The Christening Dress
Our Family Christening Dress
In 1949 my Aunt Alice made a beautiful christening dress. This handmade dress has a long gown with lace inset in the front and a lace collar. There was also a full length slip to go under the dress.
I was the first person to wear the dress when I was baptized in February of 1949. Since then the dress has been passed down and worn by all the girls in our family. It has now been worn by three generations of girls and I hope that many more little girls will be able to wear this dress.
Aunt Alice was always excited to hear that a new girl in the family would be wearing the dress that she made over 60 years ago. In her later years, Alice suffered from Parkinson's disease and lived in a nursing home. After my first two granddaughters were baptized I brought Alice a photo of them in the dress and you could tell she was very proud that they were wearing the dress she made. Aunt Alice passed away in 2009 before my last granddaughter was born, the dress was a wonderful remembrance that will be passed on through the generations.
photo is of Alice Amanda Ida Schroeder in 1954
first person to wear Christening dress
The first generation of girls to wear the dress were the daughters of Ann and Erwin Schroeder. Mary Beth (the author of this article) was the first to wear the dress in 1949. Her sister Donna wore the dress in 1954 and Julie in 1957.
Aunt Alice who made the dress was the younger sister of Erwin. Alice was never married and loved to make gifts for her nieces and nephews. At the time she made the christening dress, Alice was 21 years old.
Alice, passed away in 2009 at age 80. Her memory will live on with her nieces and nephews and the christening dress is a beautiful remembrance of Aunt Alice.
Note: I have now added a photo of me in the dress. Many of the older photos do not do the dress justice. In the later photos, especially those from my granddaughters, you can see the christening dress in more detail.
Donna is held in this photo by Aunt Alice and standing behind her is Grandma Emma Schroeder.
Julie Ann with godparents- cousin Don and Aunt Alice
Linda Marie - the second generation
The second generation to wear the dress were Ann and Erwin's granddaughters. There were four granddaughters. Linda, Amy, Jenny and Angie.
Linda is the daughter of Mary Beth, the first person to wear the dress. Jenny is the daughter of Donna, the second person to wear the dress. Amy and Angie are the daughters of Ann and Erwin's son John.
Linda, shown in this photo with her godparents, Norma, Mary and John, wore the dress at her baptism in 1971.
Amy - with godmothers Mary Beth and Julie
Here is Amy with her godmothers, Mary Beth and Julie. Mary Beth and Julie also wore the Christening Dress.
Jenny is Donna's daughter. I love this photo of her with the natural light from the window. You can see the beautiful lace on the hem of the dress.
Rachel Ray - 3rd Generation for Christening Dress
On October 30th, 2003 Rachel Ray was born and a third generation had arrived to wear the Christening dress. The third generation would be the great grandchildren of Ann and Erwin Schroeder. At the present time there are four girls, all of them the granddaughters of Mary Beth, the first person to wear the dress. The first two Rachel and Ella are the daughters of Linda and the next two, Mary Katherine and Emily Ann iare the daughters of Mary Beth and Ray's son John.
In this photo Rachel Ray is with her parents in the front of their church after her baptism in December of 2003.
This happy baby is Eleanor Ann (Ella). She wore the dress at her baptism in January of 2006.
It's hard to believe that this dark haired beauty now (at age 4) has a head full of pale blond curls.
Mary Katherine - Kate at her Baptism
My granddaughter Mary Katherine (Kate) wore the dress at her baptism on July 19th, 2009. She is the first child of my son, John.
Kate was born a month premature with a condition called biliary atresia. In addition she had a malrotation of the abdomen. In layman's terms her organs were turned around and her liver was not working properly. Kate had her first operation to try to correct her problems in June and everything seemed to be going well until late August when her liver began to fail. She was put on a transplant list and we prayed she would get a liver soon. In October our prayers were answered and Kate received a new liver. After 5 weeks in the hospital Kate was able to come home. She will be on anti-rejection drugs her entire life, but at 2 years she is now doing quite well. Kate is truly a miracle!
Emily Ann - baptized on May 8th
Emily Ann was baptized on May 8th, 2011. She is the daughter of John and Larisa and the granddaughter of Mary Beth. Emily is the 11th little girl to wear the christening dress.
Christening Dress - Size 0-3 months
This beautiful christing dress could become a treasured family heirloom.
Child's Cross Necklace - beautiful christening gift
This beautiful cross necklace will make a wonderful christening/ baptism gift. It will serve as a wonderful remembrance of the special day.