Press Releases

New Military Records

New military records

Was your ancestor a war hero?

View thousands of brand new military records, including Chelsea Pensioner records, Military Nurses, Prisoners of war and much more.

View military records today

Mothering Sunday has nothing to do with Mums

  • A tradition started by American soldiers in UK during WWII
  • reveals why Mothering Day had nothing to do with Mums

The origins of Mothering Sunday had nothing to do with sending flowers and cards but was a day off given to servants so they could go home and see their families at their local church, family history website has found.

Articles from the British Newspaper Archive, found on the website, show that Mothering Sunday was created in the 16th century so those 'in service' could visit their "Mothering church" in their hometown.

On the way home children would pick flowers for their mother - a practice that has evolved into the modern day tradition of buying gifts.

Although Mother's Day in its current form started in the early 19th century it did not become a fixture in the UK calendar until World War II when American and Canadian soldiers based in the UK started sending cards home to their mothers.

At that point traders and shop owners began commercialising Mother's day and by the 1950's it had transformed into how we see it today.

Rhoda Breakell, Head of Genes Reunited, said: "Mothering Sunday is another example of how certain religious traditions like Christmas and Easter have changed significantly over hundreds of years. Genes Reunited gives people access to a huge range of family records and allows them to find interesting newspaper articles though the British Newspaper Archive, bringing the lives of their ancestors to life."

- Ends -

Articles available on the British Newspaper Archive available on

Bath Chronicle 1868 -

Western Daily Press and Bristol Mirror 1944

Western Morning News and Mercury 1927 -

Media Enquiries

Press Team : e.; t. +44 (0)207 845 7800 or +44 (0)207 994 0149

In Australia, Vicki Dawson : e.; t. +61 (02) 9836-3587

Jenni Hayward (Mission PR) : e.; t. +44 (20) 7845-7800

Notes to the Editor - About Genes Reunited

Genes Reunited was launched in 2002 as a sister-site to the Internet phenomenon Friends Reunited. Since then it has grown to become the UK's largest genealogy website.

It marked a revolution in genealogy and ancestry by combining them with Internet social-networking. Members are able to build their family tree by posting it on the site and investigating which ancestors they share with other members. They can also search historical records such as census, birth, death, marriage and military records.

It currently has over 11 million members and over 750 million names listed. One new name is added to the site every single second.