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Thursday, April 09, 2015


That is a lovely photograph. The heart on your grandfather's lapel... was it a temporary wedding thing (like a corsage) or something that was kept and passed down? And your grandmother's dress and veil! Beautiful! That style veil re-emerged in the 1980s. The square neck style has come and gone at least twice during my lifetime. Did she or her mother make it? Was it passed down?

I've forwarded the questions to my experts. I'll let you know if I learn anything. I do know that if my great-grandmother made the dress, it would have been made in Italy. My grandmother arrived in the US earlier in the year accompanied by a 14-year-old sister. At the time, only her elder brother was already in the US. My grandmother and her sister came across with her fiance's father who also moved here at the time. Her fiance, my grandfather, was 11 years her senior and had already been in the US (had a business in Detroit) for 9 years. Evidently, they were betrothed when she was very young, possibly at age 14 or earlier. Different times.

Fast answers. The dress was rented. The background on the pin is uncertain. It might have been a society pin for immigrants who came from Carini, Sicily. The organization was called La Società de Carinese. But it could have just been a pin my grandmother gave him. Whatever the story, the pin is long gone.

Different times, indeed. Fathers were rightly concerned to see their daughters taken care of and knew that in those times, another man was needed to do so... thus, betrothals at an early age. Not to mention family alliances, dowries, and other things that are not considered today.

My sister gets rather annoyed with me at times because I will get immersed in a certain ancestor and the clothing he/she was wearing or the curtains hanging in a window in the photograph and other non-lineage questions. Together, we weave a richer history of our family I think. Thank you for indulging my curiosity!

Wedding dresses and quilts... my weaknesses!

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