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Descendants hosting grand celebration

Perhaps you have heard someone mention the Jersey Settlers of Adams County and wondered who they were.

There are many of their descendants in the Natchez area today.

Some family names you may be familiar with are King, Swayze, Coleman, Griffing, Cory, Luse, Ogden, Carter, Callendar, Farrar and Sojourner.

There are many others. All are descendants of British loyalists who fled from New Jersey in 1773 to escape the coming revolution.

In 1940, their descendants met at the Kingston Methodist Church to form an organization called the Descendants of the Jersey Settlers of Adams County to perpetuate the memory of their ancestors. They have met every year since.

This year they will celebrate the 75th anniversary of that first meeting with a three-day Diamond Jubilee Celebration that will include a historical/genealogical conference.

The events will be hosted in Kingston and Natchez April 25 through 27.

On April 25, four lectures to which the public is invited will be hosted at the Natchez Grand Hotel.

Topics include: “From Jersey to the Wilderness and Swayzes in Early America: Reassessing History.”

A dinner at Commencement Plantation in Kingston will be hosted that evening.

On April 26, the Rev. Samuel Swayze Memorial Marker on Hutchins Landing Road in Kingston will be rededicated by the Samuel Swayze Chapter of the Colonial Dames XVII Century.

The chapter worked diligently to restore the marker for the rededication.

Later that afternoon, Polly Tarver Scott, DJS Vice President for Genealogy and Marianne Raley, Reference Librarian at Judge George W. Armstrong Library, will conduct a genealogy workshop open to the public beginning at 1 p.m.

The workshop will focus on locating sources in the library’s DJS collection.

Please use the rear entrance near Washington Street to enter the library at this time.

Other activities will include visits to Kingston plantations, including, Oakwood, Cedar Grove and Magnolia Hill.

A celebration will follow in Natchez in the evening with great Southern food and entertainment.

The events will conclude on April 27 at Kingston Methodist Church with a memorial service which will be followed by a program of readings from the Civil War Diary of Alice Phipps, wife of Daniel Smith Farrar and daughter-in-law of Daniel Farrar and Eliza King.

Following the long standing tradition, a picnic will follow on the church grounds.

For more information, call 601-446-5742 or email karenoneal07@gmail.com.


Karen O’Neal is the vice-president for publicity, descendants of the Jersey Settlers.