Descendants of William M. Smith, an early 1900s Black resident of Gwynn’s Island in Mathews, held a reunion on the island on Saturday, June 5. Participants wanted to see their ancestral lands, said a press release from organizer Allison Thomas of Los Angeles, California.
Two dozen people attended, including local residents Bud Ward and Jean Sparrow. Most of those who attended were from Hampton, with some from Norfolk and a few from Laurel, Maryland, said the release. They visited the former Black church on Gwynnsville Road, drove along Gwynnsville and South Bay Haven roads to see ancestral property, attended a barbecue on Black Stump Road, and visited the Gwynn’s Island Museum.
“We gathered, told stories about the life on Gwynn’s Island then, and tried to figure out how everyone was related,” said Thomas.
The group included descendants of three of William M. Smith’s children and their spouses, said the release—James Henry Smith and Ida Baker, Roan Frazier and Lillian Smith, a...
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