FREEPORT – The Sylvester family reunion, barbecue/picnic sponsored by the Sylvester Cemetery Association and the 31st annual meeting of the association were held at Winslow Memorial Park in Freeport on Aug. 28. Raymond W. Sylvester, president, presided over the business meeting.

Descendants attending represented two major bloodlines of the second generation from Richard and Naomi Silvester of Weymouth and Marshfield, Mass., in the Plymouth Colony, the early ancestors of a large majority of the Silvesters (or Sylvesters) in the United States.

John, their second child, and his wife, Sarah, settled in Marshfield, Mass., and Captain Joseph, their fourth child, and his wife, Mary Barstow Silvester, settled in Scituate, Mass., also in the Plymouth Colony.

Richard Silvester came to New England in 1630 on the Mary and John, which sailed from Plymouth, County Devon, England, March 30, 1630, and arrived at Nantasket Roads, Mass., May 30, 1630.

A moment of silent prayer was held for Charles W. Sylvester, who died in Auburn July 27. He served as president of the Sylvester Cemetery Association from its founding in 1974 to August 2004 as well as caretaker of the family’s Sylvester Cemetery in Durham.

New members for the fiscal year 2005 were welcomed and recognized: Lyndon III (Sonny) and Gail Sylvester of Durham, and Brenda Sylvester Field of Auburn. Deborah Sylvester of McLean, Va., Alan Sylvester of Tulsa, Okla., Mark and Terijo Sylvester of Wales, were unable to attend.

Guests attending were John Sylvester of Poland, Rae Jean Bryant, Hunter Bryant, Keaira Bryant, Madison Estes of New Gloucester and Jeannine Pelletier of Auburn.

The secretary’s and treasurer’s reports, the ancestral roll call of descendants present, research and other pertinent reports were presented by Ruth Sylvester Benjamin.

Recognition was made of members of the Mayflower Society, Sons of the American Revolution, Daughters of the American Revolution, Colonial Wars and other genealogical and historical organizations.

Raymond Sylvester reported on the upkeep of the family cemetery. Nicholas Smith of Brunswick represented his brother, Silvester Smith of Gloucester, Mass., who had compiled information regarding the component parts of the Sylvester family coat of arms. He also reported his findings of various family lines, which he had researched during the year.

It was announced that the 100th anniversary of the Stetson Kindred of America was held the weekend o Aug. 20 and 21 at the Stetson Shrine in Norwell, Mass., which is part of the grounds of the homestead of Cornet Robert and Honour Stetson dating back to 1638.

The president announced that a special meeting of the board members and other interested members will be held during the coming year, place and time to be announced.

All officers were re-elected: president, Raymond W. Sylvester of New Gloucester; vice president, Ralph B. Sylvester of Auburn; secretary-treasurer, Ruth Sylvester Benjamin of Auburn. All committees chairmen were reappointed.

Again this year, recognized as the youngest attending was Ashley Campbell, 1-year-old daughter of Randy and Michelle Campbell of Hebron. The oldest attending was Col. George C. Benjamin of Auburn.

The traditional recognition of birthdays of attendees was symbolized in the form of a family tree created with a miniature silk oak tree depicting the “charge” component of the family coat of arms with branches bearing the names of family members attending. Miniature cupcakes with homemade chocolate acorn decorations completed the centerpiece. Desserts were provided by the members.

Assisting Ruth Benjamin with the tables and set-up were Ray Sylvester, Marion Sylvester, Faye Brown and George Benjamin. Marion Sylvester manned the registration table. Ralph and Raymond Sylvester supplied the public address system and music.

The next Sylvester family reunion sponsored by the Sylvester Cemetery Association and the 32nd annual meeting of the association will be held on Aug. 27, 2006. The location will be announced.

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


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