1999 WATLINGTON MUSTER REPORT
In 1997, at the instigation of Ronald Eustice, editor of the Eustace Families Post, the Eustace Families Association was resurrected after a period of inactivity following the death of Donald W Eustace, Master President, in 1993. We are greatly indebted to the extensive efforts of Ronald in this.
It was Ronaldís desire to get the Association back on the tracks, and as part of this have a Eustace Families Association Muster in the UK.
Assisted by an ad hoc steering group of three interested parties, Graham Eustace of Leicester, Paul Eustace of Harrogate, The Recorder, and David Eustace of Cheltenham, it was decided to have a muster in Watlington in 1999. This was to be the first muster since 1985 in Lambeth and a near re-run of the Watlington muster of 1983.The Final itinery for the day was:
- 10:30 Welcome and Registration
- 11:55 Introductions - David Eustace
- 12:00 Talk - The Counts Eustace of Boulogne and descendants - Paul Eustace
- 12:30 Picnic/Pub Lunch (as each visitor prefers)
- 02:00 Tea/Coffee avaialble
- 03:30 Talk - the Eustaces of County Kildare and their descendants - Ronald Eustace
- 04:00 - Close
While it is very difficult to arrange a muster at a remote location with three contributors spread across the UK, I am pleased to report that I was very pleased with the outcome on the day.
There were some 42 attendees registering in the attendance book for this International Muster, including five overseas family members: Ronald Eustice Eustace Families Post editor together with his son Kevin from the USA, Joan Streicher and her sister June of Illinois from the USA, and Charlie Chappel from New Zealand.
On display were numerous family trees, histories and photographs of both Watlington and Pyrton Parish Churches, the Eustace Penny, various records, both the US and UK Eustace web sites were available for browsing, The Recorder was on hand with the Eustace Records to assist enquirers and take new details, and a print facility was available for the production of various prints on request.
During the closing discussions of the muster, a proposal was put forward by Colin Eustace of Peterborough, that the gravestone of Elizabeth Eustace (1792-1879), mother of 22 Children, and Colinís Great Great Great Great Grandmother, should be cleaned and restored. It was suggested that an article in a future Eustace Families Post should seek subscriptions for this work while Alan Eustace of Thame investigates the cost of this project through his contacts in the building trade.
I am still assimilating information from the muster, however, during the day I was aware that a good number of members of the original Association met up again with others making several family tree connections on both the English and Irish lines of the family.
During the day, Paul Eustace, The Recorder, gave a most interesting talk on Count Eustace of Boulogne and associated points of interest using 35mm slides. At the end of the day Ronald Eustice gave an authoritative, informative and interesting talk on the Eustaces of Ireland.
Also, visitors had ample time for a local pub lunch or picnic on the village hall green in the sunshine, together with visits to the local Parish Churches of St.. Leonards in Watlington, containing the brass to Jerem Ewstes (1588) and St.. Maryís Parish Church of Pyrton containing the grave of Thomas Eustace (died 1701) and his wife Martha in the porch and inside, the cracked church bell, mounted on the stand presented to the church by the Association in 1979.
It was very clear that attendees were very appreciative of the efforts made in setting up the muster and were eager for the Association to continue and grow.
The muster ended with group photographs being taken by Graham and Ronald, the families then made their ways home after a very busy and rewarding day.