Hershey’s Gather in Paradise

Sunday was another Hershey Reunion and was held at Paradise Park in Paradise, PA. Every one of Frank and Lydia (Buckwalter) Hershey’s children, who had children (Esther, Torrey, Ruth, Frank, Elmer, Ada Mae, Ephraim, Vera), had representation. Lots of grand and great-grandchildren were there to meet their cousins and have fun. Granddaughters Linda Lee Hershey, Lisa Wilson, and Laura Denlinger, led the smaller ones with peanut scrambles and other games. Many of the kids brought their bicycles and enjoyed riding around the park.

The adults caught up on new additions to their families, shared stories of their parents and reacquainted themselves with cousins they hadn’t seen in a long time. Raymond Denlinger retold some stories of his aunts and uncles that he remembers hearing and others chimed in with some of their own.

We meet every year on the last Sunday of August. I’ve been attending for 28 years and I’m only an in-law, so you can imagine how many years this has been going on. We still enjoy the time together. Aunt Arlene Hershey (wife of Ephraim) is the only one left of her generation, but don’t think for a minute that bothers her. This lady is an inspiration to everyone. She still maintains a Bed and Breakfast in New Oxford, PA, and does it all by herself. She doesn’t stay at home when there is no one to take her, she goes by herself and enjoys every minute.

We have found another Hershey along the way, who is a descendant of Tobias K. Hershey and Mae Hertzler. She is related in two ways to this group of Hershey’s. Tobias’ sister Hettie married Ira J. Barge, whose son is Melvin K. Barge. Melvin married Ada Mae Hershey. So our new-found cousin, Julie Hershey is related to the Hershey’s and Barge’s who are directly related to Frank B. Hershey, patriarch of this family reunion. The common ancestor is Jacob and Anna (Newcomer) Hershey (Gen 3/4 in the Henry Hershey 1929 book) whose sons are John and Joseph. John Hershey, Julie’s ancestor as well as my mother-in-law, Edna Phenneger Hershey and Joseph who is the ancestor for Frank Hershey’s family. Are we having fun yet? Maybe just buy the book – “Hershey Family History” by Henry Hershey, 1929. You can find it at the Lancaster Mennonite Historical Society on Rt. 30 in Lancaster, PA. I did an index for the book, that can be purchased on this website.

8 Replies to “Hershey’s Gather in Paradise”

  1. Hi, Deb:

    We had our 90th annual Brubaker family reunion back on the first Sunday of August. As you may recall, the Brubaker and Hershey families have a common heritage.

    Sometime I’d love to chat with you about the Hershey family—my wife is a Hershey and her lineage is in the Hershey book that you mentioned. We have an edition of it ourselves.

    Did you or anyone in the larger Hershey family consider developing a webpage and Facebook page strictly for the larger Hershey family? We developed each this year (at a very nominal cost) and they have been helpful for being a repository of information and a ‘gathering place’ for other interested individuals. I saw that there are several Hershey Facebook pages but they look like they are closed or are by invitation only. I would bet that there are other Hersheys out there that might like to learn more about the larger Hershey family, but they aren’t necessarily able to use the Hershey Facebook pages that exist.

    1. I’m sure there are more Hershey’s that would like to take this on, but I am far too busy for this right now and have enough to do just keeping our little Frank and Lydia Hershey family updated

  2. A sixth Hershey cousin from Michigan recently sent me the account of your Hershey reunion last August. I recognize some of the names mentioned, one being Edna Phenneger. Edna is my mother’s, Mae Eby Hershey, first cousin. Back to the Hersheys. I, too, follow Jacob and Anna Newcomer Hershey and his son, John Hershey.

    In 2017 it will be 300 years of Christian and two of his sons’ (Andrew and Benjamin) arrival in America, settling on 1000 acres west of Lancaster. I think some kind of recognition of this would be in order. I am interested in your thoughts and ideas.

    1. Carl,
      Edna is my mother-in-law. Lots of Hershey’s out there. There was a reunion many years ago for all the Hershey’s. About 400 turned out to celebrate. If you are interested in working on a 300th reunion for these Hershey’s, let me know. I’ll put you in touch with others who may be interested in working to get this together. I am just too busy for something quite this large. I think you could count on the Frank Hershey family to make a good showing. Actually, I have Hershey’s on my side of the family too. I have a DAR supplemental application submitted on Catherine Hershey who married Abraham Long. Catherine’s father fought in the Revolutionary War. So I am getting approval on a Hershey Ancestral Line.

      1. This the Christian Hershey family is not considered the head of the Milton S. Hershey family (of Chocolate). The Hershey reunion we hold yearly is the family of Frank and Lydia (Buckwalter) Hershey same descendant as Milton Hershey. I’m not sure if there is an all inclusive Hershey reunion. We attended one about 20 years ago, but haven’t been notified of another since then. The Christian Hershey in the book you referenced may be the same one that I am descended from, but without looking further could not be sure.

  3. Milton S. Hershey is descended from the Christian Hershey who settled in 1717 just west of what is now Lancaster City. Christian and Oade had three children who came with them at that time: Anna who married Herman Long, Andrew, and Benjamin. Another son, Christian, arrived in 1739 and settled in Manheim Township. Through his father, Milton descends from Benjamin. Through his grandmother, Milton descends from Andrew. 2017 will mark 300 years since the arrival of Christian and Oade and family. I have not been able to find Hershey descendants interested in a “reunion” to commemorate the 300 years.

    1. There was a reunion of the Hershey’s many years ago but I couldn’t tell you who organized it. There were about 400 Hershey’s attending and it was held in Lancaster County, PA. You might want to contact the Lancaster Mennonite Historical Society for any of the Hershey’s that belong or have formed a Hershey organization. This was so long ago that I remember being there, but not much more. I had just married into the family at the time.
      Deborah White Hershey

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