Fielden Reunion Newsletter8th Edition, December 2003
Inside this issue:
It was "Down on the Farm" for our reunion near Springfield, Missouri on August 3 & 4, 2002. J.D. and Karen Fielden and J.D.’s mother, Anna Lee, opened the farm which has been in the family for several generations to all of our relatives. The farm is located in the beautiful rolling land near the foothills of the Ozark mountains.
People traveled from both coasts of our country to be a part of this gathering. A person from California won the prize for having traveled the farthest. Although not everyone could attend every session, there were about 120 persons in attendance. Several people visited nearby Branson either before or after the reunion.
Despite a record heat wave for that area, we had a great time meeting in a large open shed used for storing hay with the addition of an open tent just in front. Huge fans were used to keep the air moving. The Sunday lunch was a delicious boneless rib barbecue.
Many of the people brought their genealogy notebooks and exchanged information during both the Saturday and Sunday sessions. Many of the out of state people met relatives they had not known before and there was opportunity to interact with everyone.
Cemetery Committee Functions Well
In previous Newsletters we have given the sequence of events which have transformed the historic cemetery from a piece of property without a deed to the present Pleasant Grove-Fielden Cemetery.
Briefly, the events begin with Richard Fielden excluding one(1) acre of land from a deed of a farm he gave his son, William Berry Fielden, in December 1868. This was the site where his father was buried in 1850. For more than a century, this was a community burial place and was maintained by Pleasant Grove Baptist Church. When a group of descendants of Richard Fielden realized they were the legal owners of this property, they proceeded to obtain a deed to the cemetery for the church.
When this process was completed, Pleasant Grove Church elected that the Fielden heirs should administer the cemetery and returned the property to them. They are now a properly constituted nonprofit legal entity with tax-exempt status. Robert Dinwiddie is Chairman of a committee which oversees the operation. This committee has made many improvements and is establishing an endowment fund to assure continuing maintenance.
If you would care to made a donation to this cemetery fund, which is the burial place of many of our ancestors, send your contribution to:
Mrs. Lavone Sherrod, Treasurer
The Fielden Society in Todmorden England made the following announcement in the December issue of their Newsletter:
"We are planning a BIG HOMECOMING of Fieldens to Todmorden to celebrate the tenth anniversary of the formation of The Fielden Society and the Homecoming in August 1996 that brought our extended family from all over the world. So please keep free the first week in August 2006! We have lots of time to make this a ‘Fielden Day’ to remember."There were about 50 people from this side of the Atlantic who attended the 1996 Homecoming. We were given a warm welcome by the entire town. Most of those attending extended their stay to visit other parts of Great Britain. We will likely want to have this event replace our reunion for that year as we did in 1996.
If you would like to join The Fielden Society and receive their Newsletters, the annual dues are $8.00. These can be submitted to Keith who will transfer the funds to England.
For the benefit of some who are receiving this Newsletter for the first time, I will give a bit of the background and content of this history of the Fieldens in the United States.
This 640 page, hardbound book evolved over a period of about 12 years. After contacts with a number of relatives who were interested in our family history, it became evident that several people had done limited research on their immediate family history but no one had attempted to weave these and find a common thread tying them all together. It was about 1985 when I seriously undertook that task.
Before the book was published in 1991, I had visited many cemeteries, courthouses and state archives, as well as The National Archives and the Mormon Library in Salt Lake City. The minutes of business meetings of several churches were searched and recorded. I also met many relatives that I had no idea existed before beginning this task. In the process of gathering information an estimated 20,000 miles were covered in this country with the primary objective of publishing this book. There was also a rewarding trip to England. Information from all these sources was combined and resulted in the family history mentioned below. There were 500 copies printed and less than 100 remain for sale.
Taylor W. Early
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