All posts by Brian Nilsson

Presentation on New Book, “The Anarcha Quest” – Sunday, Feb. 21, 2021

Author J.C. Hallman and artist Michelle Browder will talk about Hallman’s new book, “The Anarcha Quest”, which documents the founding of modern gynecology by controversial surgeon, Dr. J. Marion Sims (1813-1883), and the enslaved woman, Anarcha (b. ca. 1828, d. unknown), on whom he performed multiple surgical experiments.   She is known as “the Mother of Gynecology.”

Browder is one of the creators of a monument honoring Anarcha and her sister slaves on whom experiments were also made.

Our Maury family has connections to this story.  Hallman and Browder will provide a slide show and documents as they share the story of Anarcha, her sister slaves, the monument project, and Dr. Sims.

The event is scheduled for Sunday, February 21, 2021, at 2:00 pm Pacific Time on Zoom.

To register to attend, please contact the Society’s president at

Please Join Us!

About the book:

About the More Up Campus Project:

A press article about the More Up project regarding Anarcha:

Virtual Gathering of Cousins! Sunday, Jan. 31, 2021

Based on the popularity of our virtual annual meeting held in October 2020, the Society will be hosting another virtual meeting on Sunday, January 31, 2021, at 1:00 pm Pacific Standard Time (2:00 pm Mountain Standard Time; 3:00 pm Central Standard Time; 4:00 pm Eastern Standard Time).

The meeting will be held on Zoom.  To register to attend, please contact the Society’s president at

Please join us!

RESCHEDULED: Annual Meeting in Louisville, Kentucky, Oct. 15-16, 2021

The Fontaine Maury Society’s annual in person 2020 meeting has been rescheduled to still take place in Louisville, Kentucky, with the new dates of October 15-16, 2021.    We will celebrate the pioneering family of Virginia born Aaron Fontaine (1753-1823), his two wives, 16 children, and 10 stepchildren!  We promise you FUN, FACTS, AND FONTAINES!

Our 2021 annual business meeting and gathering we will be at the Hilton Garden Inn Airport located at 2735 Crittenden Drive, Louisville, Kentucky, just six miles from historic downtown Louisville.

Reservations are made directly with the hotel by individual members.  You may reserve your room on line by following the link or you may call 502-637-2424 and identify yourself as a member of the Fontaine Maury Society to receive the reduced rate. Our code is FMS.

There is a deadline to make your reservations by September 16, 2021.  Any rooms not reserved will be released by the hotel at that time and the reduced rate may not be available.

Plan early, reserve early and ensure your access to the reduced rate.  By reserving a room within our FMS block of rooms, you help to ensure that the society meets it contract with the hotel.

Negotiated rates are:

  • $124 for a standard king room or a double queen room
  • $149 for a king suite
  • 16.07% local taxes and fees also apply.

Rooms include breakfast for up to 2 persons per room.  There is a restaurant on site and others nearby, free parking on site and a free hotel airport shuttle.  Our negotiated room rates will extend one day before and one day after our gathering.

Please make your reservations early!!!


In-Person Annual Meeting Postponed; Virtual Business Meeting Planned for Oct. 17, 2020

Due to the on-going COVID-19 pandemic, the Society’s Executive Committee has decided to postpone the annual meeting weekend in Louisville, Kentucky, from October 16-18, 2020, until October 15-17, 2021, still in Louisville.

Anyone who has already made hotel reservations should contact the hotel (502-637-2424) to cancel; your reservations will not be automatically canceled because of the postponement of the meeting.

The Executive Committee is developing a plan to hold a virtual business meeting on Saturday, October 17, 2020.  This will still provide members and guests a great opportunity to participate and hopefully then participate in our in-person meeting in 2021.

We will announce further details on this planned virtual business meeting when we have them.

The Executive Committee wishes everyone well and hopes you remain safe and healthy during this difficult time.

251 Year Old Maury Bible Donated to the Society!

The library is excited to report the donation of a 251 year old family Bible to the Society!  Inherited by a Maury descendant in Maine, she reached out to our librarian to arrange to donate it to the Society.

James Maury Bible 01

It belonged to James Maury (1746-1840), son of the Rev. James Maury (1718-1769) and Mary “Mollie” Walker (1724 -1798) and grandson of Mary Ann Fontaine and Matthew Maury.  James  is well-known as the first American Consul General to Liverpool, England, a position for which he was selected by George Washington.

This large Bible is almost 6 inches thick and measures 9½ inches wide x 11½ inches tall; the picture of it with a pencil is intended to show its size.  A slipcover was added to the Bible at some point to protect the original binding.  It was printed in 1769 in Oxford, England.  It contains eight pages of handwritten information by James Maury.  The first five pages are written in the front of the Bible:

  • a narrative about eight generations of his direct line Fontaine ancestry that he wrote in Liverpool on 12 February 1810;
  • information about his parents and siblings that he entered into the Bible on 23 November 1811 in Liverpool;
  • history of the Walker family which James added to the Bible on 1 August 1817 in Liverpool; and
  • a chart listing his parents, siblings, and then a count of the number of he and his siblings’ children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren that was sent to him in 1824 by his brother Abraham Maury which James added to the Bible on 10 March 1825.

The title page includes a transcription that the Bible was given to James S. Maury in 1828 by his father.  This was James Sifrein Maury who died unmarried in 1864 with no heirs.  It is exciting that the Bible was still passed down through the Maury family and has found its way to us!

At the back of the Bible are undated entries that provide information about James’ in-laws, William Rutson and Elizabeth Colton and their children, including James’ wife Margaret, then a biography he wrote about his wife.  The last two pages include James’ 1830 transcriptions from texts of the Episcopal and Presbyterian Churches in Charlottesville, Virginia.

We will provide a transcription from this amazing Bible in future newsletters – renew your membership today!  For additional photographs of the Bible and the handwritten entries by James, please visit the Society’s Facebook page!


It’s Not Too Late to Sign Up for Our Annual Meeting; Some Details for Attendees

There is still some availability to sign up to attend our annual meeting weekend in San Antonio, Texas, the weekend of October 18, 2019! The hotel is still honoring our Society special rate; to make your hotel reservations and to submit your registration form to the Society, follow the instructions on our form.

2019 FMS Registration form FINAL

For those who are already registered to attend and will be flying to San Antonio, the hotel provides a free shuttle service between the airport and hotel. When arriving, simply call the hotel at 210-340-6060 and ask for a pick-up at the airport. The hotel will tell you where to wait and how soon the shuttle will be there.

Once at the hotel and checked in, come find the Society’s registration table in Hallway Texas D&E to let us know you’ve arrived and pick up your welcome package. The registration table will be open from 10 am to 12 pm and from 3:00 to 6:00 pm on Friday, October 18.

We look forward to seeing many of you in San Antonio!

Reminder! Register for Annual Meeting by September 18!

A reminder to make your hotel reservations directly with the hotel and send in your registration form to our Society’s treasurer by September 18! This will ensure you receive a special Society rate at the hotel and we can finalize all the plans for our San Antonio weekend of October 18-20.

The contact information for the hotel is included in the attached registration form.

We hope to see you all in Texas!

2019 FMS Registration form FINAL

Register Today for the Society’s Annual Meeting Oct. 18-20, 2019, in San Antonio!

The Society’s Executive Committee has finalized the arrangements for our annual meeting weekend!   We will meet in San Antonio, Texas, the weekend of October 18-20, 2019.

Please use the information on the attached form to make your hotel reservations directly with the hotel, then complete the form and mail it to the address listed, together with your registration check, no later than September 18, 2019!

We have a fun, full, and interesting weekend planned and we hope to have a terrific turnout!

2019 FMS Registration form FINAL

New Maury Book Available! The Tale of a Black Sheep: Stephen Price Maury

This new Maury book is by historian Richard Nicholas, the first publication of Stephen Price Maury’s (1850-1941) memoirs.  A native of Charlottesville, Virginia, Price was an adventurer, a world traveler, served in the British Navy, and a civil engineer.  He spent much time in San Antonio where he met and married his wife and where two of his sisters – Jane Lewis Maury (1858-1954) and Ellen McGregor Maury (1860-1926) – settled and who will be the predominant focus of this year’s Society annual meeting weekend (October 18-20, 2019).

This 156 page paperback book contains Price’s memoirs, annotated by Mr. Nicholas with further details on Price and the events in the memoirs.  The book includes photographs, maps, and a family tree.

The book is $25 and available directly from the publisher, Blackwell Press, or from  Please note that the book is not  available through the Society.

This book is an excellent new addition to our Fontaine and Maury family histories.  Its timely publication will be a great read for those attending our annual meeting in San Antonio in October 2019!

Tale of a Black Sheep: Stephen Price Maury
Tale of a Black Sheep: Stephen Price Maury
Stephen Price Maury 1850-1941
Stephen Price Maury 1850-1941

Newly Available Library Item! Fontaine Maury Society Annual Meeting Albums and Fontaine Pictorial Family History 1977 to 2013 by Dr. John May

The Society is excited to announce the availability of a tremendous new resource from our library that provides a pictorial history of our Society and of our family history.

Our late former President, Dr. John May, compiled a photo album of each annual meeting weekend beginning in 1977 and covering most years through 2013 – 36 years of our Society in pictures!  Each of the seven volumes is a blend of photos, maps, and other handouts from our annual weekends together.

Dr. May donated the albums to the library several years ago which our librarian has brought to annual meetings for attendees to enjoy.  After our October 2018 annual meeting, the Executive Committee approved having the albums digitized to make them available for everyone to enjoy.  We had each item in the albums photographed and compiled in folders for each of the seven volumes.

The library is now making this single CD available for purchase for $8.00.  Each of Dr. May’s albums are in their own folder on the CD, with the total number of images over 600.  Six of the albums cover most years from 1977 to 2013; the seventh volume contains a Fontaine Pictorial Family History.

It is a fitting tribute to Dr. May who passed away in May 2019 that more of his labor of love for our family history is now available for all to enjoy.

For the order address and payment information, visit the Society’s library page.