Raifords to gather for family reunion Oct. 9

Published 7:03 am Friday, October 8, 2021

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It has been two years since all of the descendants of Phillip and Millie Johnson Raiford have gotten together to celebrate their ancestral roots. Restrictions in place last year caused them to delay the event until this October.  

An event press release continued with officials stating, “We look forward to having as many of our Raiford relatives there as possible.”

On Friday, Oct. 8, they will gather at Corinth Friends Meeting at 10 a.m. and will be given a tour of the area to show some of the special old family homes, cemeteries and the original Raiford Memorial Hospital in Sedley, which has recently undergone refurbishing. 

“We will be able to tour the inside of the home where Dr. Rufus Livious Raiford and his wife, Lora Burgess Raiford, cared for the many residents of Sedley and the surrounding communities,” officials stated. “We will also visit a number of local cemeteries where many of the Raiford family ancestors are buried, including Dr. Raiford’s parents, grandparents and extended family.”

On Saturday, Oct. 9, the family reunion will be held from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. at the Bronco Club located at 31040 Delaware Road in Franklin. 

There will be plenty of outside and inside space for eating and reconnecting with family members. There will also be a number of fun children’s and adult activities with door prizes. 

Family members are asked to bring a dish to share and a chair. Drinks and paper products will be provided. For those who have family photos or memorabilia, they are asked to bring them by 10:30 a.m. so those arriving can enjoy them prior to lunch, which will be served at about 12:30 p.m.

“Our speakers will be Katherine Raiford Smith, granddaughter of Dr. Raiford, and Dr. Judy Raiford Pantelides, reunion organizer,” officials stated. “Judy will be sharing photos and stories of her travels to Crediton, England, where Philip Wrayford, the immigrant, the first Raiford to come to America, was born.”

Pantelides most recently completed Volume I of the Raiford family history, which is the first Raiford book to be completed since 1989 and first written by a Virginia Raiford. She has already taken many pre-orders and will have personally autographed copies for sale all weekend. 

The book has almost 300 pages filled with stories of the first five children of Phillip and Millie Raiford and more than 200 photos contributed by family members. Pantelides’ research and travels over the past 25+ years will be most interesting to Raifords and extended family. Stories of how Quakers started in the Crediton and Moretonhampstead areas of England and spread to Virginia and Corinth are included as well as many stories about Raiford ancestors never before shared. All three earlier books about the Raiford family are reviewed in depth, and the most current accepted Raiford lineage is revealed. All known descendants of Phillip and Millie’s first five children are included in this book.

On Sunday, Oct. 10, all reunion attendees are invited to join in the service at Corinth Friends Meeting at 11 a.m. 

“This should be a special time since Corinth was established by our Raiford ancestors and remains a vital part of the community with many Raiford descendant members,” officials stated.

For any questions, contact Pantelides at 757-288-3590.