New Hope UMC

The 61st Annual Fairey Family reunion took place Saturday, April 23, 2016, at Branchville United Methodist Church. Several members and friends of New Hope attended.

The Fairey family and New Hope church go back a long way. The Fairey family representatives in our current membership are Mark Fairey, Danny Fairey and Arthur Whetstone. Recently deceased members are John C. Fairey (2012) and John E. Fairey (2015). These members are descended from Oliver Francis Fairey and are seventh generation. That line consists of John William Fairey, who immigrated from Ireland in 1764, John William II and George Fairey. The early ancestors are buried in the Fairey family cemetery located on the old Collier place between Branchville and Rowesville. Later descendants are buried in the New Hope Cemetery. George is buried in the family cemetery and his wfe, Mary Anne Carn Fairey who outlived him by 40 years is buried in New Hope. John William Fairey was killed in the Revolutionary War battle of Hanging Rock (fighting for the Patriots!)

Representing the host church was their Board chair, Ed Godfrey, descended from Nipson Fairey. Ed has been active in the association for many years. Branchville UMC has hosted several times in recent years and does an excellent job. This beautiful church is over 100 years old and thanks to a devoted group of members is aging gracefully.

The meeting was chaired by Risher Fairey of Columbia, president of the Association. A short business session was held after a wonderful meal and member introductions. A popular topic was how to improve attendance, especially among younger generations. (Sound familiar to you church goers?). Several ideas were presented included better ways to communicate.

Past president Ben Varn was in attendance and gave us an encouraging update on his work with the Salley Archives in Orangeburg. He is using their resources to tie in our existing website to the archives facilities. This project is in the early stages. It's progress can be seen at The current genealogy is available for download. Updates of your family info can be sent to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

This family and numerous others form a colorful history of the early settlers in Orangeburg County, many of whom received land grants from King George. The Sally Archives in Orangeburg is a treasure of information. We are looking forward to an association with them.