RECIPE: Grandmother Snook's Apple Walnut Cake

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Mildred Snook (nee Swezy) is my grandmother on my dad's side.  She was born 1919 and died young at the age of 43 in 1953.    About 6 years ago in 2010 I received a letter from my cousin (actually first cousin once removed) who enclosed a few old family recipes.  Sometime after that I had misplaced the letter, I was devastated.  Even after moving from our old condo into the new house, I still could not find them.  Making up the spare room this past July I moved an old photo album and they fell out!  I was so excited!   I showed my father the Apple Walnut Cake recipe the following week.  He hadn't had that cake since he was about 12 years old.  It was a cake that she was known for.  I knew I was going to have to make it soon.
My grandparents Edward & Mildred (Swezy) Snook
My Grandmother Mildred Snook (Swezy)

This past weekend I finally made it!  I called my dad to check on a few things hoping he would remember, like how big were the chopped apples and what kind of pan did he remember her using.   Once it came out of the oven, I sent a picture to him and it let me know that it was just as he remembered.  Success!  The house smelled wonderful and my husband and daughter both agreed, it was delicious.  

  My father also said that the walnuts came from an English Walnut tree they had on their property.  It was the only in in Vernon.  Unfortunately that tree is no  longer here, it was in 1967 cut down to make room for the now Minerals Spa.  At that time it was 5ft in diameter.

I've included the recipe in my post.  If you plan on using it, I only ask that you please credit me & my blog in anything you post.  Thanks so much!

Friday Finds: Franklin High School 1970

Friday, July 29, 2016

Franklin High School, Franklin, NJ
Class of 1970 Washington DC

Franklin High School, Franklin, NJ
1970 yearbook & ram button

I found these a while back in a box of pictures.  My mother graduated in 1970 from Franklin.  Enjoy and share with those who may have known someone or may have also graduated from Franklin.  

Finding that missing signature

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

I have 2 tattoos with plans of getting more, one of which is my mother's signature.  The problem with that, I have nothing with her signature on it.  I have searched all of my school papers from before she passed away, asked family members if they have cards she may have signed from years past, anything at all but i have always come up short.
Last night I fell down the genealogy rabbit hole, land deeds.  I found a search full of deeds, mortgages etc from my hometown.  It started with a simple Google search of my ancestor, Samuel Rysdyk, that led to property he once owned, which then led to the original search database.   I entered my maiden name thinking I may be able to see deeds for the old family farm (I did! more on that later!)  but I also found the deed and mortgage to my parents first house that they bought when the were married back in 1972!  after going through a few files I found it!

I seriously could not believe what I was seeing.  My mother's signature was right in front of my eyes!  I had to save it to my computer as fast as I could because I felt like if I didn't, it may disappear.   I can't wait until I have the time (and figure out the location) to get the tattoo that I've been wanting to get.
Of course I couldn't stop looking at the land deeds after I found this.  There was a wealth of information right there at my finger tips.  I stayed up much later than I should have and still haven't touched 1/2 the information.  I have so much to do and no time to do it!  I will posting more of my findings however once I have it organized.

I couldn't leave without posting this as well.  It's the signatures of my grandparents (one I've never met) and my great grandparents (both deceased before I was born).

Tombstone Tuesday: Van Gelder/Roleson

Thursday, July 21, 2016

This is the Thursday edition of Tombstone Tuesday.   I wanted to post one today even though I am not following my "planned" days.   

This morning I asked my friend Jacque for a number between 1-1,020.  1,020 being the amount of ancestors in my Snook\Kemple tree on ancestry.   

Her pick?  742

Great, a person who I haven't actually done any work with aside from entering her into my tree a while back.   However a quick search on and I came across Susan, Peter, and Ida!  My 3x Great Grandparents & 3xGreat Aunt!  
Photo Credit: Dave
Photo Credit: Dave
Photo Credit: Dave

Peter Van Gelder (3x Great Grandfather)
b:  1821
d:  1884

Susanna Van Gelder nee Roleson (3x Great Grandmother)
b:  1814
d:  1884

Ida Van Gelder (3x Great Aunt)
b:  1858
d:  1883

Buried in Amity Cemetery in Warwick, NY

Peter and Susanna lived in Vernon, NJ around 1850 and moved to Warwick NY soon after and stayed there until death.  Together they had 3 children;  Ida (1858), Martha (1854), and Theodore (1848) my 2x Great Grandfather.  

Thanks again Jacque for helping me add to my family tree!!  What a great find!

Tombstone Tuesday: Charles W & Kathryn Burke

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Photo Credit: Vivian
Photo Credit: Vivian
Photo Credit: Vivian 
Charles William Burke (2x Great Grandfather of my husband)
b: Nov 1849 Iowa
d: 1910 South Dakota

Kathryn Burke (Coyne)
b:  1862 South Dakota
d:  1935 South Dakota

Located in Murdo Cemetary, Murdo South Dakota

Charles W Burke, born 1849 in Iowa, and died 1910 in South Dakota.  Charles was married to Kate Coyne in 1885.  Together they had 9 children, 5 boys & 4 girls; Charles (1890), Addie (1981), Florence (1893),  Dora (1895), Lee (1897), Myron (1904), Lafayette (1905), Orville (1907) and  Della Marie (1898) my husband's great grandmother.  

This Week's Birthdays: April 10-16

Sunday, April 10, 2016

This Week's Birthdays: April 10-16

4/10/1895 - Elida Snook
4/11/1757 - Sarah Dennis
4/11/1732 - Gilbert Drew
4/11/1733 - Sarah Hunt
4/11/1811 - Tracy Predmore
4/12/1811 - John Card
4/13/1759 - Daniel Howard
4/14/1872 - Mary Emma Stewart
4/14/1874 - Jennie Stewart
4/15/1828 - Samuel P Rude
4/10/1798 - George Edsall

***If I missed any or if any are incorrect please let me know and I will update my records! Thanks!


This Week's Birthdays: April 1-9

Sunday, April 3, 2016

This week's Birthdays: April 1-9

4/1/1866 Lucy Tuttle
4/1/1899 J Hampton Clouse
4/4/1717 Ruth Welles  
4/4/1791 William Drew
4/4/1898 Moses Smith
4/5/1807 Issachar Rude
4/5/1815 Hannah Drew
4/6/1860 Rachel Dennis
4/8/1840 John Chardavoyne
4/9/1880 Clarence Rude 
***If I missed any or if any are incorrect please let me know and I will update my records! Thanks

My Mother's Scrapbook

I am going to slowly start scanning pictures from my mother's scrapbook and as I do I will post them to the Maternal Family section of my blog.  This week's post has been posted.   If you don't have access to that section feel free to email me!


New Facebook Community Page

Friday, April 1, 2016

In addition to my blog reboot, I have also launched a new Facebook page, Discovering Family Roots. It will showcase additional pictures, stories, and hopefully one day turn into a place where family members can share their findings as well.  

Currently, the families included are: 
  • Kemple
  • Snook
  • VanBlarcom
  • Sammis
  • Massanero
  • Rude
  • Swezy
  • Hunt
  • Babcock
  • Clouse
  • Drew
  • and many many more to be added.   

If you have any suggestions or comments on how DFR can improve, please leave them below and welcome to Discovering Family Roots. 


Ella Titsworth (Swezy), 1881-1962

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Ella Swezy with friend

Ella Titsworth (Swezy) is the twin sister of my Great Grandfather Ellsworth Swezy.  Born September 21, 1881 to Dubois Swezy and Sarah (Rysdyk) and was one of six kids.  She later married George Titsworth and had 2 children, Martin and Donald.   She died on September 18, 1962 and is buried in Glenwood Cemetery, Vernon, New Jersey.

Ellsworth and Ella at their 75th Birthday
The first picture posted was sent to me by my second cousin.   Ella was her great Grandmother.

Changes are a coming!

Friday, March 25, 2016

Stay tuned for exciting new changes coming to Discovering Family Roots!