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[ Reunion History ] 2001 Reunion ] Reunion Photos ] Upcoming Reunion ]

Reunion History


     The earliest known reunion in this family occurred in the 1920s in York County, Pennsylvania. This event was documented in a newspaper article, which listed all of the family members attending. Using this listing, we can determine the reunion was for descendants of Michael and Sarah Ilgenfritz Stough. We would assume that at that time, families had close ties to second and third cousins, which today we might call distant.


     As time passed, It appears the larger reunion ended as families had smaller reunions. These smaller reunions consisted of immediate family members. This occurred within my family, as the Michael and Louisa Shindler Stough Reunion was born. This reunion began around the 1950s, and continued in this format until 2000. In the earlier reunions, there were 100-200 people in attendance. Michael and Louisa had a very large family, 18 children, with 11 living to adulthood. Most of their children also had large families, so it was easy to have a successful reunion. As time passed, people's lives became busier, and people lost interest in the reunion. This caused attendance to drastically decrease. 


     With the drop in attendance, funding also had dropped. The reunions of the late 1990s had les than 70 people in attendance, and there was talk of ending the reunion. There appeared to be a lack of interest and it was difficult to find volunteers to serve as officers. Since I did not want this event to end, I volunteered to serve as Treasurer for a 2-year term. It was an easy job, with the only work occurring close to reunion time. As my term was about over, I was trying to think of ways to make the reunion more successful. As one of the "primary" historians in the family, I thought about opening the reunion to ALL descendants of John George Stauch. I knew it would not be an easy task, but it might work.


     At the 2000 reunion, I volunteered to serve as President of the reunion. It was easy to find a Secretary and Treasurer; I just talked my wife and sister into it. It was an easy decision to expand the reunion to keep it alive for future generations. I  immediately began to locate descendants and tell them about the reunion. Most people welcomed my efforts, while others wanted no part of it. There was a newspaper article in a local newspaper about the expansion of the reunion, which yielded several phone calls. 


     By mid-2001, we had sent  information to over 150 families that were not previously included in the reunion. We had received many donations that helped with the cost of the reunions expanded format. Invitations were then sent in August, with "return" postcards included. These postcards were to be returned so we knew how many people would be in attendance. Out of more than 275 invitations, we had less than half of the cards returned. While we expected a better percentage of returns, we had a good idea of how many people to expect. We knew that the reunion would definitely be a memorable one.