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Family Tree

Family Tree December 2019

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Family Tree Magazine will help point the way toward the best research tools and practices to trace your family's history. Each issue includes tips on locating, collecting, and preserving photos, letters, diaries, church and government records, and other documentation, plus fun articles about creating scrapbooks, organizing family reunions, and vacation ideas that combine history with leisure!

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United States
Yankee Publishing Inc.
7 Issues

in this issue

1 min.
out on a limb

There’s no place like home for the holidays. Families come together—sometimes for the first time in years—to share fond memories and make new ones. This is even truer for genealogists, whose mission is gathering treasured family stories. We can learn so much from the comfort of our own homes. (See the Home Sources Checklist on page 14.) And with so many resources now online, researching the places your ancestors called home has never been easier. Each year, we put together a state-by-state list of the 75 best websites for US genealogy to help you discover your roots. This year’s collection (page 18) includes websites for Puerto Rico and Washington, DC, allowing even more folks to celebrate their ancestral homes in the United States. But your home-based genealogy finds aren’t limited just to records.…

1 min.
tree talk

Christmas dinner, I make a huge pan of lasagna. Christmas Eve is some German & Danish traditions, [but] the lasagna is a matter of convenience. It makes delicious easy leftovers that everyone loves, and I get to relax after all of the before-Christmas activities.Sharyn Raun via FacebookMY MATERNAL GREAT-GRANDPARENTS were Germans from Russia. Tradition to eat Kucha for breakfast on Christmas morning. Like a custard pie with bread dough crust. Layers in the bottom is dry curd cottage cheese (our fave) or some type of fruitJulianne M. Asenbauer Huss via FacebookGathering the grandsons to decorate the mantle and our tree. The first ornaments are the Hallmark ornaments I bought for their daddy and them.Rosemary McFarland via FacebookOn Christmas Eve, stockings are filled with at least one coin (preferably a dollar…

1 min.
everything’s relative

“SUCH MAGIC THERE IS IN CHRISTMAS to draw the absent ones home and, if unable to go in the body, the thoughts will hover over! Our hearts grow tender with childhood memories and love of kindred, and we are better throughout the year for having, in spirit, become a child again at Christmastime.” Writer and teacher Laura Ingalls Wilder shared her memories of coming home for Christmas in “As a Farm Woman Thinks,” a column for the Missouri Ruralist in 1924. Wilder later published the story of her family’s life in the pioneer-era Midwest as the Little House series of novels.…

2 min.
home for the holidays

Family History on Display If you enjoy quilting or needlework, why not make yourself a genealogy-themed Christmas stocking? Gather copies of digitized photos of your ancestors, then crop them using your desktop software program and print. Select fabric remnants to suit the desired color scheme, then use T-shirt iron-on transfers (available at office supply stores) to apply the images to the fabric. Stitch together in a crazy-quilting design and embellish with collected buttons and baubles. Sew together with lining and backing fabric, and they’re ready for Santa to arrive! I’ve got a two-part step-by-step video tutorial on the Genealogy Gems YouTube channel <www.tinyurl.com/y6k4ss7s>. On My Bookshelf Downsizing is no easy task, and yet one we all face at some point in our lives. Whether you’re assisting a loved one or just looking to…

4 min.
using your noodle

LET’S SET THE RECORD STRAIGHT: Marco Polo did not introduce pasta to Italy when he returned from China in 1295. Rather, the Romans had been making a baked pasta called lagane (the origin of the modern lasagne, or lasagna) since the first century. (The Chinese, though, had been cooking pasta for thousands of years.) The earliest mention of boiled pasta dates from the fifth century, in a Talmud debate over whether boiled noodles were kosher. And it’s from the Middle East that pasta as we know it—made from durum, a hard wheat whose dough could withstand boiling—probably arrived in Europe, with Arab invaders between 827 and 965. It was originally eaten in dishes similar to couscous (technically a type of pasta), with cinnamon, raisins and other non-savory flavorings. From there to…

2 min.
caring for heirloom crystal and glass

1 Determine what the piece is made of. Crystal and glass can be hard to distinguish, but a few clues will help you notice the difference. Crystal is heavier and often thinner than glass, and the two materials make a different sound when tapped. Gently tap a crystal class, and you’ll hear it ring; tap glass, and you will hear a clunk. In addition, glass will often show a join or seam from the mold, and crystal will show rainbows when you hold it up to the light. 2 Use the pieces! Don’t be afraid to bring out Grandma’s crystal at your family gatherings. Crystal and pressed glass are sturdier than they look and need only a little extra care to maintain their sparkling beauty. Yes, older crystal pieces may use…