ABOUT THE REYNOLDS FAMILY ASSOCIATION (RFA)
From Reynolds Recollections Jan-Feb 1991
The Reynolds family in America dates from the year 1622.Coming mainly from the British Isles, several branches of the Reynolds family settled along the Eastern Coast in early colonial times. RFA was organized 23 Aug 1892 by some of the descendants of one of the early Connecticut families. Within a few years, membership had grown substantially and eligibility was broadened to include the several lines of the Reynolds families that settled in colonial New England. Today membership is open to all individuals who are interested in any Reynolds family who settled in America at any time. The name Reynolds was (and is) spelled in a variety of ways throughout history, including McRennels, McReynolds, Raynolds, Rennels, Runnels, Wreynolds, and too many others to list here.
PURPOSE - The purpose of RFA was, and is, to:
?? Develop acquaintance among Reynolds kindred,
?? Promote recognition of a common ancestry,
?? Share genealogical information, and
?? Collect and maintain a permanent record of Reynolds family history.
The RFA Archives, the RFA newsletter, Reynolds Recollections, and annual reunions fulfill the purpose of RFA.
RFA functions and endures on volunteer time and commitment of individual members to the Reynolds family and its history. A membership fee of $10 per year is required for out-of-pocket expenses of the elected officers and staff. These funds are spent on postage, stationery supplies, computers and supplies, and sometimes the subsidizing of a reunion.
RFA ARCHIVES - A goal of the original organizers was to publish a complete volume covering all known branches of their Reynolds families.
In the 1920s Marion H. Reynolds published two books on Robert of Boston, one on John of Watertown, and one on John of Norwich CT. The documentation for these works generally were retained by the compiler; therefore, those records are not in RFA.
In 1982, RFA published The RFA Centennial Collection, 813 pages with index, of documentation, family histories from the early RFA Annuals (see below), and other items from the Annuals.
RFA Annuals - It was also in the 1920s that the decision was made to begin using annuals as a vehicle for continuing publication of the family records, although not published annually. Again, records pertaining to families for the most part, were retained by the compiler after publication of the annual. While RFA has an original or a good copy of each of these Annuals, all are out of now out of print, except the last of them, The 1982 Annual, of which only a few remain.
Member Files - Since the 1920s any records in the possession of RFA have been in the custody of the Archivist/Historian, who historically has held this position for a significant length of time, thereby providing care and continuity for these earlier records. The records are mostly in the form of queries, because ancestor charts and family group sheets were not used.Unfortunately, in most instances, there is no documentation. Some of them can be seen to be extracted from a published family history that was not supported by documentation. Because RFA was not given ancestor/descendant charts, there is no way to connect these early members to today's members in most instances. Because most records were handwritten, the process of computerizing the records that do provide genealogical data is a slow, tedious job.
REYNOLDS RECOLLECTIONS (RR), anewsletter begun in 1983, published six times a year, is the primary vehicle for dissemination of Reynolds family information.
REUNIONS/ANNUAL MEETINGS- Annual reunions, two days of getting to know Reynolds cousins, sharing family information, and participating in RFA business, give life to RFA. Reunions were held annually from 1892 until 1941, when WW II interrupted its activities, and held again in 1947, 1948, and 1950, not to be held again until 1977 when members reunited to reorganize RFA. Reunions have been held from 1979 through 1998, except for 1982, the 77th planned for September 2002 in Baltimore, MD.
Other information about RFA may be seen at the RFA web site at:http://www.narnet.com/rfa/index.html
Also, the Reynolds Family Circle at http://www.reynoldsfamilycircle.com/http://www.reynoldsfamilycircle.com/
and http://www.reynoldsrecords.com/http://www.reynoldsrecords.com/ are attempting to centralize all records pertaining to all Reynolds families.