Thomasson family holds 2016 reunion

Published 12:08 am Saturday, August 13, 2016

The Thomasson Family Association held its annual reunion on Saturday, August 6, in Andalusia in the fellowship hall of the Cedar Grove Church of Christ. Curtis Thomasson, a family researcher, coordinated the event, which was attended by descendants of his Great, Great Grandparents Thomas Randolph and Sarah (Roach) Thomasson.

The attendees came from Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana and Tennessee.

There were many family items and memorabilia on display in the meeting room. These included a painting of the family crest completed by Dot Burkett, an “adopted cousin” to the family.

Another special treatment of the crest was a wall-hanging created and quilted especially for the reunions by Charlotte Thompson, a descendant of Cornelius Starr Thomasson.

A beautifully framed water-color painting of the early Thomasson house in Louisa County, Va., (now restored as the Gunter House) was hanging for all to enjoy.

A large wall-hanging of the family tree created by Curtis Thomasson was helpful for anyone to trace his lineage from Thomas Randolph and Sarah (Roach) Thomasson.

In addition to the many pictures, copies of the Thomasson Traces books, scrapbooks, and family-related materials were arranged for all to review.

The photograph of the Thomasson Schoolhouse, which has been restored, held interest for several.

A special item displayed was a stone secured from the foundation or chimney of the early Thomasson house in Virginia, which Stephen Hise had encased with and mounted with brass plaque.

He donated this treasure to the Thomasson Family Collection at the 2015 reunion.

As the approximately 70 attendees arrived they were greeted, then registered providing current contact information, and given a name tag showing name and ancestor. Then they began to enjoy visiting and catching up with well-known and even new relatives.

This continued along with viewing the memorabilia and discussing the family’s history until noon.

At that time announcements were made and the invocation was worded by Garrett Davis, great, great, grandson of Jefferson Sylvanus Thomasson and current youth minister at Carolina Baptist Church.

The meal was an amazing spread of Thomasson favorite recipes. Descendants of this family know how to cook Southern dishes!

In addition to the meats, vegetables, salads and fresh fruit, the dessert selection was exceptional including pies, cobblers, cookies and homemade cakes such as Butternut, Italian cream, strawberry and pound.

Following the meal, a family history program was presented. Stephen Hise of Atlanta, great grandson of Cornelius Starr Thomasson reviewed his visit and tour of the Gettysburg Battlefield a few years earlier. While there he located the sites where the Sixth Alabama Infantry fought against the Union Army. This was in the very northern section and the southeastern areas of the battle. As he walked over the battlefield, Steven carried a Confederate Battle Flag in honor of his ancestor’s service in that notable battle. Also Cornelius S. Thomasson’s brother, Jefferson Sylvanus Thomasson and future brother-in-law, Mike Henley, served along with him in the Sixth Alabama. He donated to the Thomasson Family Collection his treasured flag folded in a handsome display case with matching stand and plaque describing the event. He along with 11 other Thomasson descendants are current members of the Andalusia based Covington Rifles Camp 1586 of the Sons of Confederate Veterans to honor their ancestors’ service.

Since the local chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy is named Thomas Randolph Thomasson in honor of this ancestor who provided eight sons, three of whom lost their lives, to the Confederate Army, a report from the UDC ladies was in order. Brief reports of new members and activities along with accomplishment of the chapter was prepared by President Brandi Evans and her mother, Tammie Evans, immediate past president. In their absence, UDC Member Janice Bowers Wallace of Newnan, Ga., and a Thomasson descendant, presented their reports.

In Brandi’s words, “The Thomas Randolph Thomasson Chapter, UDC. Continues to proudly carry the Confederate and Thomasson legacy set forth when chartered in 1983 with 56 charter members, all descendants of Thomas Randolph Thomasson. Today the chapter membership consists of ladies from all over Alabama and the USA, 21% of whom are Thomasson descendants. Locally the chapter focuses on two specific projects: Education of local students (sponsoring coloring contests and essay contests) in area schools and recognizing winning students both locally and at the state level. The Chapter currently has two members serving as officers in the Alabama Division UDC and participates in many events and work at the state level. With almost daily attacks on our heritage and threats of monuments being torn down, monuments which Southern women worked so hard to erect and our soldiers earned so valiantly, we need your support more than ever.”

Tammie named several ladies who became new members during the past year. She also explained how several members are working on completing applications to have supplemental ancestors registered. The Chapter is a most appropriate living memorial to the Thomasson ancestors for whom it is named.

Those attending the reunion were recognized according to their ancestor who was a child of Thomas Randolph and Sarah (Roach) Thomasson. The largest number were from the Cornelius Starr Thomasson line, which included three families attending for the first time. The next largest number were descendants of Jefferson Sylvanus Thomasson. Then there were several representing the only daughter, Mary Ann Abbigail (Thomasson) Henley, James Franklin Thomasson and Trezevant Fernandes Thomasson. Lester Dorrell Thomasson, great grandson of Cornelius Starr Thomasson, was recognized for being the oldest descendant present at 98 years of age. The youngest at age four was Campbell Wallace, Great, Great, Great, Great Grandson of Jefferson Sylvanus Thomasson. Steve Frazier, grandson of Jefferson Sylvanus Thomasson, from Morgan City, La., had traveled the farthest.

The 2017 reunion was announced for the first Saturday in August at the same location. Sue Cowger, a great granddaughter of Cornelius Starr Thomasson, volunteered to share her research on the family’s Springs/Springsteen ancestors. Sarah (Roach) Thomasson was a daughter of Samuel Roach and Eleanor (Springs). The Springs family was prominent in Mecklenburg County, N.C.

Anyone who might have an interest in learning more about the reunion or the Thomasson family history is encouraged to contact Curtis Thomasson at 20357 Blake Pruitt Road, Andalusia, AL 36420; 334-804-1442; or Email: