Saturday, November 20, 2010

Sunday Supper - Laura Laurent's Chocolate Chip Cookies

Laura Cayemberg nee Laurent and Patrick H Cayemberg Sr
This recipe originated with my husband's paternal grandmother Laura Cayemberg nee Laurent.  Her son, Patrick W. Cayemberg, began making them and they are a Cayemberg family favorite! 

1 c. oleo (or imperial margarine)
1 c. Crisco shortening
1-1/2 c. brown sugar
1 c. sugar
4 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
1 tsp salt
6 c. flour
2 tsp baking soda, in a little hot water
1 (12 oz) bag chocolate chips

Combine the baking soda in a little hot water and set aside.

Cream together the oleo/margarine and shortening.  Add both sugars; mix well.  Add the eggs, vanilla and salt.  Mix well.  Add the baking soda/water mixture and mix. 

Add the flour, a little at a time, mixing well after each addition.  Mix in the chocolate chips.

Bake on cookie sheets at 375 degrees (F) for 11 minutes (9 minutes on the middle rack and 2 minutes on the top rack).  Remove from oven and cool for 2 minutes on the cookie sheets before removing to wire racks to cool completely.

100th COG - There's One in Every Family - Martin Joseph Villers

The Bismarck Daily Tribune 20NOV1897
I'd love to get my husband more interested in genealogy and family history.  He is interested to an could he not be married to a genealogy nut, but there are certain aspects of it that he doesn't like.  He's not so big on the paperwork...I'm the meticulous one of the pair.  He's an analyst (seriously, that's what he does) so he could be great at busting through brick walls!  Unfortunately, there are some walls that he would like to rebuild and that's just not how this works.  You can't rebuild a wall and pretend that someone didn't exist.  You can't brush history aside...even the unsavory bits.  That's where Martin Joseph Villers comes into play.

I was farting around on Ancestry a couple years ago (yes, that's the technical term).  Just typing surnames into their search engine.  Trying to see if anything would come up in newspapers.  When I typed in Villers I got a bit of a surprise...I found several newspaper articles on one Martin Joseph Villers.  The father to Florence, Mary Ann, Louis, Alta Ellen, and Agnes.  Husband of Octavia Villers nee Waguener.  And murderer of August Tromer and attempted murderer of his wife, Pauline Tromer.

So who was Martin Joseph Villers to my husband?  He's my husband's great great grandfather.  I can understand how we don't want to find bad people in our family tree (particularly our direct line), but the truth is there's going to be bad people in there.  It doesn't reflect on who we are.

I've been fascinated by this discovery and sometimes I think that my husband would prefer it if I would stop digging.  I've received penitentiary records from North Dakota, copied all the newspaper articles I could find, etc.  I don't want to glorify what he did, but I want to know why he did it.  He had been a policeman in a previous census!  Part of me hoped to find something that would lead me to believe he was innocent.  The evidence was so circumstantial in the papers.  I had dreams of being able to request a pardon or reversal for MJ Villers.  Yeah...not going to happen unless something new comes to light.

The articles are fascinating.  The terminology involved and what they seem to consider "proof" is amazing.  If you read all the articles it's evident that he was considered guilty from the get go.  From a historical point of view the case was a first for the state of North Dakota.  They were unsure of how to try him for the murder of August Tromer when he was already serving time for the attempted murder of Pauline Tromer (not a problem today, but back then they weren't sure what to do!).  He was also the first person from Stutsman County sent to the state prison for a life term.  Now granted, these aren't goals we aspire to, but it's all very interesting.

I don't know if I'll ever know why he did what he did.  Was he desperate for land?  Money?  Did he have a falling out with the Tromers?  Why did the Villers family move from Wisconsin to North Dakota to begin with?  How did the Tromer family fare as time passed?  One thing I do know is that there will be more Martin Josephs as I continue researching.  It's a statistical...and genealogical fact.

Sorting Saturday - Digital Surname Sorting

I've heard lots of recommendations as to how to sort your files.  The bottom line is, that it has to be something that works for you...not someone else.  You need to be able to find your files when you need them.  This is how I sort mine...

Currently I'm researching 2 family trees.  My step-father's (Trunzo) and my children's (Cayemberg).  I have a "Tree" folder for each tree I'm conducting research on.  I could have split them for my side of the family and one for my husband's, but when I'm entering people into my family tree program I'm entering both sides so it makes more sense to keep them under one.

Those "Tree" folders are broken down into surname folders.  Then under each surname folder I break them down a bit more into specific records/events. There are folders for Birth, Census Records, Death, Education, Immigration & Naturalization, Marriage, Military, Newspaper, Pictures, Probate, Property, and Tombstones.  Outside those folders I have miscellaneous items that don't really have a specific home.  I could create a Misc folder, but as a matter of personal preference don't.  I like seeing them floating around without a home so when I notice that I'm starting to acquire multiple records that can be grouped together I then create a new folder.  If I created that "Misc Folder" I know myself and just wouldn't check it often enough to see if things were ready for a new grouping.  Also in the free space I've got a surname "Research Log".  When I conduct research on a specific surname, in the log it goes.  It's also a great place for surname "To-Do" lists.

I use the PAF program for my family tree, but I have to admit that I'm eyeing the Legacy software after attending some of Legacy's webinars.  I like what I'm seeing.  I just haven't made the commitment yet.  More research is needed to see how flawlessly my tree will transfer.  Anyway, before I get distracted talking about a genealogical wish list...I was going to mention that in the PAF program I ensure that I've got people being assigned MRINs (Marriage Record Identification Numbers).  I'm sure the majority of programs can assign MRINs.

What this means (if you didn't know) is that people are assigned a specific number when they get married.  Documents in my binders are filed by Family Group Records and since the basis of those family groups are marriages, if someone got married their records go to that MRIN not under their parents.  Since my binder filing system already does that, my digital system mirrors it.  I don't place multiple copies under different surnames.  They go with their married surname.  So what do you do when you've got several marriages for an individual?  Well, that's really up to you.  I usually put them with the last marriage's MRIN, but you may have your own system.

The PAF program (and I'm sure most others as well) can print out a report that gives you the MRIN along with the couples they belong to.  It makes a perfect index when you can't remember what someone's married name was.  But I digress...that is more helpful with binder/paper files and that's another Sorting Saturday!