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This August, my mother’s family, the Barmes side, will have its first full out reunion in over 40 years. Last year, following my grandfather’s death, I realized that our family had been in the United States for 170 years. They imigrated from Bavaria and settled in Hope, Indiana. My 4th-great-grandfather, John Philip Barmes, brought his eight children to Indiana, along with his wife’s father. Technically, there are nine generations of our line of the Barmes family if you include the John’s father-in-law.

My great-great-great grandfather, Frederick Delmar Barmes, in his Union Soldier uniform.

Fredrick Barmes with his twin brother, Charles.

I decided that it was time to have a family reunion and made all the arrangements. The minister from the Hope Moravian Church, where our first four generations are buried, has agreed to lead us in a brief service of thanksgiving. Afterwards, we will lay a wreathe on the grave of John Philip Barmes, and those of my 3rd and 2nd great-grandfathers, Fredrick and Jesse. Then, on to the town square for the reunion.

I have a ton of work to do in the mean time – as I want this to be a special day for all my relatives, both near and distant. I hope they will each leave Hope, Indiana with a sense of pride for the 171 years our family has been a part of this country.

Fredrick’s children: Eldie, Elsie and Jesse, my 2rd great-grandfather

Jesse’s wife, Emma and their children: Virgil (my great-grandfather), Florence and Emerson.

My great-grandparents, Thelma Daugherty-Barmes and Virgil Barmes. This is my favorite photo as she was telling him to pull his hands from his pocket just as the camera flashed.

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July 2005
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