Saddleback Valley Trails

Vol 9 No 3 ...Editor: Gail Gilbert ...March 2002

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.


This month we are presenting the first in a series of articles introducing the members of the SOCCGS Board of Directors. I recently interviewed Herb Abrams, our Publicity Chairman and Webmaster.

Herb started his genealogy research in 1992, after his retirement from Rockwell and a 38 year career as an aerospace engineer. Herb had grown up in Oklahoma and graduated from the Univ. of Oklahoma. In 1992, his aunt sent him some information on the Abrams and Falls families of Tennessee. Her great grandfather, Thomas Abrams, had come from North Carolina. Herb decided to see if he could find him in census records. That's when he got the "genie bug."

Herb began researching his father's ABRAMS and FALLS families and his mother's POWELL and BASSHAM families in Southern Tennessee. When he reached a "brick wall" on these families, he started with his wife, Marilyn's, THRASHER and SIZER families. The Thrashers were from Oneida Co., NY and Wisconsin. The Sizers were from Wisconsin, also. Herb was able to trace that family back to Middletown, Connecticut in the early 1700's.

The main geographic areas of Herb's research are Tennessee, the Carolinas, New York, Connecticut and Massachusetts. His goal is to find the immigrant ancestor in all these families. His Abrams and Falls families were Scotch-Irish. The Powell family was probably Welch and the Bassham/Basham family is English. The only immigrant ancestor he has proved is Antonio Dezocieur, b. 1707 in Terceira, Azores, who changed his name to Anthony Sizer when he arrived in Middletown, CT about 1727.

His most interesting and productive find was at the FHC, where he found reference to a book, "The Abrams Family Genealogy 1745-1979" written by George Carter Abrams, Newberry, SC. He was thrilled to find listed his gg grandfather, Thomas Abrams; ggg, William and gggg, James. In 1996 Herb visited Newberry, SC and visited the grave site of James Abrams.

Herb's advice for beginners is to gather all of the family records you can, then search the census records at the National Archives. Prior to 1850, the census records list, by name only, the head of household. This is when you should check out the LDS Family History Center and the Internet. The Internet has revolutionized the art of genealogy research.

Herb says, "Genealogy can be a wonderful hobby and I encourage everyone to try it." Every Thursday Herb can be found, as a volunteer, at the National Archives in Laguna Niguel.

Mary Jo McQueen


16 March 2002 We will again welcome Toni Perrone as our speaker on German research. Her topic will be "DOWN THE RHINE - WHICH WAY TO AMERICA." The presentation will include the migration of people from Baden-Wuerttemberg and Rhineland Pfalz to Russia, the Banat, Holland, France, England, Ireland, Australia, Vorpommern and North and South America. The ports of departure and reasons for immigration will be included. Also, valuable resources at the Immigrrant Library will be discussed.

Toni has been speaking to genealogical societies around the country since 1983. Her experience stems from researching her own German and Italian ancestry, as well as 22 years of volunteering at the Immigrant Library in Burbank, California. She is a founding member of the Immigrant Genealogical Society and has served on the Board of Directors for the Immigrant Library. She is also a founding member of the Temecula Valley Genealogical Society, a past Vice President and currently an advisor to the Board. She is also currently the President of the Pommern Interest Group whose sole purpose is to preserve a record of the Pomeranians of the 19th century who emigrated to America. In addition to these organizations, Toni is a member of The Federation of Eastern European Family History Society, The National Genealogical Society and the Association of Professional Genealogists.

We look forward to hearing Toni on March 16th.


17 March 2002 The Pommern Special Interest Group (PSIG), a subgroup of the Immigrant Genealogical Society, will host John Movius, FEEFHS Webmaster, whose topic will be "A Trip to Pommern" with questions and answers. John is from Salt Lake City and his column for Die Pommerschen Leute provides critical information on how and where to do ancestral research in Pommern. The meeting is at 1 pm at IGS Library, 1310 Magnolia, Burbank, CA.

13-14 April 2002 The Southern California Genealogical Society (SCGS) will hold its Annual Genealogical Jamboree at the Pasadena Convention Center. Info is available from Chris Hubbard (818) 843-7247 or or

20 April 2002 The Orange Family History Fair will take place. More info to follow.

19 May 2002 The French Canadian Heritage Society of CA will hold their next meeting on Sunday from 10 -4 at the Library of the SCGS at 417 Irving Drive, Burbank, CA. Call (818) 843-7247 for directions.

7-10 August 2002 The 2002 Federation of Genealogical Societies Conference will be hosted next summer by the CA State Genealogical Alliance at the Ontario Convention Center. Details will be posted on the FGS Website at You can also write FGS, PO Box 200940, Austin, TX 78720-0940.


Only a Genealogist regards a step backwards as progress!


Thank you Hall Simon, for the delightful talk on pre-War toys presented at our last meeting. Hall will give the second half of his presentation, on post-War toys, on March 16th.

We think it would be fun, if any members have an old toy to share, if they would bring it to display at our next meeting.


The target date to move into our new area is still early to mid-April, and in the meantime we still need some EXTRA help. We have been working hard on reducing the space that the Periodicals take, and thanks to some super helpers, we have accomplished quite a lot, but there is much more to be done. You do not have to be a regular Docent to help. So, if you find a few hours to spare, we could really use your help at the Library or by taking material home to work on. This is an opportunity for you to research the Periodicals, so chose a State you are interested in and see what you may 'find.' It Happens!

Janet P. Franks, Librarian (949) 496-8428

New additions to the SOCCGS Library Collection:

Donated by Dever Oxford
A History of Catawba County
American Indians

Donated by Norma Wilson
Cross Road of Our Nation, Records & Pioneer Families, Vol. 40: 1-4; Vol. 41: 1-4
Ohio Civil War Journal, Vol. 1-4

Donated by Janet Franks
Cape Cod Library of Local History and Genealogy (2 Vol.) by Leonard H. Smith, Jr.

It is well know that Cape Cod families are difficult to trace. This is due mostly to the burning of the Barnstable County Courthouse in 1827. Mr. Smith has put together his material from a series of 108 pamphlets that were published at Yarmouthport in the early part of this century. He has completely indexed this work. Contributions to The Cape Cod Library come from several celebrated genealogists.

Gift to the SOCCGS Library:

We wish to thank Jacquelyn Hanson for the microfilm reader she donated to our library. Our webmaster and technical advisor, Herb Abrams, has it up and running, ready for our use.


Guests: Judy Ryu (ROESKE - Ohio), Teryl Snyder (KEYES, WINDFELDT, CAREY), Laurie Patton (BENNETT, CLOW - Michigan; PATTON - PA; WHITHAM - MI, Eng.), Frank Chocco (BLACKBURN - South, Midwest & New England U.S.; Armaigh Co., Ireland; England; Wurtemburg, Germany),

Lila Kay, Lester W. Bunning (BUNNING - "One Name Study"; JEFFS - Leicestershire, Eng.), Patricia Bunning (ALBRIGHT - PA/MD; HOLLOWAY/HOLLAWAY - VA), Donald & Vivian Evans (EVANS, PETERSON), Randy Thompson (BASSETT, THOMPSON)

New Members: Laura Patton, Lee Patton and Martin Seiloman

Serendipity And Genealogy
by Nancy Giles (reprinted with her permission)

So often a thought or idea will come to mind, while researching a family history, that seems to nag at a person, then fade into obscurity, only to recur again. Perhaps it will come about in a conversation, a book, an e-mail to a list you belong to and it will seem too 'far fetched' and once again you casually sluff it off.

Finally, it comes to you again, and you realize that something or 'someone' is trying to 'tell you something' and you begin to earnestly think about how it can tie into your research. My strongest advice to you, is to follow through on any recurring thought or suggestion that comes to you repeatedly.

One of my favorite books is Hank Jones' book, "Physic Roots", which is available at the WAGS library. I have not had time to read the second volume Mr. Jones has put out relating to this subject, but I urge you to read the above mentioned one, and to see how often 'serendipity' comes to play in genealogy.

A recurring suggestion that has come to me over the years, is one that relates to a John Campbell line I am working on in Washington County, Pennsylvania. I have been working against a brick wall on this line for about fifteen years, but everytime I do earnest research on this person, I keep coming across the name of a Miss Beall, who married a John Campbell, birthdate about the right time, area about the right place, etc. I have reason to believe that our John Campbell was married before his marriage to our known ancestor, as family lore speaks of a 'daughter from a previous marriage.' I know that John's wife, our ancestor, was much younger than her husband, and there could be even older children than the above mentioned daughter. Every time I work on this, I come across a new record pulling these two lines together, so I am about convinced that there is a connection. Hopefully on my upcoming trip to the Salt Lake library, I will find the connection or proof that will establish that this is definitely not the right person.

As you will note, I am still trying to prove this and other research. Working on an assumption can be disastrous to one's research. It would be very easy to say "I know this is the right one" and move on, but without proving the facts, I could be completely destroying the hard work I have done on the other lines of this family. There is much research being put out both in the printed word and on the Internet, that has not been proven and has caused many 'family trees' to be full of errors and misconnections. I want my work to be qualified, proven work before I am willing to accept it, but I know that I must follow the hints, suggestions and ideas that come to me, or I may be missing that valuable link.


I recently learned through my KINCAID List, via an article in the Dallas Morning News by Mary Ellen Botter, that Scotland has recently launched a Web site to encourage U.S. citizens to search for their Scottish kin and to follow their ancestral footsteps in Scotland. The website, located at, allows a search by place name, parish or surname, the latter including a list of places where the name is found, maps and information on tourism. All data is based on the 1881 census. Additional research can be done by visiting the archives at New Register House in Edinburgh or by accessing indexes at


As you may have noticed, many of the interesting articles and pieces of humor in my newsletters come from the Rootsweb Review. For those of you who are unfamiliar with this "free" on-line weekly newsletter, let me tell you how to subscribe. Simply send a plain text e-mail with only the word subscribe in the message to:

I have found this letter to be an invaluable source of information on new rootsweb lists, databases, and other miscellaneous resources. For example the following came from Vol. 5, No. 7, 13Feb2002:

LEARN AFT ONLINE: Ancestry Family Tree (AFT) online class starts 18 February 2002. Join Janet Reakes and learn how to get the most from this new software. This course provides a quick trip around the Buttons, Pedigree, Family View, and Name List. Learn how to import your family tree into AFT, merge files, add photos and much more. The class costs $29.95.

AFT is free genealogy software available at:

Another interesting article from this same issue, based on CBS TV's "60 Minutes" story "The Lost Children", tells us about the BRITISH CHILD MIGRANTS who, as victims of poverty, illegitimacy or broken homes, were sent to Australia or New Zealand prior to 1950. To learn more about these children see any of the following:,,

For children brought to Canada between 1870 and 1948, see the Rootsweb mailing list and archives at:


(Submitted by member Bill Harris, from the Prussia Website, author unknown.)


I went searching for an ancestor, I cannot find him still,

He's not in any record found to date and did not leave a will

He married a cousin or so the story goes, which left him hopping fences,

He avoided any man who came to take his info on the US census.

He always kept his luggage packed, this man who had no fame,

Every 20 years or so this rascal changed his name.

His parents came from Europe, They should be on some list,

but searching through the USA, somehow they got missed.

No one else in this world is searching for this man,

So I play Geneo-solitaire to find him if I can.

I'm told he's buried in a plot with tombstone he was blessed,

The weather took engraving and vandals took the rest.

He died before the county decided to keep records

No family Bible has emerged, despite all my efforts.

To top it off, this ancestor, who's caused me many groans,

Just to give me one more pain, betrothed a girl named Jones.

(gleaned from various newsletters and lists by your editor)

For a guide to immigration and naturalization records, the INS has some very helpful web sites. See:

For "History, Genealogy, and Education see:

For "Statistical Yearbook" see:


For Indexes to Passenger List & Records of the U.S. Customs Service, 1820-ca. 1891 see:


For Passenger Arrival Records at Port of Boston MA 1820-1943, see:

For some interesting letters written by Sergeant Jonas Roe to his wife Celina of Wayne Co., IL, describing Civil War battles and men of the 5th Cavalry, Company M of Illinois, see:

For free help with your research and a volunteer in an area where you would like to obtain a document from a courthouse, library or other institution, see:

(source unknown - continued)

In the Boot Hill Cemetery in Tombstone, AZ, the grave of a Wells Fargo Co. station agent:

Here lies Lester Moore

Four slugs from a .44

No Les No More.

In a Georgia cemetery:

I told you I was sick!

John Penny's epitaph, Wimborne, Eng. cemetery:

Reader if cash thou art

In want of any

Dig 4 feet deep

And thou wilt find a Penny.

Margaret Daniels' grave, Hollywood Cemetery, Richmond, VA:

She always said her feet were killing her but nobody believed her.

In a cemetery in Hartscombe, England:

On the 22nd June

Jonathan Fiddle

Went out of tune.

Anna Hopewell's grave, Enosburg Falls, Vermont:

Here lies the body of our Anna

Done to death by a banana

It wasn't the fruit that laid her low

But the skin of the thing that made her go.

Grave of Owen Moore, Battersea, London, Eng:

Gone away

Owin' more

Than he could pay

1880's grave in Nantucket, Massachusetts:

Under the sod and under the trees

Lies the body of Jonathan Pease.

He is not here, there's only the pod:

Pease shelled out and went to God.


A roster of all the current courses is maintained at our library. Besure to chek the bulletin board 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, such as the one being conducted currently by our society member Doug Mason at Orange Coast College, can be found listed at the website: Many of these are also free online. For Doug's class, call him at (714) 432-5072, email <>.

South Orange County California Genealogical Society

Membership/Renewal Application

( ) New 1 Year ( ) Individual, $20 ( ) Jt. Members, same address $25

( ) Renewal Membership Number(s) _______________ ___________________

Name(s) ________________________________________________________________

Address _________________________________________________________________

City ____________________________ State_____Zip__________Phone ___________________

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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