Saddleback Valley Trails

 South Orange County California Genealogical Society

Vol. 14 No. 2                                                                              Editor: Mary Jo McQueen                                                                            February 2007

 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.


If your address label is highlighted,

Please send a check for the 2007 dues.

Thank you!




“Courthouse Research for the Serious Researcher.”


Good courthouse research takes pre-planning, knowledge and a certain amount of nerve to get all of the records that might be there for your ancestors. Don’t miss out on learning from someone else’s experience about the “Who, What, When, Where & Why” of doing good courthouse research.

Ms. Rober is a native Californian. As a professional genealogist and lecturer her presentations are thorough, informative and delivered with enthusiasm. Caroline is the technical director for the Orange California Family History Center, and a member of several genealogical and historical societies.

Caroline is one of our favorite lecturers, so come early to reserve your seat!


                                                                    2007 CALENDAR

March 17 - Liz Stookesberry Myers, "Ohio: Gateway to the West."

April 21 – Leland Pound, “Internet Research for Genealogists.”

May 19 – Michael Kratzer, “Genealogy on EBay.”

October 21 – John Colletta, Family History Seminar

December 15 – Holiday Party



              The Mission Viejo Library is now providing on all of the library computers, including those in the SOCCGS Genealogy Department. This is a long-awaited addition to our genealogy research facility, which we certainly appreciate. Researchers must now have a Mission Viejo Library card to access the SOCCGS computers. It is a simple procedure to obtain one. The cards are free and not limited to Mission Viejo residents. We encourage you to come in and take advantage of this wonderful research tool. Following is the current docent schedule for the genealogy section: Monday 10-5:30, Tuesday 10-7, Wednesday 10-5:30, Thursday 10-8 (2nd & 4th to 5:30), Friday 1-4, Saturday 10-4 (3rd, afternoon only). Currently there is no docent available on Sunday.

         If you would like to become a docent for a weekly or bi-monthly shift please contact Bunny Smith, (949) 472-8046. Being a docent gives you the opportunity for unlimited computer time to do your own research!   



            On this day we will visit the Cole Genealogy Library in Carlsbad. If you need transportation please contact Bill Bluett (949-492-9408). We will leave the LDS parking lot at 9:30 a.m. Please bring a brown bag lunch and $$ for your driver. If you prefer to eat out, there are lunch facilities not far from the library. The library, located at 1250 Carlsbad Village Drive, is an easy drive from Mission Viejo. The Genealogy & Local History Collection, located on the second floor, is one of the largest in Southern California and has a strong emphasis in 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries United States. The Collection includes printed books and journals, microfilm, microfiche, and CDs.


Skin is a covering for our immortality.

~Ever Garrison



~Bill Bluett

This past Christmas, I received a collection of gifts that completely caught me off guard. Usually, I’m given the more traditional shirts, pants, sweaters or whatever. I have a difficult time each year just coming up with some kind of wish list to guide my family. Most years I can’t even come up with a list. So, several of the items I received turned out to be a complete surprise to me. These gifts were an interesting collection of antique and memorabilia items. What surprised me about three of the items is that my wife, Helen, found them on EBay. Up until now, she has never shopped EBay!

First there is a black photo case that dates back to the Civil War. These were used to carry a picture of a loved one or spouse. The case is made from a hard and durable material called GUTTA PERCHA that protected the photo from breakage. Some type of image or design is usually embossed on the outer portion. It is about 2 ½” by 3” and can easily be carried in a pocket, purse, etc. Early photos were Daguerreotypes and Ambrotypes (from the 1840’s to 1860’s). They were photo images on glass that needed protection in a durable case. Later, Tintypes came along and were not as fragile as the glass photos. Getting back to EBay, my wife found a photo case she liked and made a bid. She tracked the bidding, since others bid on the same item, and eventually won the bid. The reason she purchased the case is because I have two great grandfathers who fought in the Civil War. I have always wanted one of these cases in which to put their pictures. This case holds only one photo. So, perhaps I will receive another one sometime in the future.

The next two items purchased on EBay were Mobilgas memorabilia items. I’ve been thinking about putting together a shadow box of my grandparents, Ralph and Mollie Bluett. During World War II, they operated a Mobilgas station in Los Angeles. I have photos taken at the service station with my grandparents and Aunt Dorothy in their uniforms. Over the past several years, I have collected a few items that I could use in the shadow box, along with the photographs. The first item Helen purchased was a 1940’s Mobilgas map of the Los Angeles area. The second item a miniature Mobilgas tanker truck, which is also from the 1940’s era. Now, I think I’m ready to for that shadow box

The last gift I received was from my daughter, Heather. She purchased an antique Stereo Viewer (or Stereoscope) at an antique store in San Juan Capistrano. It is approximately 100 years old and is in good condition. Also, I received eight stereo cards for viewing. When I was a kid, I remember going to my great aunt and uncle’s home and using an old viewer to look at pictures. As I remember, some were Civil War photos. I’ve always thought that it would be fun to own one of these viewers and start a collection of three dimensional photo cards. Many antique stores have them available.

My gifts are now a topic of discussion when guests come to the house. So, if you are trying to think of a unique gift to give to a spouse or someone special, check out the Internet or your local antique store. I’ll just bet that the recipient of such a gift will be surprised, and pleased.



NEW MEMBERS: Mary-Ellen Syer, Laguna Woods; Ann Ford, Lake Forest, - Betsy Butler, San Clemente, - Rhonda Richlen, Lomita;

Dick Pember, Ladera Ranch, - Marta Herzog, Lake Forest, - James Allred, Mission Viejo, .

GUESTS: Julie Hornung, Ann Hagerty, and Barbara Ryan



            There were over sixty members and guests in attendance to hear a most informative presentation on Colonial Research by Kathleen Trevena. We learned that the colonial period extended from 1607 to 1773 and that our ancestors from that time were considered citizens of their country of origin.

            Hospitality chairman, Eileen Merchant, provided the delicious treats. Three of our members were inducted into the Mission Viejo Chapter of the DAR. They are: Joyce Van Schaack, Kathy Kane and Iris Graham. Karen Shumaker told of being given an old family bible at a recent family gathering. New member, Dick Pember, shared two items of interest. First, he recently had a family book rebound at a local bookbinder, Silver Works Studio (949) 642-3280, Second, he shared where he was able to have a large pedigree chart reproduced: Coastal Blue Corp,, or (949) 240-9911.


Football is, after all, a wonderful way to get rid of your aggressions

Without going to jail for it.   ~Heywood Hale Brown



By Myra Vanderpool Gormley, CG

The greatest treasure of RootsWeb is its community -- the people who share their genealogical knowledge, expertise and information about their families. Success in compiling your family tree and learning more about your progenitors will come when you share your information. Give and you will get back a hundred-fold.

Post and re-post messages on the appropriate surname and locality mailing lists and message boards. Don't be just a taker always asking for help or more information. Be a giver -- share those bits and pieces of information that you find. It may be just the tidbit or clue that someone else needs.

Share your tree by uploading a GEDCOM to WorldConnect. Not perfect? Not complete? Don't worry about it. Do the best you can. You can update it continually. Besides, I think I shall never see a completed family tree. In your family tree -- off on some obscure (to you) branch -- may be my missing limb and vice versa. Keeping the information locked up in our computers or in paper files is foolish. We don't know what tomorrow holds but most of us never get around to publishing the complete history of our family. Working with cousins and "genie" friends to find, compile and check out information on your multi-branched tree will provide you with delectation and a pride of accomplishment.

Don't waste your time and efforts pointing out errors and omissions you encounter or complaining about unimportant things, such as name spellings. Do the best you can with your own tree -- not all of us have the same research or compilation skills and we are all newbies at some point. Most of us do our best and continue to learn as we progress in this fascinating avocation. Continue to hone your skills so you can compile a family history that your descendants will be proud of -- make it much more than a laundry list of names, dates and begats.

Remember we do not own our ancestors or the genealogical information about them. Facts cannot be copyrighted by anyone, so relax and share with your cousins and don't whine if someone uses your information and neglects to credit you properly. Focus on your major genealogical goals for 2007; graciously share your data, and good luck with your research.

(Previously published in RootsWeb Review: 27 December 2006, Vol. 9, No. 52)


Using RootsWeb: Private Concerns

Question. What can I do if I find private information about my living family and myself members published at RootsWeb?

Answer. That depends upon the nature of the "private" information and where you have found it. Most information about living individuals is not considered "private" and it is widely accessible. Names, dates, and places are public, not private, information.

GEDCOMs (GEnealogical Data COMmunications) submitted to WorldConnect automatically "cleaned" for entries that involve individuals born prior to 1930 -- if there is no information listed in the death field. The submitter of the GEDCOM can elect an earlier date for treating individuals as "living" or can even remove the living individual from a file completely for public display purposes. The 1930 U.S. census is available to the public. Thus anyone appearing in it might appear in someone's posted family tree, even though that individual is only say 76 years young.

If you find information about yourself in a WorldConnect family tree file you can contact the submitter at the e-mail address provided on any page of the database and politely request that it be removed from public display. However, unless this information is actually private (LIVING Smith is NOT private) in nature and/or concerns someone born after 1930, it can only be removed through the courtesy of the submitter. RootsWeb does not edit or alter these user-owned and controlled trees.

Note: Some genealogy programs allow users to privatize (exclude) certain individuals or data when creating the GEDCOM and prior to submitting it to WorldConnect. However, this approach is not recommended, as the data you remove is the very data WorldConnect filters need to establish whether an individual is to be treated as living or dead. Also, removing data from the raw file you submit to WorldConnect prohibits it from preserving your complete genealogy file to be used by you as a backup should you need to restore lost data on your own computer. If you don't submit it, you can't retrieve it later.

(Originally published in the RootsWeb Review 13 April 2005, Vol. 8, No. 15.)


We all grow up with the weight of history on us. Our ancestors dwell in

The attics of our brains as they do in the spiraling chains of knowledge

Hidden in every cell of our bodies.   ~Shirley Abbott


 – Michael John Neill

Geographic clues can be significant to the family historian. One of the best ways to notice these clues is through the use of maps. Using maps though requires more than simply making a copy and sticking it in a folder. With some thought, some analysis, and some time, a map may help you notice more than you expect about your ancestor and his family.

A Map Over Time - Create a map that documents each residence of your ancestor over their entire lifetime. It will give you a different perspective on your ancestor and may bring additional questions to your mind. Do you know when your ancestor crossed certain geographic features (the Mississippi River, the Rocky Mountains, etc.)? Was he a child or an adult at the time when most of the travel in his life took place? Consider the routes he mostly likely would have taken. Are there places he might have stopped along the way?

Look at the times when your ancestor moved. Were there other events also going on in his life that might have caused him to move? Had his wife or parent died? Had he just gotten married? Were there regional or national events that might have been the impetus for him to re-locate? Had the economy taken a downswing? Had new lands been opened for settlement? Your ancestor may have moved on a whim or he may have not.

Map Your Ancestor's Neighborhood - If your ancestor was an urban dweller, use city directories to determine where he lived at a specific point in time. Find out where nearby churches, cemeteries and places of employment were around at that time using city and county histories, directories, and other sources. If the time period is appropriate, consider the use of fire insurance maps to get a better view of the neighborhood and to assist in locating nearby landmarks and other institutions that may have played a role in your ancestor's life.

If your ancestor lived in a rural area, find his farm on plat maps, if these publications are available. Plat maps indicate the size and location of every farm in the area, usually an entire county and usually with one township per page. This reference would allow you to determine precisely where your ancestor's farm was located and how the size of his farm compared to that of his neighbors. Bear in mind that if your ancestor was a tenant farmer his name will not appear in this reference. Plat maps typically list owners and not renters. This information (coupled with census and other records) can also help in determining what kind of ethnic neighborhood in which your ancestor lived. Attention should be paid to locations of nearby churches, cemeteries, and schools.

If your ancestor was an early colonial settler, mapping his neighborhood may be an even more onerous task, but the benefits may be well worth it. Properties in the colonial era were described in metes and bounds, basically indicating the length each side of the parcel and the angle of each corner. Those who have worked with such properties know that squares and rectangles had yet to be discovered! Platting such property is not for the faint of heart, but there is software to assist and some neighborhoods have already been recreated. In a time period when many records are non-existent, platting property over time may answer questions not specifically mentioned in the records.

Put the Location in Context - Does the residence of your ancestor seem a little bit strange? I wondered why a French-Canadian woman and her Greek immigrant husband are living on Chicago's north side in 1920, a fair distance from her Chicago area family and in an area with apparently no other ethnic Greeks. Further research explained the likely reason for the anomaly. This couple was living on the north side a distance from family and friends as the wife was not yet divorced from her first husband and already living with her second husband. It is probably an understatement to say that the second husband's Greek Orthodox relatives and her Roman Catholic family most likely did not look favorably upon the situation.

Without a map and with no knowledge of the Chicago area, this oddity would not have been noticed and might not have been explored. Maps are crucial in helping genealogists notice such details, especially in areas with which they are not personally familiar. It can be difficult for text alone to convey a geographic message.

Put the Locations All on One Map - Nine of my ancestral families immigrated to the United States from Osfriesland, Germany, over a twenty year time period. When I marked their place of origin on a map, they were clustered in three areas. Two of these clusters were within a few miles of each other while the third was over ten miles away. There were many different small villages from which they originated. Mapping the locations all at once helped me to notice which ones might have been neighbors in the homeland.

Putting all the names on one map can be a helpful tool with urban research too. A city directory may contain three references to a William Apgar. One way to eliminate some from consideration is to consider the neighborhood where each one is from. An easy way to do this is to map the residence of each one. Compare these residences to known residences for the family under study. People did move, but moves into an upscale neighborhood from a lower middle-class working neighborhood are unusual without an accompanying change in economic status.

Maps Provide a Picture - Maps can provide a picture, which no amount of words can convey. Using maps to plat your ancestor's moves, his residence and his neighbors may cause you to notice things that have been overlooked for years. Your ancestor probably was familiar with his neighborhood. You should be too.

(Ancestry Daily News, 6/29/2005 – Archive, Copyright 2005,


NOTE: Those of you who have Windows may want to check out Family Atlas software, which was discussed by Diane Hearne at the January meeting.  “Family Atlas tm is the fun and easy way to map your family history. Trace your ancestors’ migration around the world and pinpoint the sites of important family events. Import your family data directly from your genealogy software, and then automatically add markers to create personalized maps. Print maps or save them to several graphics formats.”



By Patricia Weeks

            When my mother first met my future husband, Bud Weeks, she remarked that he reminded her of Clark Gable. A few years after our marriage I discovered that Clark was indeed a cousin of Bud’s. So, when I had a lull in my own research I decided to tackle this story to see if it was really true, and just how close a cousin he actually was.

            I found another researcher on the Internet, a distant cousin, who had also heard of the Clark Gable connection. So, the two of us began our collaboration to prove, or disprove, this claim.

            What fun it was! The postage we spent sending back and forth our daily finds was huge! And, such a commotion I caused that day at the National Archives when I announced, "Well, here he is, Clark Gable!" Every woman in the room came running over to see nine-year-old Clark’s name on the 1910 Census.

            Cousin Charlene and I found that Clark was the son of Bill Gable whose wife died shortly after Clark was born. Bill set out to find himself a wife and a mother for young Clark. He found Jennie Dunlap, who agreed to accept his marriage proposal. In Clark Gable's memoirs, he wrote that he idolized this stepmother of his.

            Jennie Dunlap Gable was the daughter of Henry Dunlap and Frances Richard of Harrison County, Ohio. Her mother, Frances, was the sister to my husband's great-grandmother, Bothia Richard Caves.

         So much for blood ties! ‘Tis a shame, for Clark missed out on inheriting the genes of the Richard family, and who knows what he could have become. He could have looked like Bud Weeks, and I think Bud was much more handsome than Clark Gable. (Reprinted from April 1995 issue of Saddleback Valley Trails.)


Do you have an ancestor in the movies? Try the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences - Margaret Herick Library, 333 La Cienega, Beverly Hills CA, 90211,  (310) 247-3000.




            We are sad to report the passing on January 26 of Bud Weeks, husband of long time member Patricia Weeks. Although Bud was born in Sand Point, Idaho in 1928, he was nearly a native of California, having spent the major part of his life here. Before retiring, he was the owner of a pool equipment company. Bud owned a boat for many years and was happiest in or near the water. In 1954 Pat and Bud were married in Santa Monica, California. They had one son, Doug, a paramedic with the City of Orange, and two grandsons, both now in college.

Bud is descended from Joseph Weeks who went to Virginia in 1690. While he was “not into” genealogy, his two aunts were instrumental in getting Pat started. They had already done a tremendous amount of research into their families, and this sparked Pat to pursue her own lines.

Bud was very clever with his hands, thus he was able to keep busy during retirement until illness made it impossible for him to continue his hobbies. His body has been cremated and his ashes will be strewn at sea. Pat has our deepest sympathy.

Mary Jo McQueen  



I couldn’t help but say to {Mr. Gorbachev], just think how easy his task and

Mine might be in these meetings that we held if suddenly there was a threat to

This world from another planet. [We’d] find out once and for all that we really are all human beings here on this earth together.  ~Ronald Reagan, 1985




Query: James Woodford, Who was your daddy?

I think you were born 22 Nov 1786 in Avon, CT. When I searched the microfilmed records of the Congregational Church all I found was Asa Woodford and Lucretia, his wife, had born unto them  "a male child" on that date!  Baptism was not found. Asa's other children were baptized in Avon. James was living in Onondaga co., NY in 1840. He married Urania Robinson in Aug 1803 in Cayuga Co., NY.  Asa did not name all his children in his will. The only son named was Rufus "who stayed home with me in my old age".  Was there a split in the family relationship?  Another reference claims, without documentation, that James was the son of Asa.  If Asa was not your father, then who?


Ultimate Family Tree Upgrade

Question: I have purchased a new laptop and want to transfer my UFT to my new computer.  Since UFT is no longer available, I need help from anyone who has been successful in transferring to an upgraded computer?  I have been told that The Master Genealogist is the way to go.  Does anyone have experience with this program?  Thank you!



Researching Ballymoney genealogy in County Antrim, Northern Ireland? Here is a FREE site:


This website lists several passenger ships that left Newry and Warrenpoint, Ireland in the 1800's.


The 1901 and 1911 census can be researched FREE at the Queens University site for Belfast families’ information.


Find lost family heirlooms and artifacts from reliable antique dealers.


Order UK birth, marriage, or death certificates online.


USGenWeb Family Group Sheet Project -- Search and submit at


New England Vital Records - Genealogists doing research in the six New England states, Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont will find an abundance of state and local personal name indexes, printed sources, original records, computer databases, and Internet sites.


Seventeenth Century Colonial New England website with special emphasis on the Essex County Witch-Hunt of 1692.  


The Winthrop Society gladly extends membership to all men and women of good character and proven descent from one or more passengers of the Winthrop fleet, or of others who settled in the Bay Colony and down east before 1634.


Online Books Page, Listing over 25,000 free books on the Web - Updated January 26, 2007.


Olive Tree Genealogy - Find ancestors and family origins in free Ships Passenger lists, images of ships passenger list manifests, Orphan records, Almshouse records, Ancestor photos, Census substitutes, Newspaper records, family surnames, church records, military muster rolls, census records, land records, American Genealogy, Canadian Genealogy, Orphan records, Naturalization records, death records and more.      



         Member name badges are available free-of-charge by signing up at a monthly meeting or by contacting Herb Abrams @ (949) 581-6292. You may have up to six surnames listed on your badge. Wearing a name badge at the monthly meetings increases your chance of finding a local cousin.





February 24, 2007

Whittier Area Genealogical Society presents Curt B. Witcher, manager of the Historical Genealogy Department of the Allen County Public Library in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Topics: “Back to Basics: A Research Plan,” “Using Government Documents,” “Germans to the Midwest” and “Doing the History Eliminates the Mystery.” For information and registration:

Registration forms are available at the SOCCGS Library.


June 8, 9 & 10, 2007

Southern California Genealogical Society’s 38th Annual Genealogy Jamboree and Resource Expo.

For more information and/or registration visit the website at


June 23-24, 2007

San Diego Scottish Highland Games and Gathering of the Clans. Brengle Terrace Park, 1200 Vale Terrace Drive, Vista. For more information:



         Member name badges are available free-of-charge by signing up at a monthly meeting or by contacting Herb Abrams @ (949) 581-6292. You may have up to six surnames listed on your badge. Wearing a name badge at the monthly meetings increases your chance of finding a local cousin!



         Your editor requests more member-input for the Saddleback Valley Trails. Ancestor stories would be of special interest, as would recounts of your genealogy quests. In, addition we have been asked to print special recipes. These may be old or new and will be particularly noteworthy if they are accompanied by information relating to the cook/chef/baker. Queries will now be printed in order to assist members in their search for information.

         The deadline for articles is the Wednesday after the monthly meeting. Items may not always appear in the immediate newsletter. Don’t want to write a whole article? Simply submit the basic facts and background information and we will put it together. Items may be sent via email or Word attachment. All submissions are subject to editorial approval and may be edited. Send to:


With ordinary talent and extraordinary perseverance,

All things are attainable. 

~Thomas Foxwell Buxton


It’s Renewal Time!

Please use the form below to mail your renewal. Forms will also be available at the February 17 meeting. Please inform the membership chairman of any changes in your contact information. (Verl Nash – Since the newsletters are sent by bulk mail, they are not forwarded. They are returned “postage due.” If your mail is held while you are out of town they are also returned to us. Let us know and we can hold or send them first class.


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

Mail, with application, to: SOCCGS, P.O. Box 4513, Mission Viejo, CA 92690-4513



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