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

Monday, November 14, 2022

Records for Women Serving in WWI??

From the Mail Bag

We love our women ancestors. They were proactive in war efforts and served when they could. Keep in mind that during WWI women were barred from voting in the USA; and, could not serve in military combat roles. However, they did volunteer toward the war efforts and provided support on the front lines: nurses, translators, dieticians, and even drivers. We must give them credit for paving the way for today's women to think bold and big. Be sure to enjoy the video.

You provided two great clues when you included this nuggets: 1) May be Red Cross 2)  her service was "close to the end of the war. We know the dietitians began serving with the Army in 1917. 3) she served at "Camp" Dix. 

We hope you saw this article which included at least one new dietitian, Miss Marion Peck:

This article proved the following: 
1) the word "dietitian" in this research must be done with its popular misspelling "dietician" or use a wildcard "dieti?ian"
2) in your search efforts remember dietetics vs dietitian may be used (i.e. hospital dietetics)
3) although we love saying Fort Dix, we need to search it as "Camp Dix" especially for WWI research. The name change was 1947.
4) Camp Dix had a double issue - the War and the
1918 Influenza Epidemic.  Did you know one dietitian died after contracting the disease while on duty in 1918?[i].

[i]  The Influenza Epidemic at Camp Dix, NJ, 30 Nov 1918; Jama Network

The Basic Research
You didn't provide a name for your ancestor, or her location, so I'm assuming your grandmother was in America, not England or Canada, overseas, etc. With that in mind, let's also assume you already checked the following:

Still a Brickwall?
The Army Nurse Corps definitely hand women dieticians. As many of these dietitians traveled overseas, we are able to uncover passenger lists. The following list found, on Fold3, is actually quite extensive.
Let's also turn to academic papers and professional journals knowing now that female WWI dietitians must also be researched within the Army Nurse Corps collections. Here's just one American Journal of Nursing that list those who served in the Army Nurse Corps at Camp Dix March 1918[2] 
Adlin M. Wagner and Loretta M. Pratt, Olga Sletten, General Hospital No. 26, Fort Des Moines, Iowa. Ethel M. Collins, Pearlena V. Soles, Mary E. Spare, Ellen Brady, Amy Reed, Kathleen E. Murphy, Edna L. Bailey, Matilda Blackberg, Eleanor J. Menah, Ruth Ardron, Marie R. McManus, Alice N. Hemingway, Helen Canty, Sadie E. Houston, Agnes C. Peterson, Alva Tomlinson, Marie S. Fordham, Regina H. Conroy, Edna Cubbi- son, Elsie M. Botdorf, Mildred K. Magee, Agnes S. Dalton, Mary M. Bittner, Margretta Hibert, Edith MacMahan, Lulu A. Brennan, Isabella J. H. Aitken, Grace I. Richards, to U. S. Army Base Hospital, Camp Dix, N. J

[2] Nursing News and Announcements, The American Journal of Nursing, Dec 1918, Vol 19. No 3, pg 206-252, Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; :

Digging Deeper
Well, this may not be a brickwall, but a brick skyscraper! Here are a few other places to peruse:

  1. Government Civilian PersonnelIs it possible your grandmother served as a civilian for the military? Civilian records are at the National Personnel Record Center in St. Louis.  Here is a link:  
  2. Here is another place you can get started with the Records of the American National Red Cross, 1881-2008, search term: Red Cross Dietitian:
  3. Local Newspapers. Many of these honored Red Cross assignments were posted in local newspapers: 

Republic County Democrat, Belleville, KS. 

Suggested Reading:

For More on Women Serving in WWI
Video Provided by WWI Museum, Smithsonian, KCMO

Kathleen Brandt
Be Historically Correct
Accurate Accessible Answers

Monday, November 7, 2022

Ancestry DNA November 2022 Holiday Sale

Offer ends 23 Nov 2022

Remember all proceeds, using this link, are donated to Tracing a 501c3 (Not-for-profit) dedicated to serving women, schools & underserved Communities

Kathleen Brandt 
 Website: a3Genealogy 
accurate accessible answers
P.O. Box 414640
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