Lorelle VanFossen has written a helpful article on What Do You Put Into Your Family History Blog? She gives some good tips on the types of things that you can put into a family history blog, and why a blog is more flexible than a static website.
Now I just need to get some more content on this site!
Posted by Ken as General at 11:36 AM UTC
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How do you get started in studying your family history? What information do you look for? See this list of information to look for.
I would add that whenever possible you should look for reliable documentation for your records. Documentation can be divided into the following types:
- Primary official documents (birth certificates, marriage licenses, etc.)
- Secondary written public documents (newspaper articles, etc.)
- Written family records (e.g. family history records in a family Bible)
- First hand oral reports of events by someone who witnessed them
- Second or subsequent hand reports of events
Each piece of information in your family history should be documented as to its source. Later on when you have a lot of information you will want to know where a particular fact came from and how reliable it is. When I first started to collect information I did not document all the sources, and later on I founding myself wishing I knew he source of my facts.
Sometimes there will be conflicting information and you will need to decide which version is more likely to be correct. Sources higher on this list are generally more reliable than those lower down. Try to get copies of official documents whenever possible. But even second or third hand stories are better than nothing, as long as you realize that they may not be completely accurate.
Posted by Ken as Genealogy at 5:50 PM UTC
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I thought I would explain why I chose to use WordPress, which is designed for blogging, rather than a more traditional static web site for this site. What’s the difference? Here is an article by Lorelle VanFossen that explains it very well.
I wanted this site to be a “repository” where other family members could post things without needing to know anything about creating web pages. One of the things that I like about a blog is that it is always “under construction” by adding new articles. That makes it a lot easier to add family history information a little bit at a time as we come across it. If we wanted to set up a “complete” static web site it would probably never be done.
If you are part of my family and want to contribute to this site, please send me an email and I will set up an account for you. You don’t need any special software. You can simply log in using your web browser and create an article.
The article Blogging Family History explains why a blog is a good tool for genealogy.
Posted by Ken as General at 6:28 PM UTC
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About Kumle (Norwegian potato dumplings)
When I was growing up I remember my grandmother making kumlë around Christmas time. We grandkids would sit around the table grating raw potatoes and my grandmother would mix the dough and boil the kumle in a big pot of water. Sometimes we would compete to see who could grate the most potatoes. Then we enjoyed a delicious meal of potato dumplings covered with lots of butter sauce. Even better, the next morning we sliced the kumle and fried it in butter. It made the best breakfast!
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Kumle is a favorite traditional dish from Norway. It has many other names, including klimpor, klubb, kumla, kompe, kumpe, potetball and raspeball. The recipe varied somewhat in different regions of Norway, but it always includes grated potatoes. My father remembers that while growing up in Chicago they would attend a winter kumle fest sponsored by an association of immigrants from Stavanger.
Several years ago my sister started trying to record the recipe as she watched my grandmother cook. She used the traditional cooking method of taking a handful of this and a fist full of that, then mixing until it feels right. My sister estimated the quantities and gradually refined the recipe over several years. We now have a good recipe for authentic kumle which I will share with you.
- 6 large Idaho potatoes
- 3/4 c. white flour
- 3/4 c. rye flour
- 1 t. salt
- 2 sticks (1/2 lb) butter, melted
- 8-10 saltine crackers, broken into crumbs
Begin about 2 hours before eating. Cook 2 of the potatoes and mash. Set aside to cool.
Put on large kettle of water to boil. Add a little salt. (As an alternative, use broth from cooking lamb or pork.)
Grate the remaining potatoes, using the fine side of grater. Pour grated potatoes into a sieve and let the liquid run into a bowl. Drain as much liquid as you can. Let the liquid set for a few minutes, then carefully pour off the liquid into another bowl. Scrape the potato starch from the bottom of the bowl into the grated potatoes.
Mix in the mashed potatoes, flour and salt. Do not make too stiff. Form dumplings using spoon or hands and drop into boiling water. Keep water at a slow boil and cook for about 30 minutes. Do not cook too long or dumplings will fall apart.
While dumplings are cooking, put cracker crumbs in a dry pan and brown lightly. Stir in melted butter. Serve hot butter mixture as a topping for the kumlë.
Serve with roast lamb or pork.
Optional: salt a lamb breast several days ahead (about 3/4 c. salt). Cover with cold water and refrigerate. Turn every day. Rinse meat before cooking. Cook meat until tender (3-4 hours). Set meat aside and skim fat off water. Use water to cook dumplings.
Optional: place a piece of cooked lamb, pork, or ham in the center of each dumpling.
I found other kumlë recipes on line:
Two key things that I learned from these recipes are: (1) It is better to squeeze as much liquid as you can out of the grated potatoes. That way you can use less flour to hold them together and the dumplings won’t be as heavy. (2) You can use a meat grinder instead of a hand grater to prepare the potatoes. Very useful for the recipes that begin “Start with 20 lbs. of potatoes…”
Posted by Ken as Recipes at 9:49 PM UTC
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We think that the couple in this picture are some of our relatives from Belgium. The photo came from the belongings of Maurice Van Puymbrouck when he passed away in November 2006. (Click on the photo for a larger image.)
Do you know who these people are?
Posted by Ken as Missing Persons at 10:19 AM UTC
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