Albert Eddy: A missing piece and a clue to much more

I recently found a copy of “The Eddy Family in America” by Ruth Story Devereux Eddy, and was happily tracing down my line, when I found this entry (p. 364)::

I knew about and have found a fair amount of information on Andrew Jackson Eddy, his wife (Francis) Louise Austin, and the three numbered sons listed.  I’d never heard of Albert, Clarence, or Herbert though.  This inspired me to start looking a little deeper, and I think I’ve discovered some interesting connections.  Here’s what I found.

In the 1860 Census, (Andrew) Jackson Eddy; his wife (Francis) Louisa (Louise); two sons, (James) Plunkett and Arthur; and two others Byron and Isaac Austin.  Given the similarity in ages and the shared last name, I think these are Francis Louisa/Louise Austin’s brothers.

There’s a record for Albert Eddy in "Michigan, Births, 1867-1902"  born 20 August 1868 in Berlin, Ionia, Michigan - with father: Andrew J Eddy (born in New York) and mother: Francis L Austin (born in New York).

"Michigan, Deaths, 1867-1897" has a record of Louisa Eddy dying of consumption on 11 August 1869 in Berlin, Ionia, Michigan.  It lists her parents as Daniel Austin and Sarah Austin.  This is likely Francis Louise Austin, which leaves Andrew Jackson a widower and their sons motherless.

In the 1870 Census there is an Albert Eddy (age 2) living w/ Byron Austin and his wife Margaret.  Byron is the right age, and his place of birth matches the Byron living w/ the Eddy’s in 1860.  Andrew Jackson and three of his sons; James (Plunkett), Arthur, and Gardner are listed on the previous page of the census, just three families away.

Andrew Jackson Eddy died in 1871. (I’m still working on sources for this)

By the 1880 Census, Byron and his wife Maggie have moved to Laingsburg, Shiawassee, Michigan and no longer have Albert living with them. At this point, I can’t find any further records of Albert Eddy, which would be in line with the “died early” comment that started all this.  

So, in trying to hunt down Albert Eddy I found: pretty good records of him; a likely death record for his mother, listing her parents names; and two likely uncles and an aunt - that's a pretty good haul for tracking down a missing 3rd Great Uncle.


Makin’ Dinner

So, I had a pie pumpkin that I needed to use up and decided to clean it, roast the seeds, and cook a bread pudding inside it.

With a nice hot oven after I was done, I thought I’d put together some blue cheese cheesecake-style custard and bake it into a tart with some leftover mushrooms.

So, I had a pie pumpkin that I needed to use up and decided to clean it, roast the seeds, and cook a bread pudding inside it.  

I really don’t have a recipe for either, but they worked out well, and paired beautifully, so I thought I’d walk through the process of how I did it.

After cutting off the top of the pumpkin, I removed the seeds and set them aside to be cleaned and roasted.  Then I scraped out the stringy “guts”.  I filled the cavity with bread pudding I’d mixed up and let sit overnight so the bread could really soak in the custard.  Then I replaced the pumpkin top and baked the whole thing in a 325F oven for about 45 minutes in a bain marie set up in the oven.

While it cooked I put together the “cheese cake custard” using 8 oz of cream cheese, ~5 oz of BYU blue cheese, and 2 Clifford Farm eggs.  I whipped all these in my stand mixer until they were well incorporated and creamy.

I laid out a pie crust, and piled chopped mushrooms (oyster and cremini) in a rough circle in the center.  (Next time, I think I’ll add some caramelized onions and maybe some apple slices.) Then I poured the custard over the mushrooms and folded the crust up over the edges of the filling to hold things in and provide nice “look” to the whole thing.

The cheesecake tart baked for 20 minutes or so starting at 425 and being reduced to 300 after about 5 minutes.

All told, it made for a great dinner.


Pâté Poulet de Campagne aux Canneberges

The other day I put together a pâté based on the pâté de campagne recipe from Charcuterie: The Craft of Salting, Smoking, and Curing — a great book, I heartily recommend it. Country style pâtés are quite easy to make. ecause of their mild liver flavor they're a good way to introduce people to pâté.

The original recipe is for a traditional pork pâté, but I had chicken and chicken livers, so I decided to go with what was on hand. Since it was my first time with the recipe, and because I was modifying it, I decided to halve the amounts. I used two indivual loaf pans to bake it in, since it would have filled less than half a terrine or a loaf pan.   I also omitted the brandy.  The (dried) cranberries were thrown in as a garnish because they seemed like a natural fit for poultry.

1 pound chicken, ground
2 oz chicken liver
4 Tbs coarsely chopped parsley
6 green onions  chopped
2 tsp minced garlic
1 Tbs kosher salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1/8 tsp ground cloves
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
1/8 tsp ground ginger
1/8 tsp ground coriander
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1 Tsp flour
1 large egg
1/4 cup cream
1/2 cup cranberries

Preheat oven to 300F/150C

Load liver, parsley, onions, and garlic in a blender or food processor and puree.  Combine with the ground chicken in a large bowl.  In a separate bowl mix together the  salt, spices, flour, egg, and cream. Stir this mixture into the meat and work together until it becomes a bit sticky. Finally, add the cranberries and mix them lightly into the mixture.

Line two mini loaf pans with plastic wrap, leaving enough wrap the pâtés.  Load the pâté mixture into pans, packing them down.  Fold the plastic wrap over the top, and cover the pans with foil.  (I stuck a thermometer into one of them so I could watch the temperature.

Place the pans in a casserole, and fill with hot water to 1/2 the height of the loaf pans, then bake untie the  pâté reaches 165 degrees.  (I got distracted and overcooked mine, but it turned out just fine.)

Remove the pâtés from the loaf pans, place a weight on them (I used a heavy dinner plate), and cool them overnight in the refrigerator.

They should be keep in the fridge for about a week — mine didn't last nearly that long. 


Wood Badge - Back to Gilwell (again)

This summer, my wife and I are going to be staffing Wood Badge course 591-12-5!  Pollyanna will be a New Troop Guide and I'll be the Quartermaster.  We're both pretty excited.  

Going through the materials reminded me that I set some Wood Badge-like goals last year and I thought I'd better revisit them:
  • Complete "Bachelor of Commissioner Science" - I achieved this goal.  I'm now working on my MCS, and serving as registrar for a Commissioner College next month.  I have to admit, I'd forgotten about the goal, and accomplished it in spite of my lack of focus.  
  • Engage ADCs and Unit Commissioners - I blew this one.  After posting the goal, I managed to forget all about it.  Without keeping my eye on the ball, I didn't make any blog posts or send any newsletters.  I'm going to try again though - albeit with a different, but related, goal. 

Obviously, I needed a good troop guide to keep me straight.

This year I'm going to work on three goals related to my role as District Commissioner:
  • I will visit (and record in UVTS) at least three units/month at least ten months in 2012.
  • In 2012 I will try to encourage/support the unit commissioners in my district by holding at least three Basic Training for Comissioners courses.
  • I will invite the Unit Commissioners in my district to all of the Commissioner Colleges run in our council during 2012.  I'll especially focus on those who have not been trained.

It looks like Wood Badge ticket ideas are a big search term for folks landing here, so I thought I'd share some ideas that have been on my mind lately (note, these are not full-on goals, just ideas): 

For Commissioners - work with council to organize and index Commissioners College theses and get them online.
For Commissioners - work on staff at a Commissioners College or Commissioners Conference
For Commissioners - help plan and staff a basic training course for commissioners
For Commissioners - invite assigned units to attend roundtable and support their efforts 
For Scout Leaders - improve your own roundtable attendance
For Scout Leaders - invite other leaders in your own or nearby units to attend roundtable and support their efforts
For Scout Leaders - get involved in roundtable staff
For Scout Leaders - invite your unit commissioner to meetings and/or activities
For CORs - get involved in the District Committee
For CORs - help plan and staff a District Event


Commissioner Training Notes - A Commissioner's Priorities

Know Your Units—Our No. 1 Priority
  • It's important to understand the chartered organization(s) you work with. You should know the COR and chartered organization head,and help understand Scouting's chartered organization concept.
  • Get to know the direct contact leaders and the unit committee members. Be a friend and be willing to serve them. Units won't open up to you until they understand how much you care.
  • You need to understand the unit's environment. What are its history, education and income level, neighborhood, etc.? How do these affect its program?
  • Don't be one-sided. Not only do you represent the district to the unit, you must also represent the unit back to the district!
Prioritize Unit Needs
  • ". . .[C]ommissioners must concentrate their Scouting time helping with specific unit needs and helping each unit become more effective with its program and operation." (Commissioner Fieldbook For Unit Service, 2010 printing, p24)
  • "Good commissioners . . . establish priority units. Priority units receive their most careful attention." (ibid)
  • "Keep a running list of needs, problems, and desirable improvements for each of your units. Highlight the most urgent needs and problems. Most people's time is limited, so concentrate your energies on the unit needs you have highlighted." (ibid)
Beware the Hazard of Diversion
  • "Because of the many programs and activities of Scouting, unit commissioners might find themselves promoting projects, carrying messages, acting as judges, running FOS campaigns, etc. While all these activities are unquestionably important, they are not the primary responsibilities of unit commissioners." (ibid)
  • Don't be afraid to say 'no' to scouting requests that will take you away from Commissioner Service.
Typical Priority Unit Needs
  • These are like the "Hurry Cases" in first aid. Units suffering from these problems need help urgently!
    1. "Unit Not Meeting. ("Stopped breathing") A unit that has stopped meeting is in serious trouble. You must move quickly to salvage the remaining leadership and membership" (ibid p29)
    2. "Unit with No Leader. ("No heartbeat") If the unit leader has quit or leaves for any reason, see that the leader is replaced quickly." (ibid p29)
    3. "Unit with No Committee. ("Choking") A unit leader with little or no adult help might not survive very long or the unit program weakens and youth get cheated out of the great opportunities of Scouting. If the committee is not working, get in touch with the chartered organization representative and explain the importance of having" (ibid p30)"
    4. "Unit with No New Members. ("Severe bleeding") Units should register new members yearround. If no new members are added and there are plenty of youth in the area, find out why the unit is not growing." (ibid p30)
    5. "Unit Conflict with the Chartered Organization. ("Poisoning by mouth") Misunderstandings sometimes occur, and they can threaten the life of a unit if left unresolved. You may need to play a neutral role; be a mediator. Help unit leaders realize that the unit belongs to the chartered organization. Help leaders of the chartered organization realize they have some responsibility for the success of the unit. Work toward bringing unit and chartered organization leaders together to talk and build some consensus about the unit. Help them get better acquainted and recognize their mutual objectives. (ibid p30)"
    6. "New Unit Leader Lacks Orientation or Training. ("Blue baby") Give the new leader preliminary information about the unit. Learn as much as you can about the new leader. Provide some basic printed materials to get him or her started. Review basic program literature.
      Have all new leaders exchange their names and contact information. Explain what other people in the unit do: The chartered organization representative represents the chartered organization, the unit committee supports the unit program and helps with administration, and assistant leaders help the leader with unit operation." (ibid p30)
    7. "Unit with Weak Leadership. ("Comatose") In almost every case, a problem unit stems from weak leadership that must be either strengthened or replaced. Remember that the unit belongs to the chartered organization, and you must not remove leaders. You do have the responsibility, though, to see that the Scouts receive a good program. Therefore, it's your duty to impress upon the chartered organization representa­tive and unit committee the importance of providing strong leadership for their Scouting unit. (ibid p30)
Steps in Solving A Problem
  • Identify the problem. — What's wrong?
  • Decide if it is a problem. — Is it really a problem, or did you catch things at a bad time?
  • Discuss the problem with the ADC. — Figure out what can be done for the unit/unit leader.
  • Is assistance needed from the district committee? — If the problem is beyond your ability to solve, what resources to you need to pull in?
  • Decide whether you will handle it alone or with the ADC. — If you need help, what role should the ADC have in bringing in other resources?
  • Decide who is to handle the problem. — If you need to pull in an expert, will he or she 'take over'? What role will the unit leaders play?
  • Plan your actions. — Make SMART goals and make sure to measure them.
  • Plan your alternatives. — Your first attempt might not work. What else are you going to have in reserve?
  • Put the plan into action. — Now that you've talked things through and made a plan, it's time to act!
  • Evaluate. — If you don't know what you were trying to do, you won't know if you suceeded. Keep records, you might find that you need these ideas again for another unit.
The Journey To Excellence Performance Award
This program replaces the Centennial Quality Unit Award, and applies to Units, Districts, and larger scouting organizations. The key points of the program are:
  • Each unit makes an annual committment, ideally at the end of the preceeding year but no later than February of the current year. This commitment is signed by the Unit Commissioner as a representative of the council.
  • In Q4 of the year, the unit determines if they have met their commitment and has the Unit Commissioner sign off on the form if they have. One copy is turned in to the district, another is turned in to the council office, and the final copy is kept by the unit.
  • There are unit level and personal recognition devices (streamers, plaques, and patches) which should be presented by the Unit Commissioner.
A Unit Commissioner is responsible to:
  • Understand the criteria, forms, and procedures for your assigned units
  • Brief the COR, committee, and leaders of the units you serve
  • Work with each unit you serve to qualify for the award. This should take place throughout the year.
  • Guide each unit through the annual review and ensure that they complete a commitment for next year.
  • Provide the appropriate recognition for each unit's achievement. Provide encouragement throughout the year as well.
  • Work closely with your ADC, District Commissioner, and/or District Executive to help the district strengthen the units you're assigned to.

Wood Badge - Back to Gilwell

Wood Badge (www.woodbadge.org) was a highlight of my adult scouting life.  It's been a couple of years since I went through the course (Go Bob Whites!), but with several friends attending Wood Badge this year, I've been reminded of what a great experience is was.

In honor of James Levao (our new OA Chapter Advisor) and many others, I thought I'd take on a couple of new tickets.
  1. Over the next year, I will complete my "Bachelors of Commissioner Science" to set a good example for the Unit Commissioners in my district, gain a deeper understanding of Commissioner Service, and be better able to serve in my new role as District Commissioner.  The timing has been really bad for me to attend Commissioner College the last several years ... no more excuses.
  2. During the next year, I will engage the ADCs and Unit Commissioners in my District with frequent blog posts (at least 8), monthly email newsletters (at least 9), and quarterly District Commissioner Staff Meetings (at least 3 — other monthly staff meetings will be at the sub-district level).
I plan on reporting on these tickets here, just to keep myself honest.  Are you a first time Wood Badge attendee?  If so, what are some of your tickets?  If not, would you like to set (and share) a goal or two for yourself and recapture some of that Wood Badge magic?


What is a Unit Commissioner

Unit Commissioners are the core of commissioner service. They are the link between a unit and the district. Each Unit Commissioner is assigned three units in his or her district, which he or she is expected to visit regularly (ideally monthly, the national standard is bi-monthly). These visits might be to a unit meeting or camping trip, one on one with the unit leader, or with the unit committee. They should be tracked using the Unit Visitation Tracking System.

Feedback from the units visited should be brought back to the District or Sub-District Commissioner Staff Meeting each month. This meeting will also provide information and announcements that can be taken to units in upcoming visits. In the Rock Canyon District, we will also be sending out a monthly email with additional information. These emails (along with a companion email aimed at the ADCs) will also be posted/archived at this blog.

Unit Commissioners are BSA volunteers, and are required to get the same training other volunteers need:  Youth Protection, This is Scouting, Unit Commissioner Fast Start, and Basic Training.  The first three courses are available at myscouting.org. Additional Training is available through Commissioner College; Commissioner Conferences; and Council, District, or Sub-District Commissioner Staff Meetings.

If you have any questions or comments about Unit Commissioners, feel free to post them in comments here.


ADC Letter 20 May 2011

We've got a lot of things going on in the district, and I wanted to send out a quick email to all of our ADCs to keep you all abreast of them.  Would you be interested in a monthly (or so) email with information about upcoming district events, scouting resources, and the like?

Jun 4th is National Trails Day.  We're inviting our units to participate with the Pleasant Grove Ranger District.  They are hosting an event in Orem.  The plan is to meet at the Orem Dry Canyon parking lot at 9:00 AM, and going to work on the Boneville Shoreline Trail.

Our district is hosting a National Youth Leadership Training course the week of Aug 1-6.  This is an excellent program for 12-13 year old young men.  The course covers leadership and training styles, communications, and conflict resolution.  Participants will be able to bring these skills back to their home units, and eventually take them out on their missions.  This is a great opportunity to help grow some leadership skills among the young men in your stake.  Online registration is here.

The district will hold it's annual business/rechartering meeting in August.  We invite all CORs, Commissioners, and District Committee Members to attend.  There are a number of open positions in the committee (including a Unit Commissioner for our two non-LDS units). If you have any recommendations, please send me names, interests, and contact information.  I'll see that it gets to the nominating committee.

There's a new Commissioner Award of Excellence available from the National BSA office.  The requirements are in the current Commissioner Newsletter.  We'll talk more about this at the next ADC meeting.