History Center hosts First Families reunion

(Knoxville, TN) The East Tennessee Historical Society will commemorate the state’s 220th birthday with a First Families of Tennessee Reunion and Jubilee, August 19-21, 2016. The weekend will include a FFT dinner at Marble Springs, home of Tennessee Governor John Sevier, with period music, dances, and living history presentations, and tours of Marble Springs, with special time set aside for attendees to visit, compare research, and meet up with cousins.

A genealogy conference will focus on records and research methods for the pioneer period, as well as the history of the state’s early settlement, including the Watauga Association, the State of Franklin, county and state records, and more. The conference keynote speaker will be Troy Wayne Poteete, chief justice of the Cherokee Supreme Court, Tahlequah, Oklahoma, who will discuss the experiences of the Cherokee after they reached Oklahoma.

On Sunday, August 21, bus tours will travel to important pioneer sites in upper East Tennessee, such as Sycamore Shoals, Tipton-Haynes House, the site of the Battle of the State of Franklin, and replica of the State of Franklin log cabin capitol in Greeneville.

The First Families of Tennessee Reunion will be held in conjunction with the annual East Tennessee History Fair, which will take place on Saturday. The fair features traditional music, children’s games and activities, vintage films, living history presentations from the Cherokee to the Vietnam War, a History Hound costume competition, free admission to the Museum of East Tennessee History, bus tours to historic sites, and a birthday party for Davy Crockett, complete with cake.

First Families of Tennessee is a family heritage program of the East Tennessee Historical Society, with membership open to anyone who can prove descent from an ancestor who was in Tennessee by statehood in 1796. FFT has almost 16,000 members representing all fifty states and eight foreign countries.

All events are open to the public. Most East Tennessee History Fair activities are free. Pre-registration and a fee are required for participation in First Families of Tennessee events. For more information on the schedule of events, costs, and registration, see www.eastTNhistory.org/FFTReunion.

About the East Tennessee Historical Society

Established in 1834, the East Tennessee Historical Society has been helping East Tennesseans hold on to our unique heritage—recording the events, collecting the artifacts, and saving the stories that comprise the history we all share. The historical society pursues its education mission through publications, lectures, conferences, school programs, museum exhibits, and heritage programs such as the popular First Families of Tennessee and Civil War Families of Tennessee. The East Tennessee History Center houses the staff and programs of the East Tennessee Historical Society, the Museum of East Tennessee History, the Calvin M. McClung Historical Collection, and the Knox County Archives.