Friday Serendipity

What do you know about catsup? Or ketchup? Or tomato sauce, as it’s called in some parts of the world?

In New Zealand they call it Tomato Sauce but the bottle and the contents were quite familiar to us and worked dandy fine for dipping french fries.

Bet you didn’t know that (according to Google) our concept of catsup/ketchup comes from a Chinese condiment? The word originally meant fish sauce in a dialect of Fujian province and then people from there immigrated to America they brought their food tastes with them.

Here is a recipe for Tomata (sic) Catsup in 1817:

“Gather a gallon of fine, red and fully ripe tomatas; mash them with one pound of salt; let them rest for three days then press off the juice and to each quart add a quarter pound of anchovies, two ounces of shallots, and an ounce of black pepper; boil up together for half an hour, strain through a sieve and put to it the following spices: quarter ounce of mace, the same of allspice and ginger, half an ounce of nutmeg, a drachm of coriander seed and half a drachm of cochineal; pound all together; let them simmer gently for twenty minutes and strain through a bag; when cold, bottle it,a dding to each bottle a wineglass of brandy. It will keep for seven years.”

A “drachm” is 1/8 of an ounce; cochineal was for red color and came from a certain seashell.

Makes me wonder: what is the list of ingredients for modern-day ketchup or catsup??? No brandy, I’d guess.


Friday Serendipity

What day is tomorrow???  A most auspicious day!

December 1st is day number 335 of the year (336 in leap year) leaving only 30 days until the end of the current year. And only 24 days until Christmas.

“According to the Zodiac, the astrological sign for December is Sagittarius and such people are said to be brave and full of confidence. They can take on the most difficult challenges in life, much more efficiently than most other signs. And one important reason for their positivity lies in their open-mindedness. They are the ones who believe in moving on and exploring. Indeed, they are great admirers of freedom. However, this want for freedom can sometimes make them impatient and tactless.”

So what, you are saying? You’d rather know that on this day in 1982 Michael Jackson released his Thriller album?

Just sayin…………………….

(Thank you, Wikipedia, for the quote.)

Friday Serendipity

Shall we have some plain ole fun today? I gather pondering-points and so today share some with you:

“There is a relation between the hours of our life and the centuries of time.” (Emerson)

“Only in understanding the past an we interpret and use the present for history is not made but unfolded.” (Benjamin Ide Wheeler, 1854-1927)

“I didn’t exaggerate….. I just remember big!”

“I’ve been working on my brick walls and think I’ve chipped off a few bricks.”  (Donna Heine)

“When there is no one in the living world who remembers you, you disappear.” (movie Coco)

“All electronic devices hate people! But humans have the ultimate power….we can pull the plug!!” (Ron Tanner)

“We have intermarried all over the world… we are really a one-world family, so why not a one world family tree? We must realize this.”  (Ron Tanner, works for FamilySearch)

“Do you realize you share much the same DNA as a banana?  (Anna Swayne, formerly of Ancestry)

Friday Serendipity

Read a cute thing in our local paper. It had to do with repairing a huge clock face on one of our downtown buildings which “had always been there.” Point of the story is that this clock wasn’t installed until the late 1980s so it really hasn’t been there always. But in old-timers’ memories of Spokane it has! And that’s where the editorial writer explained the concept of “revisionist nostalgia.” This is why, he wrote, “that our parents or grandparents explain in vivid detail walking to school everyday, uphill both ways, in the snow.” My father always said that Mother was his babysitter and he thought she was taking him to get a fishing license and poof! they were married.  That’s revisionist nostalgia big time. Surely you have stories like that??

Friday Serendipity

Doing some indexing for SCRIBE (through our Washington State Digital Archives) in some Yakima County school census records for 1913:

I know you can barely read it so I’ll transcribe the high points:

  • Number of children in the district: 497
  • Number of months public school was taught: 9
  • Number of teachers employed: 6 male; 11 female
  • Average monthly salary paid male teachers: $86.39
  • Average monthly salary paid female teachers: $74.10
  • Total seating capacity of all schools in the district: 600
  • Number of reference and other books in district library: 541

Friday Serendipity

Need a fundraising idea for your society? The Clallam County Genealogical society in Port Angeles, Washington, has a dandy idea to share.

The roof of this little blue plastic “piggy” bank reads: “Help Pay Off the Mortgage”  “When I’m full, bring me to the Clallam Co Genealogical Society, 360-417-5000.”

According to Virginia “Ginny” Majewski, past president of CCGS, this little idea is really working well. “The funds are coming in,” she told me with a smile. “These can be purchased very cheaply, even with a printed slogan or logo,” she added.

Ask “Grandma” Google for help with these. Perhaps it’s an idea that will fit your society’s needs??

Friday Serendipity

Patty Olsen is the Regional Representative for Region 4, Washington State Genealogical Society. She does a bang-up job and shares wonderful little snips from time to time. Here is a poem she spotted recently and shared:

Lord, help me dig into the past and sift the sands of time

That I might find the roots that made this family tree of mine.

Lord, help me trace the ancient roads on which my fathers trod

And led them through so many lands to find our present sod.

Lord, help me find an ancient book or dusty manuscript

That’s safely hidden now away in some forgotten crypt;

Lord, let it bridge the gap that haunts my soul when I can’t find

The missing link between some name that ends the same as mine.

— Curtis Woods


Friday Serendipity

Want a really big heads’ up??? Here it be:

NEXT APRIL 6th for EWGS Spring Seminar

And who is Sunny Jane McClellan Morton, you rightfully ask?

Sunny Jane Morton is an internationally-known, award-winning writer, editor and speaker for the multibillion-dollar genealogy industry. She is a Contributing Editor at Lisa Louise Cooke’s Genealogy Gems Podcast, with more than 2.5 million downloads worldwide, and a Contributing Editor at Family Tree Magazine, the U.S.’ premiere publication for genealogy hobbyists. A popular speaker at events across the country (including RootsTech), Sunny is especially known for expertise in tracing U.S. ancestors, particularly in church records; her unique comparisons of the industry’s largest websites; and inspiring presentations on how to reconstruct and tell meaningful stories from the past. Sunny is the author of Story of My Life: A Workbook for Preserving Your LegacyGenealogy Giants: Comparing the 4 Major Websites and the forthcoming How to Find Your Family History in U.S. Church Records (working title), co-authored with Harold Henderson, CG. She is the Co-Editor of Ohio Genealogy News and winner of the prestigious NGS Newsletter Competition (2017) and writing awards from the International Society of Family History Writers and Editors. She holds degrees in history and humanities from Brigham Young University.

Stay tuned to for more information. That’s the Eastern Washington Genealogical Society in Spokane.