2019 Annual State Assembly Recap

By Macey Smith
Junior Member
Cincinnati Colony

The Ohio Society of Mayflower Descendants’ 121st Annual State Assembly was held on May 17th and 18th, 2019, at the Cincinnati Marriott North in Westchester, Ohio, hosted by the Cincinnati Colony. The registration started Friday night and continued Saturday morning. Gift Bags that held sweet chocolate Mayflower ships, made by Vikki and Todd Reel, were handed out to all attendees.

At the reception Friday evening, our Mayflower Cousins were able to socialize with each other and get reacquainted.

At 930am Saturday morning, Cincinnati Deputy Lt. Governor, Star Vondrell introduced Mrs. Kathleen Reed, the Program Director & Chair of Hamilton County Genealogical Society DNA Interest Group, presented “DNA and Lineage Applications – Can One Support the Other”. Her presentation offered many fascinating matters as she gave guidance and explained confusing data for her audience. She was able to share her expertise with DNA and lineage uses to make the topic further understandable.

After the morning presentation, Cincinnati Lt. Governor, Shaun P. Smith introduced State Governor, Sandra St. Martin to begin the business meeting. To start things off Rev. David Foster gave the invocation, Captain, Tom Bradford had all stand to recite the Pledge of Allegiance, Clay Crandall read the Mayflower Compact, and Todd Reel read the Pilgrim Pledge.

Dr. Elizabeth Finley-Belgrad gave the report of the surgeon, with helpful methods to live a healthier life. She provided many articles on these methods, and copies were made available in the back of the room. This was very educational presentation and many attendees remarked on the abundance of useful information that was provided.

Rev. David Foster gave the memorial service, for each member that had passed this year. A representative from each Colony put a pin on the map corresponding to their location. This was a fitting tribute to the members that are no longer with us.

Finally, Historian, Ann Gulbransen preformed the passenger roll call, which is where the Mayflower Passengers are read off and their descendants in the room are tallied. John Alden had the most descendants attending the meeting. After the roll call, members continued to chat as a delightful meal was served.

Cincinnati Lt. Governor, Shaun Smith presented the speaker Ms. Brandon Marie Miller, an award-winning author. She delivered a portrayal of “Good Wives of New England: A glimpse into the experiences of Ann Bradstreet, Ann Hutchinson, Sarah Kemble Knight, Mary Rowlandson, and Martha Corey”, she gave a brief background on each woman and their struggles and their amazing accomplishments in colonial times.

The door prizes for the meeting were beautiful centerpieces made by Susan Davis. Susan picked tickets while Macey Smith handed the door prizes out to the winners. To end the assembly, Rev. David Foster gave the benediction.

Special thanks to the Western Reserve Colony for bring so many interesting pieces of merchandise to the event. The drink coaster and the Mayflower boxes are amazing!

So much goes into planning these annual events, this year the Cincinnati Colony Lt Governor would like to thank many people, but especially the following: Star Vondrell, Beth Anderson, Clay Crandall, Susan Davis, Wanda Langdon, Todd & Vikki Reel, and Macey Smith. These individuals helped enormously in the planning and preparing for this meeting.

The Cincinnati Colony is excited for next year’s meeting in Columbus!

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Toledo Colony Report to B.O.A. 18 March 2019

The Toledo Colony of the Mayflower Society met on March 30, 2019 at Swan Creek Retirement Village with 36 present. Lt. Governor, Susan Fisher, called the meeting to order after a time of fellowship. John MacDonald, Compact Chairman, led the Pledge of Allegiance and reading of the Mayflower Compact with everyone standing. David Martin, Elder, had a prayer before the buffet meal provided by the staff of Swan Creek.

Susan Fisher, Lt. Governor, resumed the meeting after the meal stating the minutes of the November meeting were in the newsletter and the Treasurers’ report was placed on each table for review. A Pennies for Planks jar was on the welcome table and Susan told the group that the Mayflower II is scheduled to be in the Plymouth Harbor again in September and money would still be collected in November.

Judy Rand, Deputy Lt. Governor, read a letter from the Williams County Public Library thanking the Mayflower Society for the donation of 48 Mayflower research books to their History Center. Walter Huffer was recognized by the Lt. Governor for being featured in a Member Highlight in the March State Buckeye for sharing how his family got to Ohio at the Toledo Colony meeting in November. Members present were asked to volunteer to share their family story at a future meeting.

Elder David Martin held a memorial service for: Janis Hoyles who passed away Feb. 2, 2018; Carolyn Wells who passed away April 1, 2018; Jane Mierke who passed away May 1, 2018; Richard Calland, husband of member Janet Calland, who passed away June 20, 2018; Marjorie Waterfield, a longtime Toledo Colony member, who passed away December 27, 2018; and Gregory Stoll, brother of our Treasurer Jeff Stoll, who passed away January 29, 2019.

The Lt. Governor explained the letter that was sent to 21 junior members that were eligible to apply for a grant of $1,000 to travel to Plymouth, Massachusetts in 2019 or 2020. One person qualified and wrote his application letter with language form used in the Plymouth Colony. He will be notified and more information will be given about the recipient in the future.

Information concerning officers who had agreed to serve two more years was on each table for viewing. Nominations were asked from the floor for positions still open. Jeff Stoll nominated Susan Fisher as Lt. Governor again and the members voted to accept the slate of officers: Lt. Governor-Susan Fisher, Deputy Lt. Governor-Judy Rand, Secretary-still open, Treasurer-Jeffrey Stoll, Elder-David Martin, Compact Chair-John MacDonald, Program Chair-still open, Board Member-Paula Niederhauser, Junior Member Chair-still open, and Representative to State Board of Assistants-still open.

Deputy Lt. Governor, Judy Rand, walked around the room with a microphone so each person present could give their name, introduce their guest, tell where they lived, give the name of their Mayflower ancestor and tell what generation they were from the Pilgrim ancestor. New members acknowledged were Carmen Chapman, Julia Janosi and Phyllis Zibbel. They were each presented with a Mayflower ship pin and packet with Mayflower information.

Deputy Lt Gov Judy Rand welcoming new members.jpg

A very informative program about herbs and their uses in Colonial days was given by Patricia James-Hasser. Approximately 100 herbs and plants were brought to the colonies, probably in baskets, inside gourds and possibly in bee hives along with bees. They were very valuable for the colonists to dye clothes, for fragrance and for medicinal purposes as well as cooking. Patricia had many samples of plants and herbs to pass around for the group to touch and smell.

Susan Fisher adjourned the meeting after thanking the guest speaker and inviting those present to be watching for a June newsletter giving information about a summer meeting.

Respectfully submitted by Judy Rand

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March 23, 2019 Cincinnati Colony Meeting

On Saturday, March 23, 2019, the Cincinnati Colony held a member meeting to socialize with our Mayflower cousins. Our meeting was held at Parkers Blue Ash Tavern. We had 27 members, prospective members and guests attend the meeting.
Cincinnati Colony Lt. Governor brought the meeting to order at 12:30. Our Treasurer Clay Crandall led the Colony in the Pledge of Allegiance. Our Corresponding Secretary Beth Anderson read the Mayflower Compact. Our Elder Todd Reel gave the innovation.

Our Cincinnati Colony Mayflower Scholarship Winner for 2019 is Hannah Martin. She received a BA in History from Xavier University. She has a position with Lakota Local Schools as an Innovation Specialist. Her job is to connect students and teachers to new resources and help them integrate them into the classroom. She hopes to become a social studies teacher. After lunch she presented her paper to the Colony. Outstanding work Hannah, Congratulations!

We welcomed a new member to our Colony at this meeting. Welcome to the Colony Linda O’Hara. She is a descendant of Edward Fuller.

We also had two prospective members join us at today’s meeting, Kathie Stevens a Doty descendant and Dottie Luther a Howland descendant. Welcome!

The next meeting we be the Annual Meeting. We hope to see everyone there.


2019 Cincinnati Colony Mayflower Scholarship winner Hannah Martin.


Doug van der Zee and Hannah Martin


Doug van der Zee, Hannah Martin, and Xavier Professor Randy Brown


New Member Linda O’Hara and Lt Governor Shaun Smith


New Member Linda O’Hara and Lt Governor Shaun Smith

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Cincinnati Colony 2018 Compact Day

On Saturday November 3, 2018, the Cincinnati Colony commemorated Compact Day. This year the meeting was held in Moraine, Ohio at The Mandalay. This was a new venue for us. Due to the request of some of our members, the board members decided that our Compact Day luncheon will alternate between Dayton and Cincinnati. The location, staff and food were outstanding.


We started our Compact Day at 12:00 pm with some social time that allowed our members to catch back up with each other. The Pledge of Allegiance was led by Treasurer Clayton Crandall. The invocation for our meeting was given by Lt. Governor Shaun Smith.

As there were several new and prospective members in attendance, our Lt. Governor introduced the board members that were present to all the attendees. We performed our new member induction for Bernice Denham, Daniel Fallon and Lisa Snaufer. Each was given a Mayflower Compact and recited the Pilgrim Pledge.


Bernice Denham, Daniel Fallon, Lisa Snaufer and Lt. Gov. Smith

Lt. Governor Smith reviewed our tentative 2019 calendar. Here are the dates for our meetings in 2019.

  • Cincinnati Colony Meeting on March 23rd
  • Ohio Mayflower Society State Meeting May 17th and 18th
  • Cincinnati Colony Meeting on June 1st
  • Cincinnati Colony Meeting on September 7th
  • Compact Day on November 2nd.

Additionally, there was a request to help with the Ohio Mayflower Society table at the Ohio Genealogical Society Conference during May 1st -4th. We are asking that Cincinnati Colony membership support the event by working a few shifts. The conference will be taking place at Great Wolf Lodge in Mason, OH. If you are attending the OGS Conference, please consider signing up with Wanda Langdon or let one of our officers know that you would like to help. We are looking for as many people as possible to take some hourly slots at the table. The more members that help, the easier it will be for everyone. To learn more about the event please see the conference website. http://www.ogsconference.org/

Our Deputy Lt. Governor Star Vondrell gave us an update on the State Meeting that will be hosted by the Cincinnati Colony on May 17th and 18th. We would like some volunteers to assist with sending the invites out in the month of January. We also need volunteers to assist with getting gift bags prepared and other activities. Please contact Star if you interested in helping with the event. We need everyone’s assistance to make this event a success.

After discussing the upcoming calendar, we held our Roll Call. This year Richard Warren was the Pilgrim that had the most descendants present at the 2018 Compact Day.


Dr. Ava Chamberlain

Our Compact Day presentation was called ‘Marriage, Murder, and Madness in the Family of Jonathan Edwards’ and it was presented by Dr. Ava Chamberlain. Professor Chamberlain is the Chair of Religion Philosophy & Classics at Wright State University. The presentation was very educational. Dr. Chamberlain reviewed the genealogy of Jonathan Edwards parents and discussed a few of the crimes and issues that happened in Colonial America. A key takeaway from the presentation was that we should not simply assume that if a male was married twice in a colonial genealogy that the first wife had died. We should dig in deeper in to the court and criminal records to find out if there is more to the story. Her book on this subject, The Notorious Elizabeth Tuttle: Marriage, Murder, and Madness in the Family of Jonathan Edwards (North American Religions), may be found on Amazon.

After the presentation, our Corresponding Secretary Beth Anderson announced our door prize winners.

  • 1620 Rock – Carol Byrd
  • 1620 Rock – Lisa Snaufer
  • Mayflower Maize game – Wanda Langdon
  • Cincinnati Colony coffee mug – Bernice Denham

We look forward to seeing everyone at the next meeting!


2018 Compact Day – Cincinnati Colony Mayflower Descendants





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Inaugural Appearance of the Mayflower Guard

The Mayflower Guard made its inaugural appearance at the GBOA meeting at the Pheasant Run Resort in St. Charles, Illinois, on 8 September 2018.  The Guard is the new ceremonial unit commanded by Jim Battles and is the official color guard for the General Society of Mayflower Descendants.  Upon command of the Captain General, Jeff Stark, the Guard marched in military style, posted the colors, and exited the meeting room, officially starting the GBOA meeting.  Upon exiting, the Guard received a thunderous standing ovation.

The Executive Committee, DGGs, AGGs and the general public expressed much enthusiasm, gave high praise for Guard professionalism, and gave many good compliments.  The Governor General, in his public remarks, expressed how impressed he was with the Guard.  I talked with many people and received similar compliments, including a remark from someone that out of the entire Guard, I looked more authentic in my period clothing.

When the colors were retired at the end of the meeting, the Guard received another thunderous standing ovation from all present.  Later that evening, I received emails from Jim Battles and Captain General Jeff Stark expressing how impressed everyone was in the Guard’s performance.  The next appearance of the Guard will be at the 2019 GBOA meeting in Denver, Colorado.

The Mayflower Guard is open to both men and women who are members of the Mayflower Society.  Further questions can be sent to me or Jim Battles.


Mayflower Guard picture taken by Cathy Bambenek on 8 September 2018

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September 8, 2018 Cincinnati Colony Meeting

On Saturday, September 8, 2018, the Cincinnati Colony held a member meeting to socialize with our Mayflower cousins and discuss the various committee activities that we are working on. Our meeting was held at Parkers Blue Ash Tavern.

We had four new members join us at the meeting: Paul Griffith a George Soule descendant, Carol Byrd a John Howland descendant, and Laura Hawthorn an Isaac Allerton descendant, Wanda Langdon an Edward Fuller descendant. Welcome to the Colony!


Standing Left to Right: Paul Griffith, Carol Byrd, Laura Hawthorn, Wanda Langdon and Shaun Smith

We also had two prospective members join us, Alison Haskins and Debbie McMullen.

In Cincinnati, we are embarking on a new program to assist our Ohio State Historian. For the presentation today, we brought Ann Gulbransen to the meeting via Skype and she provided training to all our volunteers that would like to be Assistant Historians for the Cincinnati Colony. Ann explained what needed to be provided for each application and answered questions that everyone had. A VERY BIG thank you to all the volunteers that will be assisting Ann with the process. Thank you to Ann for sharing your years of knowledge to our new Army of Historians!

Jean Muetzel, Historian
Sue Bray, Deputy Historian
Wanda Langdon
Vicki Reel
Susan Davis
Beth Anderson
Carol Byrd
Paul Griffith
Star Vondrell
Stephanie Smith
Clay Crandall


The Cincinnati Colony will also be participating in the Day with the Experts at the Cincinnati Public Library on October 6, 2018. Our team leaders at this event will be Susan Davis and Beth Anderson. Stop by and say hi to Susan and Beth at the library and attend one of the sessions. There will be two speakers and tours of the genealogy section.

For more information please check this link: Link to the “Day with the Experts Event”

We hope to see everyone at Compact Day on November 3rd. The reservation forms will be sent out by email soon.

Shaun Smith

Upcoming Events:
October 6, 2018 – Day with the Experts, Cincinnati Public Library
November 3, 2018 – Compact Day
May 1st thru 4th – OGS Meeting
May 17th & 18th – Ohio Mayflower Society State Meeting


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Western Reserve Colony Spring Meeting

Western Reserve Colony had its spring meeting on March 17, 2018 at the Skyland Pines Rustic Lodge in North Canton. We had a great mix of members, applicants and friends in attendance. Columbus member Jan Kleinline was our speaker, delivering her program about the lives of the pilgrims to an attentive audience. She and her sister Mary Linn White also brought many Mayflower related items to sell.

Western Reserve also had a sales table with offerings of stress rocks, Mayflower Maize games and pins. New offerings are a decorative wooden box to hold the Mayflower Maize and elegant Anniversary membership boxes. Both boxes are produced at The Iris in Seville, OH. Proceeds from the Anniversary boxes will help fund the SMDOH 2020 activities. Requests for order forms for either box can be sent to WRColonySMDOH@gmail.com.

Here are a few photos from the meeting.

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