March 10 – What role did religion play in your family? How did your female ancestors practice their faith? If they did not, why didn’t they? Did you have any female ancestors who served their churches in some capacity?
As far as I know religion has not played a significant role in my family. We are C of E (Church of England) which is the Anglican denomination. But we are not really churchgoers apart from attending Baptisms, Marriages and Funerals. It’s not because we are not religious in any way. We all have our own beliefs and as one family member puts it, “I don’t have to attend church to show my religious beliefs or pray”.
I have not really come across any particular females in my ancestors who were anything other than churchgoers. I have several male ancestors who were Church Wardens for their churches.
But, there is one female ancestor, that I have already mentioned here in this theme for Women’s History Month for March 8th, who probably did serve her church in some capacity. That is Annie Humphreys, whose diary extract I have mentioned in a post for March 8th and also under my menu for Pages, Old Documents.
In one of Annie’s extracts dated January 1866 she says:
Jan.: Went to a “Dorcas” Meeting at Stockwell Lane, a great many ladies present. Worked until 8.
Stockwell Lane is in Princes Risborough, Buckinghamshire, UK and as I did not know what a “Dorcas” Meeting was I looked it up on the internet. The Wikipedia states the following:
A Dorcas Society is a local group of people, usually based in a Church, with a mission of providing clothing to the poor.
So it looks as though my ancestor Annie Humphreys did serve her church although I have no idea if she continued attending “Dorcas” Meetings, as I have not seen her Diary for myself.