2018 Reunion Chicago

Published on
November 3, 2022

Calkins Family Association

Reunion general business meeting-- Chicago, IL

April 28, 2018

 Program meeting began with Nanette Armstrong introducing Rev. Dr. Kurt J. Calkins. Cousin Kurt opened the reunion with a blessing and prayer,

 Ken Calkins gave some opening remarks, saying he was putting on a genealogy workshop later that afternoon, and stressing that the library is an underutilized portion of the reunion and the CFA. He spoke of the beginnings of the CFA. The date of June 12is significant. That is the date of the first meeting of cousins speaking oftheir interest in starting a family association, and it’s his wife Barbara’s birthday. These interested cousins met in Eagle, WI, the home of Dr. Phil Burns and his wife, Dr. Dana (Calkins) Burns, Ken and Barbara Calkins’ daughter.

 Judie Schiel talked about being invited to Washington D.C. to accept an award on behalf of Mary Whiton Calkins. The APA was celebrating 125 years.

 Tim Calkins presented a delightful and insightful show about his great aunt Mary Whiton Calkins (1863-1930). We learned she was devoted to her family, friends and her work, and was quite religious. She was called Maidie. She was the first woman to study psychology at Harvard, passed the exams with flying colors, but was not given her degree simply because she was female. Many petitions later and she is still not recognized. Maidie was never bitter about this and held no ill will about not getting her degree from Harvard. She was the first female president of the American Psychological Association and the president of the American Philosophical Assoc.  She was a triple threat: she was a good researcher, a good teacher and she gave back to academia by being the chair of her department. She got along with everyone which was not always the case in academia. She worked for social justice. She lived to age 67, never married, had no children, Tim asked “why study family history?”

  1. It’s interesting.
  2. We can learn a few things.
  3. We have some work to do.

Maidie planned to write a book about the topic (reconcile religion and science) that science and religion can get along, but she never got to it. She began a society for the underprivileged which is still in existence today.

Things to learn from Maidie:

  1. Work hard
  2. Don’t let setbacks and barriers push you down.
  3. Care deeply about others.
  4. Get to it.

 A petition, written by cousin Barbara J. Calkins, was presented by Nanette Armstrong. Tim Calkins signed the first space followed by author Susanna Calkins. We ceremoniously attached stamps and it’s ready to mail (It’s on its way with over 200 signatures.)

Short business meeting with election of officers. President Nanette Armstrong presented the slate of nominees to the board. This was printed in the last newsletter and a few members sent in their vote. The by-laws call for up to 9 may be on the board. The slate has 8. Nanette opened the floor for nominations. None were forthcoming. The list:

Nanette Armstrong-president

Melissa Calkins--Vice-president

Margaret “Maggie” Calkins-Treasurer

Marjorie Edwards--secretary

Christopher Calkins--board member

Keith Calkins--board member

Johnathon Calkins--board member

Judie Schiel--board member


The list was seconded and voted on by the saying of “aye”. There were no nay votes. The slate passed. Nanette mentioned that if someone in time wanted to join the board, they may do so. She invited any member to attend the BOD meeting later that afternoon.

 Judie Schiel is leaving the office of Treasurer after serving for 18 years. She was presented with the “Golden Piggy Bank” award bestowing upon her a certificate and a gold-colored piggy bank. We say thank you to Cindy Flanagan. She leaves the board after having served as Membership Chair.


Fun presentations:

Melissa Calkins, having taken a class on Colonial America, talked about the early days of our ancestors in America. The homes had a central hearth. The town had a mill. Melissa showed this well with several poster boards of photographs on display. Hugh and Ann settled in Cape Ann, Gloucester, MA, then moved to Pequot, now New London, CT. They were known as the Cape Ann Company. The street their houses were on was known as Cape Ann Lane which today is Jefferson Ave. Hugh became the Deacon of the Congregational Church of Norwich. While it’s been questioned was he an educated man, Melissa felt he was.

 “Connecting The Dots: Visiting England; the foundation of why our ancestors left” by Cindy Flanagan. She dedicated her talk to her mom and to all the CFA members. Cindy had an array of slides and told of the history of England, the friction between the monarchy and the Catholic Church. Hugh was a Puritan. He was from Waverton, England. St. Peter’s Church (Waverton, England) records have him baptized in 1603. He may have been born around 1600. Our ancestors didn’t leave for just one reason. King Charles I; the enticement from the colonies to come to America by Gov. Winthrop; the chance to own land.  We learned Rev. Blinman wasn’t Hugh & Ann’s pastor. He was from Chepshow and the Calkins were from Chester. The Calkins were acquaintances with the Bruens who knew Rev. Blinman, so somehow, our Calkins hooked up with Rev. Blinman and came to America.  It was dangerous to be a Puritan in England at the time.{Hugh had two brothers: Peter, William} [Hugh’s father was Rowland, his father was Hugh??]

 We broke for a delicious lunch. Afterwards, Norma Budzinski and Jean Kent, dressed in period costume, entertained us with a skit about their ancestors Frederick Calkins and wife Annis. Frederick served in the Navy during the Revolutionary War.

Banquet (Saturday evening April 28, 2018)

 Penny presented some fun awards after dinner, handing out 10 awards. Susanna Calkins gave a lively presentation about historical murder and intrigued. While her current books are set in England, the next set will be in America?  Susie had a drawing for a gift basket with books and the winner was Laura Cella. Each cousin had a paper leaf on their plate upon which they wrote their name and placed it on a large paper on the wall, denoting which of Hugh & Ann’s children they descend. Penny was given the “amazing editor’ award for her work on editing the cookbook, the reunion booklet, and attention to reunion details. Jean and Norma were thanked for hosting such a successful reunion.

  The grand prize quilt winner was Laura Cella. What a lucky gal!

 Ken & Barbara Calkins’ daughter Dana Burns attended the banquet, making 3 founders of the CFA in attendance. Ken gave us some closing remarks.


Sunday April 29, 2018. This morning was slow in the library. It was packed up and mailed back to Melissa, the genealogy recorder at a cost of $55+ (this is a great price.)

 Norma and Jean did a fantastic job at organizing the reunion. The bus tour and boat tour was very interesting. The food delicious. The reunion speakers were top notch. Everyone walked around gathering autographs in their red booklet. We made lots of money in the raffle with many donated prizes.


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