Descendants celebrate family TMs legacy in Quincy

John and Anna Genenbacher have 859 descendants

It can be a challenge for distant relatives to stay connected.

However, that's not the case for the descendants of one large Adams County family.

Hundreds of relatives came together to celebrate their kinship at the Knights of Columbus in Quincy Sunday.

Family history is an important part of Melissa Yeast's life.

"It's definitely been very special getting to know the entire family," Yeast said.

She's one of the 859 descendants of John and Anna Genenbacher.

"John and Anna were farmers here in the Quincy area. They lived in Ellington Township. They raised 12 children here in Quincy," Yeast said.

In 1964, John and Anna started an annual reunion.

"Every one ... I never missed one," Dinkheller said.

Even after both passed, the tradition still continued.

This year marked its 50th Anniversary.

In order to prepare for this milestone, Yeast decided to create something special.

She began a project to compile a book filled with her family's history.

With help from relatives, it took her two years, multiple phone calls and 415 emails to gather her family's chronology.

"And so I took a lot what they had from pictures and a lot of what they had for data," Yeast said.

Yeast's book showcases multiple generations of her family.

"That includes the children of John and Anna. All of their direct descendants," Yeast said. "It also includes the spouses and step-children."

During her research, she was fortunate enough to speak with Viola Dinkheller.

Dinkheller is the last living child of John and Anna.

At 90-years-old, she still remembers both of her parents fondly.

"I think they were pretty wonderful," Dinkheller said.

Yeast also uncovered some interesting facts about her relatives.

"Six generations of our family have been born on December 18th," Yeast said.

She feels this book will help keep her family's history alive.

"It's really special cause so many family members value our family history," Yeast said.

More than 200 people attended this Sunday's reunion.