Saddleback Valley Trails

Vol 10 No 2 ...Editor: Gail Gilbert ...February 2003

South Orange County California Genealogical Society

 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.

Well Wishes for our President

For those of you who were not at the last meeting, we want to let you know that our new president, Joe Barney, has been hospitalized and has undergone heart by-pass surgery. Members of the Board have kept in close touch and are relieved to let us all know that he is recovering well. However, we expect it will be some time before he will be able to take on the duties for our society, so our fully qualified vice pres. (and former president), Mary Jo McQueen, will fill in for him in his absence. We all wish Joe our wishes for a speedy and complete recovery.


$20 for a single membership and $25 for a couple. Please help our treasurer and membership chairman by sending in your check as soon as possible. You can use the prepared form at the end of this newsletter if you like. The 2003 budget is due to be approved in February, so we need to have as many memberships renewed before then to help us with 2003 planning. Remember, dues are delinquent March 1, and you will miss out on receiving the newsletter if you don't pay before then.

15 February 2003

Our speaker will be Wendy Elliott whose topic will be "Buried Treasure: Lost in Print", a detailed description of methodologies to use to find records which are seemingly "lost." Her talk will address techniques to use to find entries that are "buried" due to differences in 19th century record systems and 20th century indexes.

Wendy Bebout Elliott, PhD, a professor of history at Calif. State Univ. Fullerton, teaches U.S. history courses and has taught genealogy course work at the university and community college levels. She serves as (First) Vice President, Administration, for the Federation of Genealogical Societies and on two committees for the National Genealogical Society. She served as president of the California State Genealogical Alliance for a total of eight years. She is a nationally known lecturer and author. Her publications include The Library with Johni Cerny, four chapters in Ancestry's Redbook and two chapters in Printed Sources along with numerous articles in national, regional, state and local genealogical society publications.


The next SOCCGS Safari will be on February 26 to the Los Angeles Public Library. This will be a long day as we leave the parking lot at 9 a.m. and return in the evening after some of the traffic has cleared. There are places to buy lunch or you can bring your own. We usually have dinner after leaving the library. Please be prepared to pay your driver for your share of the cost of the trip. This is a great genealogical library and, on safari, we make it there only about twice a year.


From Feb.22 to March 1, The City of San Clemente will be celebrating its 75th Anniversary as an Incorporated City. Week-long activities will include Historical Society displays, Classic Car Show, 1920's Silent Movies, a "Speakeasy Dance," and a parade and fireworks. A schedule of all events will be available at the SOCCGS February monthly meeting. For any additional information, call Bill Bluett at 492-9408. You may also visit the San Clemente Historical Society. Their hours are Tues-Fri from 1-4 pm or Sat from 12-4 pm.


8 February 2003 The South Bay Cities Genealogical Society will hold a seminar, featuring Joan Lowrey, in Redondo Beach at the Knob Hill Community Center, from 10 am to 2:30 pm. For additional Information:

21-23 February 2003 Czech/Slovak Genealogical Society International will conduct their third winter symposium at the Sheraton Phoenix East, Mesa, Arizona. For those of our members who are interested in researching this East-Central European area, it should be well worth the drive to hear the roster of outstanding speakers scheduled for this event. Speaker profiles and topics, as well as registration information, are listed in a flyer available at our library.

22 February 2003 WAGS will hold their 21st annual seminar at the Whittier Masonic Lodge. Featured speaker will be Katherine Scott Sturdevant whose topic will be"The Immigrant Experience; Trailing Families: Westward Migration Patterns in Family History; Don't Throw it Away! Utilizing Artifacts in Family History & Writings; and Let Family Papers Speak for Themselves: Documentary Editing for Family Historians." Information and registration form are available at or contact Jean Bogart <> or at (626) 333-1194. Cost for non-members is $35.

28 February - 1 March 2003 The Southern California Genealogical Society (SCGS) will hold their 34th Jamboree at the Pasadena Center from 1-9 pm on Friday and 9 am - 6 pm on Saturday. Additional info at .

29-30 March 2003 The New England Historical Genealogical Society Conference, hosted by the CA Gen. Soc., will be held at the Asilomar Conference Center on the Monterey Peninsula. Detailed information at . This one is up the Coast a ways, but I can't think of a more beautiful place for a conference than the Asilomar Conference Center! If you haven't been there, you might want to combine this event with a weekend holiday retreat.

Attending A National Conference
by Nancy Giles
Reprinted with the author's permission from the WAGS Beginner's Column, Newsletter Vol. 22, No. 4, Sept. 2002
Nancy Giles co-chaired the FGS Conference, hosted by CSGA, at the Ontario CA Conference Center last August.

Where did the summer go? In fact, where has the whole year gone? However, I always look forward to September and resuming the classes. Remember, that it is also a learning period for me too, because as I prepare for each class, I either trace the steps of a genealogical task that I have done, or do something new, so that I can have the experience to share with the class.

This summer was one of a real learning experience as I attended my first national conference. I have not been able to attend conferences in the past, because usually they fall on a date that interferes with the class or some personal event that demands my being there instead. But for years I have wanted to attend one, and this year was a wonderful opportunity to do so. Of course, I had never dreamed of becoming a conference co-chairperson, but that's what happens when you are friends with the national conference chair and you happen to live in the community where the conference will be held.

Enough about that. I want to share with you some of the wonderful experiences this conference gave me in the hopes that when you have the chance to attend a conference or seminar in the future that you will take advantage of it.

First of all, you have the opportunity to learn from the best. Every class I attended taught me so much and inspired me even more to work on my genealogy and to share with you all. The only disappointment I heard, or felt about the classes was that you couldn't be at all of them; you had to select one of the several being offered at the same time.

Second, the networking you can do at such an affair is unbelievable. You never know what will lead you to find "a cousin" or someone else researching your surname/s. You will have to attend the September beginner's class to hear my couple of stories about this. (How is that for a bribe?)

Third, the opportunity is there to see and/or purchase the latest genealogical items, sometimes before the general public has it made available to them. At this conference a vendor had a small microfilm reader that was actually portable, and available at a very nominal price. Another vendor had a microfilm reader that included a scanner in it. This one was a little more pricey. New CDs were introduced and several societies had representatives there to answer your questions and let you know what they have planned for the future. Many of the vendors offered "conference only" discounts on their merchandise.

Many people do not realize the benefits versus the cost of attending a conference. This conference was in our own neighborhood, so to speak, and when I broke down the $141 cost for the four days, I realized that each day cost little more than attending a one day seminar. Of course to attend a conference out of state or the immediate area involves transportation and lodging costs also (unless you happen to have a relative or friend in the area!), but sometimes your expenses can be reduced by group participation, such as forming a car pool, volunteering in some instances, etc.

This article is a little diverse from the beginning class subjects, but I wanted to share with you these thoughts about the conference. WAGS will be presenting the annual seminar in February and although our vendors are more society related, you will have the opportunity to learn, network and reap the same rewards.

(See under "Other Scheduled Events" for the WAGS Seminar coming up on February 22.)

Website Class a Big Success

There was quite a turn out for the "how to create a website" class on Jan. 5th, and we want to thank both John Smith and Herb Abrams for their very learned presentations. We are very fortunate to have these two engineers with the computer know-how as members of our society, and we appreciate their willingness to contribute their time and share their expertise with the rest of us. Anyone who is interested, including those who were not able to make it to the class, can see a copy of Herb's handout at. http://www.soccgs.orggeocities.html. John's handout is online at In addition, for those who attended the class and would like continued assistance in starting their websites, Herb has started a special "Web Design E-Mail Newsgroup" where you can submit your queries and get solutions to your problems. To join this group, simply notify Herb at <> and he will add your email address to the list.

This special group list is not to be confused with our society mailing list which is maintained by Rootsweb. Remember, to subscribe to the SOCCGS Mailing List, simply send a message to, and include the word subscribe in the body of the message and no other text. Once you have joined, to post to the list, send your e-mail message to If you ever want to leave the list, send a message to and include only the word unsubscribe in the body of the message. Incidentally, this is the procedure for participating in any Rootsweb sponsored list. If you have email capability, do consider joining the society list. It is a way to keep fully informed as a member. You will not be overwhelmed with emails, but you may learn about something that is happening in between the meetings and the newsletters.

Allen County Library To Be Renovated

If you are planning to make a trip to the Allen County Library in Fort Wayne, Indiana in the near future, you should be aware that the entire collection of the Historical Genealogy Dept. has been removed to an interim location while the current building is going through renovation and expansion. This interim site is only a few blocks from the current library, the address being 200 East Berry St., Fort Wayne, Indiana, locally referred to as Renaissance Square. The projected time for the renovation is two to three years. One advantage from all this is that at the interim location, the entire genealogy collection will be available to browse from open shelves which is usually not the case. More information about visiting the library can be found at their website at or by phoning the department at (260) 421-1225.



We welcomed the following new member at the January meeting:

William H. Tosh, researching McCLANAHAN, LEFTWICH & WALTON in Virginia

We also had the following guest whom we hope will become a member:

Bob Whiles, researching PULLEM & WHILES in Virginia

We continue our board member biographies with the following by Iris Graham, our Membership Chairman.

Iris Graham was born in North Bend, Oregon in 1923, the daughter of John Padgett and Grace Sellman. The family came to San Joaquin Valley in Central California in 1926, where she spent her childhood on a farm in the country. She graduated from Van Allen Grammar School in 1937 and from Ripon Union High School in 1941. During her junior year she became one of the first majorettes in the valley. After graduation she moved to Stockton and went to work as a secretary. During World War II she was a volunteer in the City Ambulance Corp. She married Johnny Jones in January 1943 and their daughter Rosemary (Candy) was born in March 1944. In February 1945 Iris was notified that her husband had been killed in action in Germany. He is buried in a Military Cemetery in Luxembourg. Left with a daughter not yet a year old, she had to return to Stockton to work, leaving Candy in the care of her Grandparents, as at that time there was no one else to care for her. She was with Iris's parents until she was six years old and Iris had remarried. In 1948 Iris married Bernard (Barney) Graham and they had one daughter, Gail, born in 1952. In 1973, after 7 years at nigh school, Iris finally received her college degree in Business Administration. She continued to work as an accountant, which had become her occupation, until retirement in 1993 at the age of 70.

Her husband, Barney passed away in 1977 from lung cancer at the age of 51. Again she became a widow and had to continue taking care of herself. By this time Gail was married and living in Ohio. In 1979 Iris moved to Mission Viejo, California to be with Gail and her husband who had moved to Mission Viejo in 1978 with their eleven-month old son Daniel who is now 24 years old. Iris also has three granddaughters, Alix (22), Stacie (19), who live in Mission Viejo, Shannon (33) and a great granddaughter Alyssa (4) who live in Illinois. Shannon is Candy's daughter.

In 1994 Iris saw an ad in the newspaper that Mary Ellen Lytle was going to be starting a genealogy club. She attended the first meeting and signed up as a charter member. She only had one brother living and he knew less about their ancestors than she did. With no help, she learned the hard way how to search and research and made mistakes along the way. Dedication is rewarding though. She now has 27 ancestor lines that she is searching from the year 1215 A.D. to the present. The four lines that are giving her the most problem are the closest to the present time. These are the death dates and the end of the line so far: Padgett-1911, Allen-1911, Murray-1875, McGlothlin-1884, and Vest-1882.

Genealogy not only brought Iris ancestors but it gave her another challenge. When the club was meeting at the Community Center in Mission Viejo, she saw a group practicing Tai Chi. Interested, she went to the next class and signed up. When the master retired four years ago, he made Iris an instructor, so she could teach other people. It has been a rewarding experience.

Genealogy should be fun for everyone. Learning about your ancestors, how they lived, the geography of their movements, how good or bad they were as a person, they are still our family. Everything that is learned about our families should give us great pleasure. Imagine if they stepped into our lives now. How amazed they would be.



4 Feb - Tues - 9:30 am Naturalization & Immigration Records

14 Feb - Fri - 9:30 am Introduction to Military Records

18 Feb - Tues - 9:30 am Preserving Your Family's History

25 Feb - Tues - 9:30 am Introduction to Genealogical Resources

3 Mar - Mon - 9:30 am 1930 Census Search Strategies

5 Mar - Wed - 9:30 am Naturalization & Immigration Records

To reserve your place in a class, call (949) 360-2641, ext 0. All workshops cost $7.50, payable at the door. The address is 24000 Avila Road, 1st Floor East, Laguna Niguel.


Donated by Wilma Boice
Pitfalls in Genealogical Research
by Milton Rubincam

Donated by Betty Pond Snyder
Early Pennsylvania Births 1675-1875
by Charles A. Fisher
Pennsylvania Lines Research Guide to Pennsylvania Genealogy & Local History
Warren County, Ohio; Records of Apprenticeship & Indenture 1824-1832 & 1864-1867
, E.L. Phillips
New England Historical & Genealogical Society Register

Donated by Karen Schumaker
Putnam County, Ohio Centennial History, 1834-1934
, in memory of Peter Schumaker, her grandfather

Donated by Beverly Long
1850 Illinois Federal Census, Menard County

Donated by Jackie Hanson
Genealogical Atlas of the USA
by Everton
Genealogical Searching in Ohio
by Douthit
Thomas Mudgett of Salisbury, MA
by Mudgett
Scottish Research
by McLeod & Moyes
Signers of the Mayflower Compact
by Annie Arnoux Haxtun
The Atlantic Bridge to Germany
by Hall
The Heritage of Old Buncombe County, NC
The Bronze Cannon
by Richardson

Donated by SOCCGS
Teton County, MT, A History
by Teton County Historical Committee

Thank you to our members for donating books to the library and helping to raise money so that we may continue to purchase books and CDs. We could also use your volunteer help with the following time slots at the library: 3-5 and 5-7 on Mon.; 5-7 on Thurs.; 5-7 on Wed. If you are available at any of these times, please call Janet Franks (949) 496-8428.


"Searching the Ellis Island Database in One Step"
Reprinted from the CSGA Newsletter Vol. 20, No. 10 October 2002

Stephen P. Morse's searching mechanism is faster than the original on the Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation site, and it also provides more options. The original version of his software ran into legal issues in the way it interfaced with the Ellis Island data. For a while the search site was closed down, which was a big loss to the genealogical community. With the assistance and cooperation of Gary Mokotoff of Avotaynu, Inc., the Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation has agreed to allow a modified version of Morse's search to continue to operate. You can now use this very valuable portal to the Ellis Island site at http://www.avotaynu.corn/ellis.html.

The problems encountered by Morse were brought to our attention by Everett Ireland and Joan Lowrey. Earlier in September permission was obtained from Gary Mokotoff to reprint a post he made to the Association of Professional Genealogists mailing list. However, the situation continues to change. For those interested, a description of the recent developments can be found in the latest edition of Mokotoff's e-zinc Nu? What's New? at It includes a statement by SLEIF presenting their side of the story.


A roster of all the current courses is maintained at our library. Be sure to check at the desk for details.

1. Continuous classes are offered at the Mission Viejo Family History Center at 27976 Marguerite Parkway. For a current schedule or to register call (949) 364-2742.

2. For information on classes held at the Orange FHC, 674 S. Yorba St., Orange, call Beth McCarty at (714) 998-3408.

3. Classes for beginners and intermediates in Computer-assisted Genealogy are offered each month by the Orange County CA Genealogy Society in the General Meeting Room of the Huntington Beach Central Library, 7111 Talbert Ave., Huntington Beach, CA for a fee of $4 for non-members, payable at the door. See for schedule.

4. The schedule for NARA workshops is available by calling (949) 360-2641.

5. The British Isles Family History Society (BIFHS) holds classes monthly at the LA FHC of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 10741 Santa Monica Blvd., W. LA. Classes and parking are free. For information contact Dorothy Losee at (310) 838-6085,

6. Classes are offered monthly by the LA Family History Center, 10741 Santa Monica Blvd. Los Angeles which offer a wide variety of topics. To see the schedule for the current month, go to their website at or call (310) 474-9990.

7. Brigham Young University's Department of Independent Studies offers two free online genealogy courses, Finding Your Ancestors and Providing Temple Ordinances for Your Ancestors. See for details.

8. Community College genealogy courses can be found listed at the website: Many of these are also free online.

South Orange County California Genealogical Society
Membership/Renewal Application
              (  ) New     ( ) Renewal      (  )  Individual, $20/yr     (  ) Jt. Members, same address $25/yr                         
Renewal Membership Number(s) _________________________   ________________________

Name(s) ________________________________________________________________________

Address _________________________________________________________________________

City ____________________________ State_____Zip__________Phone ___________________

Email address:________________________________________________

Make check payable to: SOCCGS (South Orange County CA Genealogical Society)   Check No. __________________
Mail with application to: SOCCGS, P.O. Box 4513, Mission Viejo, CA 92690-4513     Date Rec'd__________________

NOTE: When renewing your membership, please include your email address, if you have one, so we may include you in a membership email directory.


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