Kinsearching July 31, 2005




Marleta Childs
P. O. Box 6825
LUBBOCK, TX 79493-6825


     Family reunions are special occasions that genealogists usually enjoy and look forward to attending. Edith Wagner, editor and publisher of the highly acclaimed Reunions magazine, compiled information about the significance of such gatherings. She kindly shares her news release:

How Important Are Family Reunions?

     "Milwaukee, Wisconsin (June 2005) - Until Labor Day, family reunion season 2005 will be celebrated by millions of Americans as they gather to renew bonds and stay connected. Of course, they'll also enjoy picnics, parties and often the serious business of honoring themselves and their heritage.

     Reunions magazine wondered how important family reunions are to the estimated over 200,000 families who gather for reunions each year. Important enough, apparently, that almost 70% of respondents to a random survey of Reunions magazine readers, who are family reunion planners, said they have reunions at least once every 24 months. 38% of respondents enjoy annual reunions. In fact, 10% of survey respondents have had family reunions for 50 years or more, while 7.5% have held family reunions for 75 years or more. And two percent of respondents have had family reunions for over 100 years.

     Long thought of as just Sunday afternoon picnics, family reunions have grown to produce their own economic benefits to anyone who serves them. 13% of all reunion respondents hold large reunions (i. e., over 150 people). Large reunions spend big, too. As expected, size of reunion and average expenditures are related. Many large reunions get by spending less than $50 per person; however, large reunions appear just as likely to have high expenditures (i. e., over $400 per person) as small reunions. African American, Hispanic and Asian respondents spend more per person on their reunions....

    Interestingly, respondents who hold family reunions every year appear to be wiser reunion planners, as well, because they spend less. 60% of those holding annual family reunions spend less than $100 per person. For everything!

Typical family reunion spending

     Based on survey respondents, a 'typical small reunion' of about 50 people costs $100 per person. It is held every 1.5 years. That means that the 'typical small reunion' is worth $50,000 in consumer expenditures over a 15 year period.

     In addition, 50% of those who hold a reunion every year have over 150 attendees. Every year. That means a 'typical large reunion' is worth $15,000 per year in consumer expenditures (based on $100 per person). Every year. That's over $225,000 over a 15 year period.

     Finally, super family reunions have over 1,000 attendees. We estimate that with an average expenditure of $100 per person, a super reunion of 1,000 people will generate $100,000 in consumer expenditures. And, based on survey data, that such a reunion will generate $1,500,000 in consumer expenditures over a 15 year period.

     Family reunions are important for many reasons with strengthening families probably leading the list. Family reunions are also important in the economic benefit they bring to their hosts."

     To contact Wagner, also the author of The Family Reunion Sourcebook, for an interview or about interviewing persons in your area about their reunions, call her at 414-263-4567.

     For editorial purposes, individuals who wish to request a copy of Reunions magazine, Reunions Workbook, reunion story ideas, or stock photographs may e-mail requests to or call 414-263-4567.

     Reunions magazine is published six times a year. Sample copies are available to individuals who complete a survey at or by sending $3 for shipping and handling to P. O. Box 11727, Milwaukee, WI 53211-0727. Annual subscriptions are $9.99, which includes a workbook. To subscribe, go to, write to P. O. Box 11727, Milwaukee, WI 53211-0727, or call 800-373-7933.