Each year, the Stiles Family of America holds a reunion on the 2nd Saturday of July to reunite cousins and to meet new cousins. The reunion is hosted by a volunteer each year in a different part of the country.
Note for 2019:
After considerable discussion and with great sadness, the Stiles Family of America Board of Governors has decided not hold a reunion in 2019. As our organization declines in size and increases in age, attendance at our reunions has continued to decline. Unfortunate circumstances this year have necessitated the decision to cancel the reunion in Lancaster. It is the intention of the Board of Governors to hold an annual meeting in 2020. In order to make this successful, in a few weeks, we will be posting a survey asking for your input about future meetings and other activities of the SFA.
In the meantime, consider whether you would like to host the Stiles Family of America in your area! Stiles family members like to see various parts of the country, especially those with historical sites, but also cultural attractions and environmental activities. Please feel free to contact us through these email addresses:
2018 REUNION was held Thursday, July 12 – Sunday, July 15, 2018
Where: Tygart Lake State Park, Grafton, WV
Here are some photos from the 2018 reunion!
Tygart Lake State Park is located in the foothills of the Allegheny Mountains in scenic north central WV. Tygart Lake provides guests with some of the most breathtaking views across the state. This park is a cozy, quiet destination for couples and families. It is also a perfect destination for group conferences and retreats. Located just four miles south of Grafton, it is known for its 10 mile long, 1750 acre lake, which offers water sports, like boating, water skiing, scuba diving, swimming, kayaking, canoeing and fishing.
REUNION MEMORIES (from May 2007 newsletter) Written by Thelma Stiles Malecek
July 1982 – Thelma’s First Reunion: Held in Moorestown , NJ , it was really exciting to meet so many others with my maiden name. My parents and our children were with me and the whole area was just like a beehive as old friends met and greeted one another. Carlton Stiles was the President – and had been president of the Stiles Family of America for 16 years. This was his last meeting in that role. One meeting did it for me – just like eating only one peanut – I had to go to the subsequent meetings. Joan Wilson was there with her husband Bob – and she was the Treasurer. Leon and Eleanor Stiles were there. Leon – our Historian – had a car full of books and reference material – yes, those were the good old days.
S Robert Stiles and his wife were there – and he was elected to be the next president of the SFA. Robert Y Stiles and his wife attended, as did Howie and Betty Hunter – and their daughter Sharon. Betty’s sister Cindy McQueston was attended. Cindy was the newsletter editor, Betty was on the Board and Sharon was Registrar.
1983 found the Stiles Family in Maryland . We met at Hood College – and the main topic was computers. The Osborne computer was in the hands of S. Robert Stiles – our new president. He said it was a dandy – and he’d love to have the Stiles Family purchase it for our records. Computer programs for genealogy? People were designing their own programs! So we talked, and talked, and talked. No decision was made.
1984 – Kentucky – the Stiles Family had never been this far west! We met in a large barn. When you turned the fans on, no one could hear the speaker and when the fans were off, you were likely to melt! And the meeting lasted the better part of a whole day as the computers were discussed once again. When the heat threatened to melt all of us, our immediate family opted to take the hay wagon ride around town. Beautiful!
1985 – Ah – Massachusetts – and Stiles Pond! We all had a great time. Supper at the beautiful white wood church. And yes, we did get out to Stiles Pond and had a picnic. We all had a great time!
OK – you want to know why I’m doing this, don’t you? I want you to attend and have wonderful memories too.
We have some of the nicest people in our family – and we want to meet you and add you to our memory bank!
1986 – Robert Y Stiles was now president – and it was decided that we would try to get the coveted 501 ( c)(3) status from the IRS. Over the next several years, there was lively correspondence between the IRS and the SFA. The IRS ultimately awarded us 501 (c) (7) status – that of a social category. Therefore our donations to the Stiles Family Scholarship Fund are not tax deductible – nor can we – as elected officers in the SFA – put our travel expenses on income tax forms into the deductible category. Obviously, if you have a bright idea on how to accomplish this, we’d love to hear from you.
In the meantime, an IBM compatible computer was purchased and Leon was working on data input. We started with a program from PAF. It was easy to use and had good instructions – and it didn’t cost a king’s ransom. (Thrifty, that’s us.)
HISTORICAL NOTE (from December 2005 newsletter)
1935 – In The Beginning… Well, this is the way many stories begin. There was a small group of people named Stiles and they decided it would be great to gather together to compare notes on their respective families. They would get together on a Saturday in the summer and have a meeting and a picnic. Everyone chipped in and they had a great time. As time went by, this group grew until it included people from New York , Massachusetts , Connecticut , and New Jersey . The group in the Northeast met on a weekend – optimum time for including both adults and children. The records show that they sometimes gathered for a meal in a restaurant. On other occasions, the meal was like a “covered dish luncheon” with everyone contributing to the lunch or supper. They gathered in places in which their ancestors had resided.
As time went on, things eventually began to change. Stiles Burpee was elected President and his wife, Dorothy, served as Secretary. This is when Leon, Historian Emeritus, and his wife Eleanor (NY) joined the Stiles Family of America. Presently, Carlton Stiles (CT) was elected President and served for sixteen years. His wife – Muriel – was a great helpmate. 1958 – Current 1st VP Howard Stiles attended this Annual Reunion with his parents.
1982 – Thelma attended her first reunion – in Moorestown , NJ . Joan Wilson was Treasurer. At this time Cindy McQueston was the Editor of the Newsletter, Leon was Historian, and Howie and Betty Hunter were there with daughter Sharon. It was quite impressive! Many of the people attending were already tied into the “Stiles Family in America ” books. S Robert Stiles of NJ followed Carlton as President. Computers – yes – they were becoming quite the thing in the early 1980’s! S. Robert said the Osborne computer was terrific. He put his own program together to record his genealogical records. PAF and Family Tree Maker – not yet available. Ultimately an IBM compatible computer was selected and PAF was purchased. Leon N Stilles was Historian and started putting information into the computer.
By 1988 the Stiles Family Reunion was in Chicago , IL . This was quite incredible – so far west! Thelma had made it clear that she had no presidential aspirations, but was elected President. Bob said we needed younger blood. Past presidents include Dr. Richard Stiles, Hugh Stiles Golson, Kenneth R Stiles and our current President – Kenneth C Stiles.
2005: We have been asked why the Reunion is always in the summer – “why can’t it be in the spring or in the fall?” I can only refer you back to the first paragraph. Because we are a nationwide group and we would like to think that we are timing activities to gather both the young and the old, a summer weekend seems to best fill the bill.
And The Stiles Family is like the Eveready Bunny – we keep going, and going, and going and…
Written by Thelma Stiles Malecek.