Our Swan Pond Association is in good shape and you can take pride in your membership. Our membership and growth rate compare favorably to the state organizations of two well established lineal societies in the state of Washington, where I am from. As in any organization, our members are the key factor. Without your support and advice we cannot make these claims. Huzzah for you.
Our association continued to grow in 2007. We ended the year with fifty-five members, 1 honorary member and 1 associate member. We also have six friends, twenty new recruits and 97 family members who have not joined the association. You can help by periodically attempting to recruit your siblings and children who have left home.
We will end this year with $1,265.74 in the bank. During the year we have spent $700 on a new computer for Ramsey House Plantation and $275.29 for producing and mailing the newsletter. We also spent $192.26 on the Ramsey/Ramsay DNA Project. During the year we have collected $472.55 from dues, donations and bank interest. Our treasurer resigned this year and we are currently looking for another. In the mean time, we are now collecting membership dues for 2008. Please send your dues and any notice of your desire to be treasurer to SPA, 1043 Cardigan Loop NW, Olympia, WA 98502.
At our 2004 reunion the executive board met and voted to accept the projects listed below. These are some of the items we wish to accomplish. We established three timelines: things we could do the first year; things we could do by the next reunion (2008) and things that might take a long time. You might think I am tooting our horn but I think we have accomplished almost everything we set out to do.
Short Term Projects
1. Provide a computer database of family members to Ramsey House Plantation. The database allows visitors to Ramsey House to see if they are connected to the family. This was completed and is currently being updated. Our goal now is to provide this update annually. We are also reviewing websites of our own.
2. Provide a family roster to family members. Currently the roster is availabble to dues paying members at their request. We believe the roster allows improved communication between reunion participants in particular and family members in general. The advent of a website will make this task much less costly. It will also be updated monthly and you will be able to print off a relatively current roster at any time. Several websites we are reviewing will allow you to change your own address online. Your comments and advice are solicited.
3. Provide a newsletter to family members. This was accomplished in 2004. We believe the newsletter allows for better communication between family members. It has been printed from 1-3 times each year since the reunion. It is the most time consuming and costly project we have. The cost for 2005 was about $900. We have brought the cost down since that time in various ways. We cut the number of pages printed and mailed out. We use color only on one page. And we have cut down the number of newsletters produced. If the board votes in favor of a website we could cut the cost of printing and mailing down even more. Part of our problem is funding. We send newsletters out to all family members we have an address for whether they have paid dues or not. It is currently part of our recruiting strategy. Having the newsletter online and being able to send out newsletters online greatly helps keep the costs down. Again, your comments and advice are solicited.
Projects to be completed by 2008
4. Put the family database on the Ramsey House website. We believe this task is ready to debut. This project will allow family members all over the country to look at our lineage to see if they are related. It will also allow the public to look at our lineage. This project was being held until we figured out a way to show living people without showing too much personal data. We have identified several ways to accomplish this task and are waiting now for a vote from the board on whether to launch our own website or use the Ramsey House website as best we can.
5. Put the newsletter on the Ramsey House website. This project is not complete. Again, this can be done; however it is pended until the board can review a presentation on a family website.
6. Identify the next reunion chief. This has not been accomplished. This completion of this task is being held until we finish reviewing and voting on our website. When that is past, we will begin to get serious about a reunion chief.
7. Contact Clan Ramsay in Scotland. This has been accomplished as a result of events that transpired between the Clan Ramsay of North America Associationand the Ramsey/Ramsay DNA Project. Clan Chieftain, James H. Ramsay, Earl of Dalhousie, at the request of the north american association submitted his DNA to the project. This event will mark a turning point in our genealogical research.
8. Print more family genealogy books. This one has not quite been accomplished. One book being worked on is a compilation of stories from the ancestors of the Samuel Ramsey line. A second book about the adventures of a Ramsey fighter pilot durin WWII was writtten and given to the pilot to review but it has yet to be approved. We will soon offer printouts of individual ancestor reports that will be affordable. We will also offer a complete printout of the William Ramsey family but that one may prove to be in the realm of a $50 book.
Long range plans
9. Assist monetarily or otherwise in implementing the Ramsey Plantation long term plan. This is a difficult task. There is a plan and it could be effected. It appears that the board of the plantation is reluctant to implement this plan due to monetary and other considerations. As the family association becomes stronger and better funded, we may be able to influence the outcome of some of the plantation projects. SPA member at large, Bud Bacon is working on this project and would appreciate any ideas on how to effect some of these plans.
10. Working toward bringing responsibility for the Lebanon-in-the-Forks Presbyterian Church cemetery under the control of the family association or the Ramsey House Plantation or the Ramsey Family Swan Pond Association. The Presbytery of Knoxville currently has responsibility but they do not provide much maintenance. There may be a potential for the Presbytery to provide the family with funding to take responsibility. SPA vice president Maxwell Ramsey is spearheading this project. The board is currently looking into becoming a non-profit 501c organization in an effort to take over responsibility for the cemetery if necessary.
Other longer term possible projects were to identify and possibly support other old family cemeteries such as the Marsh Creek Cemetery near Gettysburg, Pennsylvania or the Ramsey plot in the Confederate Cemetery in San Antonio, Texas. Other smaller cemeteries could also be identified that might need care such as the one at Woodbine Texas where John Bain McGready Ramsey is buried.
Fred Ramsey, President