By C.J. Johnson
For decades, the descendants of Thomas and Isabella Weir and their two sons, John and James, have gathered at their family church, in the town that bears their family name. Weir Presbyterian Church was the first congregation organized after the Town of Weir was incorporated in the early 1880s. While some members of the older generations were not present this year, the crowd included the faces of young school-age boys and the lovely presence of college-age young women.
Traditionally held on the second Sunday in June, the 2012 Weir Reunion was held on June 10, within days of the 150th anniversary of the marriage of John and Emily Weir [June 12, 1862]. Probably, following his serious injuries at the Battle of Shiloh in early April 1862, John Weir had been sent home to recover.
Unlike previous years, there was no church service this time, due to the pastor’s health. The 11 o’clock hour witnessed Weir family kith and kin entering the Church carrying overloaded boxes and baskets full of food – enough to easily fill the bellies of a football team. Lots of fellowship and “catching up” preceded the noon meal. Talk continued, entrees and side dishes critiqued, and recipes swapped.
Following the mid-day meal, the large crowd moved into the sanctuary, where Jane Sanders of Jackson (great great granddaughter of Colonel John Weir) brought the business meeting to order. Everyone present was asked to introduce themselves and explain their relationship on the Weir family tree.
Discussion topics included the ongoing maintenance and renovation at the home of Colonel John Weir, listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The structure is being washed and repainted this summer, as well as necessary repairs being made. New landscaping is also planned for the homeplace. Other topics included cemetery maintenance, activities of various family branches (including new babies, marriages, and deaths), and updates on the Weir genealogy project.
Jennifer Weir Gerring displayed large family tree charts and sample family group records, showing progress made on the project. Also on display from another family member was an historic map of Old Scotland, which pinpointed the location of the perhaps the original Weir family clan. The Weir Tartan plaid was also displayed and discussed.
Wanda Taylor Truxillo brought a scrapbook from her family’s paperwork¸ including copies of old deeds, letters, and dozens of old photographs, for everyone to see. Ms. Gerring then distributed copies of a booklet of updated Weir Family Genealogy, beginning with Thomas and Isabella Weir and carrying it through current descendants. She encouraged family to provide updated material. Copies of articles from two July 2011 Choctaw Plaindealer articles on the Weir family were also distributed.
The entertaining part of the meeting followed – the determination of the youngest and most mature members present, those who had traveled the greatest distance, and other interesting categories. Door prizes and gift bags were presented by Ms. Gerring to the winners. One disappoin tment was that Carl Townsend was not present. Last year he had entertained with family stories from the past. As the reunion moved to the Weir home, a call was made to Mr. Townsend and kinfolk had the opportunity to talk with him by phone. Both sides of the phone call seemed pleased with the conversation, still wishing to be together. Afterwards, family members viewed changes made to the old home since last year.
All in all, it was a fine reunion of the oldest family in this town that bears their name – one of only three incorporated towns remaining in Choctaw County.