Genealogy and Sundays: One of my favorite pairings of all
Ahhh…Sunday! How I love Sundays especially paired up with my love of genealogy and family history.
Certainly Sundays are still a wonderful day, but I have to admit as a family historian and genealogy fan, there was something very special about Sundays when we were young.
They also are the day of the week that seems to evoke the most family stories and memories, which are perfect additions to our family trees and family histories. I bet you have some wonderful Sunday memories too!
My wife was just telling me how she and her five siblings would come down the stairs every Sunday to find their finest church shoes all polished (white for the girls and black for the boys) and with fresh, clean socks accompanying them. These were all put on, laced up, and ready before breakfast would be served (always more than an hour before Mass of course). She also recalled the panic when she or one of her sisters had forgotten their chapel veil and had to made due with bobby pins and a tissue.
This memory brought back some of my own Sunday memories. I recall the mad dash every Sunday between my sisters and me after church to see who got to read the Sunday funnies – all in marvelous color!
Sunday supper was sacrosanct. There was no missing it and it was always a fine meal and a wonderful family time, which more often than not included grandparents, an aunt and uncle, and cousin or two. Sundays were the only day my mom ever baked a ham for our supper and even though we knew it meant a week of ham leftovers, we were all thrilled to have it that first supper on a Sunday.
In the ‘olden days’ of my youth Sundays also meant Blue Laws. No stores were open save the Drug Store and then only after 12:00 noon and with certain sections blocked off, such as the racks of comic books. Drat!
Sundays also meant work as an altar boy for my future brothers-in-law and as an acolyte for me. But even these assignments were not without their fun. I was always paired up with my best friend for my acolyte duties and I will never forget when we discovered if we extended the candle lighting poles all the way we could write our names with the soot from the candles on the ceiling of the hallway we always waited in. Until we got caught that is….mid-service by the Reverend. We were immediately discharged from our duties as punishment, which I seem to recall was just fine with both my buddy and me.
Then there were Sunday drives! They were absolutely the best! Sometimes we had a specific destination, but often we did not. We would pile in the old station wagon – I always wanted the rear facing third seat – and off the family would go. We’d talk, sing, play games, most often ‘I Spy’ or ‘Hinky-Pinky’, and have some wonderful family time. In the better weather one of our featured Sunday drives was to the cemetery a few miles away to pay our respects at our family plot. My grandmother would often pack us all a picnic lunch and we would picnic there. The family plot is adjacent to a lovely pond and for us youngsters the white swans there were an added treat. We’d always save a few crusts of bread to share with them as our parents and grandparents would pay their respects in silence.
Now my parents rest there as well and it was an amazing feeling when we gathered there as a family to pay our last respects to them many years later.
Sundays have changed now, but I always relish them and their memories!
Hey, with gas under two bucks a gallon, maybe I will begin to take Sunday drives again!
>What are some of your favorite Sunday memories?
Onward To Our Past®