BELLAIRE — Roughly 60 extended members of the Jeffers family from Bellaire met up on Saturday, Sept. 26 for a reunion at the Forrest Hills Community Center.
Family members from nearby and as far away from New York state came together for the first official reunion since 1996. Those in attendance are descendants of Joseph (1887-1941) and Louise Getrost (1886-1943) Jeffers.
The family has lived in the Bellaire area for more than 150 years.
The paternal grandparents of the family are Octave Jeffers (1851-1910) and Virginia (Pelky) Jeffers (1851-1908). Both were Canadian immigrants who settled in Bellaire in the 1860s and were married in 1874.
The maternal grandparents were Adam (1848-1882) and Sophia Getrost (1841-unknown), who immigrated from Germany in the 1860s.
The highlight of the reunion was the coming together of the remaining family matriarchs, five sisters who are the remaining children of Joseph and Louise. The were nine children total.
‘‘It had been a while since we’d all gotten together, so it was kind of neat to sit around and share stories,’’ said Evelyn Hyett, 87, of Bellaire.
Hyett is the second youngest of the remaining sisters, including: Mildred Owens, 96, of Shadyside; Ellen Batzendorfer, 91, of Chelsea, Michigan; Rosaleen Croxton, 81 of Elyria and Elizabeth Bennington, 94, or Bellaire.
It’s actually Hyett’s son, Rick, who took the arduous task of developing the family tree.
Same to say, the tree is quite large.
‘‘My dad had done some research on the Hyett side of the family and I took that over and started researching on my mom’s side of the family too,’’ Rick Hyett said.
‘‘I’ve been able to get back to the 1500s, but some are real tough to come up with it can drive you crazy.
‘‘We have about 2,700 names so far I think.’’
He does the majority of his work online and asks family members to log on and make any additions that they have found. It’s a collaborative effort.
‘‘The reunion was pretty neat,’’ he said. ‘‘There were grandchildren, great grandchildren, great-great grandchildren.
‘‘There were a bunch of people there.
‘‘And that’s the interesting part is that of the 60 people there, I didn’t know probably around 30 of them personally.”
Photo Courtesy of Karen Lyons of Snapshotz Photography
TOP:?The Jeffers sisters, originally from Bellaire, join together at a reunion held on Sept. 26 at the Forrest Hills Community Center in Bellaire. Pictured are Mildred Owens, 96, Ellen Batzendorfer, 91; Rosaleen Croxton, 81; Elizabeth Bennington, 94 and Evelyn Hyett, 87.