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.