The Society’s annual meeting will take place on Friday-Sunday, October 19-21, 2018, in Yorktown, Virginia. The theme will focus on descendants from several of the five Fontaine siblings who settled in Virginia from Ireland, as well as the family’s role in the Revolutionary War and in Yorktown. Our events will include participation in the annual Yorktown Day festivities on October 19, which includes a parade, fifes and drums performances and special programs that commemorate the 236th anniversary of America’s Revolutionary War victory over the British at Yorktown.
All five of the Fontaine siblings who came to America landed in the area of our meeting, with a number of family members specifically being at Yorktown. James Fontaine (1686-1745) and his wife Lucretia Desjarrie and their daughter Elizabeth landed in Yorktown in October 1717 where James’ brother John Fontaine (1693-1767) met them and took them home to the family plantation John had established. Their brother Francis Fontaine (1697-1749) and his wife Mary Glenisson followed, arriving in Virginia in May 1719. Francis became the Rector of York-Hampton Parish two years later, in 1723, and remained in this role until his death in 1749. He preached in Grace Church in Yorktown and is believed to be buried in the churchyard.
A number of family members were in Yorktown on that fateful day of October 19, 1781, when the British surrendered to the Army of General George Washington. Lt. Col. William Fontaine (1753-1810), grandson of another of the five siblings, the Reverend Peter Fontaine (1691-1810), was with Washington and wrote about the surrender. William’s brother, John Fontaine (1750-1792), was there as well with his Henry County, Virginia (VA), militia unit, as well as their uncle Aaron Fontaine (1753-1823) who was there as part of his Louisa County VA militia unit. Aaron’s future son-in-law, Edmund Bullock (1763-1852), was there with his Hanover County VA militia unit; the two men knew each other even though Edmond did not marry Aaron’s daughter until they were all living in Kentucky.
Our weekend will be at the Fort Magruder Hotel, located at 6945 Pocahontas Trail, in Williamsburg VA 23185. The hotel has offered the Society a special group rate of $109.00 per night; a state tax and a $2.00 occupancy tax will be added. The hotel rate is applicable for two nights prior to our weekend and two nights after, for those who may want to spend more time in the area. Breakfast is not included but we are working on a special rate to have breakfast in our group room each morning for those who wish to do so. The hotel is convenient to many sites, being only one mile from the College of William & Mary, seven miles from Jamestown, and nine miles from the Yorktown Battlefield Visitors Center. The hotel is 40 miles from the airports at Richmond and at Norfolk, and only 2.5 miles from the Amtrak train station. To make your hotel reservation, call the hotel at 757-220-2250; remember to ask for the Fontaine Maury Society group rate!
Our annual meeting at the hotel on Friday night will include a short presentation about the family’s role in the British surrender at Yorktown. We are still finalizing a full day tour on Saturday that will include Grace Church. Our annual dinner on Saturday night will be at the hotel. Our keynote speaker will be Jay Gaidmore, Director of Special Collections at the College of William & Mary. He will discuss the university’s extraordinary Fontaine and Maury holdings in their Special Collections. His talk will include a presentation showing images from the collection and the university’s on-going digitation program.
We will have more details, including the registration form, in the summer newsletter and on our web page!