FOUNDING OF THE ROBEY/ROBIE/ROBY FAMILY ASSOCIATION INC.
SHORT HISTORY LESSON
The Robey/Robie/Roby Family Association Inc., came to life as the result of an accidental meeting of two cousins in the late summer of 1992. These two cousins met at a funeral home while attending the funeral of a family friend. In the course of their conversation the remark was made that it is a shame that we only see relatives at funerals.
This conversation came back to mind a couple of months later when one cousin said to the other, what are we going to do about these meetings at funeral homes? So, this conversation then led to the idea of putting a notice about the possibility of a Family Reunion in with their Christmas cards and see what results that would bring. So the two cousins combined their Christmas mailing lists and sent out 175 cards with a single sheet flyer enclosed asking if anyone would be interested in a Family Reunion. The responses left the two cousins flabbergasted. Of the 175 sent out, 105 answered yes. So, one thing led to another and the first National Reunion of the Robey families was organized for August of 1993, and was held in Waldorf, Charles County, Maryland. Since this was the place that the Robey families had originally settled in Maryland, it seemed only fitting that the first reunion should be held here.
There were 175 people who showed up, from 22 states. A lot of them from parts of the families that had been separated or forgotten about for many years. This first reunion was such a success that it was decided to hold a second one.
The second reunion was held in August 1994 in Durham, New Hampshire. Since the first Robie to come from England was Henry Robie and he settled in Hampton, New Hampshire, it again seemed only fitting that a reunion should be held there. There were over 160 who showed up for this one, and of all the strange things to happen, only about 35 of these had attended the first reunion. The rest were all newcomers to the Family Reunions.
It was at this reunion that it was decided to make a more permanent affair of these reunions, and to set up a legal Family Association. The discussions were held, membership dues were decided on; to be $20 per household per year. Elections were held, and the first officers of the fledgling association were elected: William G Robey, of Oxon Hill, Prince George's County, Maryland was elected the first President of the Association. Marjorie Harshaw Robie, wife of Eugene Douglas Robie, her husband being a descendant of the Henry Robie who was the first of the name to come from England, was elected Vice President. Joy Robey Klingaman, of Germantown, Montgomery County, Maryland, and who, together with the President, were the two cousins who started the whole thing, was elected Secretary-Treasurer.
The name of the association was decided on at this meeting also, and after much discussion of which version of the name should be first, it was decided to use them alphabetically, and so, the Association was incorporated under the non-profit corporate laws of the State of Maryland, in 1995, as The Robey/Robie/Roby Family Association, Inc.
The next reunion was talked about at this time, and we were trying to find someone who would host the reunion in the Midwest, but could find no takers. The discussion then got to the facts that the first families settled in New Hampshire and Maryland, and we should then alternate between those locations until further expansion could be undertaken. So, the next reunion, for August 1996, was decided on, and the location was to be Annapolis, Maryland. At this reunion, 155 people showed up, and there were only about 50 who had been to previous reunions. The rest were all newcomers. The officers were re-elected, and two at-large Board of Directors Members were added at this time.
It was then decided, after we had volunteers to host it, to hold the next reunion in the Mid-West, and the site was later picked by the Board of Directors as Ft Wayne, Indiana. This reunion took place in July of 1998, and the attendance pattern stayed the same. About 160 total, with only about 50 or so who had attended previous reunions.
At the reunion in Ft Wayne, the big drawing card was the Genealogical Research Facility offered by the Allen County Public Library. This research facility is rated second only to the one in Salt Lake City, Utah, which is run by the Mormon Church. At this reunion, the same slate of officers and board members was re-elected.
Also, at this business meeting, a lady and her daughter, who had volunteered at the 1996 reunion to host a reunion in their area, volunteered again. They were accepted, and the reunion for the year 2000, will be held July 28, 29, and 30, 2000, in Kansas City, Missouri. Also, at this time we had a volunteer couple to host the reunion in 2002, this time to be in Salt Lake City, Utah. So we are now working on two reunions at the same time. Nothing like advance planning.
Our membership dues have not changed since 1994, and are still $20 per household per year. Our membership list is growing all the time, we now have over 250 household memberships. We publish a newsletter twice a year, in May and November, and we are now an international corporation, as we have members in two other countries, England and the Philipines. We are waiting to hear from some other family members, one in Hungary, and one in Japan, and one in Australia. If they all join in the next few months, we will truly be an international organization.
There is never a shortage of volunteers to help out with the various things in the Association. We have members in several states who have agreed to help with research on the family history in their areas, and we have a great deal of help when we really need it.
Anyone interested in help with the Maryland families, should contact Board Member Billy F Robey, of Las Vegas, NV., and if you are in need of help with the New England families, contact Marjorie Robie, the Vice President. Any other information that you may need, or be able to enter into the family records should be done by contacting the President. The President is working from a data base of over 85,000 names at this time (Jan 1999), and more are being added all the time. Any change in your family, such as births, marriages, deaths, especially new addresses when you move, should be sent to the President.
Our newsletter is published for us by Francis Berkey, of Naples, Florida, whose wife, Mary Ann, is a Robey descendant. Our newsletter is published in May and November, and if you want to have anything put in the newsletter, you should get it to the editor at least a month in advance of the publication dates. Preferably all should be in his hands by April 15th and October 15th.
Our Family Association Web Site is being handled by our Web Master, Donald R Roby, of Novi, Michigan. Anything you would like to see on the site, info about your history, pictures, queries, etc., should be sent to him for inclusion in the Web Site.
The names and addresses of all the officers and board members, the editor and the webmaster are in the web site. Feel free to write, or call them at any reasonable hour for help, or just to talk about the family history.W G Robey, President