Kissin’ cousins at the family reunion

Jeff Foxworthy has a funny joke where he talks about rednecks attending their family reunions to find dates. While I’m not claiming to be as funny as Mr. Foxworthy, I do have a pretty funny reunion story.

The Mann family held a reunion on Saturday, April 12, in Piggott, Arkansas. About 75 folks all related to the Mann clan were in attendance. The further one traveled all the way from Mexico, a whopping 1,500 miles.

This was the third such reunion in 6 years, the first being held in 2004. The most recent was in April of 2006. While the modern string of reunions is not the first of its kind, it is the first in recent years. We’ve got newspaper clippings of Mann reunions about 60 years ago.

These reunions have been the descendants of John Wesley Mann, b. 1855. I’m trying to convince the group to back up at least one generation to include more cousins. John Wesley’s father was a Confederate Veteran and I’d just like to go back to include all his descendants. For the confused, it is “ancestors” if you’re going back…if you’re coming forward, it’s “descendants.” So, John Wesley Mann is my ancestor…I am a descendant of John Wesley Mann.

So, in 2004, during the first of the modern reunions, as I was roaming around, reading nametags and introducing myself to people, I struck up a conversation with a fellow who looked bored. I asked him what line he belonged to and he said he didn’t, that he’d just come with his wife. I then asked him his last name. It was Seitz.

I told him we had Seitz in the family…in fact, John Wesley had married a Mary Jane Seitz. Her dad was Isaac and his dad was Abraham. His eyes lit up when I mentioned those names and I took him to the chart and showed him where I was talking about. He jumped on his cellphone and took off outside. In only a few minutes he was asking me to speak to his dad. Turns out, they were descendants of Abraham (or Isaac, I’ve forgotten now) and he’d come to his OWN family reunion after all.

Roland Mann b.1964
Son of Billy Mann b.1941
Son of Waldon Bill Mann b. 1919
Son of Robert E. Mann b. 1880
Son of John Wesley Mann b. 1855
Son of William Montgomery Mann b. 1821. Private in Co. E. 5th Arkansas Confederate Infantry.


Filed under family, General

3 responses to “Kissin’ cousins at the family reunion

  1. Billy Don Harwood

    Very interesting stuff. I’m not sure if I met you at the 2006 reunion. My wife Jane & I went out to your folks house after the last reunion and talked for a while.

    Your picture looks very much like my nephew, Mike Harwood, who is the son of my late brother Ray. He also has a few whiskers around his mouth.

    You mentioned the Piggot Times. I remember it better as The Piggott Banner. My uncle Ira Harwood subscribed to it many years ago. I wished someone had kept the copies that he received. But, they are long gone, I’m sure. I do have copies of one of the articles that Paw Mann had a hand in writing. I thought that there had been a series, but of that I’m not sure.

    Nice talkin to you. If your in Michigan, look me up.

    Your Cousin… Don

  2. Tami Mann Eppard

    Sounds like the reunion was fun, sorry we missed it.

  3. Don
    You wouldn’t have met me at the 06 reunion…we didn’t make that one. We were at the 04 reunion, however. I don’t guess I’ve met Mike…has he been to one of the reunions? Paw? Writing for the Piggott paper? Wait…are you referring to the remembrances of the Civil War in the area?

    You were missed! Hope to see you at the next one! Mark it on your calendar–2010!

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