07 November 2012

Talley-Tally-Tolley Gathering October 3-4, 2012

Don't Tally; Just Rally.  And that's just what we did!

Many people hold family reunions over the summer months.  Few, if any, hold such a gathering for their Y-DNA projects.  I did for the Talley-Tally Y-DNA Project.

The idea of a Talley-Tally-Tolley Gathering began over a year ago in conjunction with the establishment of a new sources website and the death of one of our researchers.

I operate an e-mail list for anyone interested in researching or who has tested for the surname, any spelling.  This is a one-way email from me to the group which notifies list members when a new candidate has tested, when test results have appeared, when there are sales on testing, and other information related to DNA testing.  On this e-mail list we share lineages for the testers with the details of birth, death, marriage and spouses.  We do not share current information or maiden names of mothers whose children are living as that can be used for financial records.  Creating such a list builds provides multiple contacts for research and builds a bond within the group.

When one of our Talley researchers died and left piles of papers for us to sort, three local members of our e-mail list gathered to divide the work.  One of our sorters, Lorraine, suggested putting Talley-Tally information on site accessible to group members.  I had been considering such a plan, but this was the first time I discussed having a site where the testers’ lineages and the sources for each generation could be displayed and where additional, hard-to-find records could be stored.  I was greatly encouraged to establish this site and the work began.

I found the perfect volunteer, Gene Talley of Texas, who helped me research every one of our testers and without whom this sources site would not have existed.  He created some wonderful flow charts which show connections to a common ancestor where known.  This work took countless hours and over a year and a half to complete, but we were able to justify some lineages as they were sent to me, add up to three generations to some, and reduce a few generations that were not solidly proven or were wrong.  For the latter we wrote a page or two providing circumstantial evidence of parenthood. The goal was to find good sources for the father-son relationship in the lineage along with the birth, marriage, and death for the direct Talley-Tally-Tolley line.  Of course, like all projects, there were a few people who did not share their lineage or who have died without sharing.  Overall, the vast majority of our testers’ lines are proven with good sources and now on the new website.

The Gathering
During all this, I began planning for a Talley DNA “Reunion”.  Anyone who had tested, who researches the surname, or anyone our members could drag off the street with a connection to the surname were welcomed.

William H. Talley III

One of our members, Bill Talley III, suggested we meet at the local country club in Petersburg, Virginia as the room was free to us and as this area is one of the major locations where our Talley and Tallys first lived.  It was decided that we would meet for two days and for the third everyone could explore the area or visit various family locations or research libraries.

George M. Talley, Sr.'s Miniatures
Karen Talley
Our gathering included all the elements of a DNA conference and a reunion.  I created several presentations to explain the various DNA tests, our new sources website, triangulation, quality research, and others.  Attendees brought posters to show-case their family as well as gifts for a raffle. George M. Talley showcased his amazing, hand-made miniature furniture which has moving parts including drawers that open.  Our wonderful activities chair, Karen Talley, and I acquired additional raffle items from various vendors valuing up to $150 for the top item.  The money earned from the raffle was split between those groups in attendance to further test their lines. Each person also received a "goody bag" with several flyers on local sites, discount coupons on Talley Vineyard wines and DNA tests, copies of Family Chronicle and Internet Genealogy, a mouse pad designed specifically for our gathering, and pens and pencils with Talley-Tally-Tolley Gathering printed on them.

Deceased Testers
Time was given in the agenda to recognize those testers who had died, and Karen compiled very nice poster which included each person's DNA Group number, dates of birth and death, a photo, and their oldest Talley-Tally ancestor.
Larry McMahan

Larry McMahan, volunteer at the Jefferson Library and husband of Sue Talley McMahan and Karen's uncle, was our guest speaker for dinner Wednesday night.  His wonderful presentation entitled Thomas Jefferson’s World and his video gave much insight into Mr. Jefferson’s life at Monticello.

Group 02 Workshop
As the new sources website with the testers' lineages was complete (more sources records will be added in the future), I provided room in the agenda to hold a couple of workshops so the members of each DNA group could work together to further the lineage and the DNA testing.  Each person shared their contact information as well as their online and local resources. The groups were asked to view the lineages on the new sources website and determine what information is missing and where further testing is needed.  Of course, not everyone in the group knows their proven common ancestor, but these workshops started a dialogue to help with that goal.  Each group chose a leader who will report progress to me so any updates can be added to the sources site. For those who could not attend, they have been given the same opportunity to share their resources and help with the research.

The gathering was held October 3-4 at the Petersburg Country Club in Virginia.  The two largest DNA groups had representatives which lead me to believe that the economic times and health situations prevented some of the smaller groups from coming.  I do know these issues were  the causes for some absences.  Those who came decided that since DNA Groups 1 and 2 of the project are very probably related in the mid-1600's they would work within their group as well as help the other group.

It was wonderful to meet so many cousins, and I’m sure they felt the same meeting each other.  It was grand to put faces on those names and e-mail addresses over these many years. I had known a few people through correspondence since the mid 1990’s, but had only met one before this gathering.  The humor and wit of many of the family members, the practicality of their decisions, and just being in the same room with so many cousins was a joy for me. Hopefully, they took away from that time something new in the way of DNA and researching as well as fond memories of their distant cousins.

Liz and Floyd Talley

I also have to thank the attendees for the kind recognition award they gave me.  I'm most proud that it was engraved by Performance Awards, a business owned by my genealogical cousin Floyd Talley.  Performance Awards is located at 17 S Wahsatch Ave, Colorado Springs, CO; phone: 719-635-3303

AND...someone even  asked when the next gathering would be….

Thanks to everyone who made this possible and for all of those who attended!

4 Nov 2012

....a few more photos from The Gathering...

Descendants of John of Amelia Co, VA

Robert and Hilda Nostrandt,
 Bill Talley, Jeanne Nostrandt
Cheryl Walter
Zane Talley and wife Helen

Frank Talley
Descendants of Nathan Talley

Nancy Hunt Marshall, Gerry Hunt,
and Shirley Smith

George M. Talley, wife of George Jr,
Al Talley, and Ruby Tally Smith
A.Gene Talley and wife Judy
James H. Talley    
Karen Talley, Beth Talley Hill
and husband Steve Hill

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