War Cook Book – Lillian Smiley and William Martin

The Wartime Economy Book of Recipes for 1945 was published on April 10, 1945. The recipes were “selected from more than 8000 Maritime recipes” submitted for consideration. Over three hundred different communities from the three Maritime Provinces participated.

On page 12 is a recipe submitted by Mrs. Lillian Martin, Necum Teuch, Nova Scotia.

The recipe Lillian submitted to the Wartime Economy Book of Recipes for 1945 was for Creamed Slaw. Check out the new page I created to hold Family Recipes.

Wartime cookbooks put emphasis on substitutions and rationing. Although my parents’ families did not go without many food items because they lived in rural areas where they grew and raised most of their food, others were not as fortunate. Eggs, sugar, honey, butter and other items were in short supply. The first page of Wartime Economy Book of Recipes for 1945 provides tips on how to stretch sugar and butter to make it last longer. In many recipes, molasses was used in place of sugar.

The book contains recipes for the usual foods—cakes, cookies, rolls, chowders—and a few unusual—borsht, rarebit, rose hip honey, apple butter. Pasta dishes were not made in my household until the early 1980s, but recipes for macaroni and noodles are included in this book. At times, I find old recipes add too much salt, perhaps to compensate for the reduced amount of sugar, to add flavour. However, the recipes in this book don’t seem to be laden with the white substance that should be consumed in moderation.

Of interest to genealogists is the inclusion of the names of the individuals who submitted the recipes. Although many are noted by “Mrs” and their husband’s names, the addition of their communities help identify these wonderful women.

To browse the Wartime Economy Book of Recipes for 1945 (and to see if a relative made a submission), visit the Nova Scotia Archives website. If you try any recipes, note the measurement of 1 – 2 cup doesn’t mean one to two cups. It means 1/2 cup. The dash was used instead of the backslash.

The Lillian Martin who submitted the recipe was probably Lillian Smiley who married William Martin. This couple had a daughter, Annie Mary Martin, who was born in 1908 at Necum Teuch, and died May 10, 1982 at Calgary, Alberta. [According to Bob Hegerich]

From Find a Grave, I found Henrietta ‘Lillian’ Smiley, born November 28, 1881 at Port Dufferin, Halifax County, NS, who married William Atwood Martin (May 28, 1868 at Sheet Harbour, Halifax County, NS  – June 28, 1945 at Necum Teuch). She died December 18, 1950 at Necum Teuch. Their children were listed as Douglas Martin, Edgar H. Martin and Warren Wellington.

Lillian and William were buried in St. Andrew’s United Cemetery, Moser River Cemetery. There’s a lovely picture of the couple on the website posted by David A. Smith.

Researching on the Nova Scotia Genealogy website, I found a birth record for William Atwood Martin. It states he was born August 28, 1867 at Sheet Harbour and was the son of Elizabeth Ann Unknown and William Martin. His parents married in June 1866 at Halifax, NS.

According to Henrietta ‘Lillian’ Smiley’s birth record, she was born November 28, 1881 at Port Dufferin, Halifax County, NS, the daughter of Mary Jane Whitman and John Smiley.

The couple’s marriage records states they wed on February 22, 1904 at Port Dufferin. Lillian was 22 years old at the time. William was 36 and working as a Master Mariner.

According to Lillian’s death record, she passed away on December 18, 1950 at Necum Teuch. She was 69 years old. Her son, W. W. Martin (presumably Warren Wellington), provided the information for the death certificate.

William passed away on June 28, 1945 at Necum Teuch as well. He was 77 years old. His mother’s full name—Annie Elizabeth Smith—was provided on death record. His daughter, Shirley R. Martin, provided the information on the record.

If this is the Lillian Martin who submitted the recipe to the cook book, she would have been 64 years old when she did so. And she did it five years before her death.

In my search, I found another Lillian Smiley. She was Lillian Nina Smiley, born February 9, 1914 at Port Dufferin. She was the daughter of Annie Catherine Wilson and Leonard Wallace Smiley. I found no further record of her, so I don’t know if she too married a Mr. Martin.

Update: Lillian and William’s granddaughter, Gail Martin, provided the names of three of their daughters: Elsie, Moll and Shirley (who provided the information for William’s death record). Gail said she’s certain there was only one Lillian Martin in Necum Teuch at that time, and she’s fairly certain Henrietta ‘Lillian’ Martin (nee Smiley) is the one who submitted the recipe. She says Lillian Smiley was actually from Smiley’s Point, which is located in Port Dufferin.

Alphabetical Birth Records Search

Searching for surnames starting with the letter A

Atkins, Stanley Horton: Born December 11, 1909 at Harrigan Cove, the son of Emma Katherine Hape and Frederick Wallace Atkins.


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