A GILREATH Family Renunion

Family Reunion food table

A few years ago I was happily searching (again) on the internet for information about William GILREATH, the same one from the Revolutionary War period.   What I found was an invitation to a GILREATH family reunion at Amicalola Falls, the southern start of the Appalachian Trail.  What was amazing was that the information wasn’t already 5 years old and the event hadn’t even passed.  So, I went.

A happy bunch of kindred were gathered at the shelter, staging their crock pots and cakes on the folding tables.  One table was dedicated to pictures of all sorts of GILREATHS mostly from the  north Georgia area.  A blessing was offered on the food and the line formed.

There are a few things you can really look forward to at a reunion of southerners, besides the fascination of mingling with folks you share DNA with. One of them is a big pot of field peas hiding in their own murky gray waters; you know, the kind easily caught by a large slotted spoon.  Another thing is a platter of thickly sliced, homegrown tomatoes; lots of them. Hopefully cornbread will be within reach to push it all in the right direction and sop up the juices.

Well, they’re up to it again.  This Saturday in fact.  The invitation reads:

‘Gathering about 10:00 a.m. . . . . . lunch shortly after Noon’

I’m counting on the ‘shortly after Noon’ part.

The invitation notes the potential of Kenneth and Melvin GILREATH being in attendance.  This is a really cool thing because Kenneth and Melvin have compiled and written an extensive history of the GILREATH family going back to William GILREATH in Wilkes County, NC in the 1700’s.  It is believed that all GILREATHs in the USA are his descendants and that he most likely immigrated from Aberdeen, Scotland.

Kenneth and Melvin are cousins who spent hours, days, and years researching this family line. They are like walking encyclopedias when it comes to the GILREATH clan.  In the preface to their body of research they state, “The enclosed papers are being freely donated to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints . . . We are certain the church archives will always maintain, and make available to the public, copies of all our efforts in the same generous manner as they have all other family related material in the past.”

The title of the record is ” Descendants of William GILREATH” and can be ordered on microfiche at LDS Family History Libraries located all over the world.

So, if I don’t see you on saturday, keep the first weekend in August open on next year’s calendar.


4 comments on “A GILREATH Family Renunion

  1. Spoken with Melvin about the origin of the name. He favors a Gilruth connection. Would be so nice to be able to have a DNA test done and have it compared with the people of Scotland. I’ve seen many apparent variations of Gilreath which suggest it has connections to wide-ranging areas of Scotland. I cross my fingers to know just where we truly came from, more than that Towne and Freedom list from Aberdeen. Btw, pretty close in relation to Melvin. I believe we’re second cousins once or twice removed.

    • Thanks for sharing your information. DNA testing is interesting. Ancestry.com’s test is geared for family history research while 23andme lends a lot of medical information. Currently the price of a test runs about $99, sometimes $20 less on sale. If you know someone willing to have their spit tested and share the results, I’d contribute towards the test. Ginger

  2. It has always been thinking that all Gilreath’s are kin if you could follow them back. They seem to come from Georgia the Carolina’s and Tennessee.

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