Descendants Of Patrick Henry To Meet At H-SC

Published 3:47 pm Thursday, June 16, 2011

For the first time, the Descendants of Patrick Henry as a group are returning to Hampden-Sydney College this weekend, June 17-19, as part of their annual reunion.

The group, formerly known as “Descendants Branch Patrick Henry Memorial Foundation”, was formed thirty-two years ago on June 14, 1980 by Arthur Henry and seven other descendants meeting under the Osage Orange Tree at Red Hill, Virginia, the Patrick Henry National Memorial where Henry lived the later years of his life and where he is buried.

At the time of the meeting, 52 descendants had requested that their names be listed as charter members. It was decided that charter members would be accepted until September 1, 1981. Ultimately, 64 descendants became charter members. Today descendants live in 40 states, including Hawaii, as well as in England.

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It should be noted that the large number of descendants is a result of a little known fact about Patrick Henry, he had seventeen children.

During the 32 years since that meeting under the tree, the organization has actively sponsored projects including underwriting several books, and collecting many artifacts related to Mr. Henry's life.

Much has been done to compile and confirm the genealogy of each descendant. Tremendous gains were made in documenting Patrick Henry lineage when, in 2005 the Henry Surname DNA project was launched.

The Patrick Henry Descendants Branch met each year with the Patrick Henry Memorial Foundation until 2000, when Mrs. Margaret Nuttle (a great, great, granddaughter of Henry) initiated the reunion, which meets each year at various sites in Virginia to learn more about Henry and getting to know each other better.

The reunion at Hampden Sydney College will focus on Patrick Henry's role as one of the founders of this historic college, and his relationships with the college as he sent his sons there to be educated.

There will be a walking lecture of the campus, visits to nearby Patrick Henry's Pleasant Grove home site and Martha Henry Fontaines' Locus Grove home site. Other lectures and a presentation on the current restoration of Pine Slash in Hanover County, Virginia; the only one of ten sites of the Road to Revolution (brochure attached) which has not yet been restored.

Patrick Henry Descendants Branch members and prospective members are invited to attend the meeting.