FREEPORT – The 30th annual meeting of the Sylvester Cemetery Association and the Sylvester family reunion, sponsored by the association, were held at Winslow Memorial Park on Aug. 29.

Members attending represented three major ancestral lines: John, Capt. Joseph and Elizabeth Silvester, the second generation from Richard Silvester who landed in Massachusetts on the ship, “Mary and John,” in 1630 and his wife, Naomi, whom he married in 1632.

The Elizabeth Silvester Lovewell (Lovell) (Lowell) line was represented for the first time at the reunion by Alfred Smith of Lisbon Falls. Families attending were from Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York and Oklahoma. Representatives of two additional established lines, Israel and Benjamin Silvester, were unable to attend.

The business meeting was conducted by Raymond Sylvester, vice president, who substituted for President Charles W. Sylvester, unable to attend due to illness.

A moment of silent prayer was held for Elizabeth Pearl Cass Sylvester, widow of Lawrence G. Sylvester. She died in Mission Veijo, Calif., July 5.

New members for the fiscal year 2004 were welcomed and recognized: Fred Doughty of Portland, Ryan and Dore Campbell of Hebron, Robert and Dorothy Sylvester of Damariscotta, Jonathan Sylvester of Portland and Thomas and David Knowles of Manhasset, N.Y.

Guests attending for the first time were Brenda Sylvester, wife of Randall Sylvester of Ponca City, Okla., Alfred and Dorothy Smith of Lisbon Falls, Ashley Elizabeth Campbell of Hebron, Chelsea and Madison Estes of New Gloucester, Lynne Cooper of Lisbon Falls, Mark and TJ Sylvester of Wales.

The secretary’s and treasurer’s and other reports and correspondence were presented by Rush S. Benjamin.

Nicholas Smith updated his research of the Sylvester family. Silvester Smith of Gloucester, Mass., displayed and explained the details of the Silvester flag depicting the family coat of arms.

A roll call of the attending descendants of John Silvester, Capt. Joseph Silvester and Elizabeth Silvester Lovewell was conducted by Ruth Benjamin, who also gave a special resume of the 30 years of progress and accomplishments of the Sylvester Cemetery Association, which was formed in 1974.

Reports of the beautification and upkeep of the family cemetery in Durham and the Stetson reunion in Norwell, Mass., were given. The 100th annual meeting of the Stetson Kindred of America will be held in August 2005 at the Stetson Shrine on the original Stetson homestead grounds in Norwell. Generation charts showing the relationship of members to other members (first and removed cousins) of the various Sylvester and Stetson lines were presented and placed on display.

It was announced that there would be a special meeting of members of the association who are interested in or have lots in the family cemetery in Durham. The time and place will be announced later.

A special letter from Sharon Deming of Meriden, Conn., was read in which a brief report was made of her recent visit to Somerset, England, and vicinity in search of vital and lineage records of the early ancestor, Richard Silvester. She was accompanied on her tour by her mother, Dolly Roberts of Portsmouth, N.H.

Officers elected for the fiscal year 2005 are: president, Raymond W. Sylvester of New Gloucester; vice president, Ralph B. Sylvester of Auburn; and secretary-treasurer, Ruth Sylvester of Auburn.

A certificate of appreciation was on display for presentation to Charles W. Sylvester for his dedicated service to the Sylvester Cemetery Association Inc. by serving as president and caretaker from 1974 to 2004.

Recognized as the youngest attending was Ashley Elizabeth Campbell, 12-week-old daughter of Randall and Michelle Campbell of Hebron. The oldest attending was Col. George C. Benjamin, 87, of Auburn.

Volumes of family genealogical charts, town histories, pertinent displays, albums and ancient maps were available for viewing.

During the barbecue/picnic, the traditional recognition of birthdays of all attending was celebrated this year in the form of individual ice cream cone birthday cakes.

Assisting Ruth Benjamin with the tables and set-up were Marion Sylvester, Faye Brown, George Benjamin and Ralph B. Sylvester, who also provided the PA system. Marion Sylvester manned the registration table.

The next Sylvester family reunion sponsored by the Sylvester Cemetery Association and the 31st annual meeting of the association will be held on Aug. 28, 2005, at the Winslow Memorial Park.


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