Saddleback Valley Trails

South Orange County California Genealogical Society

Vol. 16 No. 1

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

January 2009

Editor: Mary Jo McQueen

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 interested in genealogy. Individual membership fees are $20 per calendar year, $25 for joint membership.
SOCCGS is not affiliated with the LDS Family History Center.

It's A New Year!
General Meeting – 17 January 2009

“A Rich Family Heritage in Virginia”
Presented By
Bill Tosh

          SOCCGS member, Bill Tosh, will share some of his ancestors’ Virginia history using an assortment of interesting photos, documents and enlightening stories. Documentation regarding the Tosh family line has special significance to the region in and around Roanoke. How he has acquired much of his information is an interesting story in itself. Also, Bill has a significant number of Revolutionary War veterans in his ancestral line. If time allows, he will share some of this information.
          Bill served in the United States Marine Corps for 22 years. During his time in the service, he played in a military band. After retirement, Bill taught for nearly 20 years in the Orange and Westminster school districts primarily in the field of Music and English. He plays the flute, saxophone and clarinet. Bill participates several times a week playing in a musical group at various functions in Orange County. He has been involved in genealogy for 8 plus years and has discovered his family’s rich heritage in the early history of our country.

2009 Calendar
February 21 - Liz Skookesberry Myers, "Maps"
March 21 - Caroline Rober, (No program selection yet.)
April 18 - Kathleen Trevena - "Crossing a Continent: Migration Between
The Revolution and the Civil War"
May 16 - Herb Abrams, Internet Research

Safari News

          On January 28 we will journey to the Los Angeles Public Library. Since we make this trip just once a year, you will want to make a special effort to go along. It is likely we will need more than Bill’s car. In order to prepare for this fact-finding excursion you can go to the LAPL website and peruse the genealogy books available. Also, it is always good to make a list of research goals.
          Cars will leave the LDS parking lot promptly at 9 a.m. This will be an all day and into the evening foray. You may bring lunch; eat in the library food court or in one of the nearby restaurants. We will have dinner on the way home. Don’t forget to bring $$ for your driver.

"Brick Walls"

          A special feature at the January meeting will be time set aside to explore “brick walls.” So, be prepared to begin a new search for those elusive ancestors. Also, if you have climbed over such a “wall” you will have an opportunity to share this success and, thereby, help your fellow researchers.

Holiday Party Meeting

~Bill Bluett

          About 55 members the annual holiday gathering and enjoyed hot cider, lasagna, dessert and good company. Many brought Christmas gifts for children in need, which were then delivered by Karyn Schumaker. Jack Naylor installed the elected officers for 2009.
          Thank you to all who shared special “Christmas Memories” at the December meeting. It was an enjoyable time hearing memorable stories from the past. At times, there were some emotional moments to which we can all relate during the Holiday Season.
          We heard from Myrna Hamid McGuigan who shared memories with old family sleigh bells and two special Christmas ornaments; Marcia Roy shared her childhood photo as a ballerina; Karen Miller read some of her grandmother’s childhood stories that took place in Arkansas; Rosanna Gahran told of her grandmother’s childhood stories from Germany; Trish Leard reiterated how her father was involved in Christmas gatherings for needy children for nearly 40 years right here in Orange County; Joyce Van Schaack shared a few Christmas memories of her childhood when times were financially difficult for her parents; David Flint shared childhood memories of Christmases in England and Canada. Mary Jo McQueen showed a picture of Revolutionary troops on Christmas 1776.
          Ann Hagerty told about providing Holiday gifts and meals for marines at Camp Pendleton. She then delivered to them the excess cookies from the dessert table. Pat McCoy delivered a message from Beverly Long who was unable to attend.

Past President's Message

~Bill Bluett

          Wow! What a great year the Society enjoyed in 2008. To begin with, membership increased by more than 20%. Over 40 new persons joined this past year. We thank you all for becoming a part of our “genealogy family.”
          Now, I would like to say “Thank You” to each board member for all they have done this past year. To Nellie Dominick, who provided great programs for our monthly meetings; Sandy Crowley, for the detail and thoroughness of the board and general meeting minutes; Pat Weeks, for all the “thank you” notes and other correspondence that she mailed out; Mary Jo McQueen who keeps our finances in order right down to the penny; and “What in the world would we do without our great newsletter?” To Jack Naylor, our smiling, humorous greeter, who tracks our visitors and new members; Herb Abrams for keeping our library computers and printers humming right along; Bunny Smith, who has our genealogy library well organized and the docents well trained; Shirley Fraser who kept our Board of Directors in line with our “bylaws”. Trish Leard - Has great refreshments each month and encourages member participation. Barbara Wilgus – For keeping our scrapbook filled with great photos from all our events.
          The 2008 Safari trips were fun and informative for all members who participated. Of course, the long journeys to the L.A. area and the San Fernando Valley always include a great dinner with interesting conversation around the table. The October Seminar was another big success thanks to all who volunteered to serve as well as the 118 folks who attended. All things come together very easily when you have the support of such a wonderful group of genealogists (over 240 of us). It made my job so much easier when so many of you pitched in to help, encourage and/or participated.
          There were approximately 55 folks at the December meeting! That is one of the largest gatherings we’ve ever had during the Holiday Season. The b\lunch, desserts, and sharing of Christmas memories made it a delightful event. In closing, I want to thank you all for your wonderful support these past two years. It has been a pleasure and an honor to serve as your Society President. I look forward to serving as program chairman in 2009.

Member Badges

          Ladies, Please stop by the check-in table to pick up a new badge holder. Bring your current badge and make the change. Don’t have one? Sign up and Herb will make you one. Gentlemen, of course, may have a new badge holder, but this change is being made particularly with women in mind. The main thing is that we should all wear our badges at each meeting.

I could be wrong, but ...
"Drill for oil? You mean drill into the ground to try and find oil? You're crazy."
~Drillers whom Edwin L. Drake tried to enlist for his project to drill for oil, 1859

President's Message

~Sandy Crowley

          Welcome to 2009, the fifteenth year of great SOCCGS meetings, events and activities! At our December 2008 meeting we elected officers for the New Year. I am excited to be serving as your new President along with Bill Bluett, Vice President, Cindie Reilly, Recording Secretary, Pat Weeks, Corresponding Secretary, and Mary Jo McQueen, Treasurer. I have selected several committee chairmen – some new and some continuing - to round out the board. They will be introduced at January’s meeting.
          Bill Bluett has agreed to lead January’s meeting for me, as I have a commitment for the day that was set in place before my nomination. I’ll see you all for February’s meeting.
          Many of you already know me but I would like to share some information about myself with you all. I am from the south, being born in New Orleans. By age two I was in Ft. Worth, Texas. Most of my paternal relatives still reside in Texas and I’m very fond of the state as well as the family members. By age five I was in California, so I am almost a native. I graduated from Palos Verdes High School in 1963 and went on to school at Monterey Peninsula College, then CSULA. After marrying, I moved to Irvine in 1973 and had two children. After working for Toshiba America for 15 years I have been a Realtor now for five years with Tarbell in Laguna Hills.
          Some of my interests, in addition to genealogy, include reading, history, music and spending time with my three grandchildren following their scout, school and sporting activities, and supporting Habitat for Humanity. Who knew I could help build a house. My interest in genealogy began when my paternal grandmother passed in 1991. Until then I had not spent much time thinking about my ancestors. My mother had completed her research and handed it over to me. That was easy. After my paternal grandmother passed, I realized I knew almost nothing of my paternal history. I had taken a few notes from grandmother, but had always thought I’d sit down with her “later” to get the whole scoop. How many of us have waited too long? Using her notes I called the few elders I could locate. I arranged to travel to Texas and interview them and get copies of the pictures, etc. This is when I discovered that the door is always open to fellow genealogists. Certainly, there isn’t a more welcoming and generous group of people.
          Upon returning home I wandered over to the National Archives to look around. Not being shy, I asked a couple of researchers what those forms were that they were using and how they were gathering data? Armed with sample family history sheets, I was directed to the Orange Family History Center. This became my Saturday haunt for months and I learned much from others there. Genealogists do like to help others. I read about the OCGS in Huntington Beach and went to a few meetings there. Luckily, I ran into SOCCGS member Shirley Fraser, who informed me of the group right in my backyard. I joined and have been active since. I have learned so much while being part of this friendly, encouraging and helpful group of researchers. I have previously served as Hospitality Chairman and Recording Secretary. I am a docent at the library’s genealogy section. I enjoy our Safaris when I can get away, and especially enjoy our annual October all-day seminar.
          I’ll tell you more about my ancestors in future articles, but here’s an overview. My maternal people were from England and my paternal folks came from England and Scotland. The English first came in the early and mid-1600s. Names included Venable, Woodall, and Anderson. The Venables arrived and were very active in government and politics in Virginia. The first Englishman to arrive was 11-year-old Christopher Reynolds, who came into Jamestown in 1621. I am amazed at the bravery of the boy and his family who put him on a sailing ship to go to an unknown land. The Woodalls and Andersons were also from England. My Scots (Tannahill) came later - in the 1840s. They left us beautiful letters describing the voyage here and the trip across land. The Tannahills ended up in Texas, where most descendants remain. My research has shown me what many of these folks were like – a mixed bag of characters. Many were brave and of good character. They run the range from serving in the House of Burgesses in Virginia, being leaders and strong hardworking people, to a colorful horse thief. I have gotten so much more out of history by learning how my ancestors lived and why they moved around as they did.
          I hope we all find many more insights into our ancestors’ lives during this year’s research. Let those brick walls fall! See you all in February.

Surname List

          Have you searched the SOCCGS Surname Website lately?
Please check your information, and if corrections and/or additions are necessary notify Herb at or (949) 581-6292). New members may add their information by sending an email to Herb listing surnames, locations and years being researched.


          We recently received word that Eugenia Gannon passed away at her home in Pagosa Springs, Colorado on November 19. Many of us have good memories of Eugenia. She was one of SOCCGS founding members and one of the best volunteers at the Laguna Niguel National Archives. She always had a funny story to tell. We will miss her.
          Following is a memory from Judy Deeter: “Many years ago I was sitting next to Eugenia at the National Archives. We were both looking at census record films. Eugenia told me that she was having trouble finding information about the wife of one of her ancestors. She was going to attend a séance that night to see if she could contact her ancestor. She planned to personally ‘ask’ her long-dead ancestor the answer to her genealogical question. In return, Eugenia was doing genealogical research for the woman giving the séance. My question to Eugenia, was why would a woman who could talk to dead ancestors need Eugenia's help in finding those same ancestors? Eugenia didn't really have an answer but I teased her about the search for a long time. For whatever reason, she always liked to call me Dudy Jeeter. We had such fun. Eugenia was a delightful woman with a wonderful sense of humor.”

Sears, Roebuck and Co.

~Mickie Dempsey

          A couple of weeks before Christmas one of the evening news programs featured a segment about the significance of the Sears catalog at Christmas time, calling particular attention to the tradition of excitement generated by the “Wish Book.”
          That story ignited memories of my own youthful dreams as I shared that exalted tome with my nine siblings. But those were not the only thoughts nudging their way into my mind. After my sentimental reverie, I quickly got down to the business of Googling “Sears catalog,” and similar terms, to learn a bit of the history of the catalogs, and the possible significance for us consummate genealogists ever looking for ways to flesh out our ancestors’ lives. Beginning in the 1890’s, what fashionable styles did Grandma and Great Grandma have to choose from? What new-fangled machinery was offered to the up-to-date craftsman or farmer? As one site put it, “They (the catalogs) provide an invaluable record of material culture of American life by showing us what people needed in everyday life and what they wished for in their everyday dreams. The Sears catalogs are a vast diary of the times and provide a glimpse into the not so distant past of our ancestors. They also are a record of American progress and technological advances.”
          While the actual catalogs are considered collectors’ items, it is possible to find microfilmed copies at some libraries. Apparently the UCLA Research Library is one such place. Imagine finding pictures of cars for sale (Yes, Sears sold automobiles!) and learning the vintage of that old-time car in an aging family photo. Just think of the possibilities.

Apple Hill Cake Recipe

~Pat Nostrome

          This delicious cake was served at the December 2008 SOCCGS Holiday party:
          2 eggs, 2 C sugar, ½ C oil, 1 t vanilla, 2 C flour, 2 t baking soda, 2 t cinnamon, 1 t nutmeg, ¼ t salt, 4 C apples, finely diced, 1 C nuts, chopped. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In large mixing bowl, beat eggs well. Add sugar & beat again. Beat in oil and vanilla. In separate bowl sift together flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Add to creamed mixture. Stir in apples & nuts and pour into greased, floured 13 x 9 x 2 inch pan. Bake 45 to 55 minutes. Cake should be very, very moist. Serves 12.
          Note from Pat: “I used Fuji apples. Tested for doneness with the clean toothpick method. It would be good with whipped cream.” **This recipe is from the "Sweet Surprises" Home Economics Teachers cookbook.

Newsletter Submissions

          Please send ancestor stories, web site information or items of special interest to the newsletter editor by Wednesday following the monthly meeting. These may be sent via email or Word attachment and must be 800 words or less, Arial size 11 font. All submissions are subject to editorial approval, and may be edited for content or space. Articles should be of genealogical significance. Complete stories, outlines and/or rough drafts will be accepted. Send to:

Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising up every time we fail.

~Ralph Waldo Emerson

"Some Websites of Interest to Genealogists"
  Library and Archives Canada is pleased to announce that its partner, the National Archives of Ireland, has launched the next important phase of an online census research tool for the Irish counties of Antrim, Kerry, and Down for 1911. The census records for all counties for 1911 and for 1901 will be made available online throughout 2009. To visit the Irish Census Online and the virtual exhibition on life in Ireland in 1911 (in English only).
  Where are the State lines? Did you lose an Ancestor who lived in this area? North & South Carolina State Lines. Read this interesting article.
  A look Back In History.
  Here is an index to over 1,400,000 obituaries, death & marriage notices & other sources from Ohio from the 1810s to the present day.
  Economic History can help you figure out whether your ancestor was prince or a pauper. Use these calculators to get an idea.
  Kansas Memory – Some topics: Agriculture, Collections, Community Life, Education, Home & Family, Military Objects & Artifacts, People, Places & Transportation.
  Index to Military Rolls of the Republic of Texas 1835-1845.
  Searching in the San Francisco area? Try this website.
  Excellent source of indexes for Franklin County, Kansas.
  Named one of “Family History Magazine’s” best websites for tracing your roots.
  The Proceedings of the Old Bailey, 1674-1913 - A fully searchable edition of the largest body of texts detailing the lives of non-elite people ever published, containing 197,745 criminal trials held at London's central criminal court.
  Barbara Renicks’ tutorials “Researching on”.

Indiana Genealogy

          A Web companion to The Hoosier Genealogist: Connections, the Indiana Historical Society's family history journal, Online Connections connects Hoosier descendants to their ancestors by supplying family data from rare source material. Online Connections also links the data articles to the repositories housing the collections from which the data is derived. Wherever possible, Online Connections also links articles to the collection guides and/or to digitized documents from those collections.

(Easy to connect by typing “Indiana Historical Society Online Connections” into Google.)

Historical Books Digitization -

Family Search and Houston Public Library

          Free online digital images of Houston Public Library's collection of county and local histories, registers of individuals, directories of Texas Rangers, church histories, and biographical dictionaries is the latest cooperative project of FamilySearch.
          Some are now online, however the entire project will take about 5 years to complete. Texas records are the first to be digitized and will be followed by other Gulf Coast states.
          FamilySearch will digitally preserve thousands of Houston Public Library's historic publications dating from 1795 to 1923, and provide free access to the images online.
          Family History Library Catalog at will provide links as these are digitized. The growing collection can be accessed currently at (go to > Search Records, then > Historical Books).

(Thank you to Donna Hobbs, Bill Tosh, Patti Russell & Pat Nostrome for contributing to this page.)

“An Ancestor I Wish I Had Known”

~Mickie Dempsey

          My great grandmother, Elizabeth (Bettie) Hulvey, was born in 1856 in Rockingham County, Virginia, the ninth of twelve children. On the eve of the Civil War her father, Madison, a blacksmith, died at the age of 48, leaving his widow with nine children still at home. The first question I’d like to ask Bettie is how her mother managed to support her family. I know that the two oldest boys went off to war, so they weren’t in a position to earn a living or to help the family. The younger of the two had died by June of 1862 and the older boy lost his left arm at the Battle of the Wilderness. I suppose it’s possible that Caroline Hulvey sent the remaining children to live with neighbors or relatives. However, by the time of the 1870 US Census mother and seven children were living together at Ashby, Virginia and the four boys, including 24-year old George, were listed as day laborers.
          That brings me to my second question: How did George manage to get a college education? A biographical sketch of George Hulvey, who became Superintendent of the Rockingham School District, states, “After partially recovering (from battle wounds), he was returned to his home. He resumed his studies, completing his classical work at the University of Virginia in 1869.” Once again, I have to wonder where the money came from. I do not have a date for George’s first teaching position, but apparently he was still working on a farm in 1870.
          While I’m on the subject of education, I’d love to ask my great grandmother if the war interfered with her schooling. Part of the Civil War had been fought practically at their doorstep. As reported on the website Shenandoah at War, “The Rockingham County area... experienced the Civil War in all of its phases. “...When Sheridan ordered barns, mills, crops, factories, warehouses, and furnaces destroyed in a thirteen-day campaign to neutralize the bounty of the Valley, Rockingham County took a devastating blow. Here hundreds of structures were burned. Farm animals and tons of grain by the thousands were seized or destroyed.” I can’t imagine that school buildings were spared in that wanton destruction. Did Bettie and her siblings have to give up their classes both during the war and afterwards? I have two letters written by Bettie in her old age, so I know that she was literate if not particularly impressively so. I also know from my grandmother’s diaries, that her parents boarded school teachers in their home and Bettie seemed to be involved in supporting various school programs. Where was she educated and by whom? Why her apparent interest in education?
          By the time the 1880 census was taken, some of the family had moved to Montgomery County, Indiana. Bettie’s mother, Caroline, had died four years earlier. Bettie had married in 1874 and Rebecca in 1875. Ella was nineteen and unmarried, but she could have been guided by her sisters and brother Samuel, who had also left Virginia to live in Indiana. Another obvious question for my great grandmother is why Caroline and her younger children moved to Indiana. I would guess that maybe living with reminders of the devastation of war and having buried two daughters as well as her son, James, after her husband’s death, she just felt it was time to leave so much sorrow behind. But still, she was also leaving behind four sons and her oldest daughter in Virginia. What lured her to Indiana? Had Samuel gone ahead of his mother to Sugar Creek and then invited her and his sisters to join him? If so, why did he choose that tiny town over 600 miles away?
          Whatever it was that brought the Hulveys and the Trobaughs (Bettie’s married name) to Indiana, it didn’t keep Bettie there when Mr. Trobaugh died. She eventually married my great grandfather, William Allen. Probably not too long after their wedding day, they loaded up their belongings and readied 13-year- old Fleta and 9-year-old Alvie for an 1800-mile train ride. Their destination was Los Angeles, California. The Allen’s baby daughter, Leora, was born January 2, 1889. I do not know whether she was born in Indiana or in California. But sadly, little Leora died in California December 5, 1889.
          Once again, I’d like to ask why this family, like the Hulveys before them, chose to move away from their familiar surroundings. Some books of the time certainly made California sound inviting. It’s possible the Allen’s were lured by the enticing promises of that literature. In 1886, just two or three years before Bettie, William and family moved west, a group of speculators had purchased a large piece of land and started developing it, calling the new town “Burbank.” Did the developer’s advertisements reach Indiana?
          Some day I may be able to answer some of these questions, but one thing I’ll always be left to wonder is how much did the Civil War affect Beattie personally? She was just a young child when the war began and still quite young when it ended. Did she ever contemplate the irony of having two husbands who had fought on opposite sides in that war? Did the fact that her brother George fought for the Confederacy make a difference in their adult relationship? Did she have strong opinions about the war? Or, was her life so full of family, church, chores and life in the present that she never gave it a thought?


January 31 – The Palm Springs Genealogical Society presents “Your Family History Shaken and Stirred!” featuring Forensic Genealogist, Colleen Fitzpatrick. Information: or (760) 323-0250.
February 28 - Whittier Area Genealogical Society annual seminar. Keynote speaker will be Curt Witcher, head of the Genealogy Department of the Allen County Public Library in Indiana. Contact Judy Poole, (909) 985-6657, or Christine Johns, (310) 995-8852,
March 14 – The Genealogical Society of North Orange County California presents “One-Step Webpages: A Potpourri of Genealogical Search Tools” featuring Stephen Morse, Ph.D.
For information: or (714) 777-2379.
March 28 – North San Diego County Genealogical Society (Carlsbad) will host a Spring Seminar featuring Kory L. Meyerink. Contact Nina Anderson at or (760) 599-9958.


President................................ Bill Bluett.................................
Vice President……..................... Nellie Domenick........................
Recording Secretary…............... Sandy Crowley.........................
Corresponding Secretary............ Pat Weeks..............................
Treasurer............................... Mary Jo McQueen....................
Membership............................ Jack Naylor.............................
Publicity/Webmaster................. Herb Abrams...........................
Librarian................................. Bunny Smith............................
Parliamentarian........................ Shirley Fraser...........................
Hospitality............................... Trish Leard.............................  
Historian................................. Barbara Wilgus.........................
Newsletter Editor...................... Mary Jo McQueen....................

SOCCGS Website @

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