Past Reunions

1981 - Madison, IL - Barefield 

1983 - Bakersfield, CA - Barefield

1985 - Milwaukee, WI Barefield

1987 - Davenport, IA – Clay

1989 - Detroit, MI – Henderson-Barefield

1991 - Chicago, IL - Woolfolk

1993 - Milwaukee, WI - Claypool

1995 - Atlanta, GA - Clay

1997 - San Jose, CA - Barefield

1999 - St. Louis, MO - Barefield

2001 - Denver, CO - Woolfolk

2003 - Milwaukee, WI - Clay

2005 - Carson City, CA - Henderson

2007 - Metropolis, IL - Barfield

2009 - Tampa, FL - Barefield
2011 - Chicago, IL - Woolfolk
2013 - Virginia Beach, VA - Woolfolk-Barfield
2015 - Sacramento CA - Barefield
2017 - St. Louis, MO - Barefield-McClelland
2019 - Austin, TX - Clay
2021 - Detroit, MI - Henderson-Barefield



          In 1980 two sons of Dave Barefield, by the names of Archie Arkall and Elder Finas Dave, Sr., visited their Aunt Pearlie (McClelland) Barefield in Madison, Illinois. Pearlie was the wife of the late William Barefield, the brother of Dave Barefield. Pearlie and Finas Dave reflected on the fact that their children did not know each other and felt that something needed to be done immediately. So, Morris Barefield and Elder Finas Dave were asked to organize a family reunion.


            Morris developed a data base of names and addresses of family members and was responsible for communications. The other children of William and Pearlie Barefield were responsible for the planning process, accommodations and the program. The cost was $10 per person and $30 per family. Much of the food was prepared by family members.


            The Barefield Family Reunion became a reality the first weekend of August 1981 in Madison, Illinois. The weekend was one of love, fun and thanks to God. Since many of us had never met, much time was spent deciding how we were related. The program consisted of a fish fry on Friday evening to welcome everyone and to facilitate registration, a barbecue and picnic on Saturday with many games and a family worship service on Sunday to thank God for His blessings. The budget was $1500 with the excess funds used to provide a gift for Sallie (Henderson) Barfield and Pearlie (McClelland) Barefield as they were the senior members of the family.


            In 1983 the fires and spirit of “family“spread to Bakersfield, California; the home of Arkall and Elder Finas Dave Barefield. (Finas’ wife, Opal Louise Rose, was the daughter of Charlie Rose and Millie Claypool.) The planning, organizing and corresponding was managed by the sons and daughters of Arkall and Finas Dave. Arrangements were made to utilize the facilities at California State University. The accommodations were great for $9 per person. All the activities were held at a single place, except tours. We had a great time playing games, barbecuing and getting to know the best of each other. This was an exciting visit; for many of us it was our first trip to California. The reunions were growing in numbers and in families that wanted to be the host.

            The next stop on this journey was Brookfield, Wisconsin in 1985. The preparations were made by the family of Hobert Barfield and Delphine (Clay) Barfield, namely Phillip, Vernell, Hobert, Jr., Phyllis, Pat and others. Delphine was the daughter of Marcus Clay and Alice (McCelland) Clay and Hobert was the son of Joe Barfield and Sallie (Henderson) Barfield. They demonstrated some of the skills learned in Grand Chain, Illinois, how to roast a pig. All had a great time.


            After the first three reunions some procedures were established. The reunion would be held on the first weekend of August with Friday being an evening for welcoming and registration, Saturday a day for registration, tours and a banquet that evening, and Sunday was a day of worship and a family picnic with games and much food. The host family for the next reunion is determined by nomination and a majority vote.


            The first three reunions were hosted by the Barefield-Barfield families. Who are the descendants of Romulus Barefield, the son of Tom Barefield, and Charlotte Porter, the sister of Surilda Porter who married Charles Henderson. These marriages connected the Barefield/Barfield and the Henderson families and branched into the families of the Woolfolk, Clay, Claypool, and McClelland.


            The Clay family hosted the 1987 reunion in Davenport, Iowa. They are the children of Mark Clay and Blanche (Claypool) Clay, the daughter of John Claypool and Audrey Henderson. The crowd was large and much fun was had. We were beginning to know each other. Some of the highlights were the barbecue and the fantastic softball game that was concluded by an approaching storm. Note as previously stated: Hobert Barfield married Delphine (Clay) Barfield, the daughter of Marcus Clay and Alice McClelland and brother of Mark Clay.


            The reunion caravan moved to Detroit in 1989. The celebration was hosted by the Henderson’s and Edwards (Barefield). As with the reunion in Davenport the model was adding new ideas. We were provided t-shirts and a booklet of the agenda and some history of the host family. The Edwards of the William Barefield family and the family of Charles Henderson made us proud.


            The cost of the first reunions was minimized by the host family assuming some of the expenses and doing much of the food preparation for the picnic. As our numbers increased to more than 300 and nearing 400, this model became unworkable. Our accommodations were provided by a select hotel and we became dependent on catered services.


            In 1991 the Woolfolk family invited us to Chicago, Illinois. The event was held at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in the heart of downtown. The Hyatt was used for all activities except the picnic on Sunday. The reunion included a Friday night Gospel Fest and a Showcase of family talent at the Saturday banquet. Coleman Woolfolk, Sr. married Nannie McClelland and following her death he married Charity Claypool. Some of the children of Coleman were Clarence, Bessie, Amos, Edgar, Coleman, Jr., and Lola.


            The next stop was Milwaukee, Wisconsin with the Claypool’s in 1993. They started something new, we had a theme. For this reunion the theme was “Children Are Our Future”. This was a great idea; it caused the attendants to look to the future as well as our past. The things we do will survive only if our children give them life. The host families were those of Sherman and Jerry Claypool. A note: John Claypool and Audrey (Henderson) Claypool were parents of Sherman and Jerry and Blanche (Claypool ) Clay is a sister.


            The 1987 reunion was hosted by the family of Mark and Blanche Clay. The 1995 event was organized by the Clay family also, but the hosts were the children of Mark’s older brother, Oris Clay. The reunion was held in the great city of Atlanta, Georgia. It included a visit to the complex of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Dr. King’s Gravesite, and the Underground. At the banquet much musical talent was displayed and a few magical tricks were presented.


            At this junction of the reunion trail all families had hosted at least one reunion, so there is little more family history I can share. I will state the remaining stops on the journey from this point forward.


            In 1997 we revisited California. This time our venture led us to San Jose. The hosts were Gary and Jo Ann Barefield and other family members of  Elder Finas Dave Barefield, Jr. Their theme was “Journey Out West”.


            After 18 years the reunion returned to St. Louis, Missouri in 1999. The major planning and preparation was done by the children and grandchildren of William Barefield and Pearlie (McClelland) Barefield and the Curtis family. The theme was “Build on the Past, Embrace the Present and Prepare for the Future”. The Curtis family are descendants of Raymond Curtis and Clydia Barefield, the daughter of Arlene Barefield who was the daughter of Finas Dave Barefield.


            In the year 2001 we found a new place to celebrate the “Family”. The Woolfolk-Pryor family invited us to the mountains, Denver, Colorado. Lola (Woolfolk) Pryor a daughter of Coleman Woolfolk, Sr. and Nannie Bell McClelland, and a sister of Edgar; Coleman, Jr.; Amos; Clarence and others. She married Arthur Pryor and to this union seven daughters and a son were born. The reunion was held at the Adam’s Mark Hotel; the accommodations were great. Good shopping was near, many sight-seeing adventures and a beautiful atmosphere. The banquet included a talent show and emphasized the theme, “Family Unity Is A Powerful Bond”.


            The Clays of Davenport had hosted the reunion; the Clays of Atlanta had hosted the reunion; but the Clays of Milwaukee had not hosted the reunion. Marilyn (Clay) Barton a descendent of Mark Clay, Sr. decided this had to change. So, the 2003 reunion was held in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The hosts were the Clays, Bartons and Newburns. The booklet was very attractive with much color and history. We had the opportunity to visit the African World Tour. Throughout the reunion and especially during the banquet, there was much music. Thanks to Cecil Barton, Marilyn’s husband, and other talented family members. The theme was “Our Foundation, Our Family, Our Future”.


            At the conclusion of the Milwaukee reunion we were asked if we would like to visit Carson, California,” The City of Angels”. We said YES. In August of 2005 we journeyed to Carson at the call of Bessie (Henderson) Auberry and her husband Daniel Auberry. Bessie is the daughter of Jerry Henderson, who was the son of Charles Henderson. This was a long distance for many of us, but was well attended by over 300 participants. Friday night was a fish fry, touring on Saturday followed by a banquet on Saturday evening. And on Sunday we fed our spirit and gave thanks to God for all his blessings. After church we had a great picnic in a nice cozy park nearby. The special points about this reunion were the excitement of the hosts and that all events were within a small radius. NOW WHAT?


            In 2007 we were called back to the place where we all share common roots and where we call home, Grand Chain, Illinois. We thank the family of Joe and Sally (Henderson) Barfield for this memorial occasion. We will be forever grateful to William and Sharon Barfield, Mollie and J.B. Tyson, Phillip and Patricia Barfield, Hobert. Jr. and all others who contributed to this extravaganza. We were able to visit the Rhinnie Cemetery, the Church of God in Karnak, and various sites in Grand Chain where many of our ancestors once lived. The theme was “Let’s Turn Back the Hands of Time”. MORE, MORE, MORE!!! 


          In 2009, the reunion caravan headed south Tampa, FL (The Sunshine State). Our host was Anthony B. Curtis, Jr, who is the son of Anthony and Carol Curtis, Grandson of Clydia Curtis (Barefield) and Raymond Curtis, and Great Grandson of Arlene Barefield. Also instrumental in the reunion planning was Christi Tillman (Barefield). Christi  is the daughter of Finas Dave Barefield, Jr and Lois Barefield, and Grand-daugher of Finas Dave Barefield. Anthony’s Great Grandmother Arlene and Christi’s Grandfather Finas Dave, Sr. were siblings. Anthony and Christi were the only family members living in Florida, but they did an outstanding job hosting the 450 who were in attendance. The theme was New Vines from Strong Roots.  This reunion marked the first time a website was created and the first time we were able to register online. The reunion opened with a grand reception where we were entertained by a DJ, three comedians, massage therapists were on hand giving free chair massages to the family, and the array of food was outstanding. On Saturday morning busses carried family members to either Busch Gardens, Adventure Island (Water Park), or Clearwater Beach. There was a banquet on Saturday night where we were entertained by a six piece bands and we gave out the traditional rewards. There was church service at the hotel on Sunday morning and the picnic Sunday afternoon was held at the very scenic Fort Desoto State Park just steps away from the beach.

          In 2011, we celebrated 30 years of being connected as a family. So, no other theme was more befitting than “30 Years and Still Connected”. So, back to the Midwest we go ~Chicago, IL. The city that looks great from every angle. The hosts were Danette Carter and Debra Woolfolk. Danette is the daughter of Sylvester and Alice (Woolfolk) Carter, the Granddaughter of Clarence and Sarah (Gaynor) Woolfolk. Debra is the daughter of Doris Maxine Porter and Lawrence Woolfolk, the Granddaughter of Amos and Viola Woolfolk. They are both the Great Granddaughters of Coleman, Sr and Nannie (McClelland) Woolfolk. We gathered ~600 strong~ at the beautiful Chicago Hilton Indian Lakes Resort (30 miles outside Chicago) for a weekend of family fun. This Chicago resort blended modern comfort and prairie style with exhilarating and relaxing outdoor activities. Although, some family members went on a Downtown Excursion, which included Millennium Park, Navy Pier and the Magnificent Mile. Some of us relaxed at the full-service spa and enjoyed massages, body treatments, and facials. There was a mini golf course, but the golfers in the family were out on the full PGA course saying “Fore!!”. Family members also had the opportunity to enjoy indoor or outside pools and the video arcade/gameroom. On Saturday night was a family buffet style dinner and dance. Where we honored some key members in our family, especially Morris Barefield. On Sunday, we had morning worship followed by the picnic, which we held in the pavilion on the resort grounds. This weekend was ALL set within the 260 acres of lush grounds….there was no reason to leave the property.

          Aug. 2-4 2013, Sarah Woolfolk Edwards and Teresa Barfield Deas hosted the 33rd Family Reunion. Sarah is the daughter of the late Norvell V. Woolfolk and the great-granddaughter of Coleman Woolfolk, Sr. Teresa is the daughter of Brenda Jean (Barfield) Barton and the granddaughter of granddaughter of Hobert and Delphine Barfiled. The Woolfolk/Barfield family duo planned a themed weekend of "Fun in the Sun" in Virginia Beach, VA"! Friday was for members of our large family to register and enjoy a meet & greet reception. Registration gift bags were filled with our festive green & orange T -shirts and an array of items ranging from beach toys to *Andy's Seasonings, and *Ameren UE snack clips & more, which were provided by the late, Ida Goodwin-Woolfolk (Sarah's mother). Saturday was the family picnic at Little Island Park, which is on a semi private beach. Food, fellowship, & fun was had by all. Saturday evening we opted to replace the traditional family banquet with free time, so that families could enjoy the numerous tourist attractions and free fun along the Atlantic Oceanfront. Sunday morning we stuck to our strong, Christ-filled family roots. On Sunday, we had a Gospel Brunch Buffet & church service filled with love and featured exceptional talents by family members. We also had a member from each family branch to pour colored sand into a glass to represent family members who have gone home to meet the Lord.

From July 31, 2015 through August 2, 2015, Bobby and Garry Barefield hosted the 18th semi-annual Family Reunion in Sacramento, California.  Bobby and Garry are the sons of the late Finas Dave and Opal Louise (Rose) Barefield, grandsons of David and Lessie (Woolfolk) Barefield and Charlie and Millie (Claypool) Rose; great-grandsons of Romulus and Charlotte (Porter) Barfield and Coleman and Nannie (McClelland) Woolfolk.
The reunion was held at the Lions Gate Hotel, McClellan Park formally (McClellan AFB).  The location provided the convenience of accommodations in the base housing, Generals and Colonel Quarters. Registration and a meet & greet were held on the first night. The reunion shirts were a beautiful shade of turquoise blue.  Saturday festivities included a bus tour to San Francisco.  A private luau on Saturday evening replaced the traditional banquet.  Everyone wore tropical clothing to add to the atmosphere of the event.  Sunday worship was conducted by family members with a family cookout held at the spacious General’s quarters after service.  


In 2008, Morris Barefield drafted the first iteration of our reunion history per the request of Anthony B. Curtis, Jr. who wanted to include the information on our first website. Edits, additions, and corrections have been made as we have received additional information and as we have continued to host the biennial reunion. 

Please read and share any additional information you may have and advise of corrections that need to be made.