Ketchup is the Leading Cause of Stupidity in America…

According to the National Condiment Research Council, the use of Mustard has far outdistanced ketchup–even on french fries! [Actually, I prefer mustard on roast beef too. AE] We recently celebrated National Mustard Day with Mustard greetings and the opening of a new Mustard Museum where you can pick up the latest Gourmet Mustard catalog. Dozens of different mustards to chose from. And serious mustard nerds can earn a real diploma from Poupon U. (Dan Kennedy’s No BS Marketing Newsletter Feb 2008)

Isn’t it comforting that passionate habits can attract such a large following–you don’t have to be all alone anymore?

Collette Thomas Smith has written Secrets to African American Roots: A Guide for Researching American Records. 2006. Available from the author, 2250 N. University Parkway #4849, Provo UT 84604. Or contact the publisher Bookmobile, 5120 Cedar Lake Road, Minneapolis MN 55416.

It was Collette’s hope to write a simple, easy to use starter guide for those venturing into early colonial documents looking for evidence of black ancestors. So her suggestions can be of help to beginners and to those who have become discouraged in their searches.

I would like to suggest that genealogists seeking colonial ancestors of any origin can benefit from the sage advice offered up in this little gem of a book. A quick and easy read, with some key ideas to spark thought and the “what if…” question.

Gad Heuman and James Walvin, eds. The Slavery Reader. First published 2003, and reprinted. Routledge, Taylor and Francis Group, 29 West 35th Street, New York NY 10001. More than 800 pages, packed-solid with studies, reports of new research, examination of newly available records and sources, real evidence to break myths surrounding the Afro-American family and its development and origins.

This is not a collection of readings or quotations about or by slaves. This reader contains 37 essays on how to research and understand American slavery from its origins in Africa through the trade that brought the people to America with clear directives on where and how to find evidence and proof.

Slavery is one of the most complicated aspects of American society to understand. And even more complicated to trace a family lineage to origins. With these research tools, we have a better chance of creating a documented genealogy.

Afton and I drove around a small town in eastern Tennessee to get the layout of the streets and to compare our map with the ground before researching the local records. We passed three streets on the south side of the town that were not on our map. Nor were they represented in the index. We drove past the signs twice, then up and down the streets. These were black neighborhoods. And the new town history did not mention black citizens nor did it include them by name in the directory at the back of the book. As an astute client of mine once said, “How can I trace a family without a name?” No easier than one without an address.

Beginner or seasoned researcher, we all have hope at last, if Ketchup and Mustard are your condiments of choice. The County Fair hot-dog and hamburger booth offered only Ketchup one year and only mustard the next. Seems to me the complaints were about equal–except for the little boy who assured us neither was any good. He preferred his food plain.

And if ketchup is the leading cause of stupidity in America…eat mustard! Your favorite genealogist, Arlene Eakle

This entry was posted in Blog. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply