Saturday, 15 December 2012

Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories: Holiday Happenings

Edmund George HAYWOOD, my paternal grandfather, was born on 15 December 1903 in Millbrook, Cornwall, England. Most of his paternal forefathers had been involved in brickmaking; however, Edmund George chose to follow his maternal ancestors and worked with the sea. His grandfather (John Dunstone AVERY) had been a rigger, his great grandfather (George AVERY) a shipwright's apprentice, a ship's carpenter and then a shipwright, while his great great grandfather (Samuel AVERY) was a carpenter, and is listed as a mariner at the marriage of his daughter Susanna - also on 15 December, this time 1832.

Edmund George served in Bermuda (as a shipwright) in WWII, where he met his second wife, Etta May COLEMAN. After he returned to England, years and years of passenger manifests list him travelling to Bermuda (often via New York), back to England, and back to Bermuda again.

He died in 1984.




“The Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories (ACCM) allows you to share your family’s holiday history 24 different ways during 24 days in December! Learn more at http://adventcalendar.geneabloggers.com."

Friday, 14 December 2012

Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories: Fruitcake


The Christmas cake I ate as a small child was dark and rich - too rich - so one year my mum found a recipe for Boiled Cake which we used afterwards - it was still a fruitcake, but much lighter. Incidentally, you didn't boil the cake, just the ingredients beforehand... Here is the recipe (makes a big cake for about 12):

Boiled Cake
250ml (8 fl oz) water
900g (2 lb) dried mixed fruit
225g (8 oz) caster sugar (or light muscavado sugar)
170g (6 oz) butter
230g (8 oz) plain flour
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1 teaspoon of mixed spice
2 eggs, beaten

Boil the water, dried fruit, sugar and butter for about 10 minutes.
Sift the flour, bicarbonate of soda, and mixed spice into a large bowl.
Pour on the boiled mixture and stir well.
Mix in the eggs.
Pour into a lined loaf tin
Bake for 90 minutes at 150 C or Gas Mark 2
Let stand for 10 minutes

It tastes better about 24 hours after you have baked it! Some cooks like to add elderflower cordial to the water, some use cold tea instead of the water, some add treacle.


“The Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories (ACCM) allows you to share your family’s holiday history 24 different ways during 24 days in December! Learn more at http://adventcalendar.geneabloggers.com.”

Saturday, 1 December 2012

Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories: The Tree

I grew up with artificial trees, so it was natural when I left home and set up my own flat to have an artificial tree myself (and all of my flats have been far too small to cope with anything over a foot tall!). Over the years, artificial trees have improved considerably, so what used to be a rather obviously-plastic one now looks almost real. You often have to touch the needles to check!

The Christmas tree has not always been with us. Or has it? Check this out from Wikipedia:

"While it is clear that the modern Christmas tree originates in Renaissance and early modern Germany, there are a number of speculative theories as to its ultimate origin. Its 16th-century origins are sometimes associated with Martin Luther.  Alternatively, it is identified with the "tree of paradise" of medieval mystery plays that were given on 24 December, the commemoration and name day of Adam and Eve in various countries. In such plays, a tree decorated with apples (to represent the forbidden fruit) and wafers (to represent the Eucharist and redemption) was used as a setting for the play. Like the Christmas crib, the Paradise tree was later placed in homes. The apples were replaced by round objects such as shiny red balls."

"Happy Christmas" by Viggo Johansen 
And this from Encyclopædia Britannica: "The use of evergreen trees, wreaths, and garlands to symbolize eternal life was a custom of the ancient Egyptians, Chinese, and Hebrews. Tree worship was common among the pagan Europeans and survived their conversion to Christianity in the Scandinavian customs of decorating the house and barn with evergreens at the New Year to scare away the devil and of setting up a tree for the birds during Christmastime."

And from religioustolerance.org: "Oliver Cromwell preached against "the heathen traditions" of Christmas carols, decorated trees and any joyful expression that desecrated "that sacred event."

I wonder how many of my ancestors had a Christmas tree?

“The Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories (ACCM) allows you to share your family’s holiday history 24 different ways during 24 days in December! Learn more at adventcalendar.geneabloggers.com.”

Accessibility Options (text size, colour, text to audio etc)

Copyright

You may NOT use the contents of this site for commercial purposes without explicit written permission from the author and blog owner. Commercial purposes includes blogs with ads and income generating features, and/or blogs or sites using feed content as a replacement for original content. Full content usage is not permitted.

A-Z Challenge 2014