Saddleback Valley Trails

Vol 3 No. 1 Editor: Pat Weeks January 1996

South Orange County California Genealogical Society

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


Monthly meetings are scheduled for the third Saturday of each month and are held from 10 a.m. to Noon at the Norman P. Murray Community Center, 24932 Oso Viejo Drive, Mission Viejo.

20 January 1996 John Smith, President of SOCCGS, will demonstrate the use of the Internet as a tool for doing genealogical research.

17 February 1996 Our guest speaker will be Judith Swan who will talk on researching military records.

16 March 1996 Program to be announced.


19-20 January 1996 The New England Historical Genealogical Society will meet at the Sheridan Hotel in Long Beach CA., sponsored by So. CA. Gen. Society. This includes an evening dinner presentation, over 20 lectures, a book sale and special guest speakers Lloyd D. Bockstruck, Carl Boyer, Janet Jennings, John Schutz, Neil Thompson, and more. Call (617)536-5740, Ext. 202 for details.

3 February 1996 "Festival of Americana" conference sponsored by the Carlsbad LDS Family History Center, corner of Chestnut and Monroe in Carlsbad. Antiques, crafts, 42 family history classes to choose from. 9:00 to 5:00, followed by a music program at 7:00 p.m. See full schedule on back table.

16-18 February 1996 Conference of California Historical Society, Ontario CA.

13-14 April 1996 So. CA. Gen. Society 27th Annual Genealogical Jamboree, Pasadena Center, 300 E. Green St., Pasadena CA. Hours are 8:30-5:30 on April 13th and 9:00-5:00 on April 14th. Contact SCGS, P.O. Box 4377, Burbank CA for more information.


The following names are those of new members who have joined us in the past month:

Don Lokker R0164

Mark A. Carr R0165

Membership renewals were received this month from Mary E. Linebrook, Goldie Gay, Cheryl Edwards, Dorothy Gould, Mary E. Diou, Helen Swanson and Jean Bellinger.



Our December meeting had a surprisingly good turnout of about 45 people, but there were a few absentees, including our Pres., John Smith, who is down with pneumonia we hear. Get well quick, John, for we are all eager to see your Internet presentation in January! Because so many were absent, it was decided to hold the installation of the new Board until the January meeting.


The Mission Viejo Family History Center at 27976 Marguerite Pkwy in Mission Viejo will offer a 10 week genealogy class, Beginner's Level, starting 17 Jan 1996, on Wednesdays from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. Focus will be on Family/Home sources, oral interviews, organization, vital record, census and church records, LDS sources, land and military records, finding lost ladies, colonial ancestors, English research, and Personal Ancestral File. Classes are offered for free, but there is a pre-registration form, and we strongly advise you to call them at (714)364-2742 to insure a place.


Beginning in January, Mary Ellen Lytle will offer 3 basic classes to be held one half hour before our regular meeting to anyone wishing to attend. These classes will cover:

1. Forms and gathering information

2. Archives and resources

3. Correspondence.


We hear from Pat Stafford that Judy Deeter is at it again! Last month she donated 15 items to our library. It appears that Judy cannot pass up a possible source, and when she sees anything of interest at a used book store or garage sale, etc, she buys it and then donates the book to our library. Now that's generosity with a capital G!!!

MESSAGE from Mary Ellen Lytle,

SOCCGS Founding President

On behalf of the society I would like to thank all of the new Board members who have agreed to serve the society next year. However, they cannot perform their duties properly without the help of all of the members. Each member has a skill of some kind which would help one of these officers. I know John Smith will have some vacancies on his board and when he asks for volunteers or calls you on the phone, ask yourself if you could do that job or maybe something else. Being a member of the board is a great experience and a wonderful way to become acquainted with the members of this wonderful group. If we all help in a small way, all of the jobs become less of a burden. Please help your society in some way, and remember, you make the society, not the Executive Board.

John has had a very good year; several projects were completed, and some are on-going. The pedigree charts are an on-going project. Pat Weeks would like to have one chart along with a genealogy story for each of the newsletters. I am indexing these charts and stories and placing them in a binder for our library. A 5 generation chart is not hard to do: make a New Year's resolution that you will submit one to Pat in 1996. Lets make it 100%.

Speaking of New Year's resolutions. What about those old documents that you were going to preserve in mylar? Me included, I still have several sizes of mylar that I would love to sell to anyone. Lets get our projects completed during the first few months of 1996.

And, don't forget to send me your name and six names you are researching for your name badge. Happy New Year,

Mary Ellen Lytle


Our mailing committee, George and Eleanor McInnis, report that some members are not receiving their newsletters, or receive only part of it. The problem lies with the sorting machines used at the central post office, and George has been experimenting around changing labels, folding differently, etc, with no improvement. So, he will continue to try, but if you do not receive your newsletter by the 5th of the month, or it is incomplete, call Pat Weeks or George and you will be sent a second one.


The Whittier Area Genealogical Society (WAGS) is holding an all day seminar on February 24th at Masonic Temple, 7604 S. Greenleaf Ave in Whittier CA. featuring Craig Roberts Scott, MA, C.G.R.S., of the National Archives. Topics will be "Understanding Research in the National Archives", "Reasons for Not Serving in the CW", "Pension Records Research", and "Military Research" Registration begins at 8:00. For further information call (310)697-9902 or (818)728-3916.


The Public Broadcasting System is producing a genealogical series named Ancestors. This ten part series will be the first television series to provide basic information for beginning genealogist and family historians. The program has been developed by leading genealogists, librarians and societies across the country.

Topics will be: Overview of the series; how to start your research at home; interview and documentation of family stories; difference between different type of records; various repositories across the country; census, military and passenger records; focus on Afro-Americans and Native Americans; genetic genealogy; connection between genealogy and computers; benefits of leaving your family history for future generations by publishing.

All genealogists can help ensure this series is broadcast in their area. Contact your local PBS station regarding your interest in the Ancestors series. (Information gleaned from an article in the FGS FORUM, Vol 7 No 3, by Mr. Sterling Van Wagenen via StLGS News'n'Notes December 1995)


By Judy A. Deeter

El Toro Memorial Park will observe its 100th anniversary in 1996. According to records at the facility, the cemetery was established with the burial of Maude Simmons in 1896. There is, however, a bit of a mystery surrounding this first burial. You see, Maude Simmons' tombstone indicates that she died in June 1895. Was she brought to the cemetery from another location, or is the date the cemetery was established incorrect?

Why is there nearly a year difference between the date Maude Simmons died and the date that records indicate she was buried. Perhaps we will never know. Historians studying individuals buried at the site can tell us a little of Maude Simmons.

Maude Simmons was the daughter of Henry S. Simmons and Julia Bowler Simmons. She was born in St. Clair County, Illinois on 2 November 1880. A woman who played a great role in Maude's life was Louisa Simmons DeLong. Louisa was thought to be Maude's sister, although she was nearly 21 years older than Maude.

The family had previously lived in Missouri. It was there that Louisa became the second wife of Illinois native James DeLong. They were married in Marion County, Missouri, on 15 September 1885.

James DeLong worked for the Atcheson, Topeka and Santa Fe Railroad. He was El Toro's first section foreman and in charge of the men who repaired the railroad track between Irvine and San Juan Capistrano. He also owned El Toro's first store, which burned in 1917. James and Louisa DeLong had one son.

No one knows why Maude Simmons died in 1895. A record of her death has not been found. Her sister Louisa was the second person buried at El Toro Memorial Park. In fact, both are shown as being buried 20 May 1896 although Maude is shown as buried first. Louise died 19 May 1896 and her death certificate indicates she died of tuberculosis.

Maude and Louisa were early pioneers of El Toro. Their story of migration from the eastern United States to California is typical of many individuals here in the late 1800s.

Anyone with further information about the sisters should contact Judy Deeter, El Toro Memorial Park Centennial Committee Chairman, 4 Altezza Drive, Mission Viejo CA. 92692-5107.


Member Jean E. Bellinger's "My Ancestral Quest"

Some of my earliest recollections are my paternal grandmother's bedtime stories of her family history. Her father's family, the SISSONS, were from New England and the most colorful character was Ethan Allen; Grandma wasn't certain how he was related but she was sure he was - maybe married to some great aunt. Grandma's mother's family were the SMITHS, originally from North Carolina via Tennessee and Indiana. Her parents, W.W. Sisson and Susan Mary Smith were married in 1862 in NE Iowa where I grew up.

Of Grandma's husband's family, the BELLINGERS and the EMMERTS,very little history was told; the only information I got was that they were Pennsylvania Dutch from Alsace-Lorraine and that Grandma and my father visited some of the family in Somerset, Pennsylvania, in 1940.

My mother's family origins were much easier to understand: her mother's parents immigrated to Wisconsin from Scotland in the late 1800s while her father immigrated to Minnesota with his parents from Oslo Norway in the late 1800s also. My paternal grandfather's surname PFUTZENREUTER sounds more German than Norwegian, but no one could explain.

In 1962 my family moved to Anaheim, California, and I later heard that my dad's cousin had, by extensive travel to big-city libraries in Chicago, the East and England, traced the SISSONS to John COOKE, Richard WARREN (both Mayflower passengers) and (?) William the Conqueror,

I never did anything with family history until my children were born in the eighties, and I attempted to do their family tree, not getting very far. Nor could my husband offer much on his ancestors; a book of his maternal grandmother's family traces her father's ROSS family to Revolutionary War figures Mercy OTIS (a lineal descendant of John ALDEN) and Perrin ROSS. His family always believed they were related to Ben Franklin through the ROSSES.

In 1992 when I left my 24 year accountancy career (I'm still a California-licensed CPA) to home-teach my two children, (I'm teacher educated)I received a letter from a BELLINGER offering to sell very cheaply an enormous family tree (1,000 plus descendants) of the first U.S.BELLINGER, Johannes, who came to N.Y. from Germany in 1709. I bought a copy, it was legitimate, then lay awake nights trying to figure out where my great grandfather fit in the tree.

At the end of 1993 I received a very complete ancestral path for my grandfather back to Johannes and his progenitors in Germany, as well as much more late nineteenth and twentieth century information, from a cousin; the puzzle came together. This good fortune encouraged me to continue my Mayflower Society file and in 1994 joined SOCCGS to learn how "to do" genealogy.

Earlier this year I sent my husband's ROSS history to the California Mayflower historian, who called and wrote me of the missing links between Mercy OTIS ROSS and John ALDEN as well as direct ROSS links to Richard WARREN: my husband and I are both the tenth great grandchildren of Richard and Elizabeth WARREN. We are eleventh cousins!

Two of my ancestral lines are especially challenging: 1)SMITH and ELLIS. Having traced my GG grandparents Lewis B. SMITH (born N.C. abt 1797/8) and Susannah ELLIS (Born TN abt 1802/3) to their marriage record of 1819 in Greene Co. TN, I am at an impasse. 2)PFUTZENREUTER/FITZROY. I found my GG grandfather Sebastian PFUTZENREUTER's 1796 birthplace in Kammerforst, Thuringen, Germany, and family oral history that says his grandfather was a commanding officer in an Irish revolution and had to flee Ireland for Saxony where he changed his name from FITZROY to PFUTZENREUTER. I have fruitlessly researched this story in history books. Where do I go now?

Shortly after I joined the SOCCGS, I saw Ruby Lewis WHITE's pedigree chart, noting that her great grandfather came from the same New York county as my BELLINGER ancestors. Through her help I connected with a third cousin once removed, who supplied much history including the burial site of my GGG grandparents which I visited in June of this year.

Many thanks to Ruby and the Society as I continue my nonstop ancestral quest with the ultimate goal of memorializing through written histories the lives of my husband's and my family members and ancestors.

By Jean Bellinger (Mrs. Christopher Pinckney)


In the November newsletter I ran a short article concerning a program to identify Confederate Veterans burial sites. The person to contact was one Dennis Todd, who has written back to SOCCGS member John Williams that he is NOT the person to contact. Poor Mr Todd has been deluged with requests, and has no idea how his name and address were originally supplied for this project.


John T. Boone Jr., a descendant of Daniel Boone has obtained a divorce at Clayton, a suburb of St Louis, from Ethyl Edwards Boone, a g-g-grandniece of Thomas Jefferson.

One of the allegations Boone made on the witness stand was that his wife repeatedly told him that her family tree was superior to his. She considered Thomas Jefferson a more distinguished ancestor than the great Kentucky pioneer and Indian fighter.

Boone is an insurance promoter. The pair were married in 1892. Though Mrs Boone had announced that she would contest the suit, she did not appear in court. Her physician said she was ill.

Boone said his wife was fond of referring to her mother, Mary Barbour Jefferson Edwards as one of the proud line of Jeffersons and frequently said that the Boones looked like washerwomen when compared with the Jeffersons. (Ontario CA Daily Republic, Dec 28, 1911, copied from WAGS Newsletter, December 1995)

An item that was recently acquired by the Historical Society of Millersburg & Upper Paxton Twp, Pa. was an insurance policy on a horse purchased by J. George Wert of Killinger in 1871. The policy was purchased from the Pennsylvania Horse Thief Detecting and Insurance Company for the consideration of $3.50 with a premium note of $14.00 for a term of five years. (The Herald, Hist. Soc of Millersburg, Winter 1995)


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