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Your Ancestors As Inspiration at Halloween

With only a few days remaining before Halloween, you may be giving serious thought to what fantastic costume you’ll be wearing to that big Halloween party or event. With the popularity of the television show “Who Do You Think You Are?” and the enormous following the genealogical hobby has, you just might have the answer on your family pedigree chart.

Just review over the long lineage of ancestors and there can be several interesting aspects you could draw upon for a costume. For example, if your grandfather lived in the United States, especially along major transportation routes during the years of Prohibition (1919 to 1932), he may have well been a bootlegger, supplying a thirsty nation with the illegal liquor. If he wasn’t a supplier, your grandparents or great grandparents may have attended the famous speakeasies scattered across the country. So dressing in the Roaring Twenties styles of the flapper with the ‘boyish’ short loose fitting swinging dresses and rows of beads may be the right salute to your great grandmother. The men wore the double-breasted vests, with a suit jacket, loose fitting shirt sleeves and a hat.

Maybe you had an ancestor who fought during the American Civil War (Union or Confederate side), how perfect a costume would that be to wear?  Or a female could dress as a Southern belle.  Is there any Native American Indian lineage in the family?  There you go; a perfect selection is to go as a Native American.

Your great granduncle may have been a chimney sweeper in London, England in 1900. That would be an easy outfit to put together, just make sure to add some black coal dust to the face.  Did you have a relative who was well-known in a certain sport, say tennis or golf?  It doesn’t mean they had to be a world-champion, just a good player, and now you have another idea for a costume.

Many of our ancestors were farmers or a farmer’s wife.  There again, an easy idea to dress as, but include something extra to show if they were a dairy, corn, wheat farmer or a rancher.

My grandfather was a dentist with a practice in Maryland.  Again, another easy costume to put together. That type could be worn by males or females.

Another idea is to dress in a costume that bests represent your family heritage.  Families from Scotland have the Scottish kilts and tartans. Traditional Irish clothing would include the Irish wool sweaters along with a tweed cap.  A female German outfit would be a ‘dirndl’, which is a closefitting bodice, long skirt combined with an apron in a different colour.  If your had an ancestor who came on the Mayflower in 1621, you can dress as a pilgrim. So many ideas.

So pick an historical time period, an occupation or an ethnic heritage, the possibilities from your ancestors are endless for this Halloween.

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