Saddleback Valley Trails
South Orange County California Genealogical Society

Vol. 13 No. 2 Editor: Mary Jo McQueen February 2006

 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 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.

Please see membership renewal form on last page.

GENERAL MEETING, 18 February 2006

Presented By
Dr. Colleen Fitzpatrick

In this presentation we will learn how to make use of research methods similar to those practiced by detectives, crime-scene investigators, geneticists and the FBI. Forensic genealogy can provide unconventional discoveries from surprising sources, improved realization as to how our ancestors lived, and fascinating insights into family history. While being both exciting and fun, Forensics will surely improve our genealogical research skills.
Dr. Fitzpatrick has had many years experience using innovative technologies at NASA, the National Science Foundation and the Department of Defense. She is also an expert genealogist and uses forensic techniques to study everything possible about ancestors.


March 18 - Kathleen Trevena, "Migration Patterns in America"
April 15 - Allan Jones, “Genealogy Sources on the Internet”
May 20 - William Beigel, “World War II & Korean War Research”
June 17 - Caroline Rober, “U. S. Midwest Research”
October 21 - Seminar, Dr. George Schweitzer


DR. GEORGE SCHWEITZER is coming back to Mission Viejo! He will be the featured speaker at the October 21st Seminar. Many will remember the presentations he gave in 2003. Those who missed him will want to be sure not to do so again! We are indeed fortunate to have secured him for our Fifth Annual Seminar.
All members present at the February 18 meeting will have an opportunity to vote for their choice of the topics Dr. Schweitzer will be asked present at the Seminar.


The Orange Family History Center will be the destination of the February 22nd Safari. The carpool will leave the LDS parking lot at 9:30 am. Bring a lunch and $$ for your driver. Contact Bill Bluett (492-9408). You will also have the opportunity to sign up at the February general meeting.

One of the advantages of being disorderly is that
one is constantly making exciting discoveries.
~A. A. Milne


General Research: Understanding Colonial Handwriting (Laura Freeman)
A Scattered People, American Origins, Atlas of American History, Encyclopedia of American Cities, Eric Sloane’s America, Everyone Has Roots, Get The Facts On Anyone, Handbook For Genealogical Correspondence, The Ethnic Almanac, The Handwriting of American Records For A Period of 300 Years, Worldwide Family History, (All from an anonymous donor.)

England: Atlas of British History (Anonymous)

Missouri: 1881 History of Johnson County, Missouri (SOCCGS)

Military/Wars: Locating Your Revolutionary War Ancestor (Anonymous)

Scotch-Irish: Scotch-Irish Who Came To America (Anonymous)

Maps: Atlas of Knox County, Ohio, Atlas of Washington County, Ohio (Judy Deeter)

Maryland, Harford County: Death Notices From The Bel Air Times 1881-1889 (Anonymous)

Pennsylvania, Bucks County: Sheriffs” Deeds 1749-1776 (Anonymous)

North Carolina, Lenoir County: Annals of Progress (Anonymous)

Illinois, Chicago: Index to the Obituaries & Death Notices in the Dziennik Chicagoski 1910-1919; 1920-1929 Part I, A-L and Part II, M-Z (Gloria LaMont)

Church/Clergy: Who’s Who Among Pastors in Norwegian Lutheran Synods of America 1843-1927 (Judy Deeter)

Georgia: Obituaries Abstracted From The Hartwell Sun 1877-1902 (Beverly Long)


The newest member of our docent volunteer team is Nellie Domenick. There is still a need for volunteers to staff shifts on Tuesdays 1-4, Mondays and 2nd & 4th Thursdays 5 to 7 or 8. Please call Bunny Smith (472-8046) if you can help. Even one day a month will be appreciated.
The Society has purchased, and Herb has installed, two new flat-screen computer monitors. One is located on the Docent Desk and the other, for patron use, at the Computer “A” Station. Sun glare is no longer a problem while viewing these computer screens.
We continue to hold training classes for prospective docents on Wednesdays (10-1, except 4th), Thursdays (12-3) and Saturdays (10 to 1, except 3rd). These classes are also open to current docents and members wanting help in using the resources available at the library. If this is not convenient, please call Bunny to reserve a more convenient time.

Newspaper Abstracts

The goal of this site is to become your complete resource for family history research using newspapers. Our site continues to grow with an average of over 600 new items added each month and currently contains over 22536 abstracts and extracts from historical newspapers. These articles range in size from a single entry to an entire newspaper issue, all provided by site visitors and made available to you free of charge.  This database continues to grow with the daily submission of news items by site visitors like you. 

To be ignorant of what occurred before you were born is to remain always a child. For what is the worth of human life, unless it is woven into the life of our ancestors by the records of history?
~Marcus Tullius Cicero, 106 B.C.-43 B.C.


WOW! Well done! You are very generous! The Penny Basket Funds gathered at the January meeting totaled $106 and change. This will be added to the amount donated in February and March and forwarded to the Historical Society in Pass Christian, Mississipoiu. Great job!

Following is a letter we received in response to the donation we made in January..

“Dear Ms. Nuttall:
Thank you very much for the gift of $500 by your organization to our Pass Christian Historical Society. It is a good feeling to know that people unaffected by Katrina's wrath want to help us in our time of need. We are most grateful for your members' generosity.

As you most likely know, our organization lost its own building, as well as the “Old Town Library” which operated as a subscription library for nearly a hundred years until about 1996. When the librarian died, they discontinued operations, and the building, built as a residence in about 1853, was virtually abandoned and left to the mercy of the elements. The library facility, including the book collection (some printed before 1800) was donated to the Historical Society in 2003. We were in the midst of a project to rehabilitate the building when Katrina came and swept it away.

The collection of artifacts in the Society building's vault was not blown away, but suffered serious water damage. Those items we were able to salvage are at present in freezer storage in the custody of the Mississippi Department of Archives and History in Jackson. We understand that the process to reclaim these items is very labor intensive, and therefore very costly. I am sure that your gift will be helpful when we address these problems.

Thank you again for your generous gift to the Society.

Pass Christian Historical Society
John G. Peterson, Treasurer”


A near-capacity crowd gathered to hear Penny Feike’s Land Records presentation. She proved to be an engaging and knowledgeable speaker. Most of us now have newfound determination to search out those records and perhaps crumble a brick wall or two.


Two Guests: Isabella Tagore and Michael Schield

One new member joined at the December meeting: MICHAEL J. TRUJILLO

We extend a hearty welcome to our newest members. As always, our guests are invited to join at a future date.

Los Angeles Regional Family History Center
  Discover Your Roots IV Conference  

Fourth Annual African American Family History Conference
Saturday, February 25, 2006 - 9 am to 4 pm
3115 S. Vermont, Los Angeles
For Information and Registration

I don't believe in circumstances. The people who get on in this world are the people who get up and look for the circumstances they want,
and if they can't find them, make them.
~George Bernard Shaw

(Ancestry Daily News, 2005,


Alton Telegraph and Democratic Review (Alton, Illinois), 26 July 1850 & 31 August 1849

Following are the fourth and fifth in a series of reports from Benjamin Cleaver that he sent on his journey to and upon settling in the Willamette Valley in Oregon. Parts one and two appeared in the December 2005 issue of this newsletter, and part three in January 2006.

April 19, 1849
DEAR SIR:-We have the pleasure to announce the arrival of two of the mail steamers into the bay of San Francisco, having stopped there in order to lay in some fuel. The mail, however, has been sent forward, and has reached Oregon city. But I am sorry to state, that I received nothing in the shape of news by this mail; which, however, was a small one. I hope to receive the more in the next mail.

One of my principal objects in writing this short letter is to inform your readers how matters stand in one particular point of view in Oregon at the present time; but how long this nature of things will continue is more than I can answer. The matter above referred to is the following: The former emigrants to Oregon, on their arrival here took hold of business of every description suited to the wants and condition of a virtuous community. This course of things continued until about the commencement of last wheat harvest; when all of a sudden, the news of the gold in California reached the ears of the people of Oregon. At this time some of the settlers cut and threshed, and saved their wheat; others cut and shocked theirs, and left it standing in the field; while another portion left their grain standing up on the farm to waste.

In this situation the farms were generally left by the people, (the male population,) of Oregon, many of whom took up their line of march for the California gold region, and still continue to go to, and return from, the mines. Consequently, farming is very much neglected. Last fall there was not one-fourth of an average crop down, and very little spring crop has been down. Out of the crop of 1848, the late emigrants have been supplied, and during all this time of bad management in farming there has been a continual drain of flour from this country to supply the California market. This course of management is making provisions more scarce in Oregon, and consequently has increased their value very much. The following are about the prices current of the articles mentioned, at present, viz:-flour, per bbl, $10; bacon, per cwt., $25, beef, per lb., 12 cts. In a word, I will say that all provisions are high, and continue to rise; and until people betake themselves to farming again, provisions will still further rise; and if we should have a large emigration from the States next fall, I fear that the necessaries of life will be both scarce and costly. American stock, such as cattle and horses, are very high. A good milch cow and calf are worth from $20 to $35; a yoke of oxen from $50 to $75; a good American mare from $100 to $200. Common labor is very high, and mechanical labor much higher.

I still calculate to continue to furnish you with further information of the various concerns of Oregon, as soon as discovery and experience teaches the proper nature of things here. . .

Yours respectfully,
Benj. Cleaver

OREGON CITY, O.T., March 4, '50.
DEAR SIR:--I embrace a few leisure moments to give you some information of the "Western world." Many things have occurred, and many opportunities have offered since I last wrote to you, which are calculated to give me a knowledge of certain portions of Oregon and also of California.

Some time in last April, myself, one son, and two sons-in-law, were sized with the yellow or gold fever, the effect which carried us all off toward California. We took the land route with wagon and team, and traveled up the Willamette valley, over a fine farming country, for a distance of about 150 miles. Here we ascend the Calapooia mountains, so called. These mountains are very fertile in many places, and are not of great elevation; having fine springs, good timber, &c. In one day's drive from the head of the Willamette valley, we reach the Umpqua valley. Here we see mounds of various sizes, covering from 10 acres to 500 acres of land. The valleys between those mounds are various widths; say from a quarter of a mile to ten miles wide. The soil is generally of excellent quality, and the valleys are especially fertile. These mounds are generally covered with a fine coat of grass, and various kinds of timber--some white and black oak, some pine, and a large species of laurel, &c.--some of which are three feet in diameter. The timber that grows on these mounds is generally of a short scrubby nature. There are also many fine springs bursting from the sides of these mounds. Much excellent timber is found in many parts of this valley, though in several places it is not convenient to the prairie.

I am not prepared at this moment to state the width of this valley of mounds, but I judge it to be about 59 miles. In about the centre of this valley, we cross the north fork of Umpqua and at the south side we cross the south fork of Umpqua. These forks are pretty much the same size--each of them about 125 paces wide. There are several families residing in this valley, and a ferry-boat is kept on the north Umpqua . . . After crossing the south Umpqua, we enter the Umpqua mountains, and pass through into what is called a "canyan." [sic] We enter this canyan at the mouth of a small river, and travel up this mountain bound stream, crossing it some 25 times, and lastly traveling in its bed a short distance, when we fall in upon the head of another small river leading south. Following this stream down a few miles, brings us into a handsome little valley. It is a hard day's drive through this canyan. From this little valley it is a hard day's drive over a hilly section of country to the Rogue river valley. Here we find some good little prairies, and for 20 or 30 miles up the river we occasionally find good little valleys. But here at once the valley becomes large--say some 30 miles in width, and probably 40 in length. Some parts of this Rogue river valley are very fertile; but much of it is not good, having too much gravel in the soil, which injures a great many valleys in this Western world.

I should have stated, that, whilst we were traveling through the Umpqua and Rogue river valleys, we made it strictly our business to look for gold in every likely looking place. This gave us a chance also to examine other qualities of this country; and in our investigations we found considerable gold, both on the Umpqua and Rogue rivers. I should also state that, from the prospects of gold above mentioned, the people of Oregon are at this time all on tiptoe, and making great preparations to open those mines this spring. The climate of the Umpqua and Rogue river valleys is like that of the Willamette valley; being mild and pleasant, both in winter and summer. From the Rogue river valley we enter the Cisku mountains. These mountains are not very rough nor of any great elevation. After traveling some 50 miles through those mountains, we arrive at the Klamet river, about 10 miles below the Klamet lake--out of which this stream flows. This river is a fine stream, some 150 paces wide, and for about half the year it cannot be forded. We forded it by propping up our wagon beds and in about 10 miles travel we came to the Klamet lakes. Here are truly, some of the great wonders of the Western world, presented in the form of these mighty lakes. These lakes--as also mount Chaste, which stands near them--are situated upon a very elevated country, probably the most elevated section of country west of the Rocky mountains, for several hundred miles north and south. Many of the great rivers of the west have their source from these lakes, or their immediate vicinity. Here is the find Klamet river which flows immediately from the lake's side, besides several others of considerable note that have their sources in this vicinity. Say, the great Sacramento, Deshute, John Day, Rotue river, the Umpquas, and the McKenzie's fork of the Willamette. All these great streams take their rise in and near those great lakes.

Those lakes, and the mounds and ridges that divide them, cover a large tract of country. Many of those lakes, by wash and other causes, are fast filling in. A few of them have already filled up, and formed rich little valleys. From this place we made our course to the Sacramento valley. The road is circuitous and in many place very rough. We finally descended into the Sacramento valley; and after chasing around for a time, we made our way to the Redding's diggings, for health, the most northerly mines in California. Here we commenced mining with fair success; but had not been long in this fair business, before we witnessed the awful spectacle of a very sick camp. The sickness increased, and many deaths took place; and the people, as soon as they were able to travel, set out for Oregon. My company recovered in part, and we left the mines on the 24th of July. California is truly one of the sickliest, poorest in soil, and hottest countries your unworthy writer ever visited. I hope this will be warning enough to my friends about California.

Respectfully yours, Benjamin Cleaver.

SOCCGS Participates in Fremont Investment & Loan’s Deposit Incentive Donation Program.

Our organization is participating in a program with FI&L which allows us to make an extra contribution to our group without taking any money from our own pockets! At the end of each calendar year FI&L will make a donation to our group based on the annual average combined balance on deposit by our members in liquid accounts or certificates of deposit. For further information, please call 1-800/670-5060, or stop by Fremont’s local branch office.

If you believe in what you are doing,
then let nothing hold you up in your work.
Much of the best work of the world has been done against seeming impossibilities. The thing is to get the work done.
~Dale Carnegie


The Wisconsin Historical Society is very proud to announce the Dictionary of Wisconsin History ( The online dictionary gives more than 2,000 brief lives of famous Wisconsin people (and many not-so-famous ones). It provides the exact location of every community and civil township in the state, and explains how every county and 800 cities and towns got their names. You can even display a map or satellite image of any city, town, or village with a single click. The dictionary includes mid-19th century descriptions of about 500 Wisconsin cities and towns from contemporary gazetteers and travel guides. You can imagine how this could help your genealogical research or just give you some interesting facts about Wisconsin history. You are encouraged to submit entries to the dictionary.
The Society has also been busy adding 3,500 entries to the Wisconsin Name Index ( This index, it was started about 1870, when WHS staff made a catalog card for every biographical sketch in each new Wisconsin county history. They made a similar card for every obituary added to the
scrapbooks they called the "Wisconsin Necrology," and frequently added cards for magazine and newspaper articles about Wisconsin residents. After more than a century of such work, the data on the original cards was typed into a database that you can search online today

Ancestry Quick Tip - Be Sure to Back Up Everything
Cathy Langhoff
New Orleans, Louisiana and Warner Robbins, Georgia

I live in New Orleans and my house was under water for almost three weeks. I lost my house and I lost all my paper documentation and all my pictures. My fall project was going to be scanning all this stuff so it wouldn't be lost. Now it is.
If you have not already scanned everything, do it now. If you don't have a scanner digital photographs come out great. Make sure you backup, backup, backup! And share, share, share! Share what you have now. You never know what is going to happen. It can all be lost in a flash.
(Quick Tips are a feature of Ancestry Daily News and Ancestry Weekly Digest.)


I started out calmly tracy my tree, to find if I could, the making of me,
and all that I had was a great grandfather’s name not knowing his wife or from whence he came.

I chased him across a long line of states and came up with pages and pages of dates.
When all put together, it made me forlorn, I’d proved that poor grandpa had never been born.

One day I was sure the truth I had found. Determined to turn this whole thing upside down.
I looked up the record of one uncle John, but then found the old man was younger than his son.

Then when my hopes were fast growing dim, I came across records that must have been him.
The facts I collected made me quite sad. Dear old great grandfather was never a dad.

I think maybe someone is pulling my leg. I’m not at all sure I wasn't hatched from an egg.
After hundreds of dollars I’ve spent on my tree, I can’t help but wonder if I’m really me.

Project Gutenberg Online Book Catalog

Project Gutenberg is the oldest producer of free ebooks on the Internet. Here, there are 17,000 free books that can be downloaded. These are all expired copyright books or books donated by authors for electronic publishing.
(Excerpted from the British Isles Family History Society Newsletter, Jan/Feb 2006)

I find that the harder I work, the more luck I seem to have.
~Thomas Jefferson


South Orange County California Genealogical Society
Fall Seminar
October 21, 2006
Dr. George Schweitzer
More Information Next Month

Hemet-San Jacinto Genealogical Society
Spring Seminar
February 25, 2006
Henry Z. “Hank” Jones, Jr.
“When the Sources are Wrong!”, “Tracing the Origins of Early 18th Century Palatine & Other Emigrants”,
“Family Tradition: How to Separate Fact from Fiction in Genealogical Research”, Genealogy in the New Millennium: Where We’ve Been and Where We’re Going”
For reservation information:
Flyers available at SOCCGS Library.

North San Diego County Genealogical Society
Spring Seminar
Saturday, 18 March 2006
Making Dead Ancestors Come Alive
John Philip Colletta, Ph.D.
Flyers available at SOCCGS Library

Orange County California Genealogical Society - Special Interest Group

The OCCGS New England SIG group meets on the first Saturday of each month, after the general meeting and lecture. The meeting place is in Room D at the Huntington Beach Library. For further information contact Marcia Huntley Maloney, or Bob



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


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