Thank you for answering my question with this information plus some of your
family's history. As you may have gathered, in my research I have a
discovered few issues to resolve, thus an understanding of the society, time and place
in which my ancestors lived is of much importance. My best to you and all on
the list who have so generously offered their help.
In a message dated 7/1/2007 10:31:13 P.M. Eastern Daylight Time,
My readings have suggested that the godparents, and especially the
godmother, play a significant role in the lives of their godchildren and are
important figures at christening, confirmation, and wedding of their
godchild, as well as the funeral if the godchild should die. They may even
be responsible for organizing these events and always give gifts on these
and other occasions. I do not see, however, that they took the
responsibility of raising the children if they were orphaned. This job was
most likely taken on by relatives.
The memoirs of my husband's great-grandfather, from the mid 1800s, portray a
very close relationship with his godparents. On one occasion he wrote a song
in honor of his godmother that he performed for her at her name day party.
A female cousin's godfather was Count Leopold Andrassy, the ruling landlord
in the village, and she was named Leopoldina in his honor. Her father, the
village Lutheran priest, died when she was an infant, and I have wondered if
her godfather provided any financial assistance to her and her mother. They
moved back to the mother's "home town," but my impression is that they were
relatively well off financially. In contrast, another female relative was
left with three small children when her husband committed suicide. In that
instance, the godfather was a teacher. There was obviously no help there,
and the family became completely destitute.
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