This recipe caught my eye, because it’s labeled “Lillians’ Recipe”. This must have come from my grandmother’s aunt, Lillian Pearl (Hess) Adams (1882-1962). I’m not sure who’s handwriting this is, but I do love these old recipes.
I’ve found lots of references to various ancestors being masons, but it never dawned on me that lodge the ancestor belonged to may have information on him. A distant cousin suggested this to me and it was like a new door opened.
I went back to my records for one particular ancestor—I had found him in google books and other places as being a member of a particular lodge. I was pleasantly surprised to find this lodge still exists and sent off an email. I heard back quickly, although the research took a bit of time. They weren’t able to produce a photo (which the may have for those higher up in the organization, depending on the time period and the lodge’s record keeping), but they were able to tell me the date he joined and the dates he achieved different ranks.
It doesn’t seem like a lot of information, but it does place this ancestor in a particular place at particular times, which is nice information to flesh out the experiences of someone’s life.
This photo, dated 1941, shows my mother’s side of the family. I’ve chosen it because it has the most female ancestors from that side in a single photograph. One of the women depicted, Constance Miskelly, seems to have been a friend of the family. There are a number of photos of her with Grace (Hill) Warner and George K. Warner, Jr. as they were around the same age. I’ve always wondered who she was, but have never found out much about her.
Pictured left to right: Lois Anne Weaver, Beatrice E. Warner, Ethel (Felver) Weaver, Constance Miskelly, Clara Felver, George K. Warner, Sr., William Weaver, Beatrice Felver Warner, George K. Warner, Jr. (sitting on the grass), and Grace (Hill) Warner (also sitting on the grass).
Another find from the family recipe box, this time for a dish called “April Salad”. I love that none of the ingredients include an idea of how much to use, so I guess the idea was to just eyeball it. Also, I picked this one out because it’s labelled as “Mrs. Warner’s”. Since this recipe box belonged to my great-grandmother, Beatrice Felver Warner, I’m assuming the Mrs. Warner in this case would have been her mother-in-law, Minnie Manley Warner.
Minnie Manley Warner died in 1916, so I wondered if this could really be her recipe since it calls for lemon jello. Some quick research tells me Jell-O has been around since before the turn of the century and began to gain popularity between 1902 and 1904.
I’ve talked about Mount Moriah Cemetery in Philadelphia before. I don’t have any of my own ancestors buried here, but the cemetery still draws me in. It spans a few hundred acres, straddling Philadelphia and Delaware Counties via Cobbs Creek Parkway. There are 1,000s and 1,000s of people buried here, poor and rich, unknown and famous. Many, many veterans–including those from the Civil War–are buried at Mount Moriah as well.
The cemetery was abandoned in 2011, leaving countless families wondering what would become of their loved one’s final resting place. It’s amazing to step from urban Southwest Philly, past the gates, and into this oasis of rolling hills and often jungle-like overgrowth of vines, trees, rose bushes, and invasive knotweed. It quickly becomes hard to believe you are standing within a huge East Coast city. It’s beautiful, but it was neglected for many decades before being abandoned.
There is a dedicated group of volunteers fighting to take back the cemetery. They are working hard to show the cemetery the respect it deserves–to give all the people interred here the respect of a well kept burial site.
So often genealogists are excited to find an ancestor’s burial spot…we make requests on findagrave, visit the cemeteries when we can, and keep searching. We hope for burial records, plot cards, and visible headstones with vital information. What do we give back?
You can help save Mount Moriah Cemetery. Even if a donation to this particular project doesn’t excite you, I urge you to take a look at the organizations working in your area to preserve history and pitch in what you can. I can guarantee you, even $5 will help these organizations.
This recipe, marked “Grandma Warner”, would have been from the kitchen of Beatrice (Felver) Warner or Minnie (Manley) Warner, depending on who’s perspective “grandma” was from.
This caught my eye because it’s called “Higdom”, something I had never heard of before. It seems to be a spiced relish or pickle with green tomatoes. As I googled Higdom, I found a number of folks talking about this, especially in relation to Ohio, Pennsylvania, and New York. I’m not sure if it’s entirely a regional thing or when it first showed up, but green tomatoes and/or cabbage seem to be the main veggie ingredient.
I’m intrigued to try this at some point, though I’m not sure if “1 red pepper (or 6 green peppers)” refers to a bell pepper, hot pepper, etc.
I had the privilege of meeting two cousins on Saturday, each of us representing the line of one of three siblings on the Felver side of the family. It’s the first time I’ve done something like this. It was a lovely day and something I’d do again, albeit a bit differently next time.
One of the cousins is in his 90s and when he suggested we meet for lunch I jumped at the chance. He brought with him a photo of our civil war era patriarch which we’d never seen before, plus a variety of details that give me other avenues to explore with the other cousin (Hi, D. L.!). I have a feeling she and I will continue to make headway on exploring this family.
What would I do differently next time? Mainly, I wouldn’t meet at a restaurant – it was noisy and I couldn’t hear or follow all of the conversation. In the new year I will hopefully go visit D.L. in New Jersey someplace nice and quiet that will allow the two of us to really talk. Until then, we’ll continue to chip away at the mysteries of the Felver family.