MARIETTA -- The Cline family will celebrate American Independence with the remembrance of there Revolutionary War ancestor, Hans Gorge Klein.

Klein, now spelled as Cline was a soldier who fought in many battles including the battle of Brandywine and was with General Washington at Valley Forge.

His descendants can be found across the United States with a significant number in the Ohio Valley.

In the early days of the American Frontier, the Kleins came to Virginia (West Virginia) passing through with a short stay over at Fort Henry in Wheeling. The Cline family, George and his sons participated in skirmishes on the frontier with the Indians and English.

It is said his son John , who eventually settled in Benton township in Monroe County, participated in battles with the white savage, Simon Girty at Fort Henry in Wheeling.

As part of the family reunion celebration, the Clines will host speakers at Campus Martius in Marietta on Saturday, July 6 from 8 a.m. to noon.

The speakers will include Fred and Jen Cline of Danville, Ind. Fred is a descendant of Hans Gorge and recently visited the Cline homeland in the Alsace region of what is today located in France. The German speaking Clines came to the US from the region in the 1700s. Fred and Jen spent several days documenting the beautiful area and will share there experiences and the meetings with Klein cousins in that area.

As part of a Y-DNA testing program began several years ago, the Clines of the Ohio Valley discovered they shared DNA with a large group of Clines living in North Carolina. After research by one of the North Carolina Cline descendants, coincidently named George Cline of Los Altos, Calif., a connection was made to a common male ancestor who once lived in the Alsace Region. As part of the celebration, one of the Cline descendants from North Carolina will speak at Campus Martius.

Metalene Cline Thomas of Granite Falls, N.C., an author and historian for the Clines of that area, will speak of the Clines and how they came to North Carolina. They too have a story to tell of the Clines of that area and there American experience.

The final speaker of the day will be Harley Dakin of Newcomerstown, the Cline family historian and descendant of Hans Gorge Cline. He is a descendant through both his maternal line (Cline) and his paternal line (Dakin) and can trace both lines to Hans Gorge Cline. He is the Administrator of the Cline Y-Dna surname project and will speak on the findings of the Dna testing program. Dakin has authored various publications and speaks on the Y-Dna Cline project at various meetings and conferences throughout Ohio and West Virginia.

The conference will be followed by a driving tour of Cline historical sites in Monroe and Washington counties in Ohio. The Clines will have there reunion the following day, Sunday, June 7 at the Women's Club building located in Williamstown, W.Va., just across the bridge from Marietta. According to newspaper accounts, the origin of the Cline reunion dates back to 1923 at which time Mr. and Mrs. Earl Cline and Mr. and Mrs. John F. Cline stopped at the Earl Cline home on their return from the Ring reunion and discussed the feasibility of a Cline reunion. The outcome of this discussion was a decision to hold a reunion and Sept. 14, 1923, was set as the date at Garard's Grove. The 13th annual Cline reunion was held in Garard's Grove near Greenbrier in Monroe County on Sept. 1, 1935, and the weather was fine. A very large crowd attended and it was estimated to be around two thousand. I am told that one man counted 550 cars there. A marker in that place today commemorates the reunion that hosted the large crowd. While today, many of the Cline descendants hold smaller and separate gatherings, the smaller groups have gradually begun to combine to remember the older generations. It is hoped that Clines from up and down the Ohio Valley will join to celebrate there Cline Heritage.

The Cline Family Lineage Society is a department of the Monroe County Genealogical Society and will induct members in September 2013.

If you are interested in learning more on the Lineage Society, contact Harley Dakin at 498-5636 or hpdakin@sbcglobal.net; or visit the Monroe County Genealogical Society on the web at http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~ohmccogs/.