Saturday, October 31, 2020

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun: Hallowe'en Memories and Family History

Today is Hallowe'en, so it's to be expected that Randy Seaver would focus on that for this week's Saturday Night Genealogy Fun.

Here is your assignment, if you choose to play along (cue the Mission:  Impossible! music, please!):

(1) What are your Hallowe'en memories from childhood or adulthood?  How did you celebrate the day?  Do you have any photographs?

(2) What about haunted houses?  Are there any in your family history?  Black cats?  Creepy neighbors?  Or witches — are there any in your family history? 

(3) If you were to make a genealogy-themed costume, what would it be?

(4) Tell us all about it in a blog post of your own, in comments on this blog post, or in a post on Facebook.  Be sure to link to them in a comment on this blog post.

Well, let's see how I do with this.

1.  The only Hallowe'en costumes I remember are from my teen years and later, when I traditionally dressed up as a hooker.  I am sure that my brother, my sister, and I went out trick or treating when we were young, but I have no specific memories from childhood.  So far I have found no family photos of my siblings or me in Hallowe'en costumes.  I'm hoping there are some in my father's photos, which my stepbrother delivered to my sister.  Her niece scanned a bunch, but so far nothing from Hallowe'en.

2.  Two friends of mine were convinced that my house in Oakland, California, where I lived for 24 years, was haunted, particularly the front bathroom.  I never felt anything.  I know of no haunted houses or witches in my family history on either side of the family.  We did, however, have a few black cats.  I remember Shazam and her daughter Velvet from when my family lived in Pomona, California.

3.  Does it count as a genealogy-themed costume if you dress up as an ancestor?  That's the first thing that came to my mind.  Or maybe dress as someone of the appropriate social class and ethnic background as an immigrant ancestor?  I could dress as a middle-aged Jewish woman, either middle-class or peasant, from the Russian Empire circa 1890–1910 or so.  Here's my great-great-grandmother Esther Leah (Schneiderman) Gorodetsky, who was middle class and lived in the Russian Empire.  How about dressing up like that?


  1. Dressing up as our ancestors is a great idea!

  2. I thought about dressing up as an ancestor, too. However, assuming I would really do it, it would be difficult to create a Slovak-type typical outfit or a colonial dress.

    1. Probably not as difficult as you think. Historical reenactors create all sorts of historical clothing for events. Colonial is a popular enough period that you can buy premade items.

  3. I remember us going trick-or-treating early one year and when people said something, we told them they had forgotten to set their clocks back!

    1. Now that's quick thinking! But did you get your candy? :)

  4. Thanks for this, Janice. Your piece is fun to read, and says *nothing* about politics for a change!
    Susan J. Gordon


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