Francis Carlton and William Dunlap, two Revolutionary War veterans, were among the early (white) settlers of northeastern Ohio. In 1813 Francis Carlton’s son Peter married William Dunlap’s daughter Mary. Around that same time, Francis’s son John married William’s daughter Elizabeth. From these beginnings, there came to be a large number of Carlton-Dunlap relatives in and around Trumbull County, Ohio.
The Carlton-Dunlap descendants intermarried with the Van Wyes. In 1848 Adaline Carlton, daughter of Mary and Peter, married John E. Van Wye. Around that time Lydia Van Wye, John’s sister, married Hiram Dunlap, Mary Dunlap’s nephew.
In 1877 the first annual Carlton-Dunlap reunion was held and the Carlton-Dunlap Reunion Association was formed. (Discussions of formal incorporation took place around 1927-9, with results apparently not recorded.)
Many Van Wyes were active members of the reunion association. John E. Van Wye Jr. served as its president from 1910 to 1912. His sister Mary Van Wye Templeton served in 1916; their sister Olive Van Wye Bolin in 1918 and 1921; their brother Frank was President in 1919; and their youngest sister Lucy Van Wye Brown was elected President in 1922 (Lucy also occasionally sang for the group, as was noted in 1911 and 1918, for example, and received great praise in the minutes). Other Van Wye officers included Warren Van Wye (President three times, then Vice President for a decade), John W. Van Wye, Ida Anderson Van Wye, and my grandmother Margarete Van Wye Kelts.
Others serving as President included Homer Dunlap, Rev. J.C. Cushman, Irenus Lane, James McRoberts, Mathew Robb, Homer Kirk, John W. Draper, W.V. Burnett, George Moser, and Rollin Campbell.
In additional to a big dinner and the annual socializing, some reunions (with attendance ranging from around 30 people to over 100) included a program of music and/or presentations on family history. Minutes were kept, photographs were taken, and births, marriages, and deaths were recorded in the minutes book.
The group’s interest in family history is evidenced by the inclusion of historians in the association’s officers. Historians included Walter E.B. Dunlap and Jennie Carlton, and according to the 1926 minutes, Mr. Dunlap made an annual report. Also that year the association voted to investigate the feasibility of securing a bronze tablet in memory of William Dunlap, the Revolutionary veteran and a family patriarch, whose grave at the time was apparently unlocated (later minutes do not include any mention of having found it or securing the bronze tablet). A 1930 letter from the Institute of American Genealogy to Walter E.B. Dunlap expressed interest in publishing information about the Association. In 1933 the minutes noted that “anyone wishing a genealogical record of the Carlton family could receive a copy from Cleona Carlton, Chicago, Ill. for 15¢.”
The association ceased meeting after 1942, possibly because it was wartime, and my grandmother, the last elected secretary, kept the book which held the minutes from 1898 through 1942. Eventually one of my cousins ended up with the book, and she gave it to me.
I have transcribed the more than 200 births, marriages, and deaths from the minutes book and attempted to identify the people listed and place them on my family tree. I have been successful so far except for 12 entries. For some of those people, I have identified the people but not their connection to our family, or in some cases there is more than one person with the same name such as John Van Wye. Unfortunately, I have not found a way to post the information at vanwye.net–the site is apparently unable to accept Excel or PDF files. However, I will e-mail the list in either format to anyone who wishes to have it. The entries not checked off are the ones I couldn’t figure out. I would be grateful for any additions or corrections. (If anyone is interested in helping to identify those last 12 people, I will send you my research notes).
Please e-mail me at email@example.com if you would like to have the schedule, if you have questions, or if you have any documents from those meetings. It would be interesting to find out where the earlier minutes book is, whether any of the photographs still exist, and what happened to the notes from the family history presentations (I have a couple of old carbon copies of documents that were probably prepared for the reunions, but in those pre-photocopy days, documents weren’t as widely distributed as they often are now). Also, the association may have resumed meeting in later decades, and that would be interesting to learn more about too, if anyone knows. And it would be interesting to know if anyone ever found William Dunlap’s grave and placed the bronze marker on it, and if anyone has the genealogical record of the Carlton family that Cleona Carlton was distributing for 15¢.