Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Warner Family Picnic 2017

I was fortunate this year to be able to attend the Warner Family Picnic in Riverhead, New York.  (See previous blog post Family Reunions-Warner Family Picnic.) The picnic started, I believe as a get together for the descendants of Eleanor Howell and Daniel Warner, my paternal great-great-grandparents.  Daniel and Eleanor had a total of 13 children: Allen, Frances, Josephine, Martha, Eunice, Mary Agnes, Julia, Waldo, Charles, Eleanor, John, Eugene and Franklin.  Josephine died at age 2 and Julia died at age 18.  The remainder of the children married with Eleanor and Franklin not having any children.  In total Daniel and Eleanor would have 31 grandchildren as a result of those 13 children.

At the gathering I was asked to share some of the research I have done on the family and tell about Carrie’s Letters (see posts labeled Carrie’s Letters.)
Deb photo

The family started holding the picnics in 1921.  Through Live-brary I was able to find the following clipping  in The County Review dated Friday, August 1, 1921 under the Baiting Hollow section:
“The annual Warner Picnic will be held Thursday afternoon, August 7, at Fresh Pond beach. 
If stormy on Thursday, come Friday.  Bring basket of good things to eat and a smiling face.”
After I shared the clipping my cousin Jane pointed out that unlike today the picnic was held on a Thursday which seems odd to us  but back then the majority of the 13 siblings and children were farmers and taking off on a Thursday afternoon versus a Saturday was not a problem.  The picnic was held at one of the local beaches on the Long Island Sound near the family homestead and where a lot of the family still resided and farmed.  I also liked the ‘smiling faces’ to go along with the basket of food.

At this year’s picnic there were a total of 46 people.  The Eugene Warner family line had the most attendants.  They always give out gifts for the oldest, youngest, most current graduate, etc.  This year coming from CA to NY I won the gift for the family member coming the farthest to the picnic.  Thank-you to my cousin Hollis for being the MC for the evening.  He did a great job!  Marybeth Ryder did a great job coming up with the fun gifts for all, Jane for being Treasurer yet again and keeping us ahead on the money, Kallie for being the Secretary (and helping me out) and the family Historian Bruce for the information he shared.

Warner Picnic 2017

Some thoughts following the picnic:
I was happy to have sat at the table with Justine Warner Wells’ (grand-daughter of Eugene) granddaughter and family.  Justine passed several years ago and I owe her so much.  Justine’s research and book entitled The Descendants of Daniel Jr. & Eleanor Howell Warner of Baiting Hollow LI, NY and the Warner Ancestors in England and America has been a tremendous help to me as I work on Carrie’s Letters and general Warner ancestry.

It was great to catch up with cousins I haven’t seen in a while:
Kallie, Marie and I

I did wind up making the brownies (chocolate and butterscotch) my mother always made for the picnic and they were a hit:

Thanks to everyone for all the good food! The food was great …as only a family picnic can be.  I think I heard someone is collecting recipes for a family cookbook…what a great idea to preserve all those great recipes!

It’s so important to keep up with the family connections despite our busy schedules.  I wonder what our ancestors would think, all these years later, of us getting together and still sharing a meal?  I’m definitely looking forward to some rekindled and new family connections.  Thank-you everyone for making this a special time!

If you have any corrections or additions or stories to share I look forward to hearing them.
Enjoy the journey,

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