Sunday Best, a photo by midgefrazel on Flickr.
Going to Church
The only time my father was "dressed up" when he was a child was when it was time to go to church, so I am thinking that this might be an Easter Sunday photo. His parents were married at the local Baptist Church in the Westerly area which was called Pawcatuck Seventh Day Baptist Church. Their marriage certificate gives only the name of the minister and not the name of the Church so I had to search the Westerly City Directories to find out more about it. (Some of my maternal ancestors were members of the Seventh Day Baptist Church, too.).
When they moved from Westerly to Bradford to be closer to the quarry and the Bradford Dye mill, my family worshipped at the Bradford Baptist Church (perhaps formerly called the Niantic Baptist as this was the first name of the area called Bradford). I went to an Easter Sunday service with my cousin and I remember her trying to amuse me with tic-tack-toe on the church bulletin. Her mother, my aunt, described herself as a "dyed in the wool Baptist" to the priest of the Catholic Church her husband attended.
In high school, I dated the son of a local Baptist minister and my dad and I went to a few services there together. The first time, he forgot his reading glasses. Reminding him that this was a Baptist church and not the Congregational one we belonged to, shouldn't he actually know the hymns? Once the organist started to play, Dad nodded and began to sing.
My great grandfather in Scotland was married in the Evangelical Union Church in Dalbeattie. This may explain why my grandfather's brother, John, moved to California to start his family life there. He was a monumental mason like his father and there was more opportunities for his skilled granite worker business in a better climate than in Rhode Island. They were practicing Plymouth Brethren. My grandfather's oldest sister and her husband also belonged to that religious group so I wasn't surprised to learn that she spent time there with them too. John had a large family (and many descendants) and my grandfather, to my surprise, went out to California to visit. I thought her wouldn't have been able to afford it. Family history is full of surprises.
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