Wednesday 28 September 2011

Who Do You Think You Are

"And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse."

~Malachi 4:6

One program which we really love to watch is "Who Do You Think You Are," which airs on the BBC over here on Wednesday nights. Last week's episode saw Robin Gibb tracing his ancestry and it was quite an emotional journey for him in many respects. I really enjoy the turns and twists that these journies take and wish that I had the money and resources to do my own family history in that way. (You can keep up with the episodes here on the BBC iplayer.) This week they will be doing Richard Madeley of the Richard and Judy fame.

There is an ancestor in my family that we have been chasing for a long time, but to no avail. We know that one of my ancestors named Boyd McNayr landed in Halifax in 1786. He was approximately 8 years old, having been born at or near Glasgow, Scotland in 1778. He was left in Halifax with friends by his father, who was "in the King's service." His father went to sea and was never seen nor heard from again, presumed lost in 1787. We have no idea of what his father's name was or if there was a mother. Boyd moved out to the valley and married a woman named Rachel Beals in 1802 and there is a wonderful story of them moving down to Springfield, Nova Scotia with her sitting pregnant on a horse, and him guiding the horse all the way there, which would have been some considerable journey!

They went on to have 14 children, but the one I am interested in was Arod McNyr, who was born in 1813, in Springfield. He married a woman named Diadama Whitman in 1840 and they went on to have some 11 children, but the one that is my direct ancestor was Ida McNayr, who was born in 1845.

This is Ida McNayr Smith.

She is my Great Great Great Grandmother on my mother's mother's side. When I look at her I see a strong family resemblance to certain members of my family. It's the eyes and the nose. These features are scattered throughout my family to this day.

My mother told me that she lived with my Great Great Grandmother's family and that she was not very well treated by them . . . this is according to stories told by my Great Grandmother and Grandmother. I can't quite remember the circumstances, so I must ask my mother about them again to be clear. My late Aunt Freda was our family historian and she passed away several years ago. I used to talk to her all the time about our family history, but sadly all her work has been misplaced . . .

I would love to know who Boyd McNayr's father was, and so am hoping one day that we will be able to travel up to Scotland and search records there to see if we can find him. I only know that Boyd was born at or near Glasgow, but am hoping that will be enough to make a start. It sure would be helpful if I could have all the resources to hand that these celebrities have on Who Do You Think You Are!

Family history of course is very important in my church. Not only is it a lot of fun and quite addictive, as many people in the world can attest to. (There seems to be a natural yearning in all peoples to discover their roots.) Those of us who have been bitten by the family history bug know just how much fun it can be. But this isn’t why we have the largest genealogical library in the world and why 13 million Mormons are encouraged to research their family roots. Rather, we are driven by our doctrines which teach that marriage and families can continue beyond this life. But this can only happen when families are sealed together in one of the Lord’s holy temples around the world and united for all eternity. You can read more about that here, if you are interested.

I think it's pretty exciting to be able to trace one's roots back and if you have pictures to look at, it's even more exciting, especially when you see family traits that have been carried on down through the generations, and read about the things they have done and accomplished. Have any of you been able to research or find out fascinating stories about your ancestors? I would love to hear them! Please do share!

I am doing my visiting teaching this afternoon, which will be fun. I do so love to visit the sisters under my care. My life since I joined the church has always been greatly blessed by the Visit Teaching program and I have found through the years that the sisters I have visited, and that the sisters who have visited me and partnered with me have become much valued and beloved friends. I don't know of anyone that can't use more of those!

Look at the fun little piece I did yesterday afternoon. Yes, I am on a hat's kick lately! I love them. I never wear one, as I don't think I look very good in one, but I do enjoy looking at them, and it would seem, drawing them!

And now for the recipe today. It is a simple one, easy to make and uses ingredients I normally have to hand in my store cupboard. Todd always loves it when I make this. Not quite as modest as Beans on Toast, but just as tasty. This is comfort food, plain and simple. With a delicious salad on the side, this was anything but ordinary . . .

*Beans and Wieners Under Cornbread*
Serves 4
Printable Recipe

This makes a delicious and simple supper. Hearty and family pleasing. Todd really enjoys this when I make it and I can say with a certainty that the leftovers taste even better the next day, so it’s worth making the whole recipe, however you can quite successfully cut the recipe in two if you wish.

1 package of smoked frankfurters
2 (415g) tins of baked beans
1 heaping dessertspoon of tomato sauce
1 TBS Dijon mustard
1 TBS dark soft brown sugar
1 tsp hot pepper sauce (Tabasco)
(You can cut this down if you don’t like your food too spicy)
1 TBS dark molasses (in the UK you can use a combination of dark treacle and golden syrup)

1 cup flour
¼ cup caster sugar
2 ½ tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
2/3 cup yellow cornmeal (polenta in the UK)
1 cup buttermilk
2 TBS olive oil
1 egg, lightly beaten
4 ounces roasted diced green chilies
¾ cup grated strong cheddar cheese
1/3 cup diced red onion

Pre-heat the oven to 180*C/375*F. Cut the frankfurters into 1 inch pieces and brown them in a large hot skillet. (There is no need to add any fat to the skillet). Once they are browned add the beans, tomato sauce, mustard, sugar, molasses and pepper sauce. Stir it all together really well and bring to a simmer. Let cook for about five minutes, on low heat, while you make the cornbread mixture.

Sift the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt into a large mixing bowl. Whisk in the cornmeal and ½ cup of the grated cheese. In a separate bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, oil and egg. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry just enough to combine, without over mixing. Fold in the roasted chilies and red onion.

Place the hot bean mixture in a lightly buttered casserole dish*. Pour the cornbread mixture over top. Sprinkle with the remaining ¼ cup of grated cheese. Bake in the heated oven for 30 to 35 minutes, or until the cornbread is well risen and nicely browned. Remove from the oven and let cool for 15 minutes before serving.

*Note- You can also bake this in individual casserole dishes as I have done above.

Over in The English Kitchen today, some Smashed and Roasted New Potatoes. (Plus I reveal the winner of my Tala measure cup giveaway!)

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