Friday, December 24, 2010

Chistmas Eve Dinner

This past Sunday, we were driving home from church and Prairie Home Companion was on the radio. Garrison Keillor described a traditional Norwegian Christmas meal with the lutefisk. I just cannot describe it better. So if you really want to know what lutefisk is without tasting it, listen to Garrison's description in the December 18, 2010 News From Lake Wobegon. He was spot on.

We would start the meal with fruit soup which is made with pearl tapioca, a variety of dried fruits, stick cinnamon and grape juice. Then, the main course would include lutefisk (cod fish cured in lye) with boiled potatoes drown in melted butter. There would be a vegetable, a salad, and lots of lefse which looks a lot like a tortilla except that it is made out of potatoes. We would butter the lefse and sprinkle it with sugar and cinnamon  and then roll it up. We usually had one or two fruit pies for dessert. There would also be several cookies like krumkaka, fattigmond and rosettes.

My grandmother without an ounce of Norwegian blood would make this meal on Christmas Eve. My grandmother with both Norwegian and Swedish heritage would make several English dishes.

Merry Christmas to all!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Mrs. William H. Moore - Helen Leach or Helen Fine?

Another perfect afternoon was wasted after I decided to enter "Helen Leach" into to see if ANY new documents popped up. And well, yes, something did. Helen Leach/Leech b. 1838 in Maine is the sister of Mary Ann Leach/Leech, one of the main subjects of this blog. I have tracked down all of Mary Ann's brothers and parents. But, Helen has eluded my past searches. Helen is enumerated with her mother, Hannah Leech, in 1850 in Delevan, Walworth, Wisconsin and appears to be enumerated with her mother, Hannah, in the 1855 Wisconsin Census in Delavan, Walworth, Wisconsin (it used to be on but is not appearing on Previously, I was not been able to find Helen in the 1860 Federal Census or in the Walworth County Marriages. So, when I found the entry below, I got a little excited. Especially when I found Helen and her husband, William in Walworth County, Wisconsin in 1860! Helen is enumerated as 21 years old, born in Maine. All consistent with my Helen.

Name: Anna A. Houghtting
Death Date: 13 Apr 1919

Death Place: San Berrito, Cameron, Texas

Gender: Female

Race: W

Death Age: 47 years 10 months 16 days

Estimated Birth Date:

Birth Date: 17 Jun 1872

Birthplace: Rockford, Iowa

Marital Status: Married

Spouse's Name:

Father's Name: Wm H. Moore

Father's Birthplace: Old Town, New Jersey

Mother's Name: Helen M. Leach

Mother's Birthplace: Maine

Occupation: Farmer

Place of Residence:


Burial Date: 14 Apr 1919

Additional Relatives: X

Film Number: 2073563

Digital Film Number: 4023777

Image Number: 85

Reference Number: 85

What has me a bit concerned, is that several online family trees have the wife of William H. Moore as Helen "FINE". No one listed a marriage but that is what is needed here. A marriage record that states William H. Moore married Helen ???. Well, so far, I have not found one. 
Hopefully, one of the Moore/Fine descendants have found a marriage record or have additional information that I am missing. But, a quick check of my trusted Maine research sites, and I was coming up with a couple of questionable "FINE" families in Maine during the 1840-1850 time frame and maybe none. Yet, in the 1860 Census and in the 1870 Census enumerated in Rockford, Floyd, IA, Helen is born in Maine. In both of the 1860 and 1870 census, William is listed as being born in New Jersey. There are certainly several "Fine" families in New Jersey but none appear to have a daughter named Helen born in 1838 in Maine.

In the next post, more clues from Anna Houghtling's death certificate and more census clues.