Saddleback Valley Trails

South Orange County California Genealogical Society

Vol. 16 No. 2

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

February 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.

Watch for the Birthday Party Announcement

General Meeting - 21 February 2009

“Using Maps in Genealogy Research”
Presented By
Liz Stookesberry Myers

          Liz will be speaking on the subject of “Maps” and how they are often overlooked in family research. Her presentation will focus on the different types of maps, how to read them, how to use them and how to find them in repositories or online. She will discuss State, County, and Township maps along with a variety of specialized maps including Sanborn, crop and plat maps.
          In 1970 Liz was afflicted with the “Genealogy Bug.” Those were the days of attacking the mailman every time he made a delivery. Through the years she has felt strongly about public access to vital records and supports the efforts made by the California Alliance of Genealogical Societies. Liz has lectured and taught many genealogy classes. She has been associated with the Questing Heirs Genealogical Society in Long Beach for many years and is currently serving as President.

Please bring wedding pictures or old valentines to share.

2009 Calendar
March 21 - Caroline Rober, “Overcoming Dead Ends”
April 18 - Kathleen Trevena - "Crossing a Continent: Migration Between
The Revolution and the Civil War"
May 16 - Herb Abrams, “Internet Research”
July 18 – Barbara Renick, “5 C's for Success in Genealogy Today”

Safari News

          On February25 we will journey to the Cole Genealogy Library in Carlsbad. We will leave the LDS parking lot at 9:30 a.m. Either bring lunch or prepare to drive a short distance for lunch. Don’t forget $$ for your driver. There are no plans for dinner on the way home. Contact Bill Bluett to reserve a spot.
          This library is one of the best in Southern California. Preparation is the key to making any research trip successful. Use the library catalogue and set your genealogy research in motion.

Tips from the Pros: Post-It Notes Are a No-No!

~George G. Morgan

The popular Post-It notes and other brands of self-adhesive “sticky notes” may be great for leaving a quick note for yourself or a friend, but they are definitely not for use in books and original historical documents. The paper used in the product is not acid-free, and the adhesive on them contains chemicals, which can leave behind a residue that can damage and/or discolor anything to which it is applied. Don't use these products on any historical documents, photographs, books, or any other materials in libraries, archives, or on materials in your personal collection that you wish to preserve for posterity.

January Meeting

          We started the New Year off with another nearly overflow crowd. Bill Tosh, with Herb Abrams’ able assistance, gave an interesting talk regarding his ancestors in Roanoke, Virginia. President, Sandy Crowley, was not in attendance; therefore Bill Bluett conducted the meeting. Trish Leard served the delicious treats, which were provided by Judy Ryu and Jan McAllister. Many shared their genealogy “brick walls” and “brick wall overcome.” Our thanks go to all who shared.
          Francie Kennedy had success searching for Minnesota ancestors. David Flint was hung-up on a surname, but found his great grandfather when he tried a different spelling. Myrna Hamid McGuigan searched for death/marriage records in Michigan and Iowa. Ann Haggerty found that she had ancestors who escaped the Wyoming Valley Massacre in Pennsylvania. Wilma Boice found church records indicating that family members had “gone west” and a family diary from the “goldfields” of California revealing information. Marcia Roy has found that sorting out some her Scottish and Irish ancestors overseas to be difficult. Sol Shenker tracked down his birth certificate and deciphered “Rob Roy” to actually be “Baby ‘Boy.” Carol Jarvis developed a “Mr. X” wanted poster on a website to identify an ancestor and also utilized newspaper ads. Kevin Gross received genealogical help through Masonic records in Chicago Melbournea Pittman said there are many official records where her own name is misspelled. (Including this newsletter!) Trish Leard’s family health history indicates generations of heart attacks. She is taking good care of her own heart!


The following fellow genealogists are welcomed as new members:
          Kevin T. Gross, Mission Viejo,
          Tom and Lorna Irey, Mission Viejo, Tom is searching for: Whiteacre, Jennings, Routt, Reeves, Brown, Brant & Rigby. Loran’s surnames are Wharton, Petty, Matlock in Safe, MO and Brown County, Texas, & Rankin in Guilford County, North Carolina.
          Carol Lobo, Laguna Niguel, Researching Doyle-Ireland, Preston-England, Wood-Portugal, and Muir & Cosgrove-Ireland.
          Ann Sloan Jones, Aliso Viejo, Researching Sloan-Pennsylvania, John Wood-Albemarle County, Virginia.

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. New members may also pick up their badges. Please wear your badge at each meeting. If you forget there are temporary ones available.

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:

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.

Timeline in Excel

Ancestry Weekly Quick Tips

I found a form for a year-by-year timeline. I printed it out and it worked well, but I made a mistake on the copy so I created my own timeline form on the computer. I did my form in Excel and used four columns: “Year,” “Age,” “Important event,” and “Documentation.” I added a fifth column, a “To-Do” column. The Excel format allows me to add to the timeline as new information becomes available.

Beverley Gutenberg, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada. Copyright © 2008, The Generations Network, Inc. August 17, 2008

"Some Websites of Interest to Genealogists"
  The International Black Sheep Society of Genealogists (IBSSG) is an Association of Genealogists who have found "black sheep ancestors" in their direct family lines, or under the "One Degree Rule" of the Society.
  The Newseum displays daily newspaper front pages in their original, unedited form, 698 front pages from 72 countries. To access newspapers click on “map’.
  The Genealogy Center - Providing genealogical and historical information about Allen County, Indiana, the United States, and beyond.
  Or, simply type Wyoming Valley Massacre into Google. Learn about this little known part of American History as mentioned by Ann Hagerty at the January meeting.

(Thanks to Shirley Boerlin, Bunny Smith, Pat Nostrome & Kathy Mauzey)

The Year Was 1910

          The year was 1910 and in the United States, it was a census year. As the enumerators went door to door, the U.S. population stood at 92,228,496. Urban residents represented 45.6 percent of the total and 54.4 percent of the population lived in rural areas. Twenty years prior, in 1890, only 35.1 percent of the population lived in urban areas and 64.9 percent lived in rural areas, and fifty years prior, in 1860, only 19.8 percent of the population lived in urban areas as opposed to 80.2 percent living in rural areas.

Source: U.S. Census Bureau. Ancestry Daily News 6/23/2006 – Archive

“The Census Taker”

~Darlene Stevens

It was the first day of census, and all through the land; the pollster was ready a black book in hand.
He mounted his horse for a long dusty ride; his book and some quills were tucked close by his side.
A long winding ride down a road barely there, toward the smell of fresh bread wafting up through the air.
The woman was tired, with lines on her face; and wisps of brown hair she tucked back into place.
She gave him some water as they sat at the table; and she answered his questions the best she was able.
He asked of her children, yes, she had quite a few; the oldest was twenty, the youngest not two.
She held up a toddler with cheeks round and red; his sister, she whispered, was napping in bed.
She noted each person who lived there with pride; and she felt the faint stirrings of the wee one inside.
He noted the sex, the color, the age, the marks from the quill soon filled up the page.
At the number of children, she nodded her head; and he saw her lips quiver for the three that were dead.
The places of birth she "never forgot." Was it Kansas? Or Utah? Or Oregon, or not?
They came from Scotland of that she was clear; but she wasn't quite sure just how long they'd been here.
They spoke of employment, of schooling and such; they could read some and write some though really not much.
When the questions were answered, his job there was done, so he mounted his horse and he rode toward the sun.
We can almost imagine his voice loud and clear; "May God bless you all for another ten years."

Now picture a time warp its' now you and me, as we search for the people on our family tree.
We squint at the census and scroll down so slow, as we search for that entry from long, long ago.
Could they only imagine on that long ago day; that the entries they made would affect us this way?
If they knew, would they wonder at the yearning we feel; and the searching that makes them so increasingly real.
We can hear if we listen the words they impart, through their blood in our veins and their voice in our heart.

“I Could Be Wrong?”
"There is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home."

~Ken Olson, president, chairman and founder of Digital Equipment Corp.,
Maker of big business mainframe computers, arguing against the PC in 1977.

2009 Officers & Chair People

          In the January newsletter we introduced Sandy Crowley, the newly elected SOCCGS president. In this issue we introduce eight more members of the executive board.

Bill Bluett

          Bill is a native Californian, born and raised in the Los Angeles area. His wife, Helen, is from Iowa and came to California in 1963. They were married in 1965 (in Iowa) and bought their first home in Diamond Bar. While working for the Fluor Corporation, Bill and his family lived in Tehran, Iran, from 1973 to 1975. After returning home, his company relocated from Los Angeles to Irvine. In 1977, the Bluett’s gathered up their son and daughter and moved to San Clemente. During Bill’s working years, he was a Mechanical Design Engineer in the Petro-Chemical industry and later spent many years in Water Resource Development. He retired in 2001. Two years prior to retirement, genealogy became his primary hobby. Bill’s mother, Betty, (now 88 years old) was an avid genealogist in her younger years and has passed her information on to her son. Shortly after retirement, Bill became a docent at the SOCCGS Library. He recently served as the society president and will now serve a second term as vice president. Bill is also safari coordinator and seminar chairman. Other areas of volunteering include the San Clemente Historical Society and at the San Clemente Presbyterian Church.

Herb Abrams

          Herb was born and raised in Oklahoma. After graduation from the University of Oklahoma in 1953 with a degree in Mechanical Engineering he spent two years as a Lieutenant with the Army Engineers. Upon release from the Army, Herb began working as an Aircraft Structures Design Engineer for Douglas Aircraft in Tulsa, Oklahoma. He then spent 37 years with several different aircraft companies, the last 17 at Rockwell Aircraft in El Segundo, California. After retirement in 1992 he began doing genealogy research. Herb became a volunteer at NARA in 1995 and joined SOCCGS about that same time. Soon he accepted the job as publicity chairman and took over the duties of Webmaster in 1997. He has been a Saturday morning genealogy docent since 1997, when the Genealogy Department opened. Herb also services the SOCCGS computers, printers and copy machines.

Cindie Reilly

          Cynthia Lee Webb Reilly (Cindie) has been married for 30 years to hubby Bob. They are the parents of son, Shaun (21) and 3 "fur children," Dachshunds, Tucker, Ruby & Charlie. Cindie was born in San Diego, grew up in Garden Grove and has lived in the Saddleback Valley for 29 years. She is employed as Assistant Director at Shepherd of the Hills United Methodist Preschool in Mission Viejo. She also teaches a Jr. Kindergarten class of 17 five year-olds. She formerly worked ten years for Merrill Lynch Pierce Fenner & Smith. Cindie recently became a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution through her patriot ancestor, Eli Webb. She is currently searching for her mom's birthmother's family in Arizona - surname Campbell. Cindie loves to read and garden. She also LOVES bagpipes, country music and Jimmy Buffett (yes, she is a parrot head!) Welcome to our newly elected corresponding secretary.

Jack Naylor

          Jack is both the first and second child of George and Marjorie Naylor! How can this be? (Perhaps we can convince him to explain this at the February meeting.) Jack says he lived a semi-normal childhood barely eking his way through high school. He joined the Army Air Corps, after being rejected by the paratroopers, and became a radar technician. He was stationed at Berlin’s Tempelhof AFB during the Airlift as a Ground Control Approach (GCA) radar technician. His crew holds the record for the most aircraft landed in one 6-hour shift during inclement weather. In 1949, Jack eloped with Barbara Jean Gillilan to Ashland, Kentucky. Her genealogy contains a Joel Walker Sweeney who was the 1831 inventor of the 5-String banjo that we know today. He attended, Marshall, a small West Virginia College where he received a BS degree in Physics. Jack then worked for Hughes Aircraft Company in the R&D Division on infrared systems. Among others, he managed the B-52 FLIR (Forward Looking Infrared) system from prototype through production. He later transferred to the Santa Barbara Research Center as a classified Program Manager. In 1990, due to Barbara’s poor heath he retired as the Detector Division Assistant Division Manager. She passed away in 1997. Jack stays out of trouble helping neighbors, researching genealogy, woodworking, reading and investing.

Chuck Nostrome

          Charles J. Nostrome will be sharing the parliamentarian position with his wife Pat. Charles or Chuck, as he prefers to be called, moved with his family from New Jersey to Huntington Beach, California when he was a high school senior. He then graduated from Huntington Beach High School. He attended California State University Long Beach graduating with a degree in History. The first few years after college he taught school and coached at the junior high level in Glendale, California. Later he spent five years as a stockbroker and then became a manager and later vice president of a plastic packaging company. While there, he helped develop conductive and anti-static packaging. Chuck retired two years ago. The Nostrome’s currently reside in Irvine. Chuck has always been interested in learning more about his ancestry. He is currently exploring his mothers Sicilian Italian roots: Loschiavo, Polverino, Rugera, and Tesoriero and his father’s Southern Italian Nostrome or Nostrame, and Capaldo as well as Hungarian Mehlmauer and Jud.

Pat Nostrome

          Patricia or Pat, as she prefers, was born and raised in Long Beach, California. She is a graduate of Long Beach Polytechnic High School and California State University Long Beach. She earned a Social Science degree and a secondary school teaching credential. Pat spent her first years out of college teaching at Ralph J. Bunche Jr. High in Compton, CA. After marrying Chuck she moved to Glendale and substitute taught in Pasadena. After giving birth to their son, Michael, she studied computer programming and was employed at Rockwell International for 14 years. After the aerospace bubble burst Pat worked in business programming for insurance and mortgage companies. She has been retired for two years. She is an active member in the Ebell Club of Irvine. Pat wanted to learn more about her Mother’s pioneer Irish (Fallon, Murray, Tehan) roots in California, and English pioneer roots in Oregon & Washington (Nerton and Locking or Lockin). She also wanted to track down the Portuguese Azorean roots of her father for Vieira Anselmo and Dos Reis and Dutra. Thus she began her genealogy research.

David Flint

          David has been a member of SOCCGS for one year and will be serving as ways and means chairman. He is also a member of OCCGS and BIFHS-USA. In December, David retired after 40 years with the County of Los Angeles, twenty-five of those as Assistant Director of the County Public Library system. He was born in England and moved to Canada at age ten, then to Ohio and Indiana before coming to California. David has been researching genealogy for about six years, and looks forward to having more time to devote to serious research. He will be joining the annual OCCGS trip to Salt Lake City in April for his first visit to the Family History Library. All of his family research is in England. Surnames David is researching are: Flint, Morecroft, Fear, Bell, Hawkins, Bedford, Knight and Northend. Legacy Family Tree is David’s genealogy software choice.

Bunny Smith

          Bunny was born in a barn in December near Jefferson City, Missouri. Her parents were newlyweds and young, they could only afford an apartment loft built in a barn of a friend. It had been a very cold winter. Bunny’s parents would place her on the oven door to keep her warm. They survived that winter and moved to the city the following summer. Her sister was born two years later. After her birth, the family packed everything and moved to California. Bunny’s father got a job at American Steel in Torrance. Torrance is where she grew up, attended grade and high school, got her first job and first marriage. After one child and a divorce, she met Leon Smith at their fifteenth high school reunion. Bunny says, “It was love at first sight; we had so many things in common. We were married moved to Mission Viejo.”
          “Leon was the one responsible for getting me interested in genealogy. It was his hobby when we first met over 25 years ago. He would go to libraries and Federal Archives and I would go along and help him. Soon, I started working on my own family. On our summer vacations we drove to Missouri to visit family and cemeteries. One time, to see a distant relative, Leon drove out into hillbilly backcountry in our VW van wearing a T-shirt and shorts, He left early in the morning, and by 4:00 p.m. my step-father was ready to call the police, he thought they had killed him just because of the way he looked. However, when they found out he was one of the family, he was welcomed in. He was back a few hours later.”
Bunny has researched and documented several family lines back to the American Revolution, and some lines to the 1600s in Delaware and Virginia. One line came to America from Ireland in 1820 and another came from Germany to America in 1840, She has traced the rest back to the early 1700s. Researching Family Genealogy is her hobby and passion.

“Don’t Ignore Early Census Records”

~Mary Penner

          I knew that Sarah Gum married Stephen Mills in 1847. The 1850 census record for Stephen and Sarah showed five children aged six to sixteen with the surname Gum. Clearly, a Gum man lurked in Sarah’s past.
          But, no marriage record existed in that county between a man with the last name Gum and a woman named Sarah. Meanwhile, I noted that a sixteen-year-old with the surname Mills also resided in the household in 1850, which suggested that Stephen had likely been married before, too. Again, I couldn’t find a marriage record in that county for Stephen and his presumed first wife.
          So, I turned my attention to the 1840 census. Aha. There was Stephen Mills, and guess who lived right next door? Jesse Gum. Now I was getting somewhere.
          More digging revealed that not only were Stephen and Jesse neighbors, they were also brothers-in-law. Their first wives, Mary and Sarah, were sisters. So, the widower Stephen married his wife’s sister. But, that’s another story. The story here is that the 1840 census set me on the right track.
          Family historians rely heavily on census records to open all kinds of ancestral doors. But, too often we slam the door shut on census records prior to 1850. The 1850 and all subsequent census years include the names and ages of everyone in the household–very handy.
          The 1790 through 1840 census records, however, list only the head of the household and give approximate ages for everyone else–not as handy. Don’t count out the early census records, though; they could provide just the boost your research needs.

Some tips for using early census records:

          1. For 1790-1820, the census date was the first Monday in August. The 1830 and 1840 census date was 1 June. This is important to remember because the census-takers occasionally had to slog through remote countryside, often on foot, trying to track down citizens.
          They didn’t even reach some households for a year or more after the census date. For the 1790 census, U.S. marshals (the first census-takers) pounded on residents’ doors collecting information for nearly seventeen months. No matter when the census-taker showed up, though, the data was supposed to reflect the household conditions on the census date.
          For example, in 1820 the census date was 7 August 1820, yet the census-taker didn’t reach your ancestor’s door until 7 August 7 1821. Suppose a child was born on 8 August 8 1820 and another one showed up on 6 August 1821. Technically, neither of those children should have been counted in the 1820 census. This time lag often led to confused answers and, for genealogists today, perplexing data.
          2. For the 1790-1820 censuses, the census-takers had to supply their own paper and draw their own lines and columns on the page. Plus, they had to make two sets of copies of every page. Some enumerators rose to this penmanship challenge more handily than others. Crooked and haphazard looking census pages aren’t unusual.
          3. Until 1830, in each state, the original census records were retained by district court clerks. In 1830 Congress ordered that the 1790-1820 records be sent to Washington. Unfortunately, some of those records never made it to the capital. Check the National Archives website to see a list of the early census records known to exist.
          4. When plowing through early census records, get census forms that identify each column. The columns on the actual records usually weren’t labeled, so you need to know what those numbers scratched on the paper mean. When looking at a census record on you’ll see a link near the top of the page labeled “blank census form.” (Blank census forms are available at the SOCCGS Library.)
          The data collected changed slightly each year. For example, the 1820 census tallied the number of household members who weren’t citizens, as well as the number of persons engaged in agriculture, commerce, and manufacturing. Also, be on the lookout for extemporaneous notations by the enumerators. One 1820 Massachusetts census-taker thoughtfully included the initials “Wd” after all of the widows.
          5. Finally, remember to check the neighbors. Family groups often clustered near each other. Unfortunately, some “Type-A” census-takers, when copying their records, alphabetized everyone on their lists, nixing the neighbor bonus for researchers.

Mary Penner is a genealogical writer, researcher, and lecturer. (

(13 July 2008-Ancestry Weekly Journal, Copyright © 1998-2006, Inc

Like Winnie-the-Pooh author, A.A. Milne said,
“One of the advantages of being disorderly is that one is constantly making exciting discoveries.”


Feb. 14 & 15 – Queen Mary Scottish Festival & Games, Long Beach, CA, (Click on “Scottish Festival”)
February 21 – Hemet-San Jacinto Genealogical Society presents Jana Sloan Broglin at the annual seminar. More information at:
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.
June 26-28 – 40th Annual Southern California Genealogy Jamboree. Mark your calendar. More information will be forthcoming.


President _________________________ Sandy Crowley____________________
Vice President, Seminar
Chairman & Safari Coordinator ________

Bill Bluett ________________________
Recording Secretary ________________ Cindie Reily _______________________
Corresponding Secretary ____________ Pat Weeks _______________________
Treasurer & Newsletter Editor ________ Mary Jo McQueen _________________
Membership ______________________ Jack Naylor ______________________
Publicity/Webmaster _______________ Herb Abrams _____________________
Librarian _________________________ Bunny Smith _____________________
Parliamentarian ___________________ Charles & Patricia Nostrome _________
Hospitality _______________________ Patricia Leard _____________________  
Historian  ________________________ Barbara Wilgus ____________________
Ways & Means  __________________ David Flint ________________________

SOCCGS Website @

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SOCCGS Library within the Mission Viejo Library;

Marguerite Parkway at LaPaz, (949) 470-8498

SOCCGS E-mail:

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South Orange County California Genealogical Society Membership/Renewal Application

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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___________________

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