Tuesday, December 28, 2010

More Yummy Recipes


(Cinnamon Stars)
A Christmas Cookie

Re-roll dough scraps, cut and glaze as

Removed before glaze starts to brown.

Cool on wire racks. Store in covered
cookie tins for two weeks.


2-3 cups ground unblanched almonds
1-2 Tablespoons ground cinnamon
4 cups sifted powdered sugar
4 egg whites
dash of salt
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

Combine 2 cups of the ground almonds
with cinnamon in mixing bowl, set aside.

In a separate bowl, use a mixer to beat
egg whites and salt until frothy.

Gradually add powdered sugar while
beating; beat mixture 5 more minutes.

Blend remaining egg white batter into
almond mixture; add lemon juice and
lemon zest.

Knead dough by hand and let dough rest
at least 10 minutes.

Dust a pastry board with powdered

Gently press dough onto pastry board
with your :fingers until 1/3 inch thick.
(Dough will be sticky, add more ground
almonds as needed.)

Carefully cut the dough with a 3 inch
star shaped cookie cutter and place on
baking sheet.

Brush each star with egg white glaze.

In a preheated oven at 275 degrees F,
bake 20 minutes on greased cookie


(Baked Apples)

4 tart green apples (Granny Smith)
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
1/2 cup raisins
1/4 cup honey
4 Tablespoons butter

Hollow out the apples by removing the
core, making a well, but not removing
the bottom.

Mix all ingredients together in a bowl to
create the filling.

Place the apples in a shallow baking pan.

. Stuff the apples with the filling.

Bake apples at 350 degrees F for 30 to
40 minutes, until apples are tender.

Serve hot with vanilla ice cream.

(I borrowed these recipes from Sharon White's Warenburg Newsletter. They just looked too good to pass up!)

Saturday, December 25, 2010



I hate to admit that this was my first ever attempt at baking kuchen, but it turned out beautifully. I used one of the recipes in our Intermountain Chapter Cookbook. Here you can see my handsome grandson holding the pan of kuchen that I made for our Christmas Eve dinner and party. Wishing you all a merry and blessed Christmas!
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Weigant History

My grandparents, the Weigants and Spahns, came from a Volga town called Pfeifer. They lived only a few blocks away from each other. Casper Weigant and Susanna Spahn were married in Pfeifer and were among the late Russian German immigrants to the USA. They departed Pfeifer March 12, 1914, by train to Bremen, Germany, and then onto the Steamship SS Breslau. They arrived in Boston Harbor, having spent $32 for the third-class passage.
Susie and Casper were married in Russia and saved up enough money to come to America with the help of John, Casper's brother. John told them there was plenty of work in America. They left Russia with only $33 on them. Their passage across the Atlantic took three weeks. Susie said she saw mermaids in the water, but it was probably seaweed. The journey from the German colonies to an area along the Russian Volga River, and then to North America, was not an easy one. It involved numerous modes of transportation, including trains and ships. The trans-Atlantic portion could take as little as two weeks or as long as a couple of months, depending upon the weather conditions, the age of the ship, the time of year, and many other factors. The reason for such a long trips was that in the north sea, the ships did not travel at night because of the risk of hitting an ice burg. So they would stay motionless while waiting for the morning light. Susie was pregnant with son Casper, my dad, during the trip to the U.S. She gave birth to my dad in Minnesota on October 3, 1914. Soon after that they moved to Oregon with my Great Uncle John.

(Contributed by Robert Weigant.)

Thursday, December 23, 2010

More on Pfeifer, Russia

Today the village of Pfeifer is an unpopulated city of ruins, except for a small store. At one time the city had 89 families. Surely everyone knew each other in this small town. In 1888 there were no more then 1500 people there. The land was divided among the families according to the number of males.

After 1881, Russian Germans were required to study Russian in school and lost all their remaining special privileges. Many Germans remained in Russia, particularly those who had done well as Russia began to industrialise in the late 19th century.

Many of these Germans hoped to find an escape from political repression. They also desired to preserve their old way of life. As nationalism grew in central Europe, the Russian government could no longer justify the special status of its German colonists. In 1870 they announced a Russification plan that would end all special privileges by 1880.

Mennonites were particularly alarmed at the possibility of losing their exemption from military service and their right for schools to use the German language, which they believed was necessary to maintain their cultural and religious life. A number of delegates journied to Petersburg after meeting with the czar and returned with positive reports of good land available in Manitoba, Minnesota, South Dakota, Nebraska and Kansas. Many of their descendants are living in these places today.

(Contributed by Robert Weigant.)

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

History of Fredrich and Marie Kathryn Schmidt Benzel

Fred was born 14 June 1885, in Kolb, (Peskovatka) Russia and died 1973, in Hardin, Big Horn, Montana.

Kathryn was born 2 August 1889, in Neu Messer, Russia and died 29 June 1965, Hardin, Montana. Kathryn never learned to speak English, her parents and other members of her family remaining in Russia starved to death during the famine.

Fred and Marie Kathryn were married in Kolb, Russia, January 2, 1911, and immigrated to the United States aboard the ship, “Bruntenburg”, arriving at Baltimore, Maryland. Tragedy struck the young family as their infant son Fredrick died at sea.

Fred and Kathryn traveled to Ritzville, Washington where they rented a farm from 1912 through 1917. Sons Fred and Arthur were born in Tacoma and Ritzville. Fred Sr. decided to leave Washington in 1917 and relocated the family to Rifle, Colorado; joining his brother John. Four children were born in Rifle; Edward, Carl, Mary, and Hilda.

Another move took the growing family to Hardin, Big Horn, Montana to begin farming sugar beets for Great Western Sugar Beet Company. Children John, Harold, and Lora were born in Hardin.

 Lora Benzel married Charles Raymond Hert in Hardin, Montana
 John Benzel remained on the family homestead and farms sugar beets with his sons and grandsons.
 Benzel family reunion is scheduled for July 2012 in Hardin, Montana

Fred and Kathryn lived the remainder of their lives in Hardin. Fred was described as fair haired with blue eyes. Kathryn was olive skinned, dark hair with brown eyes. Fred was very strong willed, insisting that the men eat first at family functions, children next and women last. His word was law. Kathryn was described as warm and loving. While the men sat in the living room the women gathered in the kitchen to chat. Children learned at a young age to remain seated and quiet around grandpa.

Fred’s family:
Father- Georg Heinrich (1848 Kolb –1920 Kolb)
Mother- Maria Katrina Schmidt (1848 Neu Messer – 1920 Kolb)

Grandfather – Johannes (1809 Kolb – unk Kolb)
Grandmother-Barbara, surname unknown (born 1807 – unk Kolb)

G Grandfather –Johann Uhlich (1773 Kautz – 1847 Kolb)
G Grandmother- Maria Dorothea Achziger (1775 Kolb – 1850 Kolb)

GG Grandfather-Valentine (1747 Engheim, Germany – 1798 Kautz)
GG Grandmother- Anna E. Koch (Germany – Kautz)

Marie’s family:
Father – Henry (1866 Neu Messer death date unknown)
Mother – Katrina Scheibel (1868 – 1921 Neu Messer)

Grandfather – Peter Schmidt (1833 – death date unknown)
Grandmother – unknown.

(Contributed by Dee Hert.)

Thursday, December 16, 2010

The Winch

I thought you might like to have the winch, spoken of in the previous post, in a more complete form. So here it is:

The Winch (“Wunsch” or “Wuensch”)
“Ich wuensch eich ein Gluckseliges Neujahr, langes Leben, Gesundheit, Frieden und Einigheit, nach eirem Tod die ewige Gluckseligkeit.”
Translation: I wish you a Happy New Year, long life, health, peace and harmony, and after your death eternal happiness.
(This first small section above is about all that most of my generation ever knew, but if you knew more you might add…)
“Und das Liebe Jesulein im Grublein soll eir nei Jahr sein.”
The translation? Perhaps something like this: And may the dear Jesus meditate for all of you in the New Year.
The host would reply---
Des wuensche mir eich ach!
Translation: Wish you the same.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010


"Wunschen" (wish) is a tradition which has been passed down through generations of Germans from Russia and is still in existence and practiced today. This tradition is a somewhat common event among those descendants of Germans who came to the United States
from Russia during the middle of the 19th century, and later.

It is a practice which takes place on New Year's Day and involves relatives and friends visiting each other throughout the day. These visits are still made today to the homes of those who have the desire to participate.

When I was a youngster in the thirties, we lived in the 100 block of South Quincy. It was common practice to start immediately after eight o'clock Mass at St. Joseph's Catholic Church on New Years Day visiting grandparents, godparents, uncles/aunts and
friends for the purpose of "wunschen". Practically all of these relatives and friends lived within walking distance of church, an area bounded by Harrison, Jefferson, First, and Fourth Streets. Therefore, one didn't have to travel very far to "make the rounds".

This visit entailed a greeting by each visitor, including the children, to the host(s) "wishing" them a Happy New Year. The normal greeting, always spoken in German, went something like this: "Ich wunschen euch ein Gluckliches Neues Jahr, lange leben, gesundheit, friede und einigheit, nach euer tod die ewige glueckseligkeit". For the pure German, the spelling may not be correct, but this is as we knew it. Translation (as we knew it): I wish you a Happy New Year, long life, health, peace and harmony, and
after your death - eternal happiness.

The host's kitchen, dining room table, or both, were filled with eats of all sorts. This included ham and home-baked breads, but mostly home-made goodies such as "galreih" or "zitter" (a type of headcheese), "blut wurst" (blood sausage), and grebble (the original funnel cake). In all of this the "wunschers" participated.
The adults were each offered "ein bissa schnapps" (a little schnapps), which was usually illegal, hard liquor cooked by anyone who had a still, or access to a still, or knew a bootlegger. The polite thing to do was to ask the host to take the first
drink "stech in ihr hand" (keep in your hand). Of course, if the host stayed home the entire day, he/she might possibly be a little tipsy by mid-afternoon or evening.

I remember many an early morning of New Years, (usually about 12:20AM), when one of our uncles would come "wunschen", breaking the early morning silence with a shotgun blast in the air. My folks' home was his second stop — he first visited the home of his mother and father immediately after midnight, which was just a block away.By daybreak, our uncle had already "made the rounds" and wasn't really ready or able to receive any visitors at his house. What a way to start the new year!

One of the things we children really looked forward to was the anticipation of "wie viel gelt" (how much money) one would accumulate by the end of the day. A nickel or dime, in those days, was hard to come by, and how we so cherished the "gelt" from each
family we visited.

(Thanks to Mike Beier for sharing his family's tradition with us.)

Monday, December 13, 2010



Dating from the 12th century, and symbolizing the Holy Child wrapped in cloth, this traditional German Christmas cake is made from a rich yeast dough with dried fruits.

The recipe that I found for stollen has the dough wrapped around marzipan. I wonder if anyone reading this blog might have a recipe without the marzipan. I'd love to have you share a recipe for stollen if you have a good one.
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Sunday, December 12, 2010

Traditional Christmas Tree Ornaments


During the cold winter months in Germany, glassblowers often kept birds in cages to offer them shelter and to enjoy their melodies. These birds gave craftsmen companionship and inspiration for creating new ornament moulds. Birds are symbols for joy and happiness. They are said to be messengers from God and the embodiment of souls.


Long ago in Germany, the famous pickle legend came to be a fun game for the entire family. No one knows who, what, or why, but it's a Christmas tradition to be enjoyed even by the most shy. Hidden in the branches of every Christmas tree, children of all ages hunt for the pickle in green. The younger the child the bigger the pickle is. As we grow, the pickle size gets smaller and presents big challenges. Hunt for the pickle; search for it, but your hands must be behind. Do not touch the tree, or you'll lose the prize in mind. If you find that hidden gurken, you are the lucky one, as there is a special present waiting for you.
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Saturday, December 11, 2010

German Christmas Party




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The Intermountain Chapter AHSGR had a fabulous Christmas party! We enjoyed a meal of German foods and deserts while we visited with each other and shared Christmas traditions and memories. (Hopefully I can share some of those with you in posts that will follow.) The decorations and holiday spirit was wonderful as well. We had a game exchanging tree ornaments which was lots of fun. We closed our December party singing beautiful Christmas carols in German. It was a memorable event that left me feeling grateful for my heritage, friends, and family.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Christmas Party

Our Intermountain Chapter Christmas party will be held on December 11 at the home of Carol Harless and Shawnette Malan, 10001 Hook Drive, South Jordan. We will meet at 12:00 noon. Everyone should bring a Christmas ornament to exchange. German food will be served. There will be German brats, two sides, and a dessert. Cost for dinner is $10.00. Please RSVP with Dee by December 4th.

Future Chapter Member

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Zachary White, grandson of Intermountain Chapter member Sharon White, is in his German lederhosen costume ready for next year's Oktoberfest.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Try These Out

Here are a couple of sites that might be helpful in your research:

https://wiki.familysearch.org/en/Portal:Russia (It has a German link which lists resources at the LDS library.)

http://feefhs.org (An umbrella organization that has some good links. It provides a forum focused on a single country or group of people to exchange information.)

And, did you know that AHSGR is on Facebook? Check it out. Who knows, maybe you can connect with someone there that might help you in your research.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Thanksgiving Greetings

I want to take this chance to tell all of my genealogy friends just how thankful I am for you! It is such a blessing to have others of the same heart and mind to help and encourage me in the research that is so important to me. I am thankful for the heritage my ancestors gave me and hope to repay them by finding them and their story.

I found this quote and thought you might enjoy it as much as I do:
"In all of us there is a huger, bone-marrow deep, to know our heritage- to know who we are and where we have come from. Without this enriching knowledge, there is a hollow yearning. No matter what our attainments in life, there is still a vacuum, an emptiness, and the most disquieting loneliness."
Alex Haley
Author of Roots

Saturday, November 13, 2010

November Meeting

The next meeting for the Intermountain Chapter AHSGR will be held Saturday, November 20, at the home of Shawnette Malan and Carol Harless, 10001 Hook Drive, South Jordan. This planning meeting will start at 1:00 P.M.

Pat and Shirley Ansley will provide the raffle drawing basket.

Food assignment: everyone is to bring appetizers. We will eat the appetizers during the meeting to try to not have it last so long.

Bring the surnames of your ancestors and the villages they came from.

Hope to see you there!

Friday, November 12, 2010

From Generation to Generation


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I really wish that the top picture came out clearer so you could make a better comparison, but I was amazed when I saw them together. The smaller picture is my grandmother, and the larger is my daughter. I don't know all the factors that determine what is passed on genetically, but the genes were strong in this case. At nearly the same age, the resemblance is incredible. Since this is my grandmother's birthday month, I thought I'd share this personal connection. Maybe you have had the same experience. If not, pull out those old pictures. You might be surprised!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Wonders of the Web


It's sad but true that families are not always connected. I loved the idea of having a big brother, but had no real memories of him. When I was in high school I had been told he might serving in Vietnam, but that was about it. My first real encounter with him came shortly after this. He came for a short visit and bought each of us older girls a record album. I thought he was all that. This is my one and only interaction with him. He went back to his life in the northwest, and I went on with mine. Years later he died, and I have always felt sad that we had no real history together. In fact, I didn't even have a picture of him. Then one day while fiddling on the internet, my younger brother came across a high school web page that had this picture of him. Wow! Imagine how thrilled I was to finally have a picture. He had already changed a lot from this picture when I was in high school, being much stouter and very tough looking. But, I treasure this gift from the web that allows me to finally have his picture. Keep looking for whatever it is... maybe you'll find it too.
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Saturday, September 25, 2010

Intermountain Chapter Attends Oktoberfest





Saturday, September 25,the Intermountain Chapter of AHSGR attended the Oktoberfest held at Snowbird. We had a terrific time listening to polka music and eating German food. The highlight of the day for us was riding the tram to the top of Hidden Peak to hear the Alphorns echo through the peaks. Some of us took the opportunity to hike and ride the Peruvian Chair lift as well. We had a wonderful time celebrating together as a chapter and appreciating our German heritage. The weather was perfect, and we all went home with great memories.
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Friday, September 10, 2010

Members of the Intermountain Chapter of AHSGR are invited to Suzanne H. Dodge's house on Sept 18, at 1:00 to silk-screen print your tee shirt(s). All you will need to bring is a white tee shirt (or shirts), and we will silk-screen print them with the AHSGR logo, to wear to the Oktober Fest on the 25th. If you are unable to come on the 18th, you may mail your shirt(s) to her. They will be done for you, and be at the Sept 25th meeting, where you can get them.

Her mailing address:
Suzanne H. Dodge
3029 Constitution Dr.
West Valley City, UT 84119-3009

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Put This on Your Calendar

Mark your calendar for the next chapter meeting. It will be September 25th.

Bill Dellos, 2011 SLC convention chairman, got some updates from Patti Sellenrick that he wants to share with everyone. We will have a convention meeting at 12:00 noon. Instead of having a regular chapter meeting, we are planning to go to the Oktoberfest at Snowbird. We will check out the vendors and eat German food there. We will leave after the convention meeting at 1:00 P. M. and carpool or caravan there. The entry to the Oktoberfest is free, but the tram cost is $12. The Alpenhorn players will be performing in the afternoon and you need to take the tram to hear them.

The meeting will be at the home of Sharon White, 3285 E. Ruskin Court, Sandy.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Report for August



The August meeting for the Intermountain Chapter of AHSGR was well attended. We would love to have even more, so please come. As you can see, we always have a great spread of food! We are busy and gearing up for the 2011 AHSGR Convention to be held in Salt Lake City. We had a report from those who just attended this year's convention in Lincoln, Nebraska. The theme for 2011 is 'Footsteps From the Past To the Future', and will be held July 31st to August 7th. We will be having lots of fun for our meeting next month, so be sure and watch for information on what is coming up.
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Sunday, August 15, 2010

August Meeting

The next Intermountain Chapter AHSGR meeting will be August 21st at the home of Shawnette Malan and Carol Harless, 10001 Hook Drive, South Jordan. The board will meet at 12:00 noon, and the general meeting will start at 1:00 P.M.

Food assignments:
Salad: S-Z
Entree: A-Ha
Dessert: He-R

We will have the "Favorite Intermountain Chapter Recipes" that Shawnette Malan typed and printed that we sold in Lincoln. They are $7.00 each. Sharon can also mail these. (Postage and mailer will cost extra.) Come ready to buy some--we need to make more for the 2011 SLC convention.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Another View From Pfeifer

This window is in the Burghardt home that stands across the street from the church.
This is the garden spot of the Burghardt home.
This is a little further out, but can also be seen from the area of the Burghardt home.
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Monday, July 19, 2010

Forging Ahead to 2011 Convention

The 2010 AHSGR Convention is being held in Lincoln, Nebraska, the first week in August. That means that we are really focusing on preparations for next year's convention to be held in Salt Lake City. What a great place to do genealogy! During our July meeting, members put together items to announce and encourage attendance at the Salt Lake City convention next year. We are small in numbers, but enthusiastic about the challenge. If anyone out there is interested in giving us a hand, we'd love to have your help. Please watch this blog for information concerning our August meeting.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

DNA Surname Study

I don't claim to be an expert on DNA studies; I'm just learning. I have no personal experience with this, but have been considering its use. Maybe you'll decide that you've come to a dead end (no pun intended) and need to try something different. If so, this might be just the thing for you.

Here is a very simplified version of how it works. A long piece of DNA in males is passed down virtually unchanged from father to son. Surnames are generally passed down in the same fashion. So, a male should have the same Y chromosome as his father, grand-father, great-grandfather, and on and on... Amazing, isn't it! This means that two males with the same surname and same or similar Y chromosomes are often related through their paternal line.

That Y-DNA occasionally accumulates a harmless mutation before it is passed down to a son. These rare changes occur at a known rate, acting as a clock that can measure time. When testing reveals a relationship through the paternal line, this clock can be used to estimate the amount of time since their most recent common paternal ancestor. In this way, the men may be able to determine who that most recent common ancestor was and how their family branches diverged.

Surname studies can take advantage of this information and connect you with other members who might be closely or distantly related. These connections can also be important to adoptees. Because of nonexistent or missing paper records or confusing oral traditions, DNA testing can help fill in some gaps.

For more complete information on this, read Making Matches in the September 2010 family tree magazine. Also, check out the website for Sorenson Molecular Genealogy Foundation at: www.smgf.org

Thursday, July 8, 2010

July Meeting

The next Intermountain AHSGR Chapter meeting is July 17th. It will be at the home of Shawnette Malan and Carol Harless: 10001 Hook Drive, South Jordan. The board will meet at 12:00 noon and the work meeting will start at 1:00 P. M. We are going to get ready for the Lincoln convention so we will not have our usual meeting. We will have the luncheon after the work session.
Food assignments are:
Salad: A-Ha
Entree: He-R
Dessert: S-Z

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Getting Started on That Missing Line

A while back I talked to a woman with German-Russian roots. She knew that was her heritage from family tradition, but hadn't yet linked into any ancestors. If you are in the same spot, here are some tips from my own experience. I realize that many of you are way past that point, but hopefully this will be of benefit to someone who is just getting started.

When I began looking for ancestors in my late teenage years, no one even knew my grandmother's given name. I did know my grandfather's name and my grandmother's maiden name. That was my starting place. Luckily, she died in the states so I was able to locate my grandmother's death certificate with the information I had. That's when I realized that a death certificate can give you a great bit of information to get a good start on your research. To make it easy, I'll list some of the things you can learn from a death certificate. (Keep in mind that only the death information will be a primary source, but the secondary sources can give great clues.)

1. A place of residence is listed. This can help in locating obituaries, probate records, etc. When I found my great-grandfather's probate record it helped fill in his story a little, since I knew virtually nothing about him.

2. The person's parents are often listed. In my case, that meant I had another family name to start checking out. Before that time I didn't know my great-grandmother's given or maiden name.

3.If the person served in the military, it is sometimes listed. In the case of an uncle, also a stranger to me, I began to find many service related records that amazed me. He really excelled, and I would never have known that unless I had found out about his military service.

4. You can find out names of other people who are related to the deceased because someone, usually a family member, provides information for the death certificate. In my experience, I knew so little about my uncle that it was great to get his wife's name.

5. If you get the spouse's name from the death certificate, then you have a clue to begin looking for marriage records.

6. You gain information on the person's employment. I loved finding out that my great-grandfather was a carpenter.

7. Birthplace is important. Even though the death certificate is not a primary source for birth information, it sure helps to know where to start looking for it.

8. You can gain valuable medical information for your family's health history.

I know that this list is not complete, but it's some of the information that has been valuable to me in my family research. Even though my dad's generation was the first in my family born in America, I could get a start from his parents' death certificates, which eventually got me back into Russia. If you comb over a death certificate carefully, you will find many clues to get a good start on your search.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Burghardt Family Photo

This is a picture of my grandfather's (Joseph George Burghardt) family. My grandfather arrived in the USA in 1900, and was 24 years old at the time. I wonder if any of you know about the approximate date of this picture, using the clothing as a clue. I know it was taken in Russia, but I'm not sure if he brought it with him, or if it was sent to him later. With a date, I might have a better idea if he was one of the children or not. If you have the expertise to date this picture, I would appreciate your help.
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Buttermilk Salad

This was one of my dad's (Edward Lewis Burghardt) favorite German family recipes.

1/2 small cabbage, chopped
3 large cucumbers cubed
3 bunches sliced green onions
2-3 bunches of cubed radishes

Mix together, and pour 4 Tbsp. vinegar and 1 tsp. salad oil (heated to boiling) over the top. Add 1 tsp. salt and 1/8 tsp. pepper. (Add more to your taste.) Add:
6- 8 chopped hard boiled eggs
1 large carton cottage cheese
2 quarts buttermilk

This lasts for quite a while in the fridge, and gets better the next day.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

May Meeting

The next Intermountain Chapter AHSGR meeting will be Saturday, May 15, 2010, at the American Heritage Retirement Community Clubhouse, 3040 Homecrest Street, West Valley. The board will meet at 12:00 noon, and the general meeting will start at 1:00 P.M.

Food assignments are:
Salad: He-R
Entree: S-Z
Dessert: A-Ha

Darrell Weber will do the Bits and Pieces.
The basket for the raffle will be furnished by Leslie Hannay who won it at the April meeting.
Hope to see all of you there.

Sunday, May 2, 2010


Recipe from Margurite M Bopp, about 1950
(Leslie Hannay’s grandmother)

3 lbs beef boiled or roasted (roast beef is best and I buy cheap cuts, but good meat)
1 large can of kraut, chopped (I use a knife to chop the kraut)
1 large onion
Salt and Pepper to taste

Grind meat and onions together in a hand grinder. In a large bowl, mix together ground meat, onions and chopped kraut and the juice from the kraut. I also add about ¼ cup water to the mix. Cover and refrigerate overnight. You will need all this juice as the meat takes it up. If the juice is omitted the berroks will be too dry.

In a bowl mix 4 cups flour, 4 teaspoons baking powder, 2 beaten eggs, and ½ teaspoon salt. Add enough water to make a stiff dough. Roll out (not to thin). Using a saucer, cut out dough. Put about a tablespoon full of filling in the center, wet the edge, and fold over like you are making turnovers. Crimp close the edge with a fork.
Fry in hot bacon drippings, lard, or oil untill golden brown. The berroks will probably need to be turned to cook fully. When cooked, set on a cooling rack to drain the oil. Makes about 10-12 berroks.

NOTE: Today it is April 2010 and food is prepared a little differently. Making berroks is like making “pasties” for the coal miners, which is a meat pastry filled with meat and potatoes. The berrok filling is to be a soft chewy filling. The dough can be made of your favorite recipe and cooked in hot canola oil. If you want baked berroks, first mix 1 egg yolk and 2 tablespoons of water and brush egg mix on the tops of the berroks. Bake them at 350 degrees for about 20-25 minutes.
CAUTION: When baking, watch burning which means they are starting to overcooked.

Monday, April 12, 2010


The next meeting of the Intermountain Chapter of AHSGR will be held Saturday, April 17, 2010, at the American Heritage Retirement Community Clubhouse, 3040 Homecrest Street, West Valley City, Utah. The board will meet at 12:00 noon, with the general meeting to follow at 1:00 P.M.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Check It Out

Visit the Warenburg, Russia post from February of this year. It has been edited to include more information I just recieved.

Warenburg Church

Sharon White contributed these two pictures of the Warenburg Church. The bottom one was taken in August 2003 by Sharon. It was the pride of the village when it was built. The roof has collapsed. There is no longer a floor, and animals now wander through it. The bricks were once white washed or painted. The first Warenburg Church was a wooden structure. It was replaced by this brick building that was built in 1902 or 1904, and seated 1200 people. It was built in the Kontor style which was chosen by the Saratov Kontor, the Office for Administrating the Colonies which dictated the style and plans.
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Thursday, April 1, 2010

Natural Disasters and Geneology

I recently read an article in Family Chronicle that talked about the natural disasters that left well-remembered landmarks in the lives of many of our ancestors. It got me thinking about a significant disaster that is part of my family story. My grandfather, Joseph George Burghardt, traveled to the U.S.A. from Russia via Germany. His arrival in Galveston was shortly after the Galveston Hurricane of 1900. His first introduction to this country was helping clean up the bodies from that disaster. Over 8,000 people died in that hurricane which destroyed most of the Texas port city. It has definitely been a landmark for me. Because so many records were destroyed, I've never found any record of his arrival on a particular ship. (I'm still looking.) I believe that many of our family stories are related to some sort of natural disaster. Below I've listed some sites that might be helpful in filling in details of our ancestors' stories.

This site has 52,000 tornado maps of storms dating from 1950 to 2008. Search by date, state,and county.

This site lists major winter blizzards beginning in 1888.

This is the site map for Weather Doctor, and its Weather Diary lists notable snowfalls and extreme temperatures over the past centuries in the US, Canada, and the world. It is arranged chronologically and sorted by month.

This site gives an overall listing of disasters. Browse for reports by date, type of disaster, and state or Canadian province.

This site has a collection of links regarding natural and man-made disasters.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

March Meeting



We had a great time at our last meeting held on March 20th. Suzanne Heinitz-Dodge entertained us with Bits and Pieces of her family history. Planning continued for the 2011 AHSGR Convention to be held in Salt Lake City, and several new members were welcomed to the chapter. The basket raffle was won by Gwenn Oryall. We had a wonderful luncheon and invite any and all interested people to attend our next meeting to be held on April 17th.
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Monday, March 22, 2010

More of Shirley Ansley's Family Pictures


Back row, left to right: Mary (Laffery), Anna (Cullip), Henry, John
Front row, left to right: Dorothy (Walchle), Esther (Knight), Lydia (Hastings), Emma (Knoche)
Not pictured: Louise (Grat), Pauline (Norris), Donald


Back row, left to right: Emma, Dorothy, Mary, Anna
Middle row, left to right: Esther, Pauline, Lydia, Louise
Front row, left to right: Conrad, Helena, John

Anna is Shirley's mother.
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Sunday, March 21, 2010

Wedding Picture


Here is the first of three family pictures submitted by Shirley Ansley. This picture is of her maternal grandparents.
What a treasure!
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Saturday, March 6, 2010

Who Do You Think You Are?

You've probably already heard about the new television series called Who Do You Think You Are?, but if not, I wanted to tell you about it. The series is on KSL at 7:00 P.M. on Fridays. I watched it and was so impressed. The series spotlights different actresses, actors, etc., as they trace their family tree. I don't care so much about their fame, but any search for ancestors is interesting to me. This week it was Sarah Jessica Parker's search. I loved the things she said because they were just what we feel when we find another piece to our family puzzle. She commented that,"These are my people," and, "It changes everything about who I thought I was." It also made me realize how one pivotal day in a family's history can change generations. If you haven't watched it, you'll definitely want to!

Friday, March 5, 2010

Next Meeting

The next chapter meeting will be March 20, 2010, at:

American Heritage Retirement Community Clubhouse
3040 Homecrest Street
West Valley City, Utah

The board will meet at 12:00 noon,and the general meeting will start at 1:00 P.M.

Food assignments are:
Salad: A-Ha
Entrée: He-R
Dessert: S-W

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Pfeifer, Russia


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Pfeifer is located in the Saratov gubernia, on the hilly side of the Volga River, along the Ilavlya River and Gnilushka Creek. It was originally inhabited entirely by those of the Roman Catholic faith. Small children were taught reading, writing, and religion by a schoolmaster under the supervision of a priest in a special building. The land of Pfeifer is sand, clay, and saline. Because of that, in even the most fruitful years, there were no harvests of any sort of grain. As a result, they farmed on state owned steppe lands adjacent to the colony. The hay lands were in abandoned wasteland. They pastured livestock on their own lands. There were no forests, so they used mostly dung for fuel. Because of inadequate hay for livestock, they sometimes purchased it. All of the colonists engaged in farming and were favorably disposed toward work. The buildings for the most part were old, but repaired. Their yards were fenced with wattle, and their kitchen gardens were close to the banks of the Ilavlya River. They had no orchards or aviaries, but they did have two flour mills. Their harvests were only mediocre, and every year a large quantity of the harvest was consumed by gophers. The only means they had for destroying the gophers was by flooding. Pfeifer was founded in 1767 by 328 persons. The Russian name for the colony is Gnilushka, meaning "dead tree stump."

The house shown on the top was my Grandpa Burghardt's family home.

Warenburg, Russia

These pictures were taken by my son while he lived in Russia, about ten years ago. He was able to visit our ancestral villages. In the top photo he is visiting with Leongadnya Peterson from the village of Warenburg, who knew the Constanz and Miller families (two of my family names.) She has Bier and Lehman ancestors on her mother's side. Her father came from Riga, Latvia. He came to help build the church and stayed. Because of her father's nationality, her family was not deported with the others. She had written the date of their exile to Kazakstan in her bible, September 17, 1941. She corresponded with them for a long time after they were shipped off. The next picture is a view of Warenburg with her house in the front of the picture. In the bottom picture my son is standing along the shore of the Volga River.

If you would like to spotlight your ancestral villages, please send me the information, and I will add it to the blog.
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