Easter Cookies

Mom's Easter CookiesThe most unique cookie my mom makes is for Easter, a recipe she pulled out of The Oregonian in the early 1990’s. So good slightly warm, with the chocolate a little gooey in the middle, and good cold, with the softness of the dough against the hard chocolate.


EASTER EGG COOKIES: makes about 2 dozen


1 3/4 cups powdered sugar
2 Tablespoons evaporated milk
4 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 cup margarine (it really needs to be margarine, butter changes the consistency)
1 1/2 cups sifted flour
2 dozen small chocolate eggs (we usually use the Hershey’s creamy ones)

In a small bowl, combine 1 cup of powdered sugar, 2 T. evaporated milk, 1 t. vanilla. Mix well.

Cream margarine and remaining sugar in a separate bowl (I used a stand mixer). Mix in remaining vanilla.

Add mixture in the small bowl to the margarine mixture. Mix to combine. Add flour. Dough will be stiff. (You can add 1/2 teaspoon of cream if necessary.)

Wrap 1 Tablespoon of dough around each egg, covering egg completely. Space 1 inch apart on cookie sheet.

Bake at 350 degrees for 12-15 minutes, until set but not brown.

When they bake, they look like eggs, with a chocolate yolk center!

Enjoy and Happy Easter!



How Do You Record Bad News?

Recently I shared the story of finding out my great-grandfather had served time in prison. It’s a story I find sad, but also a great anecdote. For me, it was a great find and something I had never heard.

However, only after I shared the story I wondered if another one of his decendents would have taken offense to my sharing the story. (For the record, no one has.) I then began to think about hearing bad stories about someone on your tree, and if they should be shared.

A couple years ago someone reached out to me on Ancestry. We had a close match through DNA, but she couldn’t find a common relative. I looked as well, and after exchanging a few messages, our communication fizzled.

Cut to a few months later, when I received another message from her. She had discovered that the man who raised her mother was not in fact her biological father, and thought she had uncovered our link: she thought her grandfather and my great-grandfather were the same person. This claim threw me for a loop. I had never heard any stories, and I was particularly close to my grandma, and I became defensive. Not defensive towards her, but to other family members towards the situation. I didn’t want to believe my great-grandfather would have done such a thing.

It turned out her hunch was wrong, and she was looking at the wrong branch. I was relieved.

When I consider these stories, I wonder just how much family history should be shared. I know a story of a family member, something she spoke of, but I wonder if sharing it might hurt someone else. Is it something I don’t record, because someone else may be offended?

So I want to know, what would you do? Do I share the story, or keep it private? All the individuals directly involved have passed, but I would hate to upset other family members.

52 Ancestors: Misfortune


One of my favorite family history finds was a newspaper article about my great-grandfather being sentenced to prison.

No one in my family knew this. Had my dad known, he would have carried his mugshot around in his wallet and shown it to everyone he met. Some of my dad’s cousin’s kids sent messages went I posted the information on Ancestry, surprised by the development.

Dallas Eby was born on 19 August 1884 in Yakima, Washington, one of nine kids. Dallas lost his father David when he was only 5, and the family lived in various spots throughout Washington, Oregon, and Idaho as he grew up.

One day I was plugging names into the internet, and came across this:

morning olympian
From “The Morning Olympian,” 21 June 1903.

I never would have found this without looking at newspaper sites. I had never heard a story or rumor about this. So I set out to find more. I emailed the Washington State Archives, and was able to obtain his prison records! They even included a mugshot, one of only 3 known pictures of Dallas.

Dallas maeby mugshot
Dallas Eby mugshot, 1903.

Dallas was convicted of grand larceny for stealing a horse, along with his brother Jesse and a friend.

dallas prison
Handwritten information about Dallas Eby.

These records gave me such insight into Dallas, more than I had found prior or have since.

dallas discharged
Portion of his discharge paperwork.

The information about his scars and missing a portion of his missing thumb helps give a better sense of his build. And the picture is priceless: it is the clearest of the photos we have, and I see so much of my brother and dad in him.

I find this to be a sad period for Dallas. He served 10 months in the Washington State Penitentiary. I wonder how he suffered the injuries listed in his discharge paperwork, if they occurred in prison or before. But having these documents provides invaluable information for our family, which is an upside to this misfortune.

This also shows you never know what you will find on your tree, or were you will find information on your ancestors! Thanks for allowing me to share this story of misfortune.

You can find all my 52 Ancestors post through the tag below.


Until next time,


St. Patrick’s Day

St. Patrick's Day

Growing up I didn’t really pay much attention to St. Patrick’s Day. I didn’t know of any Irish ancestors. Green is not my color. It was a holiday I just didn’t connect with.

Little did I know, I am Irish on my mom’s side of the family! My 3x great-grandparents James and Catherine Moore immigrated to Canada from Ireland. They settled in Ontario where they raised five children.

It was their granddaughter Etta who would them immigrate to the United States.

Etta Moore McCallum
Etta Moore McCallum, circa 1908.

I still don’t celebrate St. Patrick’s Day per say, but I am proud of my Irish ancestors! Without researching my family history, I never would have known about my connection to Ireland, one of the reasons researching my family is important to me.

Thanks for reading!

Until next time,



52 Ancestors: Lucky


On 6 April 1917, the United States declared war on Germany. My great-grandfather, Chester Crowe, had just turned 22. I doubt the war had little impact on him at first.

On 16 February 1918, Chester married Myrtle Crowe in Vancouver, Washington.

chester and myrtle marriage
The marriage certificate of Chester Crowe and Myrtle Sanford.

(I love looking up where my ancestors lived. The Morgan Hotel no longer exists, and Myrtle’s address is now a Walgreens.)

However, on the 24 June 1918, Chester enlisted in the United States army.

Chester Crowe, WW1
Chester Crowe, 1918

He was sent to France, where he fought in the Argonne offensive, the final battle of the war.

Enlistment Record_back of Discharge papers
The back of his discharge papers, which list his service.

Private Chester Crowe left France on 24 June 1919 from Brest, arriving in Hoboken, New Jersey on 5 June aboard the USS Patricia.

travel 1919 chester
Passenger list featuring Chester Crowe on his return to the U.S.

Chester is lucky. He went to fight in France and was not wounded. Over 26,000 U.S. soldiers were killed and nearly 96,000 wounded, and he was not among them. Over 1.2 million American soldiers fought in the Meuse-Argonne offensive, and Chester returned home unscathed.

Chester and Myrtle went on to have two children, son Merle and daughter Veva (my paternal grandmother). He lived a long life, dying on 2 December 1972 at the age of 77.

This story is one of the ones on my tree that amaze me. Had something gone wrong, I may not be here. Thanks for allowing me to share it!

You can find all my 52 Ancestors post through the tag below.

As always, you can find me on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. You can also email me: familyhistoryfood [at] gmail.com.

I also have a vintage site: familyhistoryfood.etsy.com.

Until next time,



52 Ancestors: Strong Woman


Let me introduce you to my great-great-grandmother, Dorothea Wilhemine Alder, Dora for short.

Dora was born on 10 December 1858 in Kiel, Schleswig-Holstein, Germany, the daughter of Ernst Johann Martin Adler and Catharina Margaretha Ohlsen. I know nothing of her childhood, if she had any siblings, or how long her parents lived. The first record I have of her is of her marriage to Hermann Peter Borchert, on the 27 May 1885 in Kiel.

dora and hermann marriage
The marriage record of Dora Adler and Hermann Borchert, in the original German.

The next day, Dora and Hermann left from the port in Bremen, and arrived in New York on 15 June 1885. She is even listed by her maiden name on the ship’s manifest. They were processed through Castle Garden.

dora and hermann rec

I think it is amazing enough that she was married the day before immigrating to a new country, but she was also pregnant! Nearly three weeks on a transatlantic ship, entering the port in New York, and then settling in a new country. A strong woman, indeed.

Dora gave birth to their first daughter, my great-grandmother Ida, on 23 October 1885 in Lansing, Michigan. Dora and Hermann traveled over 4000 miles from the time they were married to where they had their first child.

Dora, Hermann, and Ida would move to Cincinnati, Ohio, where they would add five children to their family. The family then moved to Indianapolis, and later Toledo, before making the move to San Diego.

1900 census borchert
The family in the 1900 census. Notice the incorrect birth year for their daughter Ida.

Dora died in San Diego on 1 November 1926, at the age of 67. She is buried nearly 5600 miles from where she was born and married.

Herman (he dropped the extra “n”) and Dora’s headstone, at Mount Hope Cemetery in San Diego. 

A strong woman on my family tree! If Dora had not made her trip, I wouldn’t be here, and that amazes me.

Thank you for reading about my great-great-grandma! If you happen to know more about her, especially a picture, let’s get in touch!

You can find all my 52 Ancestors post through the tag below.

As always, you can find me on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. You can also email me: familyhistoryfood [at] gmail.com.

I also have a vintage site: familyhistoryfood.etsy.com.

Until next time,