Eddie Lee Moses recalled a family reunion about 20 years ago, but it was only attended by a handful of people.
Then his son, Tony, came along and suggested they make it more expansive.
The plan all came together this past weekend, with an estimated 250 relatives converging on Goldsboro for the Moses family gathering. Festivities took place at Goldsboro Event Center, celebrating the Wayne County lineage that was traced back to Allen and Nettie Moses and their six children -- Ephraim, Jesse, Daniel, Henry, Mariah and John.
This marked the first one of that magnitude, said Julia Lewis, one of the event's organizers.
She grew up in Goldsboro, she said, graduating from Dillard High School in 1954 before heading to Philadelphia. She now lives in Silver Spring, Maryland, but makes the pilgrimage every year for high school reunions.
"The family reunion came about because one member of the family was turning 100 years old," Lewis said, explaining that the notion also sprung from a two-part column published in the News-Argus last year, written by Sherwood Williford, about Eddie Lee. "That kind of got the ball rolling."
Eddie Lee is the oldest living relative in that segment of the family, she said.
At 101, he also lives in Silver Spring. But for years, he said, he had lived in the Washington, D.C., area.
He has admittedly had some health issues, Eddie Lee said.
"My legs have been giving out over the years," he said from the wheelchair he required Saturday afternoon. "Now my eyesight is beginning to deteriorate."
His memories were still sharp, though, and he was more than wiling to share them with the stream of folks who took advantage of the opportunity.
"I was born here," he said. "I lived on Marion Street until I went into the second World War."
Born in January 1917, he left when he entered the United States Army, serving for three years.
"I'm your cousin," said a woman standing nearby, holding her camera phone and capturing his interview on video.
India Moses introduced herself as "Frank senior's son's wife" before sharing that they live in Washington, D.C.
"Why did we never get in touch?" Eddie Lee asked.
Vance Jenkins, India's son with Michael Moses, took his place beside the elder statesman for a quick photo.
Vance had also traveled in for the occasion, saying that he lives "between D.C. and Miami."
Eddie Lee had no agenda for the weekend, he said, other than visiting and catching up with new as well as familiar family members. The important thing, he said, was to preserve the Moses history, since none of them will live forever.
"My worry is that it be recorded correctly," he said.
Several wore their deep blue T-shirts purchased for the occasion.
Among the youngest, there were Hope and Faith Horn, who turn 2 in September, said their mother, Rainer Horn of Baltimore.
The twins' grandfather, Victor Horn, lives in Dudley and said he became more intrigued with genealogy when he learned about the family union.
"I wanted to know where the family fit," he said. "I was able to share with my siblings and my children."
Turned out there were more connections than he anticipated.
"I met a lot of people," he said. "I did not know they were part of my life. The crazy thing is, I met so many people that I worked with over the years (at Cherry Hospital), and we did not know we were related."
Millie Creekmore made the trek from Fort Mitchell, Alabama.
Her father was the late William Henry Moses, she said, Eddie Lee's brother.
"I don't know a lot of my family on my father's side," she said. "I wanted to meet them. I only knew Eddie and Tony.
"I met a lot of people in the past two days that I didn't know, and I'm 70 years old."
Phyllis Howard was born and raised in Goldsboro, but left here when she turned 18. She now lives in Alexandria, Virginia.
She returns every spring, though, as she is a member of the class of 1968 from Dillard High School.
"That was the last year for the all-black graduating class," she said.
The reunion -- which featured a town hall meeting Saturday afternoon and a more formal banquet that evening, which drew local officials and several presentations -- was significant on many levels.
"To me, it's historical, and it's also important to establish this type of reunion, especially for my grandkids," Howard said, "so that they know who their ancestors are, who they are and where they stand in society."