WELCOME TO THE COUNTS FAMILY REUNION WEBSITE
SOME HISTORY ABOUT 79 YEARS OF COUNTS FAMILY REUNIONS
Counts descendant and family historian, ELIHU JASPER SUTHERLAND, organized the COUNTS FAMILY REUNION in 1936. He was the genealogist, researcher, interviewer and driving force behind the book about his ancestors and related kin: SOME DESCENDANTS OF JOHN COUNTS OF GLADE HOLLOW. It has been said that no labor of his life gave him greater satisfaction than researching and working with his family organization.
The Counts Family Reunions have been held annually at various locations including Cleveland, Virginia where numerous Counts ancestors first lived and died, at Breaks Interstate Park, at Sandlick and Clinchco Schools and at Sulphur Springs Primitive Baptist Church where numerous Counts & Sutherland kin worshipped and preached. Except for four years during World War II (from 1942-1945), THIS Counts Family Reunion is the longest continuously running and is the only one which E.J. started, even reigning as its President some of those years.
Over a period of 50 years, ELIHU JASPER SUTHERLAND researched and collected the genealogy of Counts kin and related families, planning to put it into book form. Data was obtained from records of bibles, censuses, churches, courthouses and tombstones, as well as through personal interviews and correspondence with hundreds of people in all sections of the country. Many contributors eagerly awaited the publication of this book and passed to the beyond before its completion. Death also came to Eli/EJ on July 9, 1964, at the age of 78, without his having realized his dream.
JOSHUA HOGE TYLER SUTHERLAND, President of the Counts Family Reunion in 1969, planned for EJ's work to be published in 1975 as part of America's Bicentennial celebration; unfortunately, his death on February 27, 1970, came without having fulfilled that hope.
During the years following her husband, Elihu Jasper Sutherland's death in 1964, HETTY JEAN SWINDALL SUTHERLAND, served as the Counts Family Reunion genealogist. She took the mantle in compiling and publishing her husband's research and their son, WILLIAM "BILL" H. SUTHERLAND, his wife, Thora, and his daughter, Sharon, joined the effort by proofing, arranging and indexing the manuscript. The book, Some Descendants of John Counts of Glade Hollow, was published in 1978. Hetty, passed on June 6, 2004, at the age of 102 and was still attending Counts Family Reunions as late as 2002.
WILLIAM "BILL" SUTHERLAND, their son, has continued publishing the book and the supplemental follow up, Volume 2, the "big book" of Corrections and Additions. He also began the website sutherlandbooks.org. Bill, last attended the Counts Family Reunion in 2016. Bill continues to inspire family members with his tenacity, generosity and humility.
Counts descendants and related families, are indebted to this Sutherland family but especially ELIHU JASPER, who was the son of ELIZA JANE COUNTS SUTHERLAND & WILLIAM BEAUREGARD SUTHERLAND; the grandson of SYLVIA COUNTS SUTHERLAND & WILLIAM SUTHERLAND; the great grandson of JOSHUA COUNTS & MARTHA KISER COUNTS, the great great grandson of JOHN COUNTS (Jr) of Cleveland & MARGARET KELLY COUNTS; and the great great great grandson of JOHN COUNTS & MARY MAGDELINE COUNTS OF GLADE HOLLOW.
In August 2016, the research of our Glade Hollow ancestors began a new chapter by connecting on the Internet's social media with the FACEBOOK _ROUP: JOHN COUNTS OF GLADE HOLLOW, founded and operated by PHYLLIS COUNTS, descendant of John Counts of Glade Hollow. New descendants and related kin are coming forward, sharing photos and stories. Our hope is to connect and to inspire or renew a desire to research, document our family lines and to unite at the yearly gathering of the OFFICIAL COUNTS FAMILY REUNION.
In 2019, MARIE RASNICK FETZER (descendant of Jo_n & Marys dau__ter, Mollie Counts, wife of Jacob Rasnake) or_anized a small _roup of researc_ers to attempt to _ain furt_er info on Jo_n & Marys be_innin_s. Under Maries zealous lead, in t_e Summer of 2020, by accessin_ various _istorical books, societies, libraries and websites, requestin_ and examinin_ deeds and documents, t_ey _ave uncovered new documentation and are siftin_ t_rou__ t_e various similarly spelled & soundin_ Counts names, to decide w_en and if our Jo_n is amon_ t_em. T_ey still _ave not located Jo_n or Marys parents or siblin_s, and no additional info on w_ere or w_en t_ey were born or Marys maiden name.
PLEASE SEE: kayser-counts.or for a fresh look at bot_ J.C. & _is nei__bor/friend, C_arles Kayser.
PHYLLIS COUNTS, Webmaster
Contact us through Facebook:
WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE TO SEE AT THE NEXT REUNION? A presentation about our ancestors? A presentation on how we lost the Glade Hollow farm? Which Counts lines went to Kentucky, West Virginia, North Dakota, Texas and out west to Montana & Wyoming? Would genealogy research and organizing tips be your interest? Group tours to Glade Hollow, Cleveland, Dickenson County Coal Miner's Memorial, to the entrance of a former coal mine, a visit to our oldest artifact: Counts Cabin at the Breaks Interstate Park; attending Sunday service at Counts Chapel on Nealy Ridge? Fun events like kayaking on the Clinch River where our ancestors lived near and drew water from, a tour of historic landmark Jessee's Mill where our ancestors surely had their corn ground for bread, Ziplining, horseback riding and hiking at the Breaks Interstate Park? An inside look at Sulphur Springs Primitive Baptist Church & School where Elihu Jasper Sutherland's parents donated the land and lumber? Where Elijah Shelby Counts and William Beauregard preached? A visit to Dickenson County Historical Society or Dickenson County Courthouse Records Room to do some research? Would a demonstration of how to clean and care for your ancestors headstones interest you? WHAT WOULD ENTICE YOU TO SPEND YOUR VACATION IN BEAUTIFUL SOUTHWEST VIRGINIA?
DUE TO THE COVID-19 VIRUS SHUTDOWN, THIS YEAR'S Saturday, AUGUST 1, 2020 REUNION was online, at Zoom.us The event began promptly at 11am and participants were still aboard at 2 pm. Special appreciation to Carol Deel for access to Zoom.
Chad Counts, Brett Compton and Marie Rasnick Fetzer made presentations. The meeting was recorded and will be posted to this website afterwards.
Thank you for your support and interest.
Sign and View Guestbook
If you have any questions, comments or suggestions, please contact:
Webmaster, Phyllis Counts, through Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/johncountsofgladehollow/