Friday, January 22, 2010

Maryland to Kentucky Reunion Will Be Returning to St. Mary's County

On July 16th, 17th, and 18th, the Maryland to Kentucky Reunion will be back in St. Mary's County, the home of their forefathers, for the 2010 reunion.

The story begins back in 1785 when a group of families from the Southern Maryland counties of St. Mary's, Charles, and Prince George's formed a "league" pledging to migrate to Kentucky.  Their reasons for moving included plundering by the British during the Revolutionary War, depletion of available land in Maryland, and anti-Catholic bias.  John Carroll, the Bishop of Baltimore, told them if they would settle together he would do what he could to supply them with a priest.  These pioneers settled in what are now the Kentucky counties of Nelson, Washington, and Marion, an area still known as the "Kentucky Holy Lands."

The descendants of the Maryland to Kentucky pioneers began holding reunions back in 1990 as a way to meet each other and share family stories.  The first reunion, which was held in Nazareth, Kentucky, was so successful that the group has held reunions once every two years ever since.  The reunion draws genealogists of all faiths, bringing together an average of 500 researchers and their families from more than 40 states.  The reunion was held in St. Mary's County in 1992, 2000, and 2006.

The reunion will be returning to St. Mary's County from Friday, July 16 through Sunday, July 18.  The Maryland to Kentucky planning committee would like St. Mary's County residents to join them in "welcoming home" the returning descendants.  The reunion participants, who will be traveling from all over the country, are coming not only to see the land their forefathers left behind but to meet their St. Mary's County "cousins" as well.  They will want to talk to the "stay behinds" and will be seeking help from local community members as they research their roots.

Those who are interested in participating in the reunion events, which include a Welcome Home reception on Friday night, dinner Saturday night, and breakfast on Sunday morning, can register on the Maryland to Kentucky Reunion website at  All events will take place at the Leonardtown Volunteer Fire Department Social Hall, which is located at 22733 Lawrence Avenue in Leonardtown.

For more information, please visit or stop by the Leonardtown Town Office, which is located at 41660 Courthouse Drive in Leonardtown.
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