Boneset Tea and Beaten Biscuits:

The Heritage of the Shaffer-Zimmerman and Devore-Cuppage Families


600 + pages 6 x 9", hardcover, acid-free paper, photographs, line drawings, indexed.

Boneset Tea and Beaten Biscuits is a family history (far more that just a genealogical listing of names and vital statistics) of the ancestry of the writer's grandparents:A. G. Shaffer (Allshouse, Frantz, Hahn, Hoefflich, Otterman, Traxel, Willems, Williams) Emma Zimmerman Shaffer (Elder, McCain, Sechrist) Lafe Devore (Cornelis, Gee, Watters) Annie Cuppage Devore (Greer, Harding, Harris, Macauley, Turner).

This work presents nearly 700 pages of information plus an every-name index. The writer had to invent her own format since she was not using a standard approach. An initial section discusses the heritage of the families: e.g.ethnic (principally Pennsylvania Dutch/German which included Holland Dutch, Alsatian, Swiss and perhaps Danish along with French and Scots-Irish), religious (predominately in the Reformed/Presbyterian tradition but also Lutheran, Church of the Brethren, Anglican, Quaker), and their pursuit of the American dream of owning one's own land (some were serfs, some younger sons of landed gentry).

The book then presents chapters on each of the families listed above tracing each ancestral line back as far as possible. The final section presents brief sketches of the children and grandchildren of the writer's grandparents and their siblings and of her parents and their siblings if the information was available. (Further generations are listed with their parents.)

Interwoven are anecdotes (including about boneset tea and beaten biscuits, of course) recipes (again boneset tea and beaten biscuits and appropriate foods for the ancestor's lifestyle, some anecdotal), and 185 individual/group photographs. Sketches, by the author or from clip art, show homes, clothing and objects familiar to these ancestors.

Appendices include a group of maps showing the location of places mentioned and a glossary of terms as well as the usual indexes.

The reader -- whether a descendant or just someone interested in the past life of his own ancestors -- may be fascinated by the accounts of historical events in which these ancestors were involved. Those descendants still in school will find history becomes alive when they realize that they had ancestors (or at least elbow kin) who really lived in New Netherland, who were part of the East India Tea Company (one even a hero who saved his companions when they were imprisoned), a grandfather who actually ran in the last Land Rush when the Cherokee Strip was opened in Oklahoma, a family of Quakers that was persecuted, a family that was massacred on the Pennsylvania frontier, two families who followed close on Daniel Boone's footsteps, a family that moved west with every generation, a major who had been captured by the British at the Battle of Fort Washington when the Pennsylvania Dutch saved George Washington's army early in the Revolution and on and on.

Because the writer wanted to make the family into real people, she has included along with the usual factual data information about their (probable) lifestyle often in a saga section where the details are historical but the account is fictitious. Through these the reader can see how an ancestral family moved around in Europe before coming to the New World and the process involved in becoming an 18th-century immigrant to this continent: preparation, embarking from Rotterdam, the sea voyage, arrival in Philadelphia, some becoming indentured servants, swearing oaths of allegiance to the British king, getting land and acquiring farms for their often numerous children. Hardships, yes, but lots of contentment with their achievements.

Some of the other names included: Alborn, Allshouse, Anderson, Arnold, Barrett, Birdzell, Black, Bossler, Boyer, Bracken, Brining, Brownell, Cade, Carnahan, Chrisman, Cornman, Crooks, Cunha, Cuppage, Devoor, Devore, Elder, Embrey, Evans, Feaster, Finch, Frantz, Frey, Gee, Goheen, Greer, Haag, Hahn, Harris, Heinis, Hilliard, Hochuli, Humphrey, Kellog, Klove, Knight, Lambert, McCain, McCollum, McCrery, Meredith, Murray, Otterman, Peske, Podgorski, Quinones, Reefer, Reichard, Reinhardt, Rickey, Robinson, Schafer, Seabridge, Sechrist, Segrist, Shaffer, Shope, Siegrist, Sloan, Stadel, Strodtman, Trachsel, Traxel, Walker, Wallace, Watters, Willems, Williams, Wilson, Young, Zeeb, Zimmerman and others.

Home | Contact Us | Family Books | Military Books | Reference Books | Fiction Books