Family Recipe Friday: Cabin Cookies

It wasn’t all the time, but when I was little a trip to the cabin with grandma usually meant she would take a batch of “Cabin cookies”. I never got to make a batch with grandma she always seemed to have them ready to go, so I never knew exactly what was in them. I knew there were raisins, which I never liked in cookies, but there were so few in cabin cookies it didn’t bother me. I figured grandma was just trying to sprinkle some healthy stuff in cookies. She does that with recipes a lot, remove some oil and substitute applesauce and that sort of thing, so adding raisins just to make it more healthy doesn’t seem like a stretch. Not until I learned how they came to be cabin cookies anyway…

Prior to the current cabin on Moose River in Alaska that I knew and loved my grandparents had a cabin on 20 mile river. I only went to that one twice. Once when I was two and another time when I was about five. It was rustic. To even get there in the we needed a river boat, or in the winter they used snow machines and ride up the frozen river. There was no running water at that cabin. All water for cooking brought in and water for washing was collected from the river…or snow. Somewhere I might even have a picture of my aunt bathing in a #3 washtub at the cabin. I’m not going to post it here though. She’s still living and I’d like to continue to do so as well. 😉

For one of the many trips to the cabin on 20-mile my grandmother was going to make cookies only she found that she didn’t have enough of anything to make a regular batch, so she threw in the bits and parts of other recipes and there they were. They must have been a hit because after that it became a regular thing.

Grandma sent me a batch when I was in boot camp. We weren’t allowed to keep them in the barracks so I had to eat what I could in one sitting and share the rest. I almost didn’t get to have them though. Before I opened the package the company commander said I could only eat them if there were chocolate chip cookies. I knew what they were. Not that grandma only makes one kind of cookie, but how could she not sent cabin cookies? I opened the box. I’ll never forget his reaction. He looked inside the box, “What the hell are those?” He asked.

I picked one up, turned it just so, and said with a big grin, “See a chocolate chip.” He shook his head and off I went with my box of cookies. They aren’t pretty foo-foo cookies. They’re rustic cabin cookies.

A few years ago I asked about the cabin cookie recipe so my grandma mailed me a card. On 26 June 2010 she wrote in part, “I haven’t made the cabin cookies for a long time and I was surprised to find about 6 versions of it clipped together. I hear you have a cabin now, hope you have a lot of good times in it like we did.” I have yet to make my own batch of cabin cookies and it makes me sad that we recently sold our cabin and bought a camping trailer. Trailer cookies just don’t have quite the same ring to them.

LunchBox Cookies (Cabin Cookies)

2 cups brown sugar
4 cups sifted flour (2 white, 1 whole wheat, 1 oat flour)
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon allspice
2 teaspoon nutmeg
4 cups oats
2 cups raisins (or 1 cup raisins, 1 cup dates)
4 eggs
1 cup milk
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 ½ cup safflower oil
1 package chocolate chips (mint)
1 cup sunflower seeds
2 cups nuts (walnut or pecan)

350 degrees for 12 min

You could use a 12 oz can of apple juice to soak the oats in.

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Mystery Monday: What became of poor Carrie?

Have you ever felt oddly drawn to a person you’re researching? I’m not related to Carrie H. Chase née Dawson aside from her having been the first wife of my great-grandfather Frederick Cobb Chase. I followed her trail because I was seeking other family relations of Frederick and then I became curious when I noticed that she not only never remarried but for years continued to list herself as the wife of Frederick Chase even though she lived with her own relatives and he had moved clear across the country and remarried.

Why did he leave her? Did she simply not want to go with him to California? Did they separate prior to him moving? Or did she go with him but then returned home after a while? Why did she continue to live as Mrs. Chase? Was it just pressure to keep appearances or did she want or even expect him to go back to Massachusetts? Their time together was so short I can’t find a record where they may have kept house together.

Carrie H. Dawson was born on 4 October 1883 to George P. Dawson and Emma C. Webster in Lowell Massachusetts. She was 16 and attending school in the 1900 census. She lived with her parents, who were married for seventeen years, and five-year old brother Harry. Her father was born in New York and worked as a printer. The family lived on a mortgaged farm.

On the 30th of December 1903 at the age of 20, Carrie H. Dawson married 21-year-old Fred C. Chase in Nashua, Hillsborough, New Hampshire just eleven days after the death of Fred’s father. I have no idea if that little fact has any relevance, but it seemed odd to me.

The Long Beach California city directory of 1908 shows Fred’s occupation as piano tuner working at 240 Pine av. And his residence at 439 east Fifth. Either Carrie never came with Fred to California or she left before the 1910 census. In that census she was found again in the home of her parents and younger brother Harry on North st. in Tewksbury, Middlesex, Massachusetts. Her father still worked as a printer for the newspaper. (I can’t tell which paper, but something is in parentheses next to printer. I would assume Lowell, since it is closer than Boston). Carrie was listed as married for six years and worked from home as a music teacher. Her husband Fred rented a house at 1768 Atlantic Ave in Los Angeles California. He was living with Helen who for some reason listed herself as wife of nine years to Fred, the head of household instead of a widowed step-mother. She also made herself a little younger so she was only two years his senior instead of six. Interesting. Moving on…

Fred filled out a WWI draft registration card on the twelfth of September 1918 at the age of 36. This is the first document where I see his surname now spelled with a ‘c’, Chace. His residence was 4143 Van Ness Drive, Los Angeles, California. He listed Carrie as his closest living relative, but with address unknown. On the back of the card it says, “Add of wife unknown. Separated but not divorced”. On the twelfth of November 1919 Fred married my great-grandmother, Wanda. The certificate of marriage that Fred filled out stated that he was divorced and his marriage to Wanda was his second. I have not yet found divorce papers from his first marriage.

Carrie continued to live with her parents and younger brother in 1920. She worked as a sales girl in the confectionery industry still living as Carrie H. D. Chase and married. I could not find her in the 1930 nor the 1940 census.

I thought I had found her in 1940 living with Joseph Alton Paine and Mattie B. Paine née Chase in West Bridgewater Town, Plymouth, Massachusetts, but it turns out that Carrie was born a Chase not married into the name. When I saw that Carrie H Chase I thought I had found her living with her maternal aunt Addie Pamela Blodgett Cardell(1900 census, 1910 census, 1920 census, 1930 Census, 1932 death ). Oops.

DSC_9012_smSo I’m looking for Carrie. I don’t know why, but I want to know what happened to her. Did she ever remarry? Did she remain single? Did she keep his name to the end? Did she hear of his death in 1931?


“Massachusetts Births and Christenings, 1639-1915,” database, FamilySearch ( : accessed 14 June 2016), Carrie H. Dawson, 04 Oct 1883; citing Lowell, Middlesex, Massachusetts, United States, ; FHL microfilm 2,257,031.

“United States Census, 1900,” database with images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 14 June 2016), Carrie H Dawson in household of George P Dawson, Tewksbury town (excl. State Almshouse incl. city Almshouse)), Middlesex, Massachusetts, United States; citing sheet 1A, family 9, NARA microfilm publication T623 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.); FHL microfilm 1,240,666.

“New Hampshire Marriages, 1720-1920,” database, FamilySearch ( : accessed 14 June 2016), Fred C. Chase and Carrie H. Dawson, 30 Dec 1903; citing reference 314; FHL microfilm 2,184,818.

Long Beach City Directories:

“United States Census, 1910,” database with images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 14 June 2016), Carrie H D Chase in household of George P Dawson, Tewksbury, Middlesex, Massachusetts, United States; citing enumeration district (ED) ED 1027, sheet 4A, NARA microfilm publication T624 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.); FHL microfilm 1,374,619.

1910 census for Frederick Chase: Source Citation: Year: 1910; Census Place: Long Beach, Los Angeles, California; Roll: T624_85; Page: 7A; Enumeration District: 0035; FHL microfilm: 1374098.

“United States World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918,” database with images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 14 June 2016), California > Los Angeles City no 8; A-Tompkins, John A. > image 759 of 4305; citing NARA microfilm publication M1509 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.).

“California, County Marriages, 1850-1952,” database with images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 14 June 2016), 005580280 > image 17 of 594; county courthouses, California.

“United States Census, 1920,” database with images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 14 June 2016), Carrie H D Chase in household of George P Dawson, Tewksbury, Middlesex, Massachusetts, United States; citing sheet 3A, NARA microfilm publication T625 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.); FHL microfilm 1,820,719.

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Genealogy Blog Party: I’ve GOTT a funny feeling

Little Bytes of LifeI’m joining the Genealogy Blog Party at Little Bytes of Life. The theme for this month is Time Travel to an Ancestor!

  • Who is the ancestor you will meet?
  • What question(s) do you need him/her to answer?
  • Is there a problem you can help your ancestor solve?
  • Will you reveal your true identity to your ancestor? If so, how will your visit impact the future? (Remember what happened to Rose when she went back to meet her father.)
  • Will you bring your ancestor to the future to meet his/her descendants? What will be the outcome, if you do?

There are a few ancestors I would like to meet, but I’ll start with my second great-grandmother Mrs. Elizabeth E. Chase née Gott born in 1854.

What question(s) do you need him/her to answer?
My questions for her would be rather uncomfortable to ask a stranger. I can’t think of a polite way to ask her, how did you met your husband and were you the “other woman” for the first ten or so years of your relationship?

You see, she did not marry the father of her son until he was about ten and on their marriage registration he listed their marriage as his second. Granted, the marriage following her death was also listed as his second, but I digress. There are other pressing questions…

Why was your first son born in West Springfield Massachusetts when you lived in Lowell Massachusetts at the time? Who did you stay with? Did you have family there? Did your husband, who was not yet your legal husband, have something to do with the deaths of the following three children who all died before their first birthday? I realize infant mortality was high at the time, but I ask because before you died you took your eleven year-old son and ran away from home.


Your husband hired a detective to find you but the detective quit after the first day telling the newspaper that you had good reason to leave. Your brother also told the paper that you were afraid of your husband, but had arranged for a meeting between you and your husband for the week before body was found. A meeting which, as it turns out, you were unable to attend. The discovery of your body made the fourth and fifth pages of the Boston Daily Globe, and your story was covered by a few other papers. You were found drowned. Your body was removed from the Tremont canal and according to the undertaker had been in the water for a week.

From page 5 of The Boston Daily Globe—Thursday, October 11, 1894:

It Is still a mystery where Mrs Chase was drowned, although her body was found in the Tremont canal.

All the canals were drawn Sunday, and superintendent Cheney says It would be impossible for the body to be concealed at any point without being brought to the surface by the swift currents.

Mrs Chase, it is thought, may have been temporarily insane as tho result of worriment.

The undertaker says her body must have been In the water a week.

From page 4 of The Boston Daily Globe—Thursday, October 11, 1894:

District officer Neal of Lynn was In Lowell this morning to make inquiries regarding Mrs Chase’s death. It is understood, he was satisfied there was nothing which required the attention of the police.

Is there a problem you can help your ancestor solve?
I can’t help the feeling that maybe Mr. Chase wasn’t such a great guy. In fact to my modern senses, reading between the lines of the many newspaper articles surrounding her death, he seems downright shady. If I could I’d find a way to get her away from him and keep her from falling into the same trap again.

Will you reveal your true identity to your ancestor? If so, how will your visit impact the future?
I think considering my line of questions I would have to reveal my identity to have any hope for answers. If I were successful in saving her from what seems to be an abusive husband maybe she would live a longer life. A life as pleasant and fulfilling as the time she lived in allowed.

Will you bring your ancestor to the future to meet his/her descendants? What will be the outcome, if you do?
No. I’d rather go to her and experience what is now history. I’d also rather not have to reveal that her only child to survive to adulthood died at the age of forty, just as she did.

One last question for you dear Elizabeth…is there somewhere I may find a picture of you? Please.

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Perfectly Searchable Private Notes

I am participating in the Dear Myrtle’s study group called GenTools Study Group – This week the homework is to describe what I use to keep track of research results.

Not everything I have is digitized, but I’m working on it. At the very least I make electronic notes that either include scanned images or describe things in my need-to-scan pile like a note card grandma mailed to me several years ago filed in the grandma folder…ok it’s more like the grandma and a-few-other-people bin, but its is over *there* in my office. Under *that*.

For my electronic note taking there are many services such as Evernote and Microsoft OneNote and Google Keep that I could use. I tried a couple of them. I wanted to like them, but they just didn’t fit. They do have some features that my choice does not like clipping, sync anywhere, and integrated sharing. But don’t find those necessary.

  • I have print screen for clipping if a document download isn’t available
  • I only have one laptop. I don’t own a smartphone or tablet. If I happen to find something at my local library, and for whatever reason I detached from the oxygen tank that is my laptop, I email myself through gmail (save email as draft), or put things on a USB stick.
  • If I need to share something I send an email.

What’s Holding Me Back?

tin foil hat
Yes, this is my dog. No, I didn’t torture him as much as that look on his face makes it seem.

Companies merge, change, and drop things all the time. I’m not just talking about the recent announcements from Ancestry that turn the genealogy world on its head for the last few days. I’ve got my eye on you Google. And remember the dot-com bust? I worked as a security guard at a site being repossessed by the bank during that time. Talk about an awkward time and place to work while going to college for a computer degree. But I digress…

The biggest necessity for any software I use is the ability to export outside of the proprietary format which, unless they’ve made changes since I last looked, those three services don’t do. I like being able to just get my stuff and go. Easily. Without hassle. Does that sound too paranoid? *adjusts her tin-foil hat* Let’s just call it future-proofing.

So What Do I Use?

I use a program called XAMPP to turn my Windows laptop into a temporary web server so that I may host WordPress on my laptop and use it like any other self-hosted WordPress blog.  My backups are in the form of an SQL file. It’s neat. Tidy. And simple to take to a new program if the need ever arises.

I could simply have an online WordPress blog and make it private, but I’d rather not pay for another url and hosting service just for my notes. WordPress’ free hosting service has a data storage limit I may soon exceed, and I just like having it on my computer.

Guides for hosting WordPress on your own computer:

I haven’t done this yet, but there is also a way to put it all on pen drive, which will give it almost the same portability as those other options. One thing to note is that using a default installation of XAMPP on a public network isn’t recommended. It’s probably ok, but it’s like leaving the front door of your house unlocked. The odds of something bad happening depends on the neighborhood, but even in a nice neighborhood it’s better to lock the door.

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Share a Memory: To Reach Things I Couldn’t

Grandpa was always building things, adding onto my grandparents house, or building an apartment building. He always had a measuring tape hooked on his pants and carpentry pencil in his shirt pocket…along with a pack of Wrigley’s Doublemint Gum. I was with him a lot handing him boards, nails…or just stealing his tape measure and ball cap and being a genuine pain in the butt.

When I would go home I’d take my dad’s tools and build forts in the woods. I don’t remember it but I guess irritated my dad by leaving the tools in the woods often, so for Christmas one year grandpa bought a toolbox filled with my very own tools. Real ones. Of course just to keep things balanced my grandmother bought me a basket filled with sewing supplies.

That summer grandpa cut all the pieces I would need to make about five step tools. He helped me put the first one together. I still have it. – Actually my daughter has it in her room.

the stool grandpa helped me make
This little stool is mine
I use it all the time
to reach things I couldn’t
& some things I shouldn’t
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Ezra Chamberlain b1828

I am participating in the Dear Myrtle’s study group called Tracing Immigrant Origins – This week the homework was to find clues in census records that indicate a place of origin.

I’ve been told the Indian princess story, well not really. I was told that my second great-grandmother, Rosamond Chamberlain b1861 in Iowa, rumored to be 1/4 Blackfoot Indian. I cannot find very much on her parents, so far all I know is that her father was born in Canada and mother in Indiana…

1870 United States Census from
United States Census, 1870,” database with images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 28 October 2015), Iowa > Fayette > Westfield > image 39 of 44; citing NARA microfilm publication M593 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.).

Her Father Ezra is listed as being born in Canada and both of his parents are of foreign birth. His wife Hannah was born in Indiana. Neither of her parents were foreign-born. I’m assuming Ann, born in Illinois, is the daughter a daughter of Ezra and Hannah. Then there is a huge age gap and the other three children are born in Iowa. Near the bottom there is an Elias listed in the household who is 75 and born in Canada. Ezra’s father? Both parents of Elias are also of foreign birth. At the very bottom is Leonard, 22, born in Canada and both parents are foreign-born.

I’ve seen an 1860 census with an E B Chamberlain, but I don’t know if it’s the same person. The 1880 census lists all the same birth places. Sometime after that the family moves to Oregon.

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Share a Memory: Serious Cards

Every Tuesday was Pinochle day for the Tupin club, hosted at my grandparent’s house. Card playing was a very serious activity. I could make myself seen on Pinochle day but as soon as the cards started to shuffle I was to leave the adults to their game.

On more casual nights when my grandparent’s played Pinochle with my parents I sat on grandpa’s lap and watched. He let me point to which cards I thought he should pass to his partner and which one he should lead or follow with for the tricks. At six it was still to complex a game for me to play on my own against the adults, so grandpa taught me rummy. I wanted to play rummy ALL THE TIME. It became mind numbing for grandpa and so one day he said, “I’m tired of that crap. I’m going to teach you a real game.” And that is the day I learned Cribbage.

It took me a bit to understand his counting. Fifteen-two, Fifteen-four… He didn’t quite explain that the cards added up to fifteen and that it was two points, four points, etc. But after a couple of games I only needed my grandma’s momentary help to figure out what to pass to the kitty on more complex hands, the hands that just make you want to weep a little when you have to break it up and pass good stuff to your opponent.

I memorized all the little rules like the non dealer cuts the pack, the dealer pegs two for “his heels” if a jack turns up. The non dealer counts first. And don’t forget “one for nobs”. We never played to the strict rules that if someone missed points in their hand that the other person pegged them for their own, but aside from that there wasn’t any leniency just because I was seven. I knew it for sure because the day I really kicked grandpa’s butt and double skunked him. He tensed up and his lips tightened. He was a little mad, but then I could see the pride. Buried a little behind the furry, but it was there. “Damn it I taught you too well.” he said.

“Do you want to play another one grandpa?” I asked.

“No I think I’ll take a break.” he said. “Ginny,” he called to my grandma, “she double skunked me!”

Grandpa and I played cribbage all the time. He had a collection of cribbage boards but we only used one at his house, and there was an identical one at his cabin too. Just the plain cheap board. Not the one with one they make with colored stripes over the peg holes, just the plain wood color one. There was also one he made, we used that if we couldn’t find our regular board.

cribbage boad grandpa made
When my grandpa died my aunt searched the house top to bottom to try and find the cribbage board we used all the time, but she couldn’t find it. She sent me the one he made instead.
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Share a Memory: Zen Shoe Shopping Grandpa

I’m not one that has rows and rows or shoes in my closet, but for some reason, perhaps the importance impressed upon me of the event, I was very particular about the shoes I wanted for my first communion. I had somewhat easily found the ideal dress, but could not find the perfect looking shoes in my size. I was tall for my age and so the cutesy dainty shoes I sought just didn’t exist for my feet.

While dress hunting I also looked at the available shoes at that store. I think I found the right dress after the second or third place, but it was clear I was going to be picky about the shoes, so my grandpa took me to continue looking. He was a saint. Truly. I felt bad that it took so much time to find, but not bad enough to give up. Grandpa didn’t complain a bit. He simply took me to the next store he could think of when I didn’t find what I wanted. I honestly don’t remember how many shoes stores we went to, but if I were to look up the number of shoe stores in Anchorage Alaska around that time…he probably took me to each one that sold dress shoes for girls.

There is only a group picture of my first communion that I know of and I stood in the back row, so unfortunately I cannot show off the special shoes I finally found. I do remember that I really wanted velvety Mary Jane style black shoes with heart shapes carved out on the top and a bit of a heel.

Me giving grandpa a hug

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Share a Memory: Things to Look Forward to

I spent a lot of time with my paternal grandparents as a child. I stayed many nights at their house. My grandma would set up an old army cot at the foot of their bed for me. The cot was musty with hints of motor oil of a motor oil smell. She layered it with sheets, a soft blanket, and for extra added warmth in the winter, an itchy grey wool blanket on the very top.

Before bedtime I would watch grandpa brush his teeth. He could take his whole top row of teeth completely out of his mouth to brush. As a four-year old I was amazed by this. “How do you do that?” I asked him.

“Oh don’t worry,” he said, “you’ll be able to do it soon.” Thinking he meant it was something that required practice, I kept tugging at my teeth. He just laughed.

grandpa with me on his shoulders

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Focus. Prioritize. My Ancestors Aren’t Going Anywhere

genealogy do-overI’m still here trudging through it all. I’m in limbo somewhere between week two, three, and maybe a little bit of four. I’m taking it slow and doing a lot of learning. Except for viewing a microfilm I ordered I haven’t done very much research. Ok, I still get distracted by shiny objects but I didn’t add anything to my database…well not the new database anyway. Shush! Old habits are hard to break. Really I’m trying to relax and remind myself – my ancestors will still be there.

Things I’ve done:

  • Filled out a family group-sheet for my family unit
  • Wrote an outline of events in my life
  • I have the documents for my family household in order, and with them have proved I was born and have parents.
  • Some simple goals have been set. I have the marriage documentation for my parents, but I know that they were actually married twice (to each other), so one goal is to find that other documentation and methodically work my way back in time. Some documents I’m simply not going to get access to, but I’m figuring out ways around this as practice. I need the practice for working on my maternal side. It’s not part of the “re-do” it’s a “never-done-it”. I have very little information on my maternal side. I have a couple uncles and a cousin feeding me information which is fantastic. As of now I only have approximations of the years my maternal grandparents were born and died. I did find a very promising marriage record though.
  • Emails outlining group-sheet information were sent out to various family members to look over and verify or change for their own family unit. I listed gaps that I have for some. I’ve only had two responses so far. I know some were busy or out-of-town, so I’m just waiting. Tap tap tap…maybe a bit impatiently, but waiting.
  • Not completely genealogy related, but I found a great website for hooking up with native Spanish speakers to help me learn/practice Spanish in exchange for helping them learn/practice English. My maternal family is mostly all in Mexico, so this will help me communicate with them and write to church parishes etc.
  • I’m really liking the DearMyrtle community. I tune in to her Beginning Genealogy hangout on Wednesdays, GenLaw Study Group on Fridays. On her YouTube channel I found two Mastering Genealogical Proof study groups from a year ago. I’m slowly watching those.

To do:

  • Set up an interview or maybe a series of interviews through Skype or Google+.
  • I have two different search tracking spreadsheets. I need to actually pick one, or meld them together. Either way I need to get into the habit of using one.
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Personal Genealogy Blog