Calling for Volunteers

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The Society of John Gaither Descendants needs volunteers in positions critical to increasing membership and improving communications. If you or someone you know can fill any of the following roles and are willing to give a few hours per month to help, we would appreciate your help.

Membership Promoters – Responsible for making phone calls to prospective members and assisting the Membership Director in other ways.  Put on your “Thinking Cap” and let’s find the best way to grow the Society’s membership.

Genealogy Researchers – Responsible for reading documents such as marriage and death certificates, deeds, and wills recording key information. This work is fundamental for the Society to create an accessible, searchable library of family documents, photographs, and history for current and future generations of Gaithers.

Graphic Designers – Responsible for conceptualization and design of direct mail membership materials as well as all other Society print materials such as brochures, posters, and invitations.  Other responsibilities may include creating graphics for the Society website.  This position is critical for future growth of the Society.

Website Managers – Responsible for operating, maintaining, and enhancing the Society’s web site.  This person will be in forefront of moving the Society forward technologically for the next generation of Gaithers.

If you or someone you know can fill any of these positions critical to the Society’s viability, please complete the form below.  We will be in touch soon. Thank you.

Obituary – Patsy Umphers Gaither

Patsy Umphers Gaither, resiPatsy Gaitherdent of Hernando, Mississippi, former resident of Fayette County and wife of the late Billy Gaither, departed this life Sunday afternoon, December 1, 2013 at the Baptist Memorial Hospital in Memphis where she had been a patient for two and a half weeks. She was 79 years of age and died following a brief illness.

Mrs. Gaither was born March 23, 1934 in Golden, Mississippi. She was preceded in death by her parents, Lawrence A. Umphers and Pearl Williams Umphers. She received her education in the Mississippi and Tennessee Public School Systems and was married June 12, 1965 to Billy O’Neal Gaither. Mr. Gaither was a sales representative of industrial supplies for Mid-South Tool Company in Memphis for a number of years before his retirement and died June 20, 2011.

Mr. and Mrs. Gaither were residents of the Williston Community for a number of years and were active members of the Somerville Church of Christ while living in Fayette County. They had been residents of a retirement village in Hernando since 2004. In earlier years, Mrs. Gaither served as a secretary for the Baptist Memorial Hospital in Memphis and was a devoted homemaker throughout her life. She was a member of the Goodman Oaks Church of Christ in Southaven at the time of her death. She will be remembered as a person with a deep Christian faith and an unwavering devotion to her beloved husband.

Mrs. Gaither was the last survivor of her family. She was also preceded in death by her sister, Judith Tortia Umphers, who died December 27, 1936.

The family requests that memorials be directed to the Churches of Christ Disaster Relief Effort Inc, 410 Allied Drive, Nashville, TN 37211.

Obituary – Roy Alexander Gaither, Jr.

Alex-Gaither-119x150Roy Alexander “Alex” Gaither, Jr., 65, of Harmony, passed away Thursday, November 6. 2014 at the Gordon Hospice House. He was born in Iredell County on August 4, 1949 to the late Roy Alexander Gaither, Sr. and Mary Templeton Gaither, who survives.  Roy Jr.’s line is Roy, Sr.; Alexander Milton; Noah Spurgeon; Milton; Zachariah; Benjamin III; John IV; John III; John II, and John Gater.

Alex attended Harmony School and North Iredell High School. On January 11, 1974, he married Jane O’Neal and they had over 40 years of marriage before his passing. He was a member of Clarksbury United Methodist Church and was self-employed as a farmer. He was a member of the V-Point Ruritan Club and enjoyed all outdoor activities especially if they were with his family.

Mr. Gaither is survived his wife, Jane O’Neal Gaither; a son, Zachariah Milton Gaither (Jennifer) of Hamptonville; a daughter, Melanie Chatham (Jason) of Harmony; his mother, Mary Templeton Gaither of Harmony; and grandchildren, Jake Gaither, Jessica Chatham, Cody Phillips, and Zach Gaither. He is further survived by two sisters, Frances G. Rupard of Harmony and Flora G. Jordan of Statesville; and a brother, Bradley Gaither of Statesville.

Memorials may be made to the Building Fund of Clarksbury UMC, 924 E. Memorial Hwy, Harmony, NC 28634 or to Hospice and Palliative Care of Iredell, 2347 Simonton Road, Statesville, NC 28677. Online condolences may be made to the family at www.nicholsonfunerals.com and Nicholson Funeral Home is serving the family.

Did you know . . . a Gaither once owned the home of a signer of the Declaration of Independence . . .

Did you know that a Gaither once owned the home of a signer of the Declaration of Independence? According to accounts prepared by the Maryland Inventory of Historic Properties, “Thomas H. and Sophia B. Gaither of Howard County, Maryland, purchased the house at 207 Hanover Street , Annapolis, Maryland in 1896, which was once owned by Maryland Signer of the Declaration of Independence Thomas Stone. A veteran of the Civil War, Thomas, and wife Sophia, purchased the house as a wedding gift for their daughter, Georgiana, who married ‘Collector of the Port” James Lawrence Bailliere. The 1900 Census lists Mr. & Mrs. Bailliere and two sons as living there. With the death of Bailliere in 1917, Georgiana moved to Baltimore to be near her family.”

The house sits directly across from the Naval Academy. The three-block area within which it lies is considered by some to be one of the most historically significant residential neighborhoods in America. Historic Annapolis, Inc. reports that, “Unique to Annapolis is the unusual number of existing homes of famous men who shaped the destiny of our country in its earliest days. All four of Maryland’s signers of the Declaration of Independence owned houses that survive to this day in Annapolis, and three of those houses are within this 3-block neighborhood of ‘Signer’ Thomas Stone and, later, Thomas Gaither’s house.

If you’d like to own this former Gaither home, you’re in luck. It’s currently for sale for $2.5 million! The Coldwell Banker real estate firm describes it in this way – – “This landmark house has, through the years, been under the stewardship of a long list of illustrious Annapolitans. Built circa 1761, it offers generous living areas on three levels, 5 bedrooms plus office and sitting rooms, a lovely 250-year-old boxwood garden, widow’s walk with an incredible 360-degree view of Annapolis, garage space for 8 cars, set on a brick street adjacent to the U.S. Naval Academy and in the presence of the Academy Chapel, this house retains its historic elegance.”

It’s fun to reflect on our “illustrious” ancestor/prior owner adding the Captain’s/Widow’s Walk that is featured in the house’s sales pitch today. If you have more information on this topic, please comment by clicking on the “Leave a reply” or “Reply” button below. If you have a “Did You Know . . .” story you would like to share, click here and complete the entry form.

Did you know . . . two Gaither homesteads are listed on the National Register of Historic Places . . .

Did you know that at least two Maryland homesteads settled by Gaithers are on the National Register of Historic places? “Abington” was patented 365 years ago, in 1649, by John Gaither and Robert Proctor after arriving in Maryland, from Virginia. It is located in Anne Arundel County and was listed on the National Register in 1984.

“Clover Hill”, the home of Ephraim Gaither, in Montgomery County, dates to 1857 in its present form, but according to the National Register likely originated as a log cabin in the mid-18th century.

You can access information on Abington and Clover Hill through the user-friendly Maryland website by clicking here. The National Register also maintains its own website where you may search for additional historic homes in other states that are related to Gaithers and other families in your lineage by clicking here. Please share with us any others that you find!

If you have more information on this topic, please comment by clicking on the “Leave a reply” or “Reply” button below.  If you have a “Did You Know . . .” story you would like to share, click here and complete the entry form.

Did you know . . . two Gaither homesteads are listed on the National Register of Historic Places . . .

Did you know that at least two Maryland homesteads settled by Gaithers are on the National Register of Historic places? “Abington” was patented 365 years ago, in 1649, by John Gaither and Robert Proctor after arriving in Maryland, from Virginia. It is located in Anne Arundel County and was listed on the National Register in 1984.

“Clover Hill”, the home of Ephraim Gaither, in Montgomery County, dates to 1857 in its present form, but according to the National Register likely originated as a log cabin in the mid-18th century.

You can access information on Abington and Clover Hill through the user-friendly Maryland website by clicking here. The National Register also maintains its own website where you may search for additional historic homes in other states that are related to Gaithers and other families in your lineage by clicking here. Please share with us any others that you find!

If you have more information on this topic, please comment by clicking on the “Leave a reply” or “Reply” button below.  If you have a “Did You Know . . .” story you would like to share, click here and complete the entry form.

SALE – All Y-DNA Tests on Sale

For a limited time, Family Tree DNA is offering 20-25% savings on all Y-DNA tests and upgrades. This End of the Summer Sale ends 9/3/2014. Join the other SJGD members who have been tested and store their results on Family Tree DNA by CLICKING HERE. Remember, Y-DNA tests for paternal ancestry, father to son, and make wonderful gifts for the Gaither male in your family.  Family Tree DNA is the world’s largest Y-DNA database.

For those already tested, you may ask, “Why upgrade“? A 37 marker haplotype has been identified for the John Gaither descendants, but it turns out that this is a modestly common haplotype for English men.  Other men with different surnames also closely share the same haplotype (the listing of values at each DNA marker location). There are close to 100 men with other surnames in the database who are within a genetic distance of 4 at 37 markers (3 mutations). This means a 37-marker test for the Gaither surname is insufficient to clearly distinguish and isolate this specific group. The solution is to analyze for 67 or 111 markers and that should reduce (or eliminate) the number of other surnames closely matching the Gaither haplotype. Now is the perfect time to upgrade! The Y-37 to Y-67 upgrade is reduced from $99 to $79 and the Y-37 to Y-111 is reduced from $220 to $179. CLICK HERE to upgrade today.

If you have more information on this topic or wish to comment, please click on the “Leave a reply” or “Reply” button below.

Did you know . . . about the entrepreneurship of James H. Gaither?

James H. Gaither, an early entrepreneur in the express package delivery business, when horses and wagons provided all of the “express”, was also the owner and operator of one of the largest livery stables in the Baltimore area. Today’s “Did You Know . . .” story was submitted by Nancy E. Gaither of Elkridge, Maryland, the great-great-granddaughter of James H. Gaither.  Thank you Nancy for sharing. You can read the entire story, which appeared in the Catonsville Patch by clicking here. Be sure to look for the pictures of James Gaither at the top of the story.

If you have more information on this topic, please comment by clicking on the “Leave a reply” or “Reply” button below. If you have a “Did You Know . . .” story you would like to share, click here and complete the entry form.

Gaithers – How Many and Where Do They Live?

Have you ever wondered how many Gaithers there are in the United States and where they live? Today, there are over 318 million people in the United States. From the 1995 and 2000 censuses, the U.S. Census Bureau published a list of surnames occurring 100 times or more.  The 2000 census found a little over 150,000 unique surnames.

The top 10 surnames and the number of occurrences, in order, are:

  1. Smith – 2,376,206
  2. Johnson – 1,857,160
  3. Williams – 1,534,042
  4. Brown – 1,380,145
  5. Jones – 1,362,755
  6. Miller – 1,127,803
  7. Davis – 1,072,335
  8. Garcia – 858,289
  9. Rodriguez – 804,240
  10. Wilson – 783,051

To check the ranking and number of occurrences of other surnames, you can view or download the list as a PDF file by clicking here or as an XLSX file by clicking here.

The Gaither surname ranked 3,202 on the list. The census found that there were 10,255 Gaithers in the U.S. or 3.8 Gaithers per 100,000 people. Continue reading

Did you know . . . Gaither Relative was Caddy for Jack Nicklaus?

Jack Rickard, now 84, told GolfWeek recently how he caddied 40 years ago for Jack Nicklaus in the 1974 PGA Championship at Tanglewood Park in Clemmons, N.C. Rickard is the son of Hattie Gaither Rickard, the grandson of William Henry Gaither, and in the line of Elijah and Zachariah Gaither. In addition to the honor, Rickard ended up with a front row seat to a Sunday showdown between Lee Trevino and Nicklaus. You can read the rest of the story in Golf Week by clicking here.  

Today’s “Did You Know . . .” story was submitted by SJGD Director Jo Ann Bondurant of Greenboro, North Carolina. Jo Ann says of her cousin, “Jack is 84 and still dancing and golfing…looks about 65! He is one of my favorite cousins.”

If you have more information on this topic, please comment by clicking on the “Leave a reply” or “Reply” button below. If you have a “Did You Know . . .” story you would like to share, click here and give us the details..