Melvin Gilreath – A Walking Encyclopedia

Greenness, trees,  and mountains surround the people who visit Amicalola Falls.  They gather to enjoy nature or be with friends and family.  Some might hike the start of the Appalachian Trail. It was at this place a group of near and distant kin gathered August 12th, 2017 for the 39th annual Gilreath Family Reunion.  Visiting and eating potluck lunch after a beautiful prayer of thanks have always been the mainstays of the reunion.  Pictures and records of ancestors grace the welcome table.  That’s a Gilreath reunion. Continue reading


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.

Ancestors Alive in America – 1776

If you’re reading this post because you’re a descendant of any person written about in ‘My Kindred Tree .com” you are probably an American citizen.  You may not know exactly how deep your roots run in America but your heritage of American ancestors would describe you as VERY AMERICAN.

A few ancestors alive in the year 1776 include:

Phillip DEEN – He enlisted as a private in 1779 in Coleman’s Company, 10th North Carolina Regiment in the Revolutionary War.  Married Rachel.

Revolutionary War Flag

One of Two Remaining Revolutionary War Flags

William GILREATH – Born about 1733.  Lived in North Carolina.  Found on the enlistment rolls of soldiers that went to Kings Mountain, SC.  Settled in Greenville SC with youngest son Jesse.  Married  Mary ARRINGTON.

Charles Austin BRUCE – Virginia was his birthplace in 1744.  His daughter Mary, married Jesse GILREATH, son of William.  Buried in Greer South Carolina. Married Margaret RAMSEY.  Wrote a letter to Thomas JEFFERSON.

Letter to Thomas JEFFERSON from Charles BRUCE

Letter to Thomas JEFFERSON from Charles BRUCE

Thomas DENTON –  About 33 years old at the time of the revolution.  Married Elizabeth.  Both from Virginia.

Solomon LANGSTON –  Born in 1732 and married  Sarah BENNETT.  They were patriots residing in Greenville, SC.  His children were very active in the revolution.  One of his daughters, Dicey, is considered a Patriot Heroine.

Painting of Solomon LANGSTON protected by daughter Dicey from being shot by the British

Solomon LANGSTON protected from British Soildiers by daughter Dicey

Max Augustus LINN

B & W Portrait Photo of Max Augustus LINN

Max Augustus LINN 1896-1952

Max Augustus LINN was born on the 30th of August 1896 in White, Bartow County, GA.   His father was Western Hardy LINN (yes, Western) and Martha A. GILREATH.

Besides Max’s birth, here are a few other things that occured in 1896:

  • George Burns and F. Scott Fitzgerald were born too.
  • Utah was admitted as the 45th state.
  • John Philip Sousa composed “Stars & Stripes”.
  • The 1st known women’s basketball game was played between Stanford and California.
  • Harriet Beecher Stowe and Anton Bruckner died.
  • The 3rd deadliest tornado in the U.S. hit St. Louis killing 255 people and injuring 1000.
  • An earthquake and tsunami hit Japan killing 27,000.
  • H.L. Smith took the 1st X-ray photograph.
  • The first modern Olympics were held in Athens.
  • Gold was discovered in Klondike, Yukon.

He married Eula Mae HOLDER on the 2nd of September 1917 in Griffin, Spaulding County, GA.

He was a barber by trade.

Max and Eula had 4 children together.  Two died in infancy

His death occurred  on the 30th of June 1952 at the age of 55 in Milledgeville, Baldwin County, GA.

Nice bow tie!  He’s looking rather dapper.