It's called the Ellis & Allen Families’ First Cousin Holiday Reunion, and it's happening this weekend here in Texarkana.

This three-day event celebrates the history and legacy of the African American community through two pioneer families: the Ellis Family of New Boston, Texas, and the Allen family of Lewisville, Arkansas. Descendants can trace their families back to the early 18th Century with a family heritage that includes the development of both Bowie County, Texas and Lafayette County, Arkansas.

The celebration begins on Thursday, June 16 with the dedication and celebration of the 150th Anniversaries of Pleasant Hill Cemetery and Pleasant Hill Missionary Baptist Church. The church is a recorded Texas Landmark and will host a special memorial service. Directly after, the family will recognize and commemorate 48 documented enslaved Americans with new markers. The event will also include the unveiling of a new memorial sign for Buffalo Soldier Joseph B. Delany and the Buffalo Soldiers National Museum proclamation. Pleasant Hill Missionary Baptist Church is located on County Road 2101 in New Boston Texas.

Multi Generation Family Enjoying Picnic In Park Together
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The event continues on Friday, June 17 at the Texarkana, Texas Convention Center, Ballroom H, for a Business and Health Expo, and on June 18 with the Black and White Banquet. On Friday, June 17 at 2 p.m., the Texarkana Museums System will provide free family photo scanning and conducting family history interviews followed at 3 p.m. by a special lecture on how to identify old photographs.

Then, on Sunday, June 19th, the family will gather at the Union Hill/Boyd Hill/Galilee Cemetery in Lewisville, Arkansas to unveil a new sign and honor 14 documented enslaved Americans. The cemetery is located 16 miles from Lewisville, Arkansas on County Road 9. Concurrently, there will be special worship services at Pleasant Hill Missionary Baptist Church in New Boston, Texas and Union Hill Missionary Church, in Lewisville, Arkansas, both at 11 a.m.

For more information, please contact Regina Ellis Oddoye at (615) 496-7305.

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