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Kathan Family reunion to be held in Putney

PUTNEY—The descendants of Captain John Kathan (1707-1787) will descend on Putney on the weekend of Aug. 9–11. The reunion will take place at the Putney Inn on the original farmstead and trading post established by Captain Kathan in 1752.

John Kathan, who fought in the French and Indian War at the Battle of Lake George in 1755, was a Scotch-Irish settler who came to Boston with his family in about 1729. He settled in Worcester, Mass., with a number of other Scotch-Irish immigrants and became a victualer, trading with the Native Americans.

In 1752 he and his family moved to Fort Dummer, Vermont, and soon thereafter acquired land along the Connecticut River in what eventually became Putney. The Kathan Family Bible, now housed at Brooks Memorial Library in Brattleboro, records family events including the family’s arrival at Fort Dummer in 1752.

The reunion will begin on Friday evening with a welcome and a report about caring for the Kathan Family Cemetery and another program on using DNA to track your ancestry.

Saturday morning the reunion will move to the Kathan Cemetery to dedicate a new grave marker for Charles Kathan (1743-1793), one of Captain John’s sons. The Putney Historical Society and sites associated with the Kathan family will be explored during the afternoon.

A banquet at the Putney Inn will be followed by a meeting of the Kathan Family Association and include another report on the restoration of the Kathan Cemetery and a presentation about the Kathan origins in Northern Ireland.

The reunion will close Sunday morning with a special Sunday service at the Dummerston Congregational Church once attended by Kathan ancestors. Afterwards, the Dummerston Historical Society will be open to view items owned by the early Kathan settlers.

All Kathan descendants and interested historians are invited to attend the reunion. Further information and registration form can be found on the Kathan Family Association website,

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Originally published in The Commons issue #522 (Wednesday, August 7, 2019). This story appeared on page D2.

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