2026 Reunion Information

Two-tone illustration of the Reno skyline

RENO 2026


This site will be updated from time to time with the latest details on reunion scheduling and general information, but the contract with the hotel has been signed and the dates and general outline of events are set. Participants can attend one, a few or all events–whatever works for your family.

Costs for the tours and the dinner will be finalized in late 2025. All event pricing is set “at cost” as the reunions are not designed to be fundraisers and participation is the primary objective. Support of the Association and our philanthropy is driven by memberships and additional contributions. Apart from the noted bus tours, all activities will be onsite at the headquarters hotel.


There will be an informal meet-and-greet after the dinner hour with a cash bar available. Registration will be open, timing to be determined.


A bus tour will be sponsored that will run from 9-5 that day. The tour price will also include a guide on the bus and a box lunch. The tour will be a bit more “touristy” in nature, designed for travelers from outside the region. The focus will be an exploration of the scenic beauty and history around Lake Tahoe. [Cost TBD] Registration will be open that evening after the dinner hour. There will be no scheduled activities.


Another bus tour will again run from 9-5, which will again include a box lunch. Stops that day will have a greater historical connection directly to the family: Abner Blackburn Nevada gold discovery location*; Carson City, the site where John Blackburn, first sheriff, was gunned down in 1861*; Mormon Station State Park*; historic Virginia City*; and more. [Cost TBD]

*Please click the links if you’d like to learn more about these locations.

The Association will host another meet-and-greet, again after the dinner hour with cash bar available. By this time, most everyone will be in town so we are anticipating a very large crowd. The event will be held in two adjoining rooms. One room will be designed as an initial gathering space for the descendants of Thomas and Elizabeth (Bowen) Blackburn given the large presence of this family in the West. The other will welcome all others. The intent is that folks will flow between the two rooms, but the initial set up will make it easier to find your closest cousins.


In the morning, starting at 9:00 a.m., the Association will host a family history session in classroom style to provide background on what we know (and do not know) about our Blackburn ancestors. This will be an overview of the early life of the Blackburns in Ireland, their journey to North America and some information on each of the children of the immigrant. This is a great opportunity to bring your questions, which might lead to confirming long-held beliefs – or perhaps dispelling myths. From 11:30-12:30, the session will transition to an overview of a history of Thomas and (Elizabeth) Bowen Blackburn and a bit of information on each of their children.

In the evening, the Association will host an all-family dinner. The dress is generally business casual, but come to be comfortable. There will be dinner pricing [TBD] for both adults and children. The dinner will feature a speaker and, most importantly, some games and get-to-know-you tasks.


Given our Quaker heritage, the Association, in conjunction with the local meeting of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers), will hold a Quaker meeting in the tradition of our ancestors. The one-hour meeting today is little changed from those 17th century Quakers. Given the ecumenical nature of Quaker teachings, cousins from all faith traditions or no faith tradition at all have found this a welcoming space. The close of the meeting will end our weekend of activities.


The Blackburn Family Association has been hosting a reunion every few years for 40 years. Almost half of those that come to each reunion arrive not knowing anybody else. hat all changes very quickly. Events are designed to help people mingle and friendships are made quickly. While folks initially sort through the family attendee list to figure out their closest connections, they invariably find a 7th or 8th cousin who shares similar interests and experiences.