collapse
2020 Donation Drive

It's time for our annual Server Donation Drive! We need to raise at least $710 to keep The Cauldron's server online for another year. Please help! Either hit that Paypal button to the right and make a one-time donation in any amount or set up a monthly Bronze, Silver or Gold Donor subscription. You can find more info in this message!

Donations as of 24 September 2020: $544 donated. Only $166 more needed! Thank you, donors!


Note: This total is updated manually, usually once a day


* Recent Posts

Locations and Presence of the Gods by TheGreenWizard
[Today at 10:00:04 pm]


Re: Singing Beauty by entwife
[Today at 02:27:04 pm]


Re: Singing Beauty by Ashmire
[Today at 12:56:09 pm]


Re: Singing Beauty by entwife
[Today at 11:28:26 am]


Re: Ruth Bader Ginsburg is dead, and perhaps so is the U.S. by Altair
[Today at 08:57:42 am]

Author Topic: Choosing a date to venerate missing ancestor  (Read 1311 times)

beith

  • Journeyman
  • *****
  • Join Date: Dec 2013
  • Posts: 160
  • Country: 00
  • Total likes: 0
    • View Profile
Choosing a date to venerate missing ancestor
« on: January 22, 2014, 09:31:20 pm »
First, a touch of background:

As I continue to develop my path, I know I'd like to make ancestor veneration an important part of it.  I've recently set up a shrine for my ancestors and give a daily water libation.  I also have a candle that I plan to light on important dates.  Mostly, but not entirely, birth/death dates.

I'm setting up a calendar for the candle lighting.  I've included my ancestors through my set of great-great grandparents, and also various other important ancestors who I've identified with (those who moved to the US, Canada, or Michigan, overcame poverty to better their families, soldiers, etc.).  For all these ancestors I have a birth, death, immigration, or other important date to add to my calendar except for one, which leads to my question.

Between 1852 and 1854, my great great great grandfather left his home in search of help for an illness.  According to the family oral history, they never heard from him again and didn't know if he ever reached his destination.  I have been unsuccessful in finding any information on him except a possible 1850 census record.  This means I have no birth, death, or marriage day for him, no date on his immigration from Germany, or the date on which he left his family seeking help.

So my question is...does anyone have any thoughts on how I might develop a date for honoring him?  Somehow incorporating numbers from his approximate birth year, disappearance year, dates important to his wife or children, something else?  Any dates from any tradition that are tied to ancestors or those who are missing?  I'd like to pick a date that is meaningful in some way if possible, so I'd appreciate any ideas or opinions anyone has to offer.

NiDara

  • Master Member
  • ******
  • Join Date: Feb 2012
  • Posts: 260
  • Country: 00
  • Total likes: 8
    • View Profile
  • Religion: Gaelic Polytheism, Clann Bhride
  • Preferred Pronouns: she/her they/them
Re: Choosing a date to venerate missing ancestor
« Reply #1 on: January 23, 2014, 12:12:39 am »
Quote from: beith;137454
First, a touch of background:

As I continue to develop my path, I know I'd like to make ancestor veneration an important part of it.  I've recently set up a shrine for my ancestors and give a daily water libation.  I also have a candle that I plan to light on important dates.  Mostly, but not entirely, birth/death dates.

I'm setting up a calendar for the candle lighting.  I've included my ancestors through my set of great-great grandparents, and also various other important ancestors who I've identified with (those who moved to the US, Canada, or Michigan, overcame poverty to better their families, soldiers, etc.).  For all these ancestors I have a birth, death, immigration, or other important date to add to my calendar except for one, which leads to my question.

Between 1852 and 1854, my great great great grandfather left his home in search of help for an illness.  According to the family oral history, they never heard from him again and didn't know if he ever reached his destination.  I have been unsuccessful in finding any information on him except a possible 1850 census record.  This means I have no birth, death, or marriage day for him, no date on his immigration from Germany, or the date on which he left his family seeking help.

So my question is...does anyone have any thoughts on how I might develop a date for honoring him?  Somehow incorporating numbers from his approximate birth year, disappearance year, dates important to his wife or children, something else?  Any dates from any tradition that are tied to ancestors or those who are missing?  I'd like to pick a date that is meaningful in some way if possible, so I'd appreciate any ideas or opinions anyone has to offer.


I noticed that you consider yourself to be on a Neo-druidic path. Have you thought of simply honoring him on Samhain, since it's typically a time of honoring ancestors you identify with? You have ancestors going back thousands of years, who have neither documents recording life events or even oral lore handed down through your family. They're your ancestors as well. They fall in the same sort of category as your great great great grandfather.

If that holiday doesn't seem appropriate to you, create a symbolic holiday where you honor your grandfather specifically. Whatever dates you have about him, find the one that has the strongest ties to who you think he was as a person, or what you want to remember about him. It's your path, so there isn't any right or wrong answer.

RandallS

  • Site Admin
  • *
  • Join Date: Jun 2011
  • Location: NE Ohio
  • Posts: 10241
  • Country: us
  • Total likes: 272
    • View Profile
  • Religion: Hellenic Pagan
Re: Choosing a date to venerate missing ancestor
« Reply #2 on: January 23, 2014, 07:47:32 am »
Quote from: beith;137454
For all these ancestors I have a birth, death, immigration, or other important date to add to my calendar except for one, which leads to my question.


Actually, you have may more ancestors (going back thousands of years) that you will never be able to find such information on. If you wish to honor such ancestors, you will need to simply select a day and honor them then. Perhaps your religion has a day that would be appropriate -- if not, perhaps your family history does.  If not, there's no reason you cannot select a day and make it your own "unknown ancestors day."
Randall
RetroRoleplaying [Blog]: Microlite74/75/78/81, BX Advanced, and Other Old School Tabletop RPGs
Microlite20: Lots of Rules Lite Tabletop RPGs -- Many Free

odonata

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Join Date: Jan 2014
  • Posts: 8
  • Total likes: 0
    • View Profile
Re: Choosing a date to venerate missing ancestor
« Reply #3 on: January 24, 2014, 11:40:15 am »
Quote from: Amber Seal;137460

Have you thought of simply honoring him on Samhain...

 
I would agree with this 100% if it was my ancestors.

Have you thought about Obon?

beith

  • Journeyman
  • *****
  • Join Date: Dec 2013
  • Posts: 160
  • Country: 00
  • Total likes: 0
    • View Profile
Re: Choosing a date to venerate missing ancestor
« Reply #4 on: January 24, 2014, 01:53:12 pm »
Quote from: Amber Seal;137460
I noticed that you consider yourself to be on a Neo-druidic path. Have you thought of simply honoring him on Samhain, since it's typically a time of honoring ancestors you identify with? You have ancestors going back thousands of years, who have neither documents recording life events or even oral lore handed down through your family. They're your ancestors as well. They fall in the same sort of category as your great great great grandfather.

If that holiday doesn't seem appropriate to you, create a symbolic holiday where you honor your grandfather specifically. Whatever dates you have about him, find the one that has the strongest ties to who you think he was as a person, or what you want to remember about him. It's your path, so there isn't any right or wrong answer.


Thank you for taking the time to reply.  On Samhain I do honor all my ancestors, but it serves a different purpose to me (honoring all ancestors as a group) than the calendar I'm developing, which is more of an individual gesture of thanks.  To me, my great-great-great grandfather does not fall in the same category as the thousands (millions?) of unknown ancestors.  I know his name and some of his story, and the way it unfolded and the connection I have to his story through my family's oral stories puts him in a different place than the many other names/dates I run across in genealogy work (or the many unknown ancestors).  That's why I'd like to take a moment to light a candle and acknowledge him as an individual, and why I've chosen a handful of other ancestors to honor in this individual way.  Through my genealogy research, their stories have touched and influenced me uniquely.

I have no dates associated with him though, just a couple approximate years, hence my original question about date-smithing into a day/month.
 
Quote from: RandallS;137478
Actually, you have may more ancestors (going back thousands of years) that you will never be able to find such information on. If you wish to honor such ancestors, you will need to simply select a day and honor them then. Perhaps your religion has a day that would be appropriate -- if not, perhaps your family history does.  If not, there's no reason you cannot select a day and make it your own "unknown ancestors day."


I do use Samhain as my known and unknown, all ancestors day.  I know there are thousands of ancestors I'll never find (the dreaded brick wall), but I am heavily involved in researching my genealogy so I do have a lot of information and feel connected to many of the stories I research.  That is why I was moved to develop a calendar for honoring several of these ancestors individually, though I would never be able to honor separately all the ancestors I do know by name.

Because this man, my 3 greats grandfather, is not entirely unknown to me (I know his name and have a faint sense of his movements) and his particular story has touched me (but has only approximate years, no days or months), that is why I was interested if anyone had any ideas on developing such an otherwise randomly-selected day.  For example, choosing May 24 because he disappeared between 1852 and 1854 (fifth decade -> fifth month, and combine the 2nd and 4th year to make the number 24).  I know it's not a huge deal, but attaching any meaning to the date besides "it looked good" would be nice to have.
 
Quote from: odonata;137660
I would agree with this 100% if it was my ancestors.

Have you thought about Obon?

 
I've never heard of Obon before but I'll look into it, thank you.

Jenett

  • Senior Staff
  • *
  • Join Date: Jun 2011
  • Location: Boston, MA
  • Posts: 3330
  • Country: us
  • Total likes: 839
    • View Profile
    • Seeking: First steps on a path
  • Religion: Initiatory religious witchcraft
  • Preferred Pronouns: she/her
Re: Choosing a date to venerate missing ancestor
« Reply #5 on: January 24, 2014, 03:42:54 pm »
Quote from: beith;137685

Because this man, my 3 greats grandfather, is not entirely unknown to me (I know his name and have a faint sense of his movements) and his particular story has touched me (but has only approximate years, no days or months), that is why I was interested if anyone had any ideas on developing such an otherwise randomly-selected day.  For example, choosing May 24 because he disappeared between 1852 and 1854 (fifth decade -> fifth month, and combine the 2nd and 4th year to make the number 24).  I know it's not a huge deal, but attaching any meaning to the date besides "it looked good" would be nice to have.


One thought for a date creation - was he Christian (or particularly Catholic?) And if so, is there a suitable saint's day. The common ones are the birth day, the name taken at confirmation (which you probably don't know), a patron of profession, a patron of the town or village he came from/lived in, or - if you know any details about the disease, a patron saint associated with that disease.

One of those is likely to give you a workable date, if the method in general seems to work for you, and even if your relative would have found saints days inappropriate, looking at the options might turn up something that would be fine - say a connection to a particular bit of folklore, etc.
Seek Knowledge, Find Wisdom: Research help on esoteric and eclectic topics (consulting and other services)

Seeking: first steps on a Pagan path (advice for seekers and people new to Paganism)

beith

  • Journeyman
  • *****
  • Join Date: Dec 2013
  • Posts: 160
  • Country: 00
  • Total likes: 0
    • View Profile
Re: Choosing a date to venerate missing ancestor
« Reply #6 on: January 27, 2014, 10:46:39 pm »
Quote from: Jenett;137700
One thought for a date creation - was he Christian (or particularly Catholic?) And if so, is there a suitable saint's day. The common ones are the birth day, the name taken at confirmation (which you probably don't know), a patron of profession, a patron of the town or village he came from/lived in, or - if you know any details about the disease, a patron saint associated with that disease.

One of those is likely to give you a workable date, if the method in general seems to work for you, and even if your relative would have found saints days inappropriate, looking at the options might turn up something that would be fine - say a connection to a particular bit of folklore, etc.

 
I really like this idea, thank you!  I highly doubt he was Catholic.  I have no proof, but being from Germany at that time he was likely Lutheran (and this was the religion of that side of the family from what I know).  His descendents were Christian.

That said, I often say that Lutherans are Catholic-lite, so it may not be too inappropriate.  Most of the particulars you mentioned I don't know, but the census is likely to have an occupation (farmer, if I had to guess without looking), and I did find a Saint for missing things (and possibly people, I need to do more research), so I think I can get a personally meaningful date this way.

Ghostlight

  • Apprentice
  • ***
  • Join Date: May 2013
  • Posts: 20
  • Total likes: 0
    • View Profile
Re: Choosing a date to venerate missing ancestor
« Reply #7 on: January 28, 2014, 03:27:53 am »
Quote from: beith;138015
I really like this idea, thank you!  I highly doubt he was Catholic.  I have no proof, but being from Germany at that time he was likely Lutheran (and this was the religion of that side of the family from what I know).  His descendents were Christian.


In this case you could also consider Totensonntag (Sunday of the Dead). On this day German Lutherans commemorate the dead. It was created in the early 19th century, so if he lived in a Lutheran area at the time he probably celebrated it too.

Totensonntag takes place on the Sunday before “Advent” – the period leading up to Christmas. There are four Advent Sundays, the fourth one being the Sunday before Christmas. So for example, this year Christmas will be on a Thursday, which gives the following date:

- 4. Advent: 21 Dec 2014
- 3. Advent: 14 Dec 2014
- 2. Advent: 7 Dec 2014
- 1. Advent: 30 Nov 2014
- Totensonntag: 23 Nov 2014

Aiwelin

  • Master Member
  • ******
  • Join Date: Feb 2012
  • Posts: 382
  • Total likes: 2
    • View Profile
Re: Choosing a date to venerate missing ancestor
« Reply #8 on: January 28, 2014, 01:56:38 pm »
Quote from: Ghostlight;138030
In this case you could also consider Totensonntag (Sunday of the Dead). On this day German Lutherans commemorate the dead. It was created in the early 19th century, so if he lived in a Lutheran area at the time he probably celebrated it too.

Totensonntag takes place on the Sunday before “Advent” – the period leading up to Christmas. There are four Advent Sundays, the fourth one being the Sunday before Christmas. So for example, this year Christmas will be on a Thursday, which gives the following date:

- 4. Advent: 21 Dec 2014
- 3. Advent: 14 Dec 2014
- 2. Advent: 7 Dec 2014
- 1. Advent: 30 Nov 2014
- Totensonntag: 23 Nov 2014

 
Thank you for posting this!  I'd never heard of Totensonntag before, but I think I'd like to work it into my own ancestor honoring rites; at least for the German side.
Devotee of Nerthus
Worshipper of Germanic Deities
Now blogging on Patheos Pagan!  Check out Heathen at Heart

In the Nebraska-Iowa area?  Come check out Prairie Shadow Protogrove, ADF!
Ár nDraíocht Féin
The Troth

beith

  • Journeyman
  • *****
  • Join Date: Dec 2013
  • Posts: 160
  • Country: 00
  • Total likes: 0
    • View Profile
Re: Choosing a date to venerate missing ancestor
« Reply #9 on: January 30, 2014, 01:17:31 pm »
Quote from: Ghostlight;138030
In this case you could also consider Totensonntag (Sunday of the Dead). On this day German Lutherans commemorate the dead. It was created in the early 19th century, so if he lived in a Lutheran area at the time he probably celebrated it too.

 
This is great information, thank you!  I have never heard of this day before...I guess it didn't come across the Atlantic with my ancestors or was otherwise discontinued.  Or perhaps became merged with All Saints Day?

veggiewolf

  • Adept Member
  • ********
  • Join Date: Jul 2011
  • Posts: 3105
  • Total likes: 1
    • View Profile
Choosing a date to venerate missing ancestor
« Reply #10 on: January 31, 2014, 02:17:28 pm »
Quote from: Ghostlight;138030
In this case you could also consider Totensonntag (Sunday of the Dead). On this day German Lutherans commemorate the dead. It was created in the early 19th century, so if he lived in a Lutheran area at the time he probably celebrated it too.

Totensonntag takes place on the Sunday before “Advent” – the period leading up to Christmas. There are four Advent Sundays, the fourth one being the Sunday before Christmas. So for example, this year Christmas will be on a Thursday, which gives the following date:

- 4. Advent: 21 Dec 2014
- 3. Advent: 14 Dec 2014
- 2. Advent: 7 Dec 2014
- 1. Advent: 30 Nov 2014
- Totensonntag: 23 Nov 2014

This is fantastic info - the bulk of the family on my paternal grandmother's side were German Lutheran.
Fluid Morality - my spiritual blog
Eating Monsters - my mental health blog

"Religion does not define a deity- it defines the human approach and interpretation of deity." - Juni
"I hate magical thinking in my magic." - Darkhawk
"...a baseball club; a soccer unkindness; a hockey murder; a football team..." - Cecil, Welcome to Night Vale

Tags:
 

Related Topics

  Subject / Started by Replies Last post
57 Replies
14272 Views
Last post August 25, 2017, 11:14:51 am
by Jainarayan
2 Replies
6560 Views
Last post July 05, 2011, 04:43:54 pm
by Darkhawk
10 Replies
2148 Views
Last post August 17, 2011, 11:22:57 am
by ehbowen
19 Replies
3139 Views
Last post October 27, 2011, 04:04:09 pm
by Shawnee
6 Replies
2024 Views
Last post January 08, 2015, 10:11:55 pm
by Cabal

Beginner Area

Warning: You are currently in a Beginner Friendly area of the message board.

* Who's Online

  • Dot Guests: 63
  • Dot Hidden: 0
  • Dot Users: 0

There aren't any users online.

* Please Donate!

The Cauldron's server is expensive and requires monthly payments. Please become a Bronze, Silver or Gold Donor if you can. Donations are needed every month. Without member support, we can't afford the server.

* Shop & Support TC

The links below are affiliate links. When you click on one of these links you will go to the listed shopping site with The Cauldron's affiliate code. Any purchases you make during your visit will earn TC a tiny percentage of your purchase price at no extra cost to you.

* In Memoriam

Chavi (2006)
Elspeth (2010)
Marilyn (2013)

* Cauldron Staff

Host:
Sunflower

Message Board Staff
Board Coordinator:
Darkhawk

Assistant Board Coordinator:
Aster Breo

Senior Staff:
Aisling, Jenett, Sefiru

Staff:
Allaya, Chatelaine, EclecticWheel, HarpingHawke, Kylara, PerditaPickle, rocquelaire

Discord Chat Staff
Chat Coordinator:
Morag

Cauldron Council:
Bob, Catja, Emma-Eldritch, Fausta, Jubes, Kelly, LyricFox, Phouka, Sperran, Star, Steve, Tana

Site Administrator:
Randall

SimplePortal 2.3.6 © 2008-2014, SimplePortal