Sunday, 24 February 2013

Chipping away at our brick walls.

Not much progress since last fall, but there have been a few little glimmers here and there. We have had a couple of low-level matches on the DNA samples we have posted, and time will tell if those result in anything helpful down the road. Also, an Ancestry posting has led us to John Waite and family's emigration record from England to New York. Not certain this is our family, but it's provided some hope, and is worth further investigation.

Friday, 1 February 2013

Grandma Smith's Lefse Recipe

It has been some time since I have written a blog post about the Smith family (or any family, for that matter). Today I was prompted by Geneabloggers to take a few moments to share a family recipe, and I treasure this one, written on a scrap of paper many years ago by my grandma, Gladys Smith.

Each year the Smiths get together in December and make a whole lotta lefse before Christmas. It's the ultimate in family time, with amazing pot luck food, and a healthy complement of beer & wine! The family on the BC coast has grown to the point where they rent out a community hall in order to include everyone in the extended family. Those of us in Alberta can easily still fit in a home, and we have extended our reach to part of my husband Doug's family, as they are also Scandinavian and make lefse as a Christmas tradition.

An earlier blog post about our Calgary lefse experience with the Skavberg family can be found in the archive of this blog (on the right sidebar) from December, 2011.

I remember going to visit my Grandma Smith when I was a young adult, and feeling so relaxed and at ease with her. She always seemed to be baking or cooking, while we chatted, and it seemed I had not a care in the world when I went to visit her. One time I asked her about her lefse recipe, as my dad and his brothers always raved about how she made the best lefse ever. Although everyone tried to duplicate it, apparently they could never get it quite as good as hers. She claimed it was partly because she made it on an old wood stove "in the day," and now we all used electric pans that did not get as hot. Perhaps that was part of it, but I think she simply had a good feel for the dough, and had a knack for just how much flour should be mixed in.

We sure miss you, Grandma, but you can be sure we never forget about you, especially on Lefse Day! Here's to you ...

Sunday, 20 January 2013

I miss you already, Joan!

About a year ago I connected with Joan Miller on Twitter, and soon realized she also lived in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. What a blessing to me, as I was learning about DNA research, and she invited me to attend her presentation at the Alberta Family Histories Society. I was excited to attend, and to re-establish my connection to this group. Little did I know that this would be my one and only opportunity to meet Joan. I gained some valuable information that evening, and have spent many hours at the AFHS library in the months following that meeting.

Another of the positives to come of our brief relationship was her invitation to connect me with Judy Webster, her co-captain of the Genealogists for Families group on Kiva. I immediately joined this wonderful international group, and have made 14 loans in conjunction with them to this point.

I was saddened to hear of Joan's passing, and my most recent loan, to the San Miguel Archangel Group, has been commemorated in memory of her life. I will continue to remember Joan, as the funds repaid from this loan and others are re-loaned in the future.