Sunday, December 25, 2022

Santa Claus Did, Too, Exist...Here's Historical Proof

School mates say there's no Santa? Ugh

Doubt Not!
You aren't the first to doubt the existence of Santa Claus. So we are taking charge of telling you there was and always has been Santa Claus Deniers, Doubters and Skeptics! 

But, Santa and Mrs Claus, Minnie, of course were married in Saline County, MO and resided in Marshall County, MO. 

Santa was a minister and he did his civic duty to register in "old man draft" of WWII. 

Santa and  Mrs Claus had seven children! Wondering if each were responsible for the elves. One a day!
Sounds about right. 

1930 Marshall, Saline County, MO

When did he find the time to answer all the letters and the money to mail them? 
 KCStar, 2 Dec 1936

I will not cover the demise of Santa or Mrs. Claus.  It's Christmas Day  after all!

Merry Christmas

Kathleen Brandt
Be Historically Correct
Accurate Accessible Answers

Friday, December 23, 2022

Our Ancestors Knew When the Holiday Season Began

Sears Roebuck Catalog, 1898
The Sears Catalog, Our Ancestors - America's History
1972 Sears Fall Winter Catalog, pg7
I was asked this week what were my favorite memories of Christmas and the holiday season. I got all giddy remembering the Sears Catalog.  When you live in 1960's Kansas, and your parents were on a teachers budget, your connection to the world was EASILY the Sears Winter Catalog.  Not about buying clothes for me, I could sew. but I needed to know the styles. Yep, 1972 plaid? Loved it, made the skirt and dress, asked for the sweater. 

The catalog closed generational gaps. 
Oh yeah, supposed to be talking about ancestors! Nothing else to talk about with the grandparents? We'd just ask them about the catalog. Grandma, with a spoon in one hand stirring slop in her hot-in-December, Lyons, KS kitchen, would tell us, by memory the page number of what she had saved for. I called it her seasonal "bragging rights." Grandpa, well the new coat which he only wore when he went to the "cities."  Yep that usually meant Great Bend or Hutchinson.  That's as far as you go in the Kansas winters. 

1968 Sears, Fall Winter Catalog, p469

Wars, Great Depression. and Disasters, Presidential Elections
How this catalog recorded and included the current events was quite creative, but all included! Even the 1899 Alaskan Goldrush via the Klondike shoes and the San Francisco 1906 earthquake. 
Fall 1908, pg770

Where to Find Catalogs Digitized?

Was your ancestor memorialized with a Sears, Roebuck Tombstone or Monument?
1908, pg560

Article: The Modesto Bee, 1 Mar 1977, pg 65; newspaperscom

Note from Author:
Please know that we are aware Sears' [had a]complicated history with black customers. I have posted this link should others wish to have more information on the topic. 

Sears, Roebuck catalog did allow African Americans to shop circumventing Jim Crow racists practices and laws. However, the catalog and stores' inventories and practices created had a rather rocky relationship with black-America. Sears was active in the consumerization of stereotypes (i.e. Chicken Snatcher, Jockey man, Minstrel figures, etc.) and treated employees and shoppers with the same segregation practices as other stores. 

Still, this mail order catalog brought cheer to the season for many, and connects us once again to our ancestors.

Happy Holidays!

Kathleen Brandt
Be Historically Correct
Accurate Accessible Answers

Monday, December 19, 2022

Researching Indentured Servants? (Not Just Virginia)

Many descendants hit a brick wall when researching their colonial ancestors. Since Virginia was the had the largest population of American colonies, and we just finished a 2 year project on indentured servants, the a3Genealogy Research Team wanted to share a few quick hints to successful research. Although we highlight Virginia here, know that these tips should be considered when researching indentured servants in all of the colonies. 

Let's say post Revolutionary War records proved your ancestors to claim VA as their earlier resident state. Many of these ancestors fought in, or supplied to, the Revolutionary War. As they migrated south to the Carolinas, Tennessee and settled in KY, they were landowners, some were skilled.  But, finding the family units in Colonial VA, pre-Revolutionary War can be a mystery.  

Do Not Overlook
Since eighty percent (80%) of immigrants to 17th century Chesapeake were indentured servants, it will behoove the researcher to consider this possibility.(1)  Most of our ancestors were indentured servants, slaves, or bound in some way as laborers!  It is said that up to 75% of all individuals who came off the transatlantic ships, settling in all colonies, in the 17th century were indentured servants. (2). 

(1) 17th Century Chesapeake, Bill Warder, 2015: "Of the 200,000 emigrants to English North America in the 17TH- century, about 110,000 came into Virginia and Maryland primarily between 1630-1680, with about 80% of those emigrants arriving as indentured servants. ( None More Important Than People: CTW12015-2). 

(2) The all colonies estimate given by Natural History estimates for that timeframe: "up to 75 percent of all the individuals who came off the transatlantic ships in the 17th century were indentured servants." Source: Conditions in the Early Colonies, Smithsonian Institute, National Museum of Natural History,  

Types of Indentured Servants

Indentured servants were contractually bound to work in order to compensate for their passage to America. There were 3 types of indentured servant agreements: redemptioners, voluntary, and involuntary.

  1. Voluntary or "free willers" willingly signed a contract before departing England.
  2. Involuntary or "King's passengers" were also called "convict servants. These criminals were usually obliged to serve a term of seven to fourteen years which was based on their convicted crime. 
  3. Redemptioners were counting on settled family in the colonies to pay their passage, or secured a way to pay for there passage within two weeks of their arrival to the colonies. If they failed to pay their passage within those two weeks, the contractors' agreements were sold to the highest bidder by the sea captain to pay for their passage. 

Three Basic Guidelines to Begin Indentured Servant Research

One of the goals is to locate embarkment records from England. Embarkment  records may provide the "Master's Name" for whom they would be working, the ship name and sea captain, and the location for which they would be bound, i.e. Paris or  Jamaica.  The above image even has recorded a person bound to pay off passage for his return to Ireland. The reasons for taking the journey varied: to seek a better livelihood, to settle in business with a friend, and for pleasure 

1) Begin with a timeline. Based on your research, narrow the timeline for when your ancestors arrived in America.  This will allow you to apply the indentured servant laws that apply to your ancestor.
2) Review the practices for your location. Here is a link on Life in Early Virginia, but be sure to familiarize yourself with the colony of your ancestors. Each colony had different practices. A good review for Pennsylvania is the Redemptioners and Indentured Servants in the Colony and Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
3) Familiarize yourself with the indentured servant laws of the time. Keep in mind that in many cases the laws for the Irish were slightly altered. A good place to start for thee Laws of VA is here in this searchable Collection by Wm. Waller Henning. 

a3Genealogy Research Recommendations to Finding Indentured Servant Records
If looking for your German indentured servant ancestors a good place to begin in with the digitized records of Record of indentures of individuals bound out as appretices, servants, ets., and of German and other redemptioners, 1771 Oct 3 - 1773 October 5. 

Newspapers. For Virginia, we love the Colonial Williamsburg Virginia Gazette which has an index that includes surnames and images to the page of appearance. 

State Libraries and Archives.  

Library of Virginia: The online Virginia Land Patents and Grants is a great source for uncovering your Virginia indentured servant. Indentured servants in Virginia were most often registered by the colonists in order to secure headright grants. The index for the Land Patents and Grants does not include the names of people claimed as headrights. In lieu of an index reference Cavaliers and Pioneers available at Ancestry or online book format.

Maryland State Archives.

As indices and extracts may lead us to copies of the originals, we often turn to Dr. Louis Green Carr's Biographical files of the 17th & 18th Century Marylanders to uncover indentured servants in that state. 

The New Early Settlers of Maryland, by Dr. Carson Gibb.

This is a great source when looking for early ancestors who may have been indentures in Maryland. Although some when say it is a long shot to resolving a VA indentured servant brickwall, we say HOGWASH! This source has led the a3Genealogy Research Team to solving not one but two brickwalls in 2022. Both were indentured servants in VA. 

 Petersrow Publications. 

This resource is not just of indentured servants, but of many indentures (contracts) to include indentures for free blacks. Yet, we have been able to solve brickwall indentured cases by scouring these records. The best part, is it's name based index, where you can enter your surname, and the publication, timeline, and place for the indenture is included.  This one will keep us busy for Jan 2023.

Cyndi's List. We would be remiss if this site was overlooked. Be sure to look here for German Immigrant Servant Databases

Additional Reading  

Tuesday, December 13, 2022

Tracing Our Saloon Men, Boodlers, and Prostitutes

Not My Ancestors!

The San Francisco Examiner
09 Feb 1922, Thu · Page 14

Where were your ancestors when the local saloons and brothels were buzzing?
Saloons and houses of prostitution, brothels, and boodlers were not restricted to big cities. Small town midwest was notorious for them. There was a reason Carrie Nation chose Kiowa, Kansas as her first smash and hatchet town. 

Small Town Shame

The best about small towns, are small town newspapers. They believed in public shaming. And, what a great opportunity to find your ancestor listed as a saloon man, great grandma a prostitute, or your local politician ancestor taking bribes ("boodler")?

My ancestors lived in Medicine Lodge, Kiowa, and frequented area towns notorious for this kind of activity. Matter of fact, some moved from Kansas to Tonopah, Nevada, to open their own saloons. Keep in mind saloons and brothel clients were still segregated, but they were prevalent across America regardless of race. Many were associated with Masonic Lodges or other social clubs.

Really, how many in Arkansas City, KS were charged for "running a joint," "prostitution," and gambling in 1887. 
Note:  Arkansas City is pronounced "are -kansas" not like the state.

4 Places to Begin Your Search
By the 1880's saloons were populating America at record rates. But, don't worry, your ancestor may have frequented the first recognized saloon: Brown's Hole in Wyoming in 1822. And, to Carrie Nation's disgust, they have yet to go out of style: pubs, saloons, Dodge City!!!

1) Newspapers.
Kiowa Kansas vs Attica Kansas

Don't limit your research to the local newspapers. Be sure to peruse the newspapers in surrounding towns and counties. There were inherit town competitions, kind of like... hmmm... Kansas City, Mo. vs St. Louis today. Newspapers often jumped over problems in their own yard, in order to highlight the saloon and brothel disgraceful activities across the city or county border. Newspapers as far as Iowa and Lawrence, Kansas wrote about the notorious Kiowa saloons.

2) Know Your Keywords.  
"Brothel," and "ill-famed" along with prostitution" and "houses of prostitutions" keywords must be included in your searches. And lest not forget "blind-tiger." The keyword "blind tiger" was used unanimously as "bootleg" and "joints."  Women were charged for this crime often. They often made bootleg whiskey in their kitchens.

3) Local and state courts records.

Minneapolis Independent, 5 Apr 1879
Raids were across America. The midwest MINK states (Missouri, Illinois, Nebraska and Kansas) were noted for filling the courts with these charges. Men and women were guilting. This is a great time to remind you, that it wasn't just the men, who were participating. Remember women were also recruited as marshals to sniff out "blind tigers."

4) Follow the tracksWhich tracks you ask?
1) Railroad tracks: where saloons and brothels were plentiful; 
Washington Register, Washington, KS, 11 Mar 1887

2) Carrie Nation and other women and religious movements. At some point. I guess. they learned that morality can not be enforced by laws. Quelled? Maybe. But, not controlled.
Be sure to read: Saloons & Carrie Nation.

Kathleen Brandt
Be Historically Correct
Accurate Accessible Answers            

Friday, November 25, 2022

Mac and Cheese and Thanksgiving

The Jefferson Papers
Grandma Strader (1865-1968) closely followed James Hemmings' macaroni and cheese recipe. James Hemming was a Parisian taught chef and slave of Thomas Jefferson. She would say, "I was born shortly after President Lincoln declared Thanksgiving a holiday." And, she'd add "I was born free!" The Thanksgiving National Holiday was declared 3 Oct 1863 by Congress, but offered by George Washington 26 Nov. 1789.

Mary Randolph, in the first cookbook ever published in America, documented the Macaroni recipe in the 1824 The Virginia House-wife cookbook. This was the first cookbook ever published in America. Mary Randolph was the sister of Thomas Mann Randolph, who was the son-in-law of Thomas Jefferson. Oh, and she was a descendant of Pocahontas. It appears she was also the first recorded person buried in Arlington National Cemetery (1828).

Mary Randolph’s recipe, 1824   

By1793, Jefferson paid duty on imported macaroni, for his then known Macaroni Pie, according to his Memorandum books. Jefferson's last grocery order, placed five months before his death in 1826, included "Macaroni 112¾ lb."

Yep, that's the recipe that Great Grandma Strader passed down.

Four Generations: Mac and Cheese at Thanksgiving
Although this family was not part of the Exodusters, in about 1896, Grandma left Kentucky and travelled to Lyons, Rice County, KS with her teamster husband and 4 of her seven children. The salt mines in Lyons, Kansas were looking for seasoned teamsters.  The last three children were born in Kansas, to include my Grandfather. 

All followed the same recipe. This included 3 of Great Grandma's daughters and my grandmother and mother who married into the Strader family.

Just like Grandma Strader, as ex-slave families and descendants moved from the south to other parts of the nation, they carried their southern culture, and recipes with them. Food has always tied immigrants, ex-slaves, and transient persons to their "home place." It's a way to honor the ancestors.

My mother, who married into the family, quickly adopted this recipe. I'm sure Daddy would not have accepted it any other way. Plus, mother's family did not have the mac and cheese Thanksgiving tradition. I'm the 4th generation, and although I've tried other recipes, there is NO WAY I'd attempt to put them on the the Thanksgiving table. My brothers would protest, and my husband of 25 years would pout with disappointment. 

Traditional Recipe Adopted by the Strader Family

Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with butter (or cooking spray).
1 teaspoon salt. Remember your cheese can be a bit salty, so adjust if needed

16oz of large elbow macaroni

2-3 12 oz cans of Evaporated milk. Do not dilute it.
I use Pet canned milk, because that's what "they" used.
Yes you can use whole milk, but anything else would be WRONG.

24 oz of sliced block cheese: Mild Cheddar cheese, Sharp Cheddar cheese and Colby Jack Cheese 
I let my ancestors guide me, but no one has EVER said, "that's too much cheese." can actually use any type of good melting cheese you like IN ADDITION TO the Cheddar and Colby.

8 tablespoons butter (1 stick), sliced.
Did someone say heart healthy? I know I didn't!

Black pepper to sprinkle on top.

  1. Transfer half of the cooked macaroni to the prepared baking dish. 
  2. Top with half the cheese and dot with half the butter. Repeat with the remaining pasta, cheese and butter. 
  3. Pour abt. 2 cups of milk over the top. Milk should be about half way up the pan. Add more if needed
  4. Sprinkle top with black pepper.
Cover with foil and bake until hot and the cheese is melted, about 35-40 minutes.
Remove the foil and bake for another 10 minutes. You may wish to sprinkle on a bit of shredded or crumbled cheese on top, because the name is Mac and Cheese!

There are lot's of variations. Many people add a whisked egg or two to the milk to make a custard, but the original recipe did not ask for it, and we don't use it. I think, but not sure, that the egg addition was a Betty Crocker invention, circa 1950.

Thanksgiving Timeline
1789 Nov 26, George Washington issued a proclamation for “a day of public thanksgiving and prayer.”
1863, President Abraham Lincoln encouraged Americans to recognize the last Thursday of November as “a day of Thanksgiving.”
1870, Congress made Thanksgiving (along with Christmas Day, New Year’s Day, and Independence Day) a national holiday.
President Franklin D. Roosevelt also declared the last Thursday of November a national day of thanks; but for two years he moved it to the third Thursday of November. This was to benefit businesses and extend the Christmas shopping season during the Great Depression. 1940, he President Roosevelt returned it to the last Thursday of November.

Kathleen Brandt

Be Historically Correct
Accurate Accessible Answers

Wednesday, November 23, 2022

5 Underutilized Native American Research Resources

It's Not Just About the Oklahoma 5 Tribes!
When your grandparents claimed they were of Native American heritage, that does not mean they were from one of the well-known 5 Oklahoma tribes. A recent client had ancestors who settled in Nebraska, received land in Nebraska, served in the military, and yet descendants were rejected from their Nemaha tribe of Nebraska on land records just a few years earlier.

Where to look for a Hint of Native American Ancestry?

1.  Military Veteran Records. If you are looking your Native American in the 20th century, military records are a great place to start. During World War I approximately 12,000 Native American soldiers served in the U.S. Check out these resources:
2. Indian Scouts and Code Talkers
It was due to their recognized efforts in WWI, that all Indigenous peoples in the US, were given citizenship in 1924.
Group of 6 Native American Soldiers in WWI era uniforms
A squad of Choctaw Code Talkers in Camp Merritt, New Jersey. From left: Cpl. Solomon Bond
Louis, Pvt. Mitchell Bobb, Cpl. James Edwards, Cpl. Calvin Wilson, Pvt. George (James) Davenport, Cpt. Elijah W. Horner. Photographer: Joseph K. Dixon | The Indiana University Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology

3.  National Archives: American Indian Records in the National Archives

Half Breeds and Mixed Bloods of Omahas, Iowas, Ottoes, Yancton & Santie Bands of Sioux

1861 Land Patent, Nemaha 

4.  Court Record, BIA, NARA-KC
Omaha Nation, Nebraska, Land, KC-NARA, BIA

African Descent

Descendant was of "Affrican [?] Blood, Omaha mother, KC, NARA

Records created by the BIA can be found at many NARA research facilities throughout the country. There is no comprehensive index to these records. It is important to know the tribe and/or BIA agency to locate potentially relevant records.

5. Indian Census Rolls. Be sure to read Indian Census Rolls, 1885 - 1940, on the website. These are the censuses of all the tribes except the Five Civilized Tribes, from about 1885 to 1940. They do not include everyone who was an Indian, only those living on the reservations.

Familysearch, Native American Census Rolls, Wyoming, 1938 

November is Native American Heritage Month. We also hear it referred to as American Indian and Alaska Native Heritage Month.

Other Resources
Kathleen Brandt
Be Historically Correct
Accurate Accessible Answers

Sunday, November 20, 2022

DNA - $36.00 That's a Wonderful Friday!

The Black Friday DNA Sale
Expires 20 Nov 2022.  

You know you want to know if that Weird Uncle is really family.  Or, are you the Weird Uncle? Visit here: MyHeritage DNA

Remember, even if other family has tested on, we can connect you all on MyHeritage DNA. 

Have questions? Ask