National Gavel Society

National Gavel Society

Members of the National Gavel Society are the present and past highest governing officers of recognized hereditary societies or orders in the United States of America that honor significant milestones or events in the history of this country prior to the 28th of July 1914. The society or order shall have been in existence for a period of not less than five years prior to the issuance of the invitation and shall be national in membership, having no less than fifty active members nationwide. The society or order shall have based their membership acceptance on proven direct or collateral descent by linking each generation to the next from an American ancestor within the Gavel timeframe. A society or order that once belonged to Gavel but disbanded at some point and is being reorganized in the same or similar format must reapply for membership under the same above stated requirements as a new society. Invitation to membership is extended by the President and approved by the committee.

The National Gavel Club was organized April 13, 1963, in Washington, DC. By vote of the membership, in 1977, the name was changed to The National Gavel Society. The purpose is entirely for fellowship among those present and past titular heads of hereditary societies or orders in the USA. The Founder was Mrs. Herman August Knorr, President 1963-1969. The Founders Members were Mrs. Harry Clark Boden IV, Vice President 1963-1969 and President 1969-1972, and Mrs. William Carroll Langston, Treasurer 1963-1965. Charter members were Mrs. Charles Cary Fineout and Mrs. Helen Denny Howard, President 1975-1977. It was agreed that the Founder and the Founder Members (first officers) should approve names selected for membership, and invitations were extended by the President. In 1968, gentlemen meeting the requirements were included.

The National Gavel Society

Current Officers  
President: Mary Robin Redfearn Towns
Vice President: Michael Perry Schenk
Secretary: Dr. Marion T. Lane
Treasurer:  Virginia L. Apyar
Past Presidents  
1963-1969  Mrs. Herman August Knorr *
1969-1972      Ms. Harry Clark Boden IV *
1972-1975  Mrs. Erwin Frees Seimes *
1975-1977    Mrs. Helen Denny Howard *
1977-1980 Mrs. Frederick Tracy Morse *
1980-1983    Mrs. Richard Lindsay Roberts *
1983-1986  Mr. Grahame Thomas Smallwood, Jr. *
1986-1989 Mrs. Charles George Holle *
1989-1992 Charles Owen Johnson, Esq.
1992-1995  Mrs. Richard Denny Shelby *
1995-1998 Mrs. Paul Milton Niebell, Sr.
1998-2001 Col. Stewart Boone McCarty, Jr. *
2001-2004 Mr. John Hallberg Jones
2004-2007 Ms. Nita Augustus
2007-2010 Mr. Barrett L. McKown
2010-2013 Mrs. Victor Glee Barnes, Jr.
2013-2016 Nicholas Donnell Ward, Esq.
2016-2019 Mrs. Henry Clay Miller


The Hereditary Society Community