Our Next Annual Meeting, Midlothian, VA October 19-20



Hello, cousins,
The Bondurant Reunion is planned for Friday and Saturday, October 19 and 20, 2018, in Midlothian, VA. We will be celebrating the 25th anniversary of the placing of the Bondurant plaque in Genolhac, France. Also, we will are celebrating the placement 28 years ago of a plaque for our progenitor, Jean Pierre Bondurant, in a small plot on Birdsong Lane, Powhatan, VA. This site is protected by a lovely cast-iron fence and shaded by a large magnolia tree. The plaque was dedicated by the Bondurant Family Association, with the blessing given by Rev. Wayne Bondurant, in October 1990. I can tell you when I saw this site, I was moved. We are so lucky to have family members who preserved this site just in time as it was destined to be part of a subdivision. We need to revere and protect it forever.
Since the plaque was installed at the gravesite, we have determined that Ann Tanner was the wife of Jean Pierre Bondurant. Ann Tanner came from English landed gentry so there is a lot known about the Tanners historically. (I can vouch that I do have Tanner DNA matches though I haven't explored them yet.) Thus we would feel that this would be a good time to change the marker to recognize her as well. We are considering replacing the plaque with a new amended one with both of them on it, or placing a separate marker for Ann within the enclosure.
This year we are being hosted by Shirley and Tom Seaborn who live in Midlothian, Virginia. We appreciate their willingness to commit so much time and planning for our enjoyment in October. Shirley has listed a plethora of things to do in the area. (More on this in the next newsletter, when plans are more finalized. Ed.) The plans for the reunion are still tentative, but this is a basic outline and subject to change, addition or deletion.
On Friday night, October 19th, we will meet at the host hotel (to be determined) after dinner for our meet and greet. We are hopeful one of the Distillery Bondurant brothers may give us a brief presentation.
The next morning (Saturday, October 20th), we drive about 30 minutes to visit the gravesite. From there, we will go to the Manakin Episcopal Church, about 15 minutes up the road. This church was founded in 1701 the year after JPB's arrival. Certainly he walked those grounds. There is a monument dedicated to the French Huguenots at this site. We will be on the Huguenot Trail to the south of the James River.
We then head back to Midlothian for lunch at a place to be determined. After lunch we visit one of the most beautiful places on earth, in my humble opinion, Hollywood Cemetery in Richmond. I'm told there are Tanner graves there, which makes sense as the Tanners were an old Virginia family. I will scope out the graves ahead of time. One can spend hours walking along the beautiful grounds which overlook the James River, which is very photogenic. If we have time I'm told the nearby Poe Museum is very popular.
On Saturday evening, we meet a place yet to be determined for the business meeting and supper. On Sunday morning, we'll depart to our homes.
I suggest making a week of your visit to the Richmond area. There are two self-guided driving tours available online, in addition to those that Mary Bondurant Warren put together for past BFA meetings (see the BFA newsletters on the website). Google: Powhatan Driving Tour and Midlothian Driving Tour. Other great places include Henricus Village, Tuckahoe Plantation (Jefferson's boyhood home), Berkeley Plantation (home of Benjamin and William Henry Harrison), Shirley Plantation (oldest plantation founded in 1613), Jamestown Settlement (where JP landed) and so many others. If you are driving from the west or south west you could stop and visit the Bondurant Brothers Distillery in Chase City and there is Appomattox Court House. The Bedford Museum in Bedford is chock full of Bondurant info and the director Jennifer Horton Thomson is a Bondurant descendant.
Do purchase Mary Bondurant Warren's book, The Bondurants of America — Jean Pierre and Ann. She has a chapter "A Sentimental Journey," which is a self-guided tour of our ancestral homeland in Virginia. Her three book books about the Bondurants and Tanners in America, and Jean Pierre Bondurant's ancestors in France may be ordered on the BFA website www.bondurant-family.org (or use the handy order form on the last page of this issue). They are also available on Amazon, but BFA folks get a discount!
As your new president I look forward to meeting more Bondurant cousins. If you want to chat, call me at 404 272 0071 or email at Siouxlake@aol.com. I'm on Facebook too!!!
Bruce Ramsdell President 2018-2019