This blog traces the linage of my ancestors Filson, Hunter, Manuwal, Zimmerman, Coplen (Copeland), Severns, Rodabough (Rodabaugh) and Hynes. Back in time, from Indiana to Ohio to Virginia and Pennsylvania and over the ocean to Ireland, England, Germany and places unknown. I hope you enjoy my family history and the joy of genealogy. To subscribe to this blog go to the bottom of the page. This blog is written and maintaned by Shelley Filson Bechtold
would visit Grandma Grace from time to time, as we were transferred by the Air
Force all over the country, but it was not until 1970 when my father was
transferred to Korea that he decided to put us on the family farm close
to Inwood Indiana. Grandma at that time was living in the town of Plymouth, Indiana with
her friend Irene Hendricks. They shared a cute little three bedroom house on
the corner of this small town. They lived next to a car wash that had candy vending
machines. I would scavenge for empty coke bottles to redeem for a few pennies
to use in them. It was close enough to the middle school for me to walk the
twenty minutes to her house after school, where I would often stay the night instead
of going back to the farm.
loved the smell of her house. I loved the little telephone table she had in the
small foyer. At the time we had moved onto push button phones, but she still
had a rotary phone. I would admire her knitting bag that she kept neatly
organized next to her chair. She had made a cover for her footstool which was
always placed in front of her chair. It was of a country farm scene that was
perfectly needle-pointed in shades of brown. She and Irene would spend the
evenings knitting and watching television. She tried to teach me to knit, but I
was not interested, as I thought it was something only old people did. I regret
that decision. I did help her needle point once and I remembered the lesson 10
years later as I cross-stitched teddy bear pictures for my daughter's nursery.
My grandma and I would watch Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom, The Andy Griffith
Show, along with other shows. We would play Gin Rummy and put together puzzles.
I would go there after school and arrive to the smell of Irene making Mashed
Potatoes Donut Holes, which I thought were so amazing because they would stay fresh
for a week. She would let me help fry them in a small deep fryer, I loved to
push them down into the oil and watch them pop up and then when they are still
hot, sprinkle them with sugar and watch the sugar melt to a glaze. Yummy!
of course, the best treats were my grandma’s sugar cookies, that is one of
those tastes I will never forget and just the thought of them brings back the
taste to the tip of my tongue. My great grandma Katherine also made them, so I
am not sure who would claim fame to the recipe. I am sure this is the same
recipe millions of grandmas’ claim, but to me it is my grandma's recipe.
would roll them out on a floured cutting board and with the lid of a Ball
canning jar, cut out perfect circles that she would then bake to a perfect
golden color. They were soft but crispy and the perfect combination of sweet
grandma was also known for her green beans cooked with bacon and her chicken
and biscuits, which comprised of a layer of mashed potatoes, topped with a
layer of freshly made thick egg noodles, topped with a gravy which contained
large pieces of chicken, carrots and peas, carbohydrate heaven. I would eat
then want to take a nap.
later years I would find my Grandma’s recipe in a church cookbook compiled by
our church in Inwood, Indiana. It reads:
Source: Country Cookbook, Inwood United Methodist Church Youth Fellowship,
Fashioned Sugar Cookies by Grace Filson
tsp baking powder
tsp baking soda
tsp lemon extract
the dry ingredients together in a bowl. Cut shortening into it as pie dough.
Sprinkle on the lemon extract. In another bowl mix:
eggs and add the sugar and the milk while beating. Pour this mixture over the
dry mixture. Mix just until it holds together good, put out on floured board;
roll without working anymore than necessary. They should be 1/4 inch in
diameter. Bake on an ungreased cookie sheet at 400 degrees until done. These
will rise nice and are delicious for children to dunk in milk (will not
I retyped this recipe the way it is in the book, but I feel there is an error
in the original printing. Instead of the cookies being 1/4 in diameter, I know
she meant 1/4 inch thick. I know these were not cookies where the dough was put
into a ball, as I remember her letting me roll the dough and use the lid of a
Ball jar to cut the cookies. Also, not mentioned in the recipe was the sugar we
sprinkled over the top before baking. Church cookbooks are not well edited and
have many errors in them, but they are a great resource for family recipes!
will also include here the recipe for Irene’s Mashed Potatoes Donut Holes, I hope you
A picture of Grace Coplen Filson and Irene Hendricks