30 p.m. at Candies Creek Baptist Church, 94 Old Eureka Road NW, Charleston, TN 37310, Phone: 423-479-3731. It will begin with hot coffee and pastries, and an R-CA Business Meeting. This will be followed by a Memorial Service to honor deceased family members, and a Worship Service including a sermon by Mr. John A. Roark, Jr. J.D., from Hopkinsville, Ky., entitled “The Promise and the Prodigal Scripture Verses.” Lunch will then be served. After lunch, the feature presentation will take place at 1:30 p.m., with David Johnston from Salt Lake City, UT, speaking on the importance of religion, in particular the Baptist Church, in the lives of the Roarks, Conners, and Moons and their family formations.

The R-CA 2019 President, Mr. Terry L. Roark, of Myrtle Beach, SC, will also present information on select family research projects. Exhibits, photos, and heirlooms will be on display, and family-related books and DVDs will be sold. A 50/50 Drawing and Door Prizes will be awarded. The cost is $15.00 for the Saturday program, and participants may join the R-CA for an additional $10.00 per year. Family members may visit/join @Roark.Conner for more information on membership and R-CA benefits.

Sunday, Sept. 29, is open for family members to visit a local church or gravesites, or to take the Roark-Conner Heritage Trail Tour. The Tour book, written by family members, features 37 family-related historical sites including: the Juda Carr and Joseph Roark Homestead circa 1833, the site of the former Salem Baptist Church established in 1848, and several local family cemeteries. For further information on attending the reunion, call 410-827-0152.


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