By Colleen Lockhart
Nine generations of descendants of James White met at Camp Whitewood in Windsor for their 110 year reunion. This is believed to be the oldest continuously held family reunion in Ohio, beginning in 1909. The family traces their ancestry back 10 generations to Scotch Irish immigrant ,James White, born in 1760, leaving for America when he was 18 years old. He landed in Jamestown, Va. and later married Fannie Pittinger, a native of New Jersey.
Meeting at Camp Whitewood has a family connection. On July 14, 1940 the original parcel of land and two acres for water supply were donated by Thomas White to establish the camp. In 1941, 4-H members voted and the camp became Camp Whitewood. In early 1961 Thomas White agreed to sell an additional 210 acres to Camp Whitewood. This included most of the Warner’s Hollow property and close to 80 acres west of Wiswell Road. This property already had lakes, orchards, and farm buildings on it.
The goal of this reunion is to keep the White family heritage alive by encouraging all members of the families to attend the reunion and actively participate in this happy, historical event.
The handmade quilt covering the first eight generations with family names was on display at the reunion and had been displayed several years ago at the Great Geauga County Fair. The quilt is quite large, 10-by-20 feet.
President Sheryl Gusler and Secretary-Treasurer Cindi Serrani are making plans for the reunion next year. They gather with a pot luck lunch followed by a white elephant auction, kids’ games, hiking, fishing and swimming. Prizes were awarded to Bud Scott as the oldest visitor at 88 years, youngest was Jack Loza at 7 months, the most family members attending went to the Button’s, and Bill Boneham traveled the farthest from Tennessee and said the last reunion he attended was in 1984. A group photo with the gathering of all family in attendance was the highlight of the day. Serrani keeps all of the photographs and brings them to the reunion for viewing every year.
If you trace your heritage back to James White, or need help to find out if you are related to this very large group, call Sheryl Gusler at 440-567-0510. She has records dating back to James White and photos to share.
Colleen Lockhart is a lifelong resident of Geauga County. She retired from Geauga County Commissioners, serves on the Department on Aging Executive Board, Geauga Safety Council, Middlefield Chamber of Commerce, Huntsburg Historical Society, Huntsburg Grange #2541 and is a member of Huntsburg Congregational Church.