|so many religions and faith traditions - hopefully you see yours here|
Our ancestors' religion provides us the opportunity to find certain records and follow their life progression. In the Roman Catholic faith tradition the sacraments of baptism, reconciliation, first communion, confirmation, marriage, holy orders, religious life, and burial are all well-documented on the parish and diocesan level. In the Lutheran faith tradition, the Swedish and Norwegian churches kept excellent records on all members of their congregations. When the State was involved (as in Sweden or England) and maintained registers, we have centuries of records we can use to trace our families back several generations. Where a census includes religion as one of its queries (as in Canada or Ireland), we have an opportunity to learn how our ancestors identified themselves. Where political struggle and persecution existed based on our ancestors' religion, we learn how they adapted and/or suffered based on their faith and their oppressors' response to it (as in Germany or Ireland).
In addition to finding and recording the religious milestones, we can also take advantage of the local place of worship's* histories and directories. Perhaps there are schools and social organizations affiliated with your ancestors' religion. Our ancestors' faith traditions oftentimes affected their migration, employment, and personal activities or choices (where to settle, how to dress, what is acceptable to eat and drink, and how to pray, are just a few examples).
|add or modify the events so they fit with your family's history|
|some examples from my family's events include|
religion, first communion, and religious life
What are the faith traditions in your family? Did the choice of religion change over time in your family's history and, if so, why? Have you found any religion surprises in your family tree? If a religion is unfamiliar to you, have you taken the time to learn more about it and incorporate any parts of it into your family traditions? Is religion more or less important to your family today than it was to your ancestors?
* The term "place of worship" used here is meant to include a chapel, church, meeting hall, monastery, mosque, synagogue, temple, or any other place of worship.
Tomorrow we move on to the letter S.