The sixth nationwide gathering of the descendants of Jacob Hochstetler will meet July 19 and 20 in Mifflin County.
After American independence, members of this Swiss German colonial family left Berks County and came to central and southwest Pennsylvania and northern Maryland. Many still call this their home while others continued the movement westward and today the descendants number in the tens of thousands and are found in virtually all states.
The all-day Saturday events will be held at the new Mifflin County High School, 501 6th St., Lewistown. Registration begins at 8 a.m. and the forenoon will offer a time to browse family exhibits and displays, shop at vendors, visit with relatives, meet authors, participate in children's activities, and search genealogy by books and the Internet.
Beginning at 9:15 a.m. and each hour after that, attendees can choose from nine seminars and workshops on a wide variety of topics. One choice is "Tracing the Footsteps of Our Ancestor Jacob" by Dr. Ervin Stutzman, executive director of Mennonite Church USA, who is publishing this year the first of a series of three historical novels on the progenitor Jacob and his children.
The afternoon will conclude with a general session recognizing the diversity and scope of this prominent family, a brief business session and a look ahead, and a presentation on "A Goodly Heritage" by distinguished speaker, pastor and prolific author, Robert R. Hostetler, from Hamilton, Ohio.
The nationwide gathering is sponsored by the Jacob Hochstetler Family Association Inc., in cooperation with the local Mifflin County and Juniata County Mennonite Historical societies. The Friday evening dinner and the Saturday optional box lunch need to be prepaid before June 25 to the JHFA Inc., P.O. Box 2085, Elkhart, IN 46515. For more information email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 574-293-2924. Or see www.2013gathering.com.