One hundred and fifty descendents reunited at Deeper Life Bible Camp on Blackduck Lake, Aug. 20-22.
The offspring of the Bill and Alma Foley branch hosted the event. Folks came from Ontario, Canada, New York, Virginia and North Carolina on the east coast and from California, Oregon and Arizona on the west coast. Other states represented included Connecticut, New Hampshire, Illinois, Tennessee, Wisconsin, Missouri, Oklahoma, Nebraska, North Dakota and almost every nook and corner of Minnesota.
They came prepared to reminisce and share, bringing with them computers, old letters, albums and all possible data for an extended genealogy record. They slept in cabins, tents, RVs and at the motels in Blackduck. Family prepared and served a bountiful supply of favorite foods. Younger generations also played badminton, capture the flag, air hockey and basketball; while getting re-aquainted with cousins.
As family gathered at the chapel Friday evening, Mary (Foley) Kennedy led in a trivia quiz on family history. Afterwards, Bob Foley, Niagra Falls, Ontario, reviewed the genealogy of his family branch that he is compiling by introducing the 2010 Edition of the Fallu/Foley Genealogy Project, which is ongoing. Bob and Fr. Jerry Foley are working online and are finding more to share.
Saturday, Mike Foley led a caravan of 20 vehicles as they toured six former Foley family homesteads, southeast of Kelliher in Shooks Township.
The first was the Jack and Pearl (Foley) Srok homestead along Battle River, which became Benson's Mink Farm. Then on to Richard and Teresa Foley's homestead that became the Hufnagle property. Next, the Bill and Alma Foley farm, the original homestead of his parents, George and Anna Belle Foley, who came to this area after being burned out in the infamous Hinkley fire.
The fourth place they stopped to see was Ocie and Violet (Foley) Peck's homestead, a half mile south of the Foley farm, on a hill, overlooking Battle River. Then on to the Dave and Sue Downey homestead, east of the Peck property.
Number six, the George and Mabel Foley homestead, north of the Bill Foley farm, which was later known as Harvey Webster's property, before returning to the Foley's and is currently owned by Mike and JoAnne Foley and Vonnie (Larry Foley) Moore.
Only two homesteads remain intact -- the Hufnagle (Endries) and Bill Foley (Clinton Olson) places. The caravan then visited Fairview Cemetary in Kelliher, where several ancestors, George and AnnaBelle; Bill and Alma, son, Raymond; Violet and Ocie, daughters, Opal Rustad, Olive and Albert Wallin and baby, Bonnie Srok, are buried.
Later, all gathered for group pictures before a background of evergreens at DLBC.
Remembering our Roots on Saturday evening, the family gathered at the chapel to share family stories.
A memorial prayer service on Sunday was led by Sister Shawna Foley, assisted by members from various branches of the family. They participated by reading scripture passages, prayer and poetry and included a display of pictures, followed by the lighting of candles for each departed loved one.
At the ringing of the camp bell one last time, the family feasted at the dining hall and said "Goodbye, until we meet again."