Category Archives: Uncategorized

4th Birthday

GROWING TREES

January, 2015, I published a chart of how many direct ancestors one can have–total 8,191 through 12 generations. Back then,  I had discovered 133 of my direct ancestors.

In April, 2017, a year and a quarter later, I have entered in my pedigree tree a total of –drum roll–206 direct ancestors in 12 generations.  In this chart, copied from my page at Ancestry.com, you can see the many ancestors in my first 5 generations for whom I do not have photos. I have dropped me (first generation) and my family off the left side, so you see my parents, grandparents, great-grandparents and great-great grandparents. The arrows on the right point to more information about earlier generations. A light gray box means no more information.

pedigree tree

Vera Marie Badertscher pedigree famly tree from Ancestry.com April 2017

How many of these people have I written about at Ancestors in Aprons?

I will admit that when you get past this chart,there are plenty of lines that I have not even begun to trace. Although I try to stay focused on direct ancestors, sometimes a grandmother or grandfather (however many x removed) has such interesting brothers and sisters that I simply must tell their stories.  The Bent family I have been talking about recently are a good example of good stories lying to either side of my direct ancestors.

However, the pedigree chart is a good tool to get me back on track. Many of those names to the right of this have the Ancestry “shaking leaves” which mean there’s some information to be had (maybe). So have no worries that I will be idle in the coming year(s).

I hate admitting lack of progress, but just like last year, my father’s paternal line (Kaser) still refuses to budge beyond his great-grandfather, and my mother’s father’s paternal line (Anderson) halts at HER great-grandfather. I have been able to trace the females of the Anderson lines farther than the males, but I surely would like to trace my own maiden name and my mother’s.

Posts

In our first 3 years, we published 347 posts and a total of 90 recipes.  In the last year, we have added 91 posts (a slightly slower pace) and 28 additional recipes or food articles.

Your Favorites

True to form, How to Make Perfect Pie Crust stands at the top of the Most Read posts this year once again. You had “corny tastes” in older recipes you liked–corn pone, polenta, hominy grits, Indian pudding. But let’s take a look at what posts between  April 2016 and this April (2017) were your favorites.

The new food articles and recipes that caught your eye:

Welsh Skillet Cakes

Oliebolen, the Dutch Donut Holes explained by Jane Eppinga

Colonial Election Cake (Did anyone actually MAKE that cake, or, like me, did you just marvel at the quanitities?)

Grandma Vera’s Lemon Sponge Pie

Buttermilk Biscuits

The ancestor stories you liked:

Jesse's letter form Palmyra

Jesse’s signature on letter August 1847

You discovered the story of my adventurous great-great grandfather, Jesse Morgan last year through his letters to his wife as he wandered the midwest selling horses.  Six of those stories made it into the top 50 posts of the year. Why Chautauqua?, Letter Home, Charles Morgan in the Civil War, Wooster, Doc Woods, a Character in Jesse’s Story and Horse TraderI encourage you to find the Jesse Morgan series through the search box, because if I put too many links here, the Google gods will get mad at me.

The very most popular ancestor story was the slide show story about Jedidiah Brink’s home.

Next came an “insider” article called Why Genealogical Resarch is Never Done.

Besides Jesse, you liked my heirloom articles about the Propelling Pencil , and the Oldest Heirloom and Christmas Gift Books.

I tried something new this year, called Slice of My Life. Stories from my own life. Good reactions encourage me to continue.  You particularly liked Special Christmas Gift about my visit to the White House at Christmas time, and Home Sewn about my hobby sewing.

Onward

I don’t anticipate any great changes in the way we do business around here in the next year, so hope to see you back many times between now and April 2018.  Meanwhile, thanks so much for reading, supporting me with your comments and tips and encouragement.

You might also like to read:

 

3rd Year Birthday

 

Kale Pie–A Family Favorite Quiche-Inspired

This recipe for a Kale Pie is in no way shape or form a vintage recipe–unless maybe it’s forebears came from Italy a couple hundred years ago.

kale pie

Kale pie closeup

I will chalk up my fascination with things in pie crust to my English ancestors who tended to pile all kinds of savory meals into pie crust. That, and the fact that I almost always have some Perfect Pie Dough in my freezer.

Of course, besides being obsessive about baking pies, I am very interested in how fashions in foods change.  Do you remember when quiche appeared in our lives?  Not all that long ago (unless you had run into it in Switzerland, as our family had in the early 80s.).  But when quiche arrived on menus across America, you would not find kale on those same menus. Now kale is the “in” vegetable, and I even grow it in my back yard.  By the way, it is incredibly easy to grow, so if you use it, try growing your own.

Kale

Russian Kale in its pot on my patio. (That’s a tomato plant peeking out behind the kale.)

Some time ago, I came across a recipe in my favorite cookbook, Joy of Cooking (the edition that Ethan Becker modernized in 1997).  The recipe is called Chard Tart and other than the fact that it has greens and eggs and cheese in a pie crust doesn’t really taste like my Kale Pie. But when I found the recipe, I didn’t have any chard. I had kale, and was just beginning to figure out how to use it.  So I thought, if it works this way, it would certainly work to add kale to a quiche recipe.

So, I took the quiche recipe which I have made many times with various additions, and substituted parmesan cheese for the swiss cheese, bacon for the ham, and Voila–Kale Pie.

Kale Pie

Serves 8
Prep time 15 minutes
Cook time 30 minutes
Total time 45 minutes
Allergy Egg, Milk, Wheat
Meal type Lunch, Main Dish
Misc Child Friendly, Pre-preparable, Serve Cold, Serve Hot
Kale pie--A twist on familiar quiche, inspired by a Chard Tart from Joy of Cooking.

Ingredients

  • 3 Strips of bacon (Cut in 1-inch pieces)
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 /2 cup 1/2 and 1/2
  • 1/2lb kale leaves (rib removed, chopped or torn in small pieces)
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 cup grated cheese (Parmesan or Mixed Italian cheeses)
  • 1 9" pie shell, unbaked.

Directions

1. Fry bacon and drain on paper towel. (Save grease for future cooking.)
2. After deveining and tearing or cutting kale in smaller pieces, scatter on the bottom of the pie shell.
3. Beat the eggs with 1/2 and 1/2 and seasoning.
4. Pour egg mixture over kale. Sprinkle gated parmesan over top.
5. Bake at 375 degrees, until filling is set--about 25 to 35 minutes.

Note

Serve Kale Pie hot or cold with salad for light dinner.

Peter Bent, Of Indian Attacks and Fatal Accidents

Peter Bent, Sr. 1629-1678

My last post was about the short life of the  brother of my 7x great-grandmother, Martha Bent, of Sudbury, Massachusetts.  The cause of death was an accidental shooting by his oldest brother, Peter Bent. I can’t stop thinking about how it must have affected Peter, who at 46 was a real go-getter and successful businessman in that part of Massachusetts.

Peter Bent had been born in England and arrived in America in 1638 at the age of eleven.  He married at the age of 24 to a woman named Elizabeth (last name unknown). By the time he was 27, he was one of the young men of the village who felt hemmed in by the town of Sudbury.  His father and he joined other settlers of Sudbury in signing the petition to establish Marlborough. John Bent and his family, Peter Bent and his wife and son, Peter, Jr., moved into the wilderness west of Sudbury from which they would carve the town of Marlborough. The older men had this to say:

 “God hath beene pleased to increase our children, which are now diverse of them grown to man’s estate; and wee, many of us, grown into years, so that wee should bee glad to see them settled before the Lord take us away from hence, as also God having given us some considerable quantity of cattle, so that wee are so straightened that we cannot so comfortably subsist as could be desired and some of us having taken some pains to view the country; wee have found a place which lyeth westward about eight miles from Sudbury which wee conceive might be comfortable for our subsistence . . .”
(From the book, History of Marlborough Massachusetts.)

Peter Bent -Marloborough 1667

This 1667 map of Marlborough shows the Sudbury River where Peter Bent built a toll bridge.

Peter Bent and his wife Elizabeth had a total of eight children, and all but one lived to adulthood, as I will explain below.

In 1660, as a valuable member of the new community of Marlboro, Peter built a grist mill on Stony Brook and the following year he built a bridge over the Sudbury River. These privately built bridges were a source of income for the builder, as he charged a toll.  Also in 1661, Peter and Elizabeth built a home “just south of Williams Pond, a mile from  the now center of Marlboro” according to the Bent Family History, published in 1900.

Peter Bent in Marlborough

Marlborough map 100 years after Peter’s death shows location of Williams Pond where his house was located.

Creating a new town was not easy, as verified in a document presented on the Marlborough History page.  In 1664, after several years of squabbling over rules that sound amazingly similar to present day homeowner’s associations, Half the town petitioned the court to form a committee to solve the problems.  Peter Bent, Sr. was among those on the opposite side. His half of the town did not think problems were serious enough to involve the court. Although he seemed to come down on the laissez-faire side of that argument, he joined, in 1664, a group that petitioned to form a new church. That at was seen as hostile by another group, who promptly fought against it

Forget all about our picture of a peaceful, cooperative group of people taming the wilderness!

In December of 1674, Peter Bent, Sr. wrote his will. Unlike most of the old wills I have found, illness did not suggest the necessity for a will. Instead, Peter was setting off on what was always a dangerous trip–sailing across the Atlantic to England. I have not found any record of why he went to Europe, but I know that several of the settlers had left lands behind in Penton-Grafton, Hampshire. Perhaps Peter’s father, John Bent, owned land and Peter was looking after it. Perhaps he was a trader, buying goods in England. Whatever it was was worth leaving his young family and going on this dangerous journey. At any rate, he survived that 1674 trip to old England, only to come back to chaos in New England.

The Bents and other families who had settled in Marlboro had just fourteen years to build their town before King Philip’s War broke out.  The Indian uprising terrorized Puritan villages in New England for most of  two years–1675 and 1676. The colonists knew trouble was brewing, and they fortified some of the homes in each village so they would have a place to take refuge. A document explains the allocation of garrisons and soldiers. Peter Bent’s house would be home to three soldiers of the thirty-seven allotted to the town, and his family would support those three soldiers. Men made sure to have weapons ready to defend their families.

In the summer of 1675 (probably in June), Peter walked or rode over to Sudbury to visit his brother Joseph and show him the pistols he had received from England. (I am speculating on the details here, but the sequence of events is accurate.)  Peter Bent was known to have traveled to England several times, and could well have purchased the pistols (which the inventory lists in his probate papers a few years later) on a trip he made in 1674.

Although we don’t know exactly how it happened, we know that Peter accidentally shot his brother that summer day in 1675.

I wonder if, when the Indians attacked his mill in November of that year,  Peter felt God was punishing him?  A small band of Indians crept up to his mill and carried off his apprentice, Christopher Muchin.  They also scalped Peter’s young son and left him for dead.  This “young son” could have been Zacheus, who would have been eight years old or John, twelve years old. The boy survived the attack.

Peter’s will refers to his son, Zacheus as “weak in body,” which might indicate lasting effects of the act and the Bent Family History author believes that is the case. However, John died five months later when he was only thirteen years old, which seems to me to point to John as the victim.

But that was just a hint of the horror to come in Marlboro and Sudbury.  On March 26, 1676, King Philip’s allies came into the village while everyone was at church on a Sunday morning and as the people of Marlborough sought protection in one of the fortified homes, the Indians burned most of the town to the ground.

Marlborough church burning

According to the Marlborough historical society this dramatic picture is not accurate. The church, with thatched roof, would have had plank siding rather than logs.

The following month, the Indians mounted an attack on neighboring Sudbury, where most of Peter’s relatives lived.

With no home, and with most of his livelihood destroyed, Peter took his family to Cambridge for refuge.  It was there that the young John died in 1676. The following year, 1677, the residents returned to Marlborough.

Peter lived only two years more, dying in 1678 at the age of 49.  He had taken another ship to England, perhaps trying to rebuild whatever business he had there to make up for the losses in Marlboro.  I wish I had more details about his business in England and the reason for his death.  Apparently he died in England rather than on the passage home.  At any rate, his will and the accompanying inventory provides a good deal of detail about the wealth he had been able to amass in his short life.

His will lists 26 acres of land around his home in Marlboro plus 25 acres of upland adjoining his former home in Sudbury and much other land, the total value: £436.  The inventory lists millstones and mill irons, and a pair of pistols, holsters and three swords.  His personal estate came to £40.

Despite all of this and the family around her, Peter’s wife Elizabeth asked for aid from the General Council, indicating she was destitute.  But in 1704, she still was holding the 1/3 of the estate that she got from the will and she deeded it over to her eldest son, Peter, Jr.

At least one grandson and one great-grandson of Peter Bent served in the Revolution. Thomas Bent, the son of Peter Bent’s son, Hopestill Bent,  was wounded on April 19, 1775 (Concord-Lexington) and died as a result of the wound. Thomas Bent’s son, Johnathan Bent also fought in the battle at Concord and in 1776 was in the battle of Ticonderoga.

How I am Related

  • Vera Marie Kaser Badertscher is the daughter of
  • Harriette Anderson Kaser, the daughter of
  • Vera Stout (Anderson),the daughter of
  • Hattie Morgan (Stout), the daughter of
  • Mary Bassett (Morgan),the daughter of
  • Elizabeth Stone (Bassett) the daughter of
  • Elizabeth Howe (Stone), the daughter of
  • Israel Howe, the son of
  • David How, the son of
  • Samuel and Martha Bent How, the sister of
  • Peter Bent

Notes on Research

  • History of the Town of Marlborough, Middlesex County, Massachusetts, Charles Hudson and Joseph Allen, T. R. Mann and Sons, Marlborough, Massachusetts 1862. Accessed at Google Books.
    • The Bent family in America : being mainly a genealogy of the descendants of John Bent : who settled in Sudbury, Massachusetts, in 1638 : with notes upon the family in England and elsewhere. in North America, Family Histories, 1500-2000 at Ancestry.com, Allen H. Bent, 1900
    • Massachusetts Wills and Probate Papers, Probate Papers (Middlesex County, Massachusetts, 1632-1703 Peter Bent, probate date 1678. Ancestry.com
    • U. S. and Canada Passenger and Immigration Index, 1500s-1900s, Ancestry. Record for Peter Bent, arrival 1638.This edition was privately printed in 75 quarto copies for W. Elliot Woodward. Same as the octavo edition of 1860 with an additional section, “The First Settlers of Plymouth,” pp. 115-122. Research originally done, 1858-1860, for The New England Historical Society.Source Bibliography:
      DRAKE, SAMUEL G. Result of Some Researches Among the British Archives for Information Relative to the Founders of New England …. 3rd ed. Boston: John Wilson and Son, 1865.
    • U.S. and Canada Passenger and Immigration Index, 1500s-1900s, Ancestry. Record for Peter Bent, arrival 1638

Part 1, pp. 1-43, is a study of emigration to New England in colonial times; part 2, pp. 45-207, lists passengers and the ships they arrived on (3,600 passengers on 213 ships). From the Custom House records of English ports. Much of the information is contained in nos. 7906 and 7907, Savage; nos. 1672 and 1674, Drake; and no. 3283, Hotten.
Bibliography:BANKS, CHARLES EDWARD. The Planters of the Commonwealth; a Study of the Emigrants and Emigration in Colonial Times: To Which Are Added Lists of Passengers to Boston and to the Bay Colony; the Ships which Brought Them; Their English Homes, and the Places of Their Settlement in Massachusetts, 1620-1640. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1930. Reprinted by Genealogical Publishing Co., Baltimore, 1961. Repr. 1984.

  • U. S., New England Marriages prior to 1700, Genealogical Publishing Co.; Baltimore, MD, USA Peter Bent and Elizabeth Bent, marriage date 1653.