Family History and New Family Friends
The Orr Reunion has been held in Mount Vernon, Missouri since 1937, bringing together the descendents of Paul and Isabelle (Boyd) Orr of the Townland of Rhee, Aghadowey Parish, which is near Coleraine in Londonderry, Northern Ireland (or Ulster, as it’s called in Ireland). Newly found descendants are always welcome. The photo at right is Aghadowey today. (Photo by Ray Elder)
Though descendants are of many faiths, Orr ancestors were Presbyterian and ties to the Aghadowy Church (on the right) are affirmed by Ozark Prairie (below) being modeled on it. Orr families include some who came from the same area in Ireland, such as the Campbells, Shirleys Mitchells, and Knox's. The Orrs quickly married into American families, many of which were also immigrants. The William and George Orr and the Campbell families settled in Lawrence and Jasper Counties in Missouri. The Shirleys initially settled in Pennsylvania and Massachusetts, while the James Orr family went to Allen County, Indiana.
The reunion is always on the first Sunday of August, at the Ozark Prairie Presbyterian Church, at 15032 Lawrence 2077, which is 3 miles outside Mount Vernon. For 2016, that's August 7th, with an informal dinner at a restaurant in Mount Vernon on Saturday night.
The church service at the "Brick Church" is at 10:45, and all are invited to attend. Lunch and visiting begin about noon, with the business meeting following that. For the last five years we have been able to meet in the newly added community room -- air conditioning is wonderful in August! The basket dinner will again include the lemonade made from the family recipe, thanks to the fine efforts of Margaret and Bobby Samuels. Local families bring food to share. Visitors from out of town just come and enjoy the good cooking.
Inside the church after lunch we have what is nominally termed the "business" meeting and is actually a heck of a good time. Secretary/Historian Elaine Orr lets us now who has found whom, and Treasurer Kathy Seneker Fairchild keep us solvent. Pat and Mary Lou run the annual Orr trivia contest .
Finding Each Other
The Orr Reunion welomes all who are connected to the family, however remotely. We also keep track of descendants on a huge family tree that is rolled out each year. Nowadays, we have posted information on Ancestry.com and completed a book on Orr family history. http://www.amazon.com/dp/1490986030. Please contact us anytime! We look forward to hearing from you.
We love to get information on actual, living family members, but we never publish anything like your birthday or town. Feel free to email or call -- Elaine Orr at firstname.lastname@example.org, or Kathy Seneker Fairchild at email@example.com. Call Elaine at 641-455-3257. We can help you with directions to the church or places to stay in Mount Vernon.