Distant relatives reunite for Avoca reunion

    Avoca Reunion

    ALTAVISTA, Va. (WSET) -- Descendants of people who owned slaves and were enslaved at a plantation in Altavista reunited Saturday for a family reunion at the Avoca Museum.

    Close to 30 descendants of the Dearing and Lynch families joined together for their second reunion.

    Many of them came from different states like Utah, Pennsylvania, and Florida.

    Their first reunion was back in 2013.

    Alfred Dearing, a descendant of an enslaved family member, was able to get in touch with his long-lost cousin, April Hickman before 2013 on ancestry.com, and that's how finding their family members through the years started.

    He said this is all about unity and moving forward positively.

    "The mission got to be not what was, but what is now and what will be that's what I'm looking forward to," Dearing said.

    The family members say they plan to hold reunions for the generations to come.

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