Steeves family reunion hopes to break Guinness World Record
Steeves family reunion is hoping to attract thousands of descendants to Moncton and Hillsborough
The organizers of a Steeves family reunion are hoping to break a Guinness World Record by getting enough people with the same last name together in the same place next year in Moncton.
The existing record is held by the Gallagher family from a gathering held in Ireland. That's why the Moncton reunion organizers are busy now recruiting Steeves from around the world to attend the reunion in July.
Kerry Rakuson, whose great grandmother was a Steeves, is the chair of the public relations committee for the Steeves 250 celebration.
Rakuson said the family is confident they can earn a spot in the record book.
"We only have to beat 1,488 that is held right now by the Gallaghers, I'm pretty sure we can do that without a problem," she said.
Gary Steeves, the chair of the organizing committee for the 250th family reunion, hopes at least 10,000 "cousins" will arrive in Moncton and Hillsborough in July.
"I think there's a connection, there's an attachment to people that is more than just genetic," said Steeves.
The Steeves family lineage includes a founding father of Confederation and the late Jack Layton, the former federal NDP leader.
Steeves says he didn't know a lot about his family history, growing up in Washington State.
"I think I was about eight years old and I asked my father what he knew about the Steeves and where we were from and he had no idea. And so I said this is something I want to learn, " he said.
He has spent more than 60 years tracing those roots all the way to the Moncton and Hillsborough areas and like most of the Steeves in Canada traced his family back to seven brothers born to German parents.
The Stieff family from Munsingen, Germany came to New Brunswick via Philadelphia 250 years ago.
The last Steeves family reunion was in 1966 where more than 9,000 Steeves family descendants attended from all over the world.