Saturday the 14th of April 1996, saw the first (that we know of) Jewell Family Reunion. The Reunion was held at the White Hills Primary School Hall, in White Hills, Bendigo, and consisted of the decsendants of John Jewell and his uncle William Jewell who both settled in Bendigo to start their respective families.

The Reunion attracted nearly 100 people from all over Victoria along with interstate visitors, and some from New Zealand, with one couple making the trip from New Zealand particularly for the day. The day was an outstanding success, with visitors able to see demonstrations of the research that Don Jewell had completed on his branch of the Jewell family, along with a display of the research I (Bruce Jewell) had conducted on "my" branch of the Jewell family.

The day commenced with Don Jewell, who gave an introduction followed by brief history of the Jewell family, including the History of the Jewell name. Don then went on to relate his research into his branch of the "Jewell" family. Following Don was myself. During my presentation I gave details of the History of John Jewell's family, including where he and his family came from ( see History of the Jewell Family in Cornwall).

Visitors were also able to see the complete family tree of John Jewell commencing with his earliest know ancestor (George Jewell baptised on 24 December 1567 at Poughill, Cornwall), right down to all his known descendants. The family tree was quite extensive, with the last generation causing the chart to stretch nearly 6 meters. The chart was complimented by a large collection of photos of John and his familiy. Included in the display were maps, of both Bendigo and Cornawll, including a map of the area that John's parents were living in, around 1840's. I was also able to have available 2 draft copies of my up and coming book. This was a great opportuntiy for visitors to correct any errors, update any information, and register for a copy.

After the talks there was a small presentation of gifts, to the oldest descendant (Frieda Lee - 90 yrs young), the youngest (Grace Waterman, who had just turned 1), and to the person who travelled the greatest distance. This final award went to Margaret Walker, a descendant of Don Jewell's branch of the tree, who travelled all the way from New Zealand.

After lunch visitors continued to view the many display, and swap family stories, in some cases with relatives that had not seen in over 30 years. Later I gave a brief demonstartion of what information I had published on the Internet in the form of this site. Following that we had a photo session, with descendants being grouped together in groups based on John's Children. Below are copies of the photos.

Descendants of Elizabeth Jewell Descendants of John Jewell (jnr)
Photo Photo
Descendants of George Jewell Descendants of William Jewell
Photo Photo

After photos were taken, visitors were invited to walk to the White Hills cementary to view the resting place of John and his second wife Sarah, along with other grave sites belonging to descendants of William Jewell.

Below is a copy of some photos taken at the cementary

Photo Photo

Following the tour visitors returned to the hall, for a final cup of tea or coffee, and a final view of the displays. There is no doubt that the day was a resounding success, with a number of people taking the time to comment directly to both Don and myself, and also leave written comments.

I would like to take this opportunity to express my thanks and appreciation to my wife Penny. Without her artistic skills my display would not have looked as great as it did. Also a big thanks for keeping our children occupied. I would also like to thank both Don and his wife Lyn for helping to organise the day.

Bruce Jewell


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Last Updated 10th November 1996