Duval Family Association Reunions

Links to our past reunions:

DuVal Family Reunion 1936 Nashville, Tennessee


From the Nashville (Tennessee) Banner, September 2nd, 1936

Descendants of Samuel DuVal, Revolutionary soldier of Huguenot descent, held a reunion last Saturday, in the dining-room of McKendree Methodist Church for the purpose of organizing a family association. McKendree Church was chosen as a meeting place in recognition of the sentiment attached to the memory of a member of the family, the Rev. James Gwin, an early pastor of the church who also served as Andrew Jackson’s army chaplain.

Greetings from the members of the family living in Nashville were extended by Lee Baskette and Robert DuVal of Springfield, Tenn. gave the response. Mrs. Margaret Buchanan of Richmond, Ky., gave a short talk on Samuel DuVal and his plantation, Mt. Comfort, VA., now Chestnut Hill and Highland Park sections in Richmond,Va.

The 1937 reunion will be held at Franklin, Ky., the last Sunday in August.

1999 Reunion of the DuVal Family Association Richmond, Virginia

1999 Reunion in Richmond, Virginia!
The DuVal Family Association held its First Reunion in Richmond, Virginia in June, 1999

Standing from left to right:

Katherine Moore Lewis, Roger DuVal Baskette, Thomas Donovan Dunscombe, Jr., Joseph Stephen Hays, Regina Reedus Thompson


Patricia Duval Koenig, Judith Anderson Hamby and Cyrus Fleming Rilee, Jr.

This photo was taken at Clay Bank, on the York River,
which is said to be the spot where Daniel DuVal stepped off the ship, “Nassau”.

2001 Reunion of the DuVal Family Association Richmond, Virginia

2001 Reunion in Richmond, Virginia!

The second biennial meeting of the DuVal Family Association since its reorganization in 1998 was held June 21-24, 2001 at the Omni Hotel in Richmond, Virginia. On Thursday June 21 members attended a genealogy workshop presented by DFA genealogist Joseph Stephen Hays of Smiths Grove, Kentucky.
Following the workshop members attended a reception in the atrium of the hotel. The Board of Directors met on Friday morning, June 22 followed by a General Membership meeting. Business items included adding a new membership category, a family membership for descendant, spouse and any unmarried children under the age of 18. The DuVal Family Association is trying to encourage its members to include the children in all of its activities. Members voted to hold the next meeting at the Omni Hotel in Richmond June 19-22, 2003.

DuVal Family Association Board members for 2001-2003.

Standing from left to right: 

Regina Reedus Thompson, Cyrus Fleming Rilee, Jr., Thomas D. Dunscombe, Jr., 
Joseph Stephen Hays, Patricia Duval Koenig, Katherine Lewis 


Judith Anderson Hamby and Roger DuVal Baskette.
Sarah King was not present for this picture.

At noon on Friday members attended a luncheon in the hotel. Del. Frank DuVal Hargrove, Sr., member of the Virginia House of Delegates from the Fifty-fifth District gave the invocation. Guest speakers following the luncheon were Ray Bonis, Assistant Archivist, James Branch Cabell Library and Gibson Worsham, architect and architectural historian who spoke on the significance of the DuVal’s in Richmond and in Virginia. Following the luncheon members toured Hollywood Cemetery, St. John’s Church and the State Capitol Building where they were met by Delegate Hargrove and given a personal tour of the house chambers. The group then met at the Ginter Park home of Mrs. Peggy Worsham for a reception. 

On Saturday the group left the hotel at 8:00 a.m. for the drive to Gloucester County. The activities are described in the following article which appeared in the Richmond Times Dispatch.


By: Noreen Gillespie 

GLOUCESTER – Three hundred years ago, Daniel DuVal arrived on the banks of the York River, seeking the opportunity to practice his Protestant faith in peace. He was the only member of his family who made the four-month voyage, fleeing religious persecution of the French Huguenots in his homeland. 

Today, he has more than 200 identified descendants across the country. 

With their ancestors beneath their feet, 90 of those descendants gathered in the graveyard of Ware Episcopal Church yesterday to honor DuVal. After arriving in Virginia on March 5, 1701, DuVal settled in Gloucester and was a registered member of Ware Parish by 1705. Family members estimate that one-third of the graveyard belongs to the DuVal family. 

Family members recalled DuVal’s journey and contributions to the Gloucester community and erected a granite slab engraved with the Huguenot cross. 

”He wanted to enjoy religious freedom, as we do today,” said Joseph Hays, the DuVal family association genealogist from Smith’s Grove, Ky. “In 300 years, maybe our descendants will gather and commemorate our honoring him.” 

The ceremony was just one in a weekend of events in the DuVal family reunion. 

Earlier in the day, family members marched in the town parade for Gloucester’s 350th anniversary. Gov. Jim Gilmore sent a letter to the family notifying them the day would be officially recognized as “DuVal Day” in Virginia in honor of the family’s accomplishments and contributions to the commonwealth. 

The four-day reunion was sponsored by the DuVal Family Association. The association was originally established in 1936 by direct descendants of Daniel’s son Samuel to celebrate his accomplishments as an architect and revolutionary soldier. Vigilant about holding reunions and meetings to track their genealogy after their inception, the association stopped meeting during World War II, when gas rations made travel difficult. 

Records and membership information were lost, and the association remained dormant until 1997, when current association president Judy Anderson Hamby set up a Web site to revamp the organization. After an extensive letter-writing campaign to locate lost relatives, Hamby and fellow board members managed to locate and register 215 DuVal descendants. 

”It snowballed,” said Hamby, of Lenoir, NC. “I got several phone calls and letters, and it just started growing.” 

The organization met for a smaller reunion two years ago, just shortly after Hamby set up the Web site. Choosing Richmond because Samuel DuVal was one of six architects who designed the city, only 60 members were present at the first reunion. This year, however, more than 100 descendants, many of whom discovered the association on the Internet, came to the reunion. Most of them are from Virginia, but many came from across the United States and Canada. 

While the organization is far from locating all DuVal family members, Hamby estimates there are close to 200 descendants in the Virginia area alone who have not yet been identified. 

That trend could begin to change as the family members identify their shared heritage, however. Some of the attendees hadn’t even realized they were related before this weekend. Elizabeth Switzer and Virginia Price first met on the Logan County, Ky., swim team in grade school, but didn’t know they were relatives. When they arrived in Richmond for the reunion, they discovered their DuVal connection. 

Through conversation, the two realized they were both related to Maj. Claiborne DuVal, son of Samuel DuVal, who originally owned the land in Kentucky where they grew up. 

The precise family tree linking Switzer and Price still needs some investigation, however. “We haven’t quite figured it out yet,” Price said with a laugh. “We’re still working on that one.” 

Shirley Kennett, who traveled with her husband, Don, from Kelowna, British Columbia, to the event, didn’t know any of her DuVal relatives. Looking to trace her grandmother’s lineage, she found the association on the Internet and decided to make the trip to Virginia. 

”I didn’t know I had any alive cousins,” she said. “This has been wonderful.”

2003 Reunion DuVal Family Association Richmond, Virginia

2003 Reunion in Richmond, Virginia!
The DuVal Family Association held its biennial meeting (and Third Reunion!) June 19-21, 2003 at the Omni Hotel in Richmond, Virginia. Daniel DuVal, was a refugee from France to England. Several years later he immigrated to America, arriving in Virgina in 1701. There he settled in Ware Parish where, it is thought, he was one of the builders of Ware Parish Church.

On Saturday, June 20, 2003 members of the DuVal Family Association boarded the riverboat Annabel Lee for a cruise on the James River.
The descendents of Daniel DuVal returned for a few days in June to Virginia, where their Huguenot ancestor established the family after his arrival in 1701. About sixty members of the DuVal Family representing three of the four lines of descent from Daniel’s sons gathered for the third bienniel reunion since the organization was reorganized in 1998.
The weekend’s events at the Richmod Omni Hotel began with a genealogy session conducted by DFA Genealogist Joseph Hays. In the registration area DuVal descendents were able to examine detailed genealogy charts, one from each line descending from Daniel’s four sons. There have been so many descendents over three centuried that each chart was nearly 20 feet long. At Thursday evening’s reception there was much lively conversation as cousins renewed acquaintances or met for the first time.

2005 Reunion DuVal Family Association Richmond, Virginia

2005 Reunion in Richmond, Virginia!
The DuVal Family Association held its Fourth Biennial Reunion in Richmond, Virginia on June 10, 2005.

On Saturday we visited three wonderful colonial estates – Shirley, Westover and Berkeley Plantation.

Please click below to visit their website.


Our Meeting Schedule:
The Board of Directors of the DuVal Family Association held its annual meeting at 9 a.m. on Friday, June 10, 2005, at the Sheraton Richmond West Hotel in Richmond, Virginia.
The Membership of the DuVal Family Association held its biennial meeting at 1:30 p.m. on Friday, June 10, 2005, at the Sheraton Richmond West Hotel in Richmond, Virginia.
Election of officers and other board members took place at the Membership Meeting.
This was other items of business that took place at the Membership Meeting, including choosing the location for the 2007 meeting of the DuVal Family Association.

Joseph Hays expanded talk about the DuVal family’s first 100 years in Richmond.

Ken Pfeiffer’s presentation on the DuVal’s in Texas.

2007 Reunion DuVal Family Association Nashville, Tennessee

2007 Reunion in Nashville, Tennessee!
The fifth biennial reunion was held at Nashville, Tennessee from 21 June until 23 June 2007. The reunion was moved to The Hermitage Hotel from the Sheraton Downtown. Please click on the photo below to see the Hermitage web site.

Friday night was spent at the Baskette Home. A DuVal Family Reception, with hors d’oeuvres served in the dining room.

We had the best Baskette hostess’: Rene Baston, Marsha Baskette & Thetis!

On Friday, 21 June 2007 we had the DFA Board Meeting in the morning. Then in the afternoon we had the DFA General Meeting.

After the DFA General Meeting Joseph Stephen Hays, DFA genealogist gave presentation “DuVal’s of Tennessee & Kentucky from Virginia”

Then that evening we were treated to a wonderful dinner at the Hermitage & guest speaker, Dr. Timothy Johnson. He painted a picture of Nashville before the Civil War and an description of the Battle of Nashville.

On Sat. we departed the hotel for a day Рlong adventure at The Hermitage, home of President Andrew Jackson, stopping for a lunch The Garden Gate Caf̩.

Then we left to tour Carter House & the Carnton Plantation.

2009 Reunion DuVal Family Association Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia

2009 Reunion in Williamsburg, Virginia!The sixth biennial reunion was held at Williamsburg, Virginia from 25 June until 27 June 2009. The reunion was held at The Williamsburg Woodlands Hotel & Suites.

Please click on the coach below to see Colonial Williamsburg’s web site.

We started registration on Thursday afternoon, giving out name tags and goody bags!

Thursday evening at 6:00 p.m. we had a reception at the Garden Room, at the Woodlands

Friday afternoon at 2 p.m. we had two presentations on the DuVal family and genealogical research techniques

Our guest speaker was Lise Embley
She spoke on using Family Search & Internet genealogy.

Next Joseph Stephen Hays spoke on doing genealogical research online & update about our Cemetery Project.

Friday evening at 6 p.m. we held our DFA General Meeting & then our banquet.

On Saturday we were all touring Colonial Williamsburg! There was Jamestown, Yorktown, Williams & Busch Gardens just down the road!

Sunday morning we tried to meet for breakfast & say our “Goodbyes”…