Washington descendants gather for 102nd annual reunion
Descendants from the Washington family of Dunkirk gathered together for their 102nd annual family reunion at Lake Erie State Park. Shane Washington of Washington, D.C. served as the president of the event and welcomed all. A special thanks is extended to all who helped to organize the event.
The group is known as the “Washington’s of Dunkirk.” The family’s original immigrants were John Thomas and Elizabeth Ward Washington, who traveled to the United States from Littleport, England in the time period from 1902-1905 with 12 of their 13 children. One child died before they immigrated to the U.S. They built a house on West Sixth Street in Dunkirk where the family was raised.
With all holding hands in a large circle, Charles William Whitmore gave the blessing prior to the meal, and for the safety of those who traveled for the reunion. Many dishes of food were brought to the reunion, and a thanks to all for the large variety of food. All food was served in a buffet style. The Washington family is famous for baking delicious homemade pies, and there was a large variety for all to enjoy.
Some barbecue food was prepared at the grounds by Scott Washington and Tom Washington. Flower arrangements for the tables were provided by Miriam Washington. Cindy Riggle was thanked for the banner for the 102nd event. Norrie Washington Sanchez had the family signature quilt on display. Registration for each attending was by John and Susan Washington Sipos. Many old photographs of the previous reunions were on display for all to see.
Following the luncheon, the annual business meeting was held. The oldest present was 100-year old Rebecca Washington Kugler Dlouhy of Ohio. Rebecca is the oldest daughter of the late Frederick Albert and Pearl Jane Siggins Washington. The youngest attending was 51-day old Hannah Elizabeth Smith. The farthest traveled for the reunion were Charles and Linda June Newell Whitmore from Bellingham Wa. Descendants from many of the original children were present for the reunion. Nancy Wickmark, treasurer from Cassadaga, gave the financial report of the group, and John Sipos read the minutes of the previous reunion. Gail Pugh Dash, president of the Chautauqua County Genealogical Society, told about an account of the Canadaway Creek which will be written using the interview with Mrs. Dlouhy, who spent much of her young life in that area.
A group photograph was taken by past president John Sipos of Cassadaga. Officers for the next reunion were elected. Shane Washington will continue as the president, Nancy Wickmark of Cassadaga will serve as the treasurer, and John Sipos will serve as the secretary.
The 2020 reunion is scheduled for Saturday, July 11, 2020 at 1 p.m. All family members are encouraged to attend.