A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE VERMILYEA FAMILY ASSOCIATION
By Sandra Vermilyea Todd
Early in the year of 1995 three cousins who had previously been unknown to each other met on the Internet. As I recall this meeting came about because of a shared mutual interest – Vermilyea Family Genealogy. Back then there were few “genealogy sites”, but each of us had posted inquiries that brought us together in our efforts to learn more. By August of 1995 we had decided to join forces and share our findings. Joe Vermilye who was living in Oregon, Joanne Vermilya McArthur, living in Ohio, and Sandra Vermilyea Todd who was living in North Carolina decided to start a “Family Organization”. Back then “snail mail” and “land lines” were still the most common means of communication, but we were all “computer people” so we had meetings using AOL Instant Messenger!!! By November of 1995 we decided to send out a brochure announcing our plans. I remember the discussions – we wondered if people would think it some sort of scam, a means of trying to sell something, or would those brochures just end up in the circular file. Membership was offered to all who descended from Johannes Vermilje. We used the telephone book to find addresses of Vermilya/e/ea families across the United States (we didn’t know about our Canadian families then) and on November 20, 1995 Joanne mailed out the brochures. E-mails were sent and phone calls made. We had decided to request an annual membership of $12.00 which would include the household, the goal was to collect enough money to cover the postage and printing of the newsletter, and hopefully, at some point promotion of a Family Reunion. By January 1, 1995 we had a whopping number of memberships — totaling seven. We weren’t to be discouraged and plodded on with our plans. We each “excepted” an office — Joe was President, Joanne the Newsletter Editor and my title was Record Keeper/Treasurer. On February 7, 1996 our first newsletter was mailed. We were very proud of our progress and of that newsletter. Joe, who was a wonderful writer with a very keen sense of humor, wrote the first article titled “Coming Together Again”. Other articles included “New Twigs On The Family Tree”, “Landmarks of Interest”, “The Name Vermily/e/a in Military Service” and other tidbits.
As I mentioned above, this is but a brief history of “The Vermilyea Family Association” which included 13 years of publishing “Vermilya/e/ea/er’s ….. Historically Speaking” organizing reunions and wonderful fellowship. On August 10, 1999 we received word that our much loved President Joel Vermilye passed away in Oregon. He had just hosted the reunion that was held on June 12, 1999 at Rockaway Beach, Oregon. His contributions to the Vermilyea Family Association were numerous and we were greatly saddened by his passing. Carl P. Vermilyea volunteered to serve as our next President. Carl was a very organized and passionate President and our Association flourished. Starting in 2006 we discontinued membership dues. At this point we were able to send newsletters out in PDF attached to e-mail and our reunions had proved to be self sustaining. Carl served as President until his death January 23, 2007. His publications which include several at this Web Site provide us with much valuable information. With the help of our faithful Board Members – Tom Vermilye of Kansas, Wilma Vermilyer of California, Dayl Stout of Michigan John Todd of North Carolina who was serving as Treasurer, Joanne and I continued to publish the newsletter through 2009. For thirteen years we were happy to volunteer our time and talents to our Family Association, but a shortage of new ideas, family stories and changing times made it difficult to come up with an interesting publication. The lives of Joanne, John Todd the Treasurer, myself and the members of the Board were greatly enriched by all of you……… We have wonderful memories of meeting you, sharing your stories and just getting to know “OUR FAMILY”. Thank you….
Those serving as Board Members of the Vermilyea Family Association were:
Joel Leroy Vermilye (Joe) Joanne Vermilya McArthur
Sandra Vermilyea Todd Carl P. Vermilyea
Tom Vermilye Wilma Vermilyer
L. Dayl Stout (Dayl) Veronica Vermilyea Theodorakis
Clarence James (Jim) Vermilyea John R. Todd
It is our pleasure to share “Vermilya/e/ea/er’s …… HISTORICALLY SPEAKING”
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