Saddleback Valley Trails
South Orange County California Genealogical Society

Vol 11 No. 1 Editor: Mary Jo McQueen January 2004

 P.O. Box 4513, Mission Viejo, CA. 92690

Monthly meetings are held on the third Saturday of each month from 10:00 a.m. to Noon at the Mission Viejo Family History Center Institute Building, 27978 Marguerite Parkway, Mission Viejo, between Medical Center Drive and Hillcrest Drive. Membership is open to anyone wishing to join. Yearly membership fees are $20 per calendar year for individuals, $25 for joint membership. SOCCGS is not affiliated with the LDS Family History Center.

Please find the renewal form on the last page of the newsletter.


Andrew Pomeroy will present his topic, “Finding Anything Online: Intermediate Internet Research Skills.” In September Mr. Pomeroy’s lecture on “Mastering Search Engines on the Internet” was well received, and this program promises to further improve our genealogy researching skills.


The Tenth Anniversary party/luncheon was a great success. Entertainment featured Judy Deeter who gave several readings. The founding members in attendance received special recognition and each was presented with a certificate of appreciation. Thank you to John Gothard for making the special certificates for the founding board members. (A complete list of current members who were founders can be found on page 2.)


Ruby White was presented a life membership in appreciation for her ten successive years of service as SOCCGS treasurer. Ruby has decided to retire from this position. We certainly thank her for the outstanding job she has done on the Executive Board.


Happy New Year! I hope everyone is anticipating a new year of guest speakers, research safaris, new discoveries and meeting more SOCCGS members. Who will topple the first “brick wall” of 2004?
Thanks to all who have provided us with freshly baked goodies for our meetings. They certainly enhanced our get-togethers. I know many of you are creative – you have to be to find some of your more elusive ancestors! I’ll bet you can be just as creative in your kitchens. Please contact me if you can bake up your specialty to serve at one of our meetings this year.
I wish you all successes in your searches!

Hospitality Chairman,
Sandy Crowley
(Researching Venable, Woodall, Vest, Tannahill, McGee, Reynolds, Moorman, and Davis through the southern states)


Web Master Herb Abrams is preparing to put the SOCCGS Surname Listing on our web site. The plan is to list the email address of the person submitting the surname. This will allow a researcher to send an email directly to you to gain or give information. If you do not want your email address listed please contact Herb at>. We will discuss this at the general meetings in January and February. The target date for finalizing the surname list is February 23.


Wednesday, January 28 we will journey to the Carlsbad Library. The car pool will leave the LDS parking lot at 9:30 a.m. Please make a reservation by January 26 so we can assure adequate transportation. Call Janet (496-8428) or Mary Jo (581-0690).


We are purchasing books and cds. Please let us know if there is an item you would like to see added to our collection. Call Janet or Mary Jo. Members are encouraged to sign up as a docent or substitute. Hours will be tailored to fit your schedule. As little as one shift per week will help keep our library open for researchers.


Mark your calendars for April 25, 2004, 1 p.m. Colleen Robledo, a Mission Viejo Library Assistant in the Tech. Center, has asked for my help with a genealogy computer class. Complete information will appear in the February newsletter.


The Iraqi Genealogy Authority has deleted the name of Saddam Hussein from the list of noble offspring whose lineage stretches back to the Prophet Muhammad. It seems that Saddam had forced a number of genealogists to create a family tree for him to claim that he had a noble pedigree. The descent from Muhammad was published, even though proof seemed to be lacking. With Saddam now safely removed as a threat, the genealogists are now rejecting the genealogies published when the dictator was in power.
(From Richard Eastman’s Online Newsletter 12-21-03, Vol 8 No. 51)


Following are the names of SOCCGS Founding Members who are currently on the membership roster. Founding members are those who joined through June 30, 1994. Mary Ellen Lytle*, Jinx Cochrell*, Goldie Gay*, Ruth Sheean, Barbara Smith, Iris Graham, Pat McCoy*, Paula Roberts, Beverly Long, Margaret Auxland, Evelyn Shopp, Donald Dary, Darlene Dary, Sherrie King, Mary King, Judy Deeter*, Janet Franks, Shirley Fraser, Mel Kinnee*, Eugenia Gannon, Ellen LaLonde, Robert La LaLonde, Ruth Loustaunau, Kathleen Mausey, Eleanor McInnis*, Diane Miller, Virginia Akers, Patricia Stalcup, Patricia Weeks*, Norma Wilson, Ruby White*, Grace Clark, Georgiana Emery, Patricia Stafford*, Laura Lee Mitchell, Sherry Donaldson, Bob Weatherly, Arlene Schreder, Norris Roberts, Doris Roberts, Sylvia Sligar, Bea Norred, Alice Catalyne, Louise Supple and George Supple. * Denotes Founding Board Member.

 – Sherry Irvine, CGRS, FSA (Scot)

Up to the 1700s, most of our English ancestors were buried on the south side of the parish church in an unmarked grave, wrapped in a shroud (after 1678 it had to be wool). If a coffin was used for the service it was probably the parish coffin, because most people could not afford their own. The great and the wealthy were buried inside the church and had memorials suitable to their station in life.
Churchyards were not big enough to allot a fresh space of ground for everyone; bodies were buried on top of others already interred. The level of the churchyard rose, or the bones of those long dead might have been removed to a charnel house (also known as an ossuary); sometimes the crypt under the church served this purpose. A charnel house is more likely to be found associated with a town or city church.
Not everyone wanted to be buried in the parish churchyard; Puritans, Catholics, Quakers, and other nonconformists looked for their own locations. The earliest burial grounds for those not within the Church of England were opened in the 1600s. Bunhill Fields in London, first referred to as a dissenters' burial ground in 1665, may be the best known; others were opened after passage of the Toleration Act in 1689. Few Roman Catholic churches had their own burial grounds before 1800.
Population growth and the migration of people into towns and cities led to a space crisis in the 1800s. This was also a health crisis, and local government officials became aware of the dangers of overcrowded burial grounds in the midst of densely populated streets. Beginning in the 1820s, privately operated and city/town-operated cemeteries opened in many urban areas.
Church of England Records - A few Church of England registers date from 1538, but many more begin in the 1560s or 1590s. Not every deceased person was recorded; those left out included suicides, executed criminals, and nonbaptized children. Catholics and nonconformists, although entitled to burial in the parish churchyard, may have been buried elsewhere and would not have had the burial service read.
Sometimes the burial of a dissenter was noted in the register; mention may also be found in the presentments (reports) of the churchwardens to the court of the local archdeacon or bishop; these records are usually in county record offices in England.
Register entries were brief, perhaps just the name and the date. Some registers give the age of the deceased and place of abode; if the deceased was a child or unmarried daughter, then the father's name may have been recorded. >From 1813 there was a set format for a burial entry: name of the deceased, place of residence, age, date of burial, and name of officiating minister.
If registers have not survived, check for contemporary copies known as the Bishop's Transcripts (BT). Each year, around Easter, local parishes were required to submit copies of all entries recorded in the parish register to the office of the bishop. This practice did not happen everywhere (e.g., not for London churches) but was widespread enough that the existence of BTs should be ascertained (For locating BTs, I recommend Bishops' Transcripts, by J.S.W. Gibson, Federation of Family History Societies (FFHS), 5th ed; (
Microfilm copies of a significant percentage of Church of England registers and/or BTs can be viewed through the facilities of the Family History Library and the network of Family History Centers.
Public Burial Grounds - The Rosary Cemetery, opened in 1825 in Norwich, was the first urban burial ground available to all who paid the fees. Others soon followed in Manchester, Liverpool, and London. (There, Kensal Green was the first in 1832.) If your ancestor died in a large city after 1830, check into new cemeteries and some of the history. In London, Brookwood and other cemeteries competed for the contracts to bury the poor of several London boroughs, not necessarily close by. The wealthy had their preferred burial grounds too. Most people were buried; cremation was not legal before 1884 and the use of this alternative grew very slowly.
Some of these records have been published, some are in local libraries and archives, while others remain with the cemetery. Check online through GENUKI and in the Family History Library Catalog according to the place for resources; regional archives and libraries will also have information, and perhaps the records of the new cemeteries. For London there is a guide, Greater London Cemeteries and Crematoria, published by the Society of Genealogists.
Research Hints - Before beginning a search for burial records consider the date range, the religion of the family, and the size of the community. Directories and topographical dictionaries or detailed gazetteers should list large burial grounds. Once you know if you are searching only in Church of England churchyards, or more widely, then you can check for records and how to access them.
Keep several other facts to the fore. What was the ancestor's home parish? What was his approximate age at death? Where did the ancestor die? (Death may not have occurred at home.) Is the date of death definitely before the start of civil registration, 1 July 1837?
Sherry Irvine, CGRS, FSA (Scot), is an author, teacher, and lecturer specializing in English and Scottish family history. She is the author of Your English Ancestry (2nd ed, 1998) and Your Scottish Ancestry (1997) and she is a regular contributor to several journals including Genealogical Computing. Since 1996, she has been a study tour leader, course coordinator, and instructor for the Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research at Samford University. She teaches online for the family history program of Vermont College and has lectured at conferences in Canada, the United States, and Australia. She is the president of the Association of Professional Genealogists.
Ancestry Daily News, 18 November 2003 * Copyright 2003,

Ten Top Reasons Family Historians Catch the Bug*
Megan Smolenyak Smolenyak - Ancestry Vol. 21, No. 5, Fall 2003

21% School assignment
20% Death of a family member
15% Gave or received a family gift (software, heritage scrapbook, compiled family history, etc.)
11% Other** (See below)
8% Family Stories
7% Desire to share heritage with children
5% Co-workers or family sharing enthusiasm
5% Homeland or cemetery visits
4% Adoptees/orphans seeking answers
4% DAR membership/scholarships
* Statistics taken from random poll of seventy-five family historians.
** Other: taking an adult education class; seeing errors of family data online; receiving a challenge from a church leader; researching why a family name was changed; reading a newspaper notice; etc.


SOCCGS Purchases:
Monroe County, Wisconsin History
Compendium of Mohawk Valley Families Vol. 1; Maryly B. Penrose
Compendium of Mohawk Valley Families Vol. 2; Maryly B. Penrose

Cavaliers & Pioneers, Abstracts of Virginia Land Patents and Grants, Vol. I 1623-1666, Vol. III 1695-1732 by Nell Nugent & Vol. VI, 1749-1762, Vol. VII, 1762-1776 by Dennis Ray Hudgins (We now own the complete set of these books.)

CDs - Scottish Parish Records (4 CDs) Records from Scotland in general, the North of Scotland, the South of Scotland, West Lothian and Midlothian. These records span the period 1538-1855 and contain a mixture of wills, tombstone inscriptions, marriage records, and apprenticeship records. These are copies of original records. (Note: These cds have been ordered and should be in our library by January 15.

(Truth or Imagination?)

In George Washington's days, there were no cameras. One's image was either sculpted or painted. Some paintings of George Washington showed him standing behind a desk with one arm behind his back while others showed both legs and both arms. Prices charged by painters were not based on how many people were to be painted, but by how many limbs were to be painted. Arms and legs are "limbs;" therefore, painting them would cost the buyer more. Hence, the expression, "Okay, but it'll cost you an arm and a leg."


As incredible as it sounds, men and women took baths only twice a year! (May & October) Women always kept their hair covered while men shaved their heads (because of lice and bugs) and wore wigs. Wealthy men could afford good wigs. The wigs couldn't be washed so to clean them, they could carve out a loaf of bread, put the wig in the shell and bake it for 30 minutes. The heat would make the wig big and fluffy, hence the term "big wig." Today we often use the expression "Here comes the Big Wig" because someone appears to be or is powerful and wealthy.


Needless to say, personal hygiene left much room for improvement. As a result, many women and men had developed acne scars by adulthood. The women would spread bee's wax over their facial skin to smooth out their complexions. When they were speaking to each other, if a woman began to stare at another woman's face she was told "mind your own bee's wax." Should the woman smile, the wax would crack, hence the term "crack a smile." Also, when they sat too close to the fire, the wax would melt, and therefore, the expression "losing face."


Ladies wore corsets which would lace up in the front. A tightly tied lace was worn by a proper and dignified lady as in "straight laced".


Common entertainment included playing cards. However, there was a tax levied when purchasing playing cards but only applicable to the "ace of spades." To avoid paying the tax, people would purchase 51 cards instead. Yet, since most games require 52 cards, these people were thought to be stupid or dumb because they weren't "playing with a full deck."


At local taverns, pubs and bars, people drank from pint and quart-sized containers. A bar maid's job was to keep an eye on the customers and keep the drinks coming. She had to pay close attention and remember who was drinking in "pints" and who was drinking in "quarts." Hence, the term "minding your "'P's and Q's."


Early politicians required feedback from the public to determine what was considered important to the people. Since there were no telephones, TV's or radios, the politicians sent their assistants to local taverns, pubs and bars to "go sip some ale" and listen to people's conversations and political concerns. Many assistants were dispatched at different times. "You go sip here" and "You go sip there." The two words "go sip" were eventually combined when referring to the local opinion and thus, we have the term "gossip.


Learn more about Daguerreotype in "Historical Photography. Identification and Preservation," by Diane VanSkiver Gagel >

"A Focus on Family Photographs," By George G. Morgan

"Caring for Your Family's 35mm Slide Collection" by George G. Morgan:

If it is your Scottish ancestors you want to pursue in the banks and braes, the Scottish locality list index pages are located here:

To find a locality message board of interest, start here:

See also RootsWeb's Guide to Tracing Family Trees for Scottish, Scots-Irish and Irish ancestors at: PRONI (Public Records Office of Northern Ireland) has recently added two new data sources.
1) Freeholders (voters) lists for the periods 1785 to 1831. Searchable by name and place.

2) Ulster Covenant with a half million names for 1912
The Freeholders list was especially valuable for Donaghadee and Bangor Parish information in County Down.

You can find numerous pictures of tombstones on the Web, including at: (click on the images to see a larger version)

Researchers in every county of England and Scotland provide a low-cost NO-FIND NO-FEE research service. Get a free e-mail assessment from BRITISH ANCESTORS at:

Valley Forge Legacy: Continental Army Info and Muster Roll
(I found my Elisha Sheldon here!)

To Bathe or Not to Bathe: Coming Clean in Colonial America
by Edwards Park. I don’t have permission to reprint this article in the newsletter, however it is worth reading. Please check it out at: I just checked this site that has 85 free online lessons that are divided into four catagories; Beginning Genealogy, Internet Genealogy, Tracing Immigrant Origins and Researching with At least the first three topics seem to be worthwhile. This site is sponsored by

Heredity: People believe in it until their children act like fools.


Write Your Life Story: Free classes at Santiago Canyon College, 541 North Lemon, Orange. Begins January 14, 2004. Call 714-628-5900 for more information or to register. You may also register at the first class. Learn more about the classes at

Dr. Schweitzer Returns to Hemet February 7, 2004! (I don’t have any further info at this time. If interested, contact H-SJGS, P.O. Box 2516, Hemet, CA 92546)


This is another online converter that may be of use to genealogists: the Roman numeral and date converter. We frequently encounter Roman numerals in the copyright date of older histories and genealogies — and are sometimes at a loss to immediately translate them into Arabic numerals.
A web page entitled, "Roman Numeral and Date Conversion with Roman Calculator" allows users to convert between Arabic and Roman numerals as well as between Julian and Gregorian dates. Users can also determine the day of the week for any Gregorian or Julian date. This can be a handy feature if you would like to discover on what day of the week a particular event occurred in your ancestor's life. By entering in an ancestral birthday of September 23, 1867, for instance, you will discover that date fell on a Saturday.
To use the Roman Numeral and Date Conversion website, please visit


The O. C. Archives are located in the Old Orange County Courthouse, Room 101, 211 W. Santa Ana Blvd., Santa Ana. (This is on the corner of North Broadway and Civic Center Drive.) (714) 834-2636, Hours 1-4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.
According to an October 2003 article in the Orange County Register the records had been unavailable since the O. C. bankruptcy eight years ago.
Some of the records you will find include Great Register of Voters, 1890-1968; Marriages 1889-1953; County directories, 1920-present; deeds & mortgages 1889-1926.

By Carl Hommel

I have noted on some mailing lists mention of the given name of Benoni. This is an unusual name, and some people think that it is an Italian family name and the child is named after his or her mother’s family and then indicate that they have been unable to find a family with that surname.
Actually Benoni is a Biblical name that means "son of my sorrow." It was the original name given to the younger son of the patriarch Jacob. Rachel, his mother, in her dying agony named the child Benoni.
(Genesis 35:18).
This name was often given in American Colonial times to a child whose mother died in childbirth or whose father died before the child was born. In fact, this is an important clue. When one sees the name Benoni, look to see what sad event might have caused the child to be given that name. It might have been the death of a grandparent, a parent or a sibling.
(From the Davenport Rootsweb List. Submitted by Gail Gilbert)

So many cultural symbols are turned into clichés, some by people who
claim to have an Indian Princess as their great grandmother.
Well, some ancestor of mine was a lady-in-waiting to some
English queen but it didn’t improve my housekeeping
abilities and I’m still puzzled by that third fork at good restaurants.

(The following is an announcement from Brigham Young University's Division of Continuing Education)
Brigham Young University Now Has 26 Family History Web Courses For Free

Through the BYU Department of Independent Study, twenty-six, noncredit, family history courses are now available for free. Anyone at anytime can take these online courses from any computer with Internet access.
"Technology has made it possible for us to offer free courses. Our free courses are our regular courses, but we can use the technology to offer those free to an audience that is not requiring credit," said Dwight Laws, Director of Independent Study.
"Last year the department had three family history courses for free, and had 30,000 people finish at least the first lesson. We have no idea what to expect this year where we have many more free courses," mentioned Laws.
The courses cover topics ranging from how to get started to include French, German, Scandinavian and Huguenot research. Each research course is taught by a well-known, accredited genealogist. All course instructional materials are available free online.
There is no time frame required to complete the course. A student could conceivably finish the course in less than twenty-four hours due to a feature called Speedback. Speedback assignments submitted on the course website receive instant feedback.
A person does not need to register for a free course. Anyone can go to the department website at and click on Special Offers to access the free courses.
BYU offers free on-line genealogy tutorials as part of their Independent Study Program:
Other genealogy web courses are available at:

Rules for the Behavior of Children at the Table Colonial America

1. Never sit down until the blessing has been asked.
2. Never ask for anything at the table.
3. Never speak unless spoken to.
4. Never take salt except with a clean knife.
5. Always break the bread; do not bite into a whole slice.
6. When the children have eaten all the food on their plates,
they must leave the room at once.

Our membership dues enable us to have funds for our library, programs, newsletters, insurance and other needs relating to the operation of our organization. The prompt payment of these dues will make it possible to book speakers in advance for 2004 and have the budget ready for membership approval, as the bylaws require.
Thank you,
Mary Jo Nuttall, Treasurer * Iris Graham, Membership Chairman * Mary Jo McQueen, Program Chairman


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