Today was my second time to attend the Mobley-Turnipseed Family Reunion and I think I've just about become an adopted member of the family. I was invited last year by a Turnipseed in-law who is researching his wife's family and wanted to compare research notes on the Mobley line we share. (His wife and I are 4th cousins, both of us descending from Reason and Lucretia Mobley.)
Attending last year's reunion allowed me to finally meet another long-time Mobley researcher, and the three of us have since shared emails, visits at the McDade and Oak Hill cemetery association meetings, and traded photos and research notes that have helped us all plug holes in our family group sheets. Group efforts, especially genealogy group efforts, are a good thing.
The reunion includes a fund-raising auction, just like the one we have every year at the Frankum reunion. This one was a little less lively (the Frankums are a boistrous bunch who really enjoy their auction), but there was a point in the proceedings that was very familiar. At both, there is always a bid no matter what is offered but if an item comes on the auction block that has to do with family history, you can count on a bidding war.
Even the non-genealogists love to grab a piece of family history. A few years back I won a fierce battle for a silver locket that contained a curl of my great-grandmother's hair. That was a battle I did not intend to lose and neither did several of my cousins, but once I make my mind up to have something I usually get it. That particular battle was an expensive one.
Photo collections are always a popular item and it was probably fortunate for my pocketbook that I was not able to attend the 2008 Frankum reunion. It was a photo album that took top dollar at this year's reunion and the winner paid considerably more than I did for the locket.
It was a photo collection that produced today's bidding war. Three of the family members were bidding against each other so rapidly that the starting price of $50 soared within minutes to the winning bid of $200.
This was an inspired idea and a very appreciated one. More than 100 individuals are featured in the collage and there was almost always a crowd of folks standing around it, studying the familiar family faces.
There were other displays of family devotion today. A memorial board with the photos and obituaries of the family members lost. A special presentation to a WWII veteran. Family stories and gentle teasing floating around the room. The solid bonds of a family.
Before the day was complete I had been encouraged by several to come again next year. My blood ties to the Turnipseeds may be faint, but their generous hearts welcome even the most distant cousins to the family fold.
They're good people.