The Johnson-Tate-Suggs Family Reunion was established many decades ago by the descendants of Charlton Johnson (1862-1943), Albert Tate (1851-1933), and Emanuel Alexander Suggs (1844-1915).
These families all derived from an area that formed a tri-county configuration bordering the North Carolina and South Carolina state lines. Specifically, York County, South Carolina and Gaston and Mecklenburg Counties in North Carolina: Thus, enveloping the townships of Bethel and Yorkville in South Carolina and South Point and Steel Creek in North Carolina. We know these places today as York and Clover South Carolina and Gastonia and Charlotte, North Carolina.
The members decided to come together as a family each year on the 2nd Sunday in August. Family members also agreed to alternate the locations one year in Gastonia, North Carolina (mainly Neely's Grove Church Yard), and the next year in Clover, South Carolina (mainly Clover Zion Church Yard). Each family was requested to bring with them a covered dish and a special desert. Of course, this perpetuated a competition with the women cooking their favorite dish.
We do not know the exact date of our first family reunion. However, we do have a photograph (above) of our family reunion which took place at Neely's Grove in Gastonia, N.C. in the year of 1953.
Our family met each year for the reunion in the fashion mentioned earlier for many years. When we were assembled for our 1996 reunion in Clover, South Carolina, Sarah Kate Tate Hood an energetic and dedicated family member brought a motion to the floor to begin moving the reunion around to different cities/states and that they be held Friday thru Sunday during the 2nd week of August. This motion was passed and our reunion has been meeting accordingly since 1997. Because of these changes, we have continued to attract more members from near and far.
Our heritage is filled with the richness of Carolina soil, and the pride of our forefathers who’ve traveled before us. We have soared far beyond our ancestor’s wildest dreams, and allowed the grace of God to shine upon our lives as we continue our tradition of coming together to celebrate, to magnify, and to validate our bond, our lives and our history.