Vol. VII, No. 2

December, 1986

*** 1986 REUNION REPORT ***

On September 6, 1986, about 36 Maule cousins gathered at Sadsbury Monthly Meeting in Chester County for the 1986 Maule Family Reunion. The weather was ideal, and after enjoying a picnic lunch and interesting conversations, those in attendance were treated to several delightful presentations. Mary Louise Maule told us about the history of the Meeting and the Maule connection to it, and described the history of the meetinghouse. Virginia Trexler brought a collection of photographs mounted on a large posterboard; the photographs portrayed places and things in Scotland pertaining to the early history of the Maule family. Virginia described the circumstances surrounding some of the pictures, and made the collection available for inspection by those in attendance. Several cousins came from rather great distances, such as Cincinnati, Ohio, Moultrie, Georgia, and Sterling, Virginia.

On September 13, 1986, the descendants of Randolph A. Maule held their fourth annual reunion, at the Mayfair Athletic Club in northeast Philadelphia, Pa. At least 70 people attended; I don't think anyone made an actual count. Everyone had an opportunity to see cousins that they hadn't seen since the previous reunion and to meet the babies most recently joining the family. My understanding is that the Randolph A. Maule reunion will be held again in early September 1987.

This newsletter is not late. I am changing the dates from April and October to January and June, by gradually changing the length of time between issues. See the items inside concerning the reasons for the change and the question of how often the NEWSLETTER should or can be published.


I would welcome your comments concerning the biennial Maule Family Reunion. Those of you who have been on the mailing list since 1978 are aware that the attendance has dropped steadily from at least 100 persons in 1978 to 36 people in 1986. The location has been rotated from one geographic area to another, but many people who request a shift in the location do not attend even when the location is near their residence. Here are some questions that I have:

(1) Is a biennial reunion too frequent? Should it be held every three or five years?

(2) Has the novelty of reunions and genealogy worn thin?

(3) Are the reunion programs too boring or of too little interest? Should we adopt the approach of some families and meet for a week or weekend at a resort where there are recreational activities available?

(4) Is the timing of the reunions (they have been held in July and in September) inappropriate?

(5) Who should make the decisions? Should there be a Reunion Committee? Should there be a more formal Maule Family Association similar to associations formed by other families?

(6) Was the notice in the April 1986 newsletter too "soon", leading people to forget that the reunion had been scheduled? (This is one of the reasons that I have shifted the dates of the newsletter.)

Your comments are more than welcome; they are desperately needed. I would appreciate your help, because frankly I am not comfortable making decisions unilaterally and I am not certain that there is an effective mechanism for determining the sentiments of people who have ideas about the details of the Reunion planning.


As described in the preceding newsletter, I was trying to put the 800 pages of the book onto my word processing system. At present, the pages describing the descendants of Thomas Maule of Salem, Mass., are on the computer. I have not yet had time to add the information that I have received or discovered since 1981; my teaching and publishing schedule has been hectic, because of the new tax law and the death of one of my colleagues. I also have been spending time with Susan and the children, so many of the genealogical tasks have been set to the side until my professional life eases up in the spring and summer. It may be late 1987 or even 1988 before I can send to each person a sheet showing his or her entry (and entries for parents, children, etc.) for proofing and updating. Then I will focus on publishing a supplement or a second edition. All of this will take time, and it will almost certainly be near the end of the decade before it is ready.

As a test of the new indexing and publishing process that eventually will be used for a revised or supplemented MAULE genealogy, and because I thought it would be a good idea, I published a genealogy of the descendants of my mother's grandparents. It is relatively small and provided a manageable group of information for checking the system. Fortunately, my mother, aunt and their cousin gathered the information and pictures, leaving me with only the publishing. Much of the information had been placed on the computer in 1985 when I was testing the old computer system. The good news is that the next MAULE book will be a very good-looking book.

As I mentioned in the last newsletter, the picture collection must be updated. It is clear from my experience with my mother's genealogy that risks of mistakes increase when everything must be reset to accommodate pictures that arrive at the last minute from people who somehow didn't realize that pictures were needed. With a family the size of ours, I have visions of hundreds of pictures arriving in 1989 (or whenever) moments before the book goes to the printer. It will be easier to begin accumulating pictures sooner rather than later.

What should be done is a listing of all of us, with a check mark next to those whose pictures appear in the book or have since been sent since 1981. Then, each person without a check mark needs to be contacted for a picture. Frankly, I don't have time to do this. If anyone would like to pursue this task, please let me know. Otherwise, we will simply use whatever pictures each of you chooses to provide.

As I mentioned in the last newsletter, I have written computer programs to index the names. I have now developed a way to include page numbers. I no longer need to alter my commercially prepared word processing program to permit inclusion of more than 120 pages of information in one "file" (which forces me to jump from file to file and that is time consuming), because I have a new and more useful Word Processing program that includes everything in one file. Guess how many characters (letters, numbers, spaces, tabs, etc.) there are in the 1981 version of the Thomas Maule descendants? More than 1,000,000!!

In the October 1985 newsletter I published a list of people in the post-1940 generations about whom updated information is needed. I received a dozen replies (thank you for the help), but there are hundreds of you who still have not replied. I cannot do anything until you reply because public records and libraries do not usually contain available information on people born after 1940.

In the April 1986 newsletter, I published the missing branch list. A missing branch is a situation in which I have not been able to completely trace or fill in information on the descendants of a Maule cousin down to at least 1950. I should also point out that I have made contact with cousins in some of these branches but that all I know is that they belong to the branch. THERE ARE CURRENTLY OUTSTANDING MORE THAN 200 LETTERS REQUESTING INFORMATION THAT I HAVE SENT SINE 1983. Since April, I received three replies. There are times when I begin to wonder what I have done that I shouldn't have done or haven't done that I should have done, but again, I (and the completeness and accuracy of the next book) are at the mercy of your decision to reply or not to reply.


Originally, the newsletter served as a vehicle to deliver reunion reports and reunion notices. I then appended requests for help, names of "missing" cousins, and other messages that I found easier to send to everyone in one mailing rather than individually. (This was an aspect of my inability to continue one-on-one correspondence as much as I would like to do.) Thereafter, I began to include information that supplemented the book. However, the volume of that information made supplementation via a newsletter very inefficient (and of little interest to those who had not purchased the book).

Now, my question for you is this: what sorts of things do you want to include in the newsletter? I don't mind typing and editing it, but I would enjoy seeing other authors' material in it. I don't believe in filling it with information just for the sake of filling it; not when it costs almost $250 to photocopy and mail an issue. Should it be published just once a year? Only as a Reunion notice and report? Should it be discontinued after two more issues when the newsletter fund (now at less than $500) runs out?

In this issue I have included part of the MAULE Directory (it doesn't fit into one newsletter. The May 1987 newsletter will contain the second part). You must decide what will be in the following issue and when it should be published.


Although the mailing list is not available to anyone else (because it is of little interest to outsiders anyway), I have decided to include it in the newsletter because many of the addresses in the 1981 book are obsolete. I think that this directory will be of interest to you. PLEASE TELL ME OF ANY OMISSIONS OR MISTAKES. I continue my plans to REFRAIN FROM SELLING it or making it available to anyone else.

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