I just received a starter for Amish Friendship Bread.
The deal with Amish Friendship Bread is that typically, you receive a strange ziploc bag like the one pictures above from a friend and you follow the recipe at the bottom. The starter you get had flour, milk and sugar mixed to feed a live culture of yeast. You have to keep the bag for 10 days (on the 5th day, adding more flour and sugar), before you use it. This makes about 4 starter’s worth, which allows you to give three away and use one to go to the next step, adding some ingredients and baking.
I finally got the Italian birth certificate requests out, and since I was talking about International Reply Coupons earlier, I thought you may want to see what they look like:
Now, only have to send back out for Joan’s marriage certificate with her driver’s license (she’s staying with us this week, so I’m sure that will happen), and also gotta send my mother’s driver’s license copy to Maryland for her birth certificate.
It’s obvious that the people in the Maryland Division of Vital Records aren’t very willing to help me out. But I’m Italian so I become a more effective person when I become agitated (I’m also the product of my mother, double whammy for MD).
One thing that I’ve learned from this project is that when requesting documents, the response you get is very binary – either you get a very firm ‘NO’ or a handful of beautiful, stamped documents.
I’ve had two hiccups this week with the documents I’ve requested.
I received a brown envelope back from MD Vital Statistics yesterday. Unfortunately, where I had expected to see two beautiful copies of Rose’s death certificate, I found a measly piece of paper (albeit stamped and certified) claiming no records for the death of Rose.
Today I went to get a copy of the Decree of Divorce of my parents.
It happens to be the only document that I have to procure from Pennsylvania. Also, it is the only document in which I had to retrieve in person, so it’s pretty convenient that the Westmoreland County Courthouse is only a 20 minute drive. Here is a pic of the Courthouse (it’s a beautiful building).
Does anybody want to learn Italian with me? Seriously, it’s inexpensive.
I just signed up for the Italian 1 class at CCAC Boyce Campus.
In this beginning Italian course you will acquire basic listening, speaking and reading skills and learn simple Italian grammar, vocabulary and phrases that will be useful in a wide variety of business or vacation travel situations. Practice your conversation skills and build your vocabulary in a relaxed atmosphere. No prior knowledge of Italian is required.
Back in my Italian Birth Records post, I described the process in which I wrote letters in Italian to procure Italian birth records of Sam and Rose, but I made a big error that needs to be corrected.
I assumed that both Sam and Rose were from Naso, but that is not true. I have received a letter from one of our family-history buffs, and the letter states that “[the Ridolfo’s] were born in Ficarra, Messina, Italy. Ficarra is a little village a couple of hills over from Naso.”
Ohio does it right. Lucky for me, my father was born in Ohio!
You just have to go to their Vital Stats website, put in information and type in your credit card.
Maryland and West Virginia say they offer online service, but they really go through a third party called VitalChek which basically doubles the price you need to pay.
I have 4 more documents to procure from Maryland, so in order to save on postage and hassle, I’m going to combine them all in to one package.
My Maternal Grandfather’s (William’s) Birth Certificate – On the marriage license, it says he was born in Cumberland, Maryland, even though his family is from West Virginia. I keep running in to little situations like that because the small towns across the river in WV rely on hospitals and cemeteries in Maryland. To confirm he was in fact born in Maryland, I have checked the West Virginia Vital Records search page again, and did not find a birth entry for William, even though all of his known brother’s had a record, as well as his parents.