FRIDAY FEST ACTIVITIES

DJS Friday Fest Activities at Natchez Grand Hotel


9:00 am – 3:30 pm                     Registration

                                                                  Genealogy Sharing Room – Displays, Polly Scott’s Genealogy Charts, Sale of DJS Merchandise and Books.  You are invited                                                                       to bring and share your materials as well! 

 Children's Room for kids with fun activities

10:00- 10:45 am                                   Opening Session

                                                                 Opening Remarks, Greetings from the President, Introduction of Special Guests

10:45--11:00 am                                 BREAK

11:00-11:25 am                                  Session 1:  From Jersey to the Wilderness:  Black River, New Jersey to Kingston, 1773

Presenter: Lee Smith, wife of Stephen Smith and daughter-in-law of Minnie Swayze Smith, descendants of Reverend Samuel Swayze.    Lee is a lifelong resident of Baton Rouge and holds a Ph.D. in U.S. History from Tulane University, specializing in the Colonial Era.

Description:  Lee will discuss life in Chester, New Jersey, prior to the migration to Mississippi; explore possible motivations for leaving New Jersey; and the Jersey Settlers role in the development of religion in Mississippi.

11:25--11:50 am                                Session 2:  Descendants of Mary Swayze Seward

Presenter:      William L. (Bill) Costley, descendant from Reverend Samuel Swayze through daughter Hannah who married Jeremiah Coleman.  Bill lives in El Dorado, Ark. and is married to the former Elizabeth Dilworth.  They have two sons and eight grandchildren.

Description:  Mary Swayze, the youngest child of Judge Samuel Swayze married into a prominent N.Y. family, the Sewards.  This talk will primarily cover her grandson, William Henry Seward, prominent politician who was responsible for the acquisition of Alaska from Russia while U.S. Secretary of State. 

Noon -1:30 pm                                    Lunch on your own

1:30-1:55 pm                                      Session 3:  Swayzes in Early America: Reassessing History

Presenter:  Jim M. Swayze, Utopia, Texas, descendant of Reverend Samuel Swayze.  Jim has two daughters and one grandchild.  He was president of DJS from 200-2006.

Description:  DJS books tell us a John Swayze came to America, likely around 1629, along with his two sons, Joseph and John.  Where does this information originate?  Is it substantiated or even likely accurate?  Jim will take a look back at history beginning in England in the 14th century in an attempt to establish a reasonable scenario for Swayzes in Americ

1:55-2:20 pm                                      Session 4:  The Movers and Shakers of DJS:  Those that Shaped our History

Presenter:  Patricia Swayze Larsen, San Antonio, Texas, descendant of original Jersey Settlers Rev. Samuel Swayze, his brother Richard Swayze, Job Cory and David Hopkins.  Pat served as President of DJS from 1986-1990 and presided over the 50th Anniversary Celebration. 

Description:  Pat will share the highlights of the organization’s history and her personal reflections on the personalities she came to know from when she began attending the reunions, during her presidency, and beyond.  While too many to name all here, her talk will include  Frances Mills, William Aubrey (Billy) Sojourner, Louisa Drane, Dot Sojourner, Annis Laird, Ruth Latham, the McCraines, and the Swayze Sisters (Betty Jo, Alyne, and Minnie). 

2:45 -3:30 pm                                     General Assembly

Description:  Learn about the activities of the organization and elect officers and a cemetery trustee.


5:30 – 8:00 pm      Friday Night Social at Commencement Plantation in Kingston 

                                                hosted by Billy and Bobbie Aguillard