Genealogy Day, Celebrating Family History

Have you heard about Genealogy Day? This year it will be on Saturday, March 10, 2018. It was initially created in 2013 by Christ Church United Presbyterian and Methodist Church, in Limerick, Ireland, to help celebrate the church’s 200th anniversary.

On that day, vital records brought to Christ Church from local churches, parishes, the Society of Friends (Quakers) and the Church of Latter Day Saints (Mormons) were made available to the public. The church had volunteers on hand to help people search through these records and to aid them in building their family trees.

Limerick’s Life has an article entitled “Christ Church Limerick 200 Year Anniversary” that explains the day’s events. Not only were vital records available to view, but they also had internet service for those wanting to search family tree websites.

The event became so popular that it has been held every year since 2013. It is not only celebrated in Ireland but across the world by people interested in family history and genealogy.

The focus of Genealogy Day is to commemorate your family’s heritage. You can plan an afternoon event at your local church, as they did in Limerick. You can spend the day with your children making a family history album. You can talk to close relatives and write down shared memories of kinfolk living or deceased. You can spend a few hours building your family tree on sites like Ancestry.com or WikiTree.com. The choice is yours!

I plan to spend the day with my mother. She has so many memories of her early childhood that I have never written down.

One story was when her brother, Bob, took her and her sister, Sheila, to a field to try to flush out a rabbit. He wanted to smoke it out, but the grass caught fire instead! She said they ran like crazy. Luckily, there was no damage done to the field. And, it is a recollection that she will never forget!

Another incident was when they had been living in Halesworth during World War II, and the Germans were bombing Halesworth Airfield where the American troops were based. Fearing for their safety, her mother moved the family to Lowestoft.

Shortly after moving to Lowestoft, my mother and her sister, Sheila, were walking along the promenade when a group of French or Belgian soldiers walked passed them. Sheila was only about four years old and was having trouble keeping up with my mother. One of the soldiers noticed them and decided to carry Sheila on his shoulders until they reached their destination.

My mother also told me about her great-aunts, Hilda, Vera, and Ruby. She recalled that Ruby had 13 children, Hilda married an architect, and Vera and her husband owned the Swan Inn. That was the great-aunts on her mother’s side of the family. There are still more on her father’s side!

My mother has so much more to share about her childhood and coming to America. Saturday will be the perfect day to take these memories and document them. I plan to add these recollections to our family history album. That way all the children and grandchildren will be able to read about her life.

I hope you will be able to celebrate Genealogy Day, too. Make this day a time to spend with family and remembering your family heritage!

PS: Genealogy Day is on Saturday of the first full week of March.

Photo by Cheryl Winn Boujnida 65955 at Unsplash.