Submitted by Chris Hall, Oasis Shriners
Growing up in different counties in remote western North Carolina, Rory Justin Byers and Chris Hall would meet later in life as fellow Shriners and then discover they share a common set of great-great grandparents, solidifying their Shriners family legacy status.
Noble Chris joined Oasis Shriners in 2007, served as Oasis membership chairman from 2013–2016 and president of the Gaston County Shrine Club in 2013. He currently serves as the Divan Marshal and Captain of the Oasis Patrol Unit and was recently appointed the Imperial Public Relations director for South Atlantic region.
Noble Rory joined Oasis Shriners in 2010, served as president of the Western North Carolina Shrine Club in 2015 and is currently serving as Corporal of the Oasis Patrol Unit. He became the Founding Secretary of the Oasis Young Shriners Club in 2015, and continues to serve as the vice chairman for Masonic Relations of the Oasis membership team, an appointment he has held since 2015.
The two young nobles met during a Shrine Ceremonial in Murphy, North Carolina. Chris and Rory discovered that not only did they share the experience of a childhood in the beautiful mountains of western North Carolina, but that they are both great-great grandchildren of John Harvey and Josephine Hogue Jenkins, members of the pioneer settlers Jenkins lineage in the Appalachian Mountains. Excited and surprised by this newly found connection as third cousins, both men shared the news with their families who decided to meet at the final resting place of their common ancestors, followed by a family luncheon where each set of parents met for the first time.
Both Noble Chris and Noble Rory continue to appreciate their newfound connection and realize that had it not been for their active participation as Shriners, they may well have never met and reconnected their lost kinship.
Pictured: Chris Hall (right) and Rory Justin Byers met at an Oasis Shriners ceremonial and soon discovered they are also third cousins.
Editor’s note: February is Shriners Legacy Month. During this month, we share stories from Shriners who have made being a member of the fraternity a family tradition. If you are a Shriner with multiple family members (living or deceased) who are also Shriners, we invite you to register your family legacy.
Start your family legacy by becoming a Shriner. Learn more at beashrinernow.com