Archive for February, 2015

Grandma Olive’s Recipe Box – Sauerkraut Salad – may lead to bloating and flatulence

Warning: Excessive consumption of sauerkraut may lead to bloating and flatulence.

This is a series of posts of one of the recipes that came from my grandmother Olive Roll Howes’ recipe box.

Do you love sauerkraut and looking for a healthier way to add it to your plate? You mean I don’t have to have it with fatted and salted sausages, served on top a hot dog made with processed ____ (well, you fill in the blank)? Yes, there are alternatives. But…here is the disclaimer. There is a bit of sugar in this recipe.

Unpasteurized sauerkraut has health benefits. You know, the most important ones, low calories, vitamins, minerals and fiber. Kraut has more beneficial bacteria1 than live yogurt. About that fiber, might I suggest this dish for Friday or Saturday? That way you won’t offend your co-workers during the work week.Sauerkraut Salad1 jar – 32 ounce Sauerkraut        1 chopped green pepper
1/3 cup white vinegar                  2 chopped small onions
1 cup of sugar                                4 stalks chopped celery

Pour sauerkraut into colander, run cold water through it and set aside to drain.
Combine vinegar with sugar, boil 1 (one) minute, then set aside to cool.
Mix sauerkraut with chopped green pepper, onions, and celery.
When syrup is cool, pour over vegetables.
Cover and refrigerate at least 24 hours.

Recipe Variations
There are plenty of sugar substitutes that could be used, such as honey or agave nectar. That could help with the sugar rush. I would try cutting up the small snack size red or orange peppers to add color to the dish.

Before you ask, “Why don’t you include an image of the dish?” This series is about the recipe cards themselves. If I can find a “royalty free” image that resembles the dish, I will post it. If not, no go.

1Wikipedia and TheGuardian (

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#52Ancestors: Week 8 – Elizabeth Thomas – Free Woman of Color

This is week eight of the 2015 #52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks Challenge where a group of u52ancestors-2015 Images blog about a different ancestor for each week of the year.  To learn more about the 52 Ancestor Challenge visit Amy Johnson’s site at Amy’s website.

Black History Month

February is Black History Month.  African Americans have a difficult time tracing their ancestors. I believe genealogists have a fiduciary responsibility to pass along any information that can be gleaned to help others find their roots.  I knew that some of my ancestors owned slaves. Could I find anything information about them to pass along.

Searching Google eBooks, I found a court case involving a known ancestral cousin.

Elizabeth Thomas, F.W.C v Generis & Al

Elizabeth Thomas’s emancipation case was heard in the Louisiana Supreme Court in 1840. She was suing for her right to be a free woman of color. She won her freedom by Ipso facto.

Thomas had lived in Illinois, a state that prohibited slavery, prior to being taken to Louisiana. While in Louisiana, she was sold to another slave owner for $1,000. Thomas’s story starts in Virginia. In her suit, she states that she was born free in the state of Virginia. Around 1814, as a child, she was somehow acquired by Oliver C. Vanlandingham, Senior. Vanlandingham is my fourth great grand uncle. From there, Thomas was taken to Kentucky.


Elizabeth remained at the Vanlandingham farm in Muhlenberg County, KY until 1832. She had been ill for some time and wanted to go to the doctor in Shawneetown, IL. Vanlandingham’s overseer brought Thomas to the Illinois doctor for treatment. Vanlandingham had a merchant store in Shawneetown at the time. He also owned a plantation in Baton Rouge, LA. It is because she lived in Illinois, that Thomas asserted that she was emancipated due to Illinois law.


Thomas lived at the Vanlandingham home for about five years. While living there, she was under the care of Dr. Posey. In 1837, she was transported down to the Louisiana plantation. Shortly after that, she was sold.  Thomas then files a lawsuit stating she is a free woman of color (F. W. C) and cannot be made a slave again simply by being conveyed to Louisiana.


Illinois law stated that slavery could not be introduced into the state. Judge Scates opinion of Illinois law is that a slave states that a slave held in involuntary servitude becomes immediately free by the constitution (Illinois). Thomas resided in Illinois with the consent of her master. Being free previously, Ipso facto, by that very fact; she could not be made a slave again.

Vanlandingham’s counsel tried to say that Thomas was taken to Illinois without his knowledge. That she was allowed to see a doctor for humanitarian reasons. That he owned a business there, but not a home. However, Thomas had to live somewhere for five years. And, it was the Shawneetown home belonging to Vanlandingham. The warrantor to the purchase of Thomas contradicted the counsel testimony. The Judges sided with Thomas.


I don’t know what Elizabeth Thomas did after gaining her freedom. Vanlandingham passed away in 1856. He owned over a hundred slaves at one point in his life.


Ownership of those slaves passed to his son, O. C. Vanlandingham, Junior. Junior joined the Confederate Army during the Civil War. When he return home to his plantation after the war, he found his home, and crops destroyed. The slaves had run off.


With the Louisiana property gone, O.C. junior, returned to Paradise, Kentucky to the other family property. On the 1870 Census, he is enumerated among several black families in the area.


Reports of Cases Argued and Determined in the Supreme Court of the State of Louisiana …, Volume 16 Louisiana. Supreme Court, Branch Walthus Miller, Thomas Curry, A. T. Penniman & Company, 1841 (Google eBook)
Alternate source:


A History of Muhlenberg County, Otto Arthur Rothert, J.P. Morton, 1913 – Muhlenberg County (Ky.) (Google eBook)

1870 U.S. census, population schedules. NARA microfilm publication M593, 1,761 rolls. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d. Paradise, Muhlenberg, Kentucky; Roll: M593_490


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Oleo, Texas Cake and Frosting – Grandma Olive’s Recipe Box

Here is another recipe from my grandmother’s box.

Oleo!  I am that old to remember hearing the word when I was growing up.  The word was used in reference to butter in my grandmother’s house.  Oleo is an out-dated word for margarine.  Back in time, Oleo was made with vegetable oils.  I am not in the mood to debate with anyone on what ingredients margarine is made with today.  Yes, I use butter.  A pound of butter usually lasts about two months in my house.

Finding a recipe in Grandma Olive’s recipe box was a delight.  It brought back memories of her cooking at the family cottage.  I loved her peach or apple cobblers.  The crust on the bottom and top, tasted wonderfully.  Unfortunately, no cobbler recipes have been found. I remember that she made them in a meatloaf or rectangular dish.

I found the index card for Texas cake that listed Oleo as an ingredient.  The recipe could have been written back in the 1960’s.  The card did not list any frosting which I thought was odd, because this is a sheet cake.  Thumbing through the stack, I located the Frosting for Texas cake index card.

I do not remember having this cake at any family gatherings.  Nor, have I ever made this cake.  So if you try the recipe, let met know.  The goal for Grandma Olive’s Recipe Box is to share a part of her life.  To memorialize her to family members that didn’t get to know her.  And, not let her be forgotten.

The size of the sheet pan is not listed.  Based on the amount of ingredients, it is probably a 9 x 9 or 9 x 13 pan.  The baking time is not listed either.  A good baker knows to cook a cake until it’s done and does not use a timer.  A pan of that size may take about 20-30 minutes.  Oven temps vary, make sure to check the cake at 20 minutes to see if it needs to bake a little longer.  Don’t ask me.  I bake brownies and cookies.

Texas Cake

2 sticks Oleo (margarine)Texas Cake
4 Tbsp Cocoa (powder)
1 cup water – bring to boil
2 cups of flour
2 cups of sugar
1 1/2 tsp salt
Mix (above ingredients) well, then add 2 eggs
1/2 cup sour cream
1 tsp baking soda

Spread/pour into pan and bake a 350 (degrees)

Frosting for Texas Cake

1 stick of Oleo
4 Tbsp of cocoa (powder)
6 Tbsp of milk (boil one minute)
add vanilla (probably 1 tsp) and mix well
Optional – Add nuts (pecans) 1/2 to 1 cup
[Spread over cooled Texas Cake]


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#52Ancestors: Week 7 – Joie de Vivre – Mary Elizabeth Lovejoy

This is week seven of the 2015 #52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks Challenge where a group of u52ancestors-2015 Images blog about a different ancestor for each week of the year.  To learn more about the 52 Ancestor Challenge visit Amy Johnson’s site at Amy’s website.

Joy of Life, Love of Joy

Mary Elizabeth Lovejoy lived to be 101 years old. Born in rural McKinney, TX, in 1862. In her lifetime, she witness the urbanization and economic growth of Texas until her death in Bonham, TX, in 1963. Her grandparents arrived by horse or cattle drawn wagon in 1840’s. Her family began to transport goods by railroad in the 1870’s. Streetcars arrived in Bonham in the 1890’s. The first decade of 1900, bought the car and airplane.

Texas Pioneers

Early settlers came to what is now Collin County by the offer of free land. Settlers could get up to 640 acres of land, a gun and help building a cabin. McKinney became the county seat in 1848. The first non-residential building was the Lovejoy store that was moved from Buckner to the new town on May 3, 1848. The store was placed on what would eventually be the northwest corner of the square in the new town.

Early settler cabin in McKinney, TX in the 1840s.

Early settler cabin in McKinney, TX in the 1840s.

Elizabeth’s grandfather, John L. Lovejoy owned that store. He moved the entire store and contents over three miles of land by wagon. John was also a farmer and hotelier. In his 70’s, John Lovejoy become a Methodist Reverend. Elizabeth’s father, James Lovejoy, was a farmer.

Something about Mary

Mary E. Lovejoy married my first cousin 4x removed, Samuel William Hancock. Mary was one of five children to James Harmon Lovejoy and Melinda Isom Goodman. Samuel Hancock parents were James B. Hancock and Sarah Oliver Weir. Sarah Weir is descended from two of my ancestral links, 2014 #52 Ancestors – No. 45 – Samuel M Weir and Elizabeth Oliver Vanlandingham.

Mary and Samuel had five children out of seven who survived childhood. Several of the children were born near Dallas/Ft. Worth.  After the birth of their children, they moved and settled in Bonham. Samuel was a butcher by trade until his death in 1923.  Mary never remarried and remained a widow for 40 years. Two of her daughters, Myrtle and Phoebe never married and were successful in their careers.

Lover of Life

Lovejoy is such an unusual name. How did the word originate? How did Lovejoy become a surname?   I always interested in the origin of words. Maybe if English classes were more interesting than the deciphering verb tenses, I could have become an Etymologist.

Thanks to Google search, I no longer have to wonder.   Lovejoy1 surname is of Anglo-Saxon origin. The derivation, is from the Olde English “lufu” and Middle English “lufe”, or love, that was combine with Old French “joie, joye”, joy. Hence, “lovejoy”, used to denote someone who craved pleasure, or who particularly enjoyed life. The first recorded spelling of the surname is shown to be that of Johannes Lovejoy, which was dated July 6th 1487, on his marriage in Little Marlow, Buckinghamshire.

Photos and background of Mckinney, Texas at
Wikipedia:  Background information on McKinney and Bonham, TX.

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#52Ancestors: Week 6 – Tracing the Josselyn Line Across Time

This is week six of the 2015 #52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks Challenge where a group of u52ancestors-2015 Images blog about a different ancestor for each week of the year.  To learn more about the 52 Ancestor Challenge visit Amy Johnson’s site at Amy’s website.

This week’s inspirational theme is So Far Away.  The object is writing about an ancestor so far removed to you in generations, or, maybe an ancestor that you traveled a great distance to research.  Though I have traveled across the ocean to England to half heartily research the Howes family line.  I chose to write about one the earliest ancestors in my tree.

The ancestor furthest from me in generations is Jeffrey Josselyn, my 17th great grandfather. He lived circa 1375 to 1425 near Sawbridgeworth, Hertfordshire, England. The patriarch of the family line and name is attributed to Gilbert Jocelyn. A Norman invader from Normandy, who arrived with William the Conqueror in 1066. If the descendancy is true, then one branch of my family tree can be traced back to that time period.

The Josselyn’s are affluent both in land ownership and at the royal court throughout the years. However, England is fraught with wars with from European armies and internal claims to the English throne. The England is in the middle of the Hundred Years Wars (1337–1453) with France and the War of the Roses with royal cousins claiming the throne for themselves.

Jeffrey Josselyn served in the service of King Richard II during the Hundred Years War.  His son, Ralph, was created Knight of the Bath, by King Edward IV in 1465. During the War of the Roses (1455-1487), Sir Ralph raises forces to fight insurgents trying to free Henry VI from the Tower.  The Josselyn’s are able to keep their heads during the changing reigns in the late 1400’s in the fight for the throne of England.

Hyde Hall in Sawbridgeworth, England was the family residence during the 16th and 17th centuries. Members of the family are buried at Great Mary’s Church. The church is known for its engraved brass plaques of its members.  The grave marker of Jeffrey Josselyn (1420-1470/71) has a brass etching,  of him and his two wives.

Jeffery Jocelyn Brass Engraving circa 1470

Jeffery Jocelyn Brass Engraving circa 1470

I am related to the Josselyn line through Rebecca Nichols (b. 1641), my 8th great grandmother, who married Samuel House (1638-1702). Rebecca is the daughter of Thomas Nichols and Rebecca Josselyn who emigrated from Essex County, England in 1635. Rebecca Josselyn is the daughter of Thomas Joslin.

Outline Descendant Report from Jeffrey Josselyn to Rebecca Nichol
I have cited the work of H.F. Waters below.  I have not personally verified Mr. Waters sources and citations.  Please reference the data accordingly.

  • Jeffrey Josselyn b: Abt. 1375 in England, d: Abt. 1425 in Sawbridgeworth, Hertfordshire, England
  • Jeffrey Josselyn b: Bef. 1420 in England, d: 02 Jan 1470/71 in Sawbridgeworth, Hertfordshire, England
  • John Josselyn b: Bef. 1455 in Essex, England, d: Bef. 1524 in Sheering, Essex, England
  • Ralph Josselyn b: 1475 in Great Canfield, Essex, England, d: Bef. 1540 in Great Canfield, Essex, England
  • Ralph Josselyn b: Abt. 1503 in Essex, England, d: Bef. 1546 in Fyfield, Essex, England
  • John Josselyn b: Abt. 1525 in Fyfield, Essex, England, d: 18 Feb 1578/79 in Roxwell, Essex, England
  • Ralph Josselyn b: 1556 in Chelmsford, Essex, England, d: 19 Mar 1632 in Roxwell, Chelmsford, Essex, England
  • Thomas Joslin b: 1591 in Roxwell, Essex, England, d: 03 Nov 1660 in Lancaster, Worchester, Massachusetts
  • Rebecca Josselyn b: 1617 in Lancaster, Lancashire, England, d: 22 Sep 1675 in Hingham, Plymouth, Massachusetts
  • Rebecca Nichols b: 1641 in Hingham, Plymouth, Massachusetts

The New England Historical and Genealogical Register, Vols. 37-52 (1883-98) include section: Genealogical gleanings in England, by H. F. Waters.
Sawbridgeworth and Great Mary’s Church:

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