Thursday, June 24, 2010


I have been doing genealogy for 24 years. I have been given many wonderful gifts of family research: old photos, old love letters, as well as odd things like the handle of a toothbrush and a bottle from the privy digging at my great-great-great grandpa's property in Illinois. As wonderful as these "things" were, it has been the discovery of distant but real cousins that has been the most delightful.

Leonard Myers of Overland Park, Kansas, was one of those relatives. His great-grandmother Cosby Jane Corel Justice and my great-grandma Nancy Maryland Corel (widow LaHay) Dobbins were sisters, making us fourth cousins. From 1984 when Leonard and I "connected" until he died in 2004, we shared ideas, theories, and research. A Corel reunion held in Lawrence, Kansas in 1990 allowed us to meet and spend some time together. He missed the 1995 reunion, but I drove to his house in Overland Park and spent a few days with Leonard and his wife Juanita. Only another genealogist would understand that it is possible to talk genealogy for three days running and still have things to talk about!

He gave me a ride to the airport for an early-morning flight back to California and as I got out of the car he handed me a batch of homemade Ginger Cookies, warm and fragrant. He had bad emphysema and he said he'd had a hard time sleeping the night before so he got up in the night and made me some cookies to take home with me. Tucked in the bag with the cookies (which didn't last long, let me tell you), was his recipe.

Leonard's friendship, researching acumen and talents were all very important to my genealogy successes. Leonard's Ginger Cookies were like a special bequest to me! I share them with you today.


2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
1 cup sugar
¼ cup molasses
1 tsp ginger
1 tsp cinnamon
¾ cup shortening
1 egg
Sugar for coating

Mix flour, soda, cinnamon, ginger and salt in separate bowl.

Cream shortening with 1 cup sugar in separate bowl until fluffy. Beat in egg and molasses until blended. Add flour mixture, 1/3 at a time, until well mixed.

Roll dough in balls, a teaspoon at a time, the size of small walnuts. Roll each in sugar to coat. Place 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake at 350 exactly 13 minutes, until tops are cracked.

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