Two members to be inducted into the “Hall of Fame”

     The Jonesborough Genealogical Society (JGS) will be celebrating its 34th anniversary and induct the “Hall of Fame” Class of 2024, Linda Mauk Gray and Anne G’Fellers Mason into the Jonesborough Genealogical Society “Hall of Fame” on Saturday, April 27, at 10 a.m. at the Washington County-Jonesborough Library, 200 Sabin Drive, Jonesborough, Tennessee. The public is invited. Jeff Harmon, engineer, and history researcher will be our speaker.

A native of Washington County, Linda Kay Mauk Gray is a very passionate volunteer, director, and retired educator. Linda Mauk Gray has been a member of the society since 2018, after participating in the Tours of Historic Washington County and becoming a very active volunteer. Since 2020, she has served as a Director on the Board of Directors. In every avenue of life, Linda makes a difference for those around her and accomplishes more than anyone can imagine. No matter where the society is participating, conducting a program, or event, she is attending, bringing homemade snacks or loaves of bread for give aways, and helping set up and clean up. Even only serving on the Board of Directors for four years, her work ethic has been showcased in her love for students and local history through her accomplished leadership role as chair of the Teachers Workshop Committee, which brought together an outstanding Teachers Workshop in 2023 entitled, “How History and Genealogy Meets State Standards.” She also volunteers with the Washington College Alumni Association, the Netherland Inn Museum, and other heritage organizations including the Boones Creek Historical Trust and Opry. She is a key figure in her family’s wellbeing and continues to operate her farm in Washington College. Linda is also a member of the Kingsport Retired Teachers, where she has served as a co-recording secretary. Among other accomplishments, Linda is a 1962 graduate of Washington College Academy and a 1966 graduate of East Tennessee State University. In 2016, she was a member of the Class of 2016 Golden Fifties Inductees, where she celebrated 50 years as an alumnus of ETSU.

No stranger to Jonesborough, Anne G’Fellers-Mason is the Program Manager for the McKinney Center where she oversees the StoryTown Initiative, including the monthly StoryTown Radio Show. Prior to her employment with the Town of Jonesborough, she served as the Executive Director of the Heritage Alliance of Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia, a non-profit organization she had worked with since 2008. She has a BA in History/Theatre from Mars Hill University, a MA in History from ETSU, and an MFA in Playwriting from Hollins University. She combines her degrees to write history-based plays including the award-winning “A Spot on the Hill” that takes place every fall in the Old Jonesborough Cemetery and the award-winning “Nancy” that tells the story of an enslaved woman who was enslaved by Elihu Embree while he was writing his abolitionist newspaper The Emancipator. Anne is also a published author through Mountain Gap Books. Her titles include The Summer Between, Haints and Hollers: New Ghost Tales from Appalachia, and Shelved: Appalachian Resilience Amid COVID-19.

This year meeting will feature Jeff Harmon, who will speak on general history of the area and the use of Sanborn Maps and other municipal documents. Jeff Harmon is an engineer with the City of Johnson City’s Public Works Department. He is currently working on the West Walnut Street Redevelopment Project. Having lived in Northeast Tennessee and still having family in the area, he and his family, wife Helen and daughter Emily, moved here from Tampa, FL 10 years ago. Prior to this, he was an environmental engineering consultant, working mainly in water treatment on the east coast. A graduate of both the University of Tennessee and the University of Florida, his loyalty to his home state has never wavered and he has carried the Tri-Star flag all over the world.

His ancestry includes Moravian Germans who settled in North Carolina and still maintain an active presence. Many lived in and around Kings Mountain during the Revolution. One ancestor met up with and led the patriots that fateful autumn day in 1780 to Ferguson’s men. As the fighting was ending, he saw his brother wearing a sprig of green, the sign of a Tory. Carrying the mutual hatred of their opposed causes that outrivaled their fraternal bonds, they fired and killed each other on the spot in what Isaac Shelby called the most extraordinary event he witnessed that day. Other ancestral lines derive from Scots-Irish, Welsh, Norwegian and even Sub-Saharan Africa.

The Jonesborough Genealogical Society was formed in 1990, when a group of local genealogists came together to create a genealogy collection at the Washington County-Jonesborough Library.  On Wednesday, August 22, 1990, the Jonesborough Genealogical Society column, “Digging for Your Roots,” first appeared in the Jonesborough Herald & Tribune with Editor Elaine Scott Cantrell and first article written by Loraine Bennett Rae. the “Digging for Your Roots” column was written by Judge John Kiener. Today, the “Digging for Your Roots” Column has been revived and is in the Jonesborough Herald & Tribune each week.  Today, the Jonesborough Genealogical Society meets on the 4th Saturday, January through October as we have our “Genealogical Day” at the Washington County- Jonesborough Library.  The Jonesborough Genealogical Society also conducts Genealogy Help Nights on the second Saturday of each month from January-December at the Washington County- Jonesborough Library from 6 pm to 8 pm. We invite you to visit our web page at jgstn.org or join our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/tnjgs/.

     For more information on this event or any other event of the JGS please contact, Chad Bailey, President, at (423) 791-8295 or by e-mail at info@jgstn.org.