Saddleback Valley Trails
South Orange County California Genealogical Society

Vol. 12 No. 2 Editor: Mary Jo McQueen March 2005

 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.

Presented By

Researching our female ancestors can be a difficult task to undertake, especially prior to the 1850 census. Ms Elliott will guide us through the research techniques that can be used today and discuss the types of records, documents, and manuscripts that are available to us as resources.
Ms. Elliott is a professor of history at California State University, Fullerton, where she teaches U.S. History, Oral History, California History, and Public History. She is an internationally known genealogical teacher, lecturer and an accomplished writer. She recently completed updating five chapters for the 2004 revision of Ancestry’s Redbook.


April 16 --------- Barbara Renick - “Jump Start Your Family Tree Online.”
May 21st -------- Rosalind Heaps - "The Research Notebook."
June 18th -------- Leland Pound - "German Research."
July----------------Annie Lloyd - “Welsh Settlements in the USA.”
October 22 ------ Seminar featuring Lloyd Bockstruck.
December 16 ---- Holiday Party.


On March 23 we will visit the Los Angeles Family History Center located on the grounds of the Los Angeles Temple at 10741 santa Monica Blvd. in West Los Angeles. The LA FHC is the largest family history center satellite of the Salt Lake Family History Library. Its holdings include 21 networked computers, 100 film machines, 16 microfiche machines, 125,000+ rolls of film, 100,000 microfiche, 40,000+ books and I could go on and on! You will need to bring lunch and be prepared to have dinner on the way home. Don’t forget $$ for those driving. We will leave the LDS parking lot in Mission Viejo promptly at 9:00 am. Make your reservation with Bill Bluett,


If not, we sincerely hope that you have not decided to terminate your SOCCGS membership. We would miss you greatly! Please check your records, and if a check has not been sent please mail one as soon as possible. This will be the last newsletter mailed to those other than current members. A membership form can be found on the last page of the newsletter.

"The quality, not the longevity, of one's life is what is important."
~Martin Luther King, Jr.

********No one has come forth to volunteer this month.********
PLEASE consider volunteering.
Substitutes are urgently needed!
The following hours on a weekly, bimonthly or monthly basis are available:

Sunday: 3 to 5 (2nd & 4th)
Monday: 12:30 to 2:30 & 7 to 8:30
Tuesday: 1 to 4 & 7 to 8:30
Wednesday: 3 to 5 (1st & 3rd)
Friday: 1 to 4 (1st)
Ongoing classes for persons considering becoming docents are held on Thursdays (12-3) and Saturdays (10 to 1). These classes are also open to current docents and others needing help using the resources available at the library.


June Hanson gave a most informative talk on English Records Research. Thank you to Marion Hatch who provided the cookies and brownies.


We welcome new member Joanne Feldman, ,, who joined at the February meeting. She is searching HICKS, looking for a Revolutionary War connection. Lillian Koutroulis and Kathleen Manthy are new members who joined by mail. We are looking forward to meeting them and learning the surnames they are researching.

Guests attending the February meeting were: Jim Baker, Shirley Dipsiner, Terry Hibbard, Carolyn Annala and June Malchow.


Colleen Robledo is planning a Family History Recipe Book as a project. The plan is to have it ready for sale at the October Semnar. Members will be asked to participate with family recipes and pictures. Colleen will have more on this by the March meeting.


Orphan Trains & Their Precious Cargo by Clark Kidder
Barbour Collection of Connecticut Town Vital Records: Lorraine Cook White
Vol. 3 - Branford 1644-1850 & Bridgeport 1821-1854

CD’ s - The New York Genealogical and Biographical Record, 1870 - 1939. These four CD’s are complete scanned and digitzed copies of this genealogical bulletin, which includes compiled genealogies of New York families and transcripts of New York sources.

(The libraary has previously purchased the index to these volumes.)

Please inform Librarian, Shirley Fraser, if there are books or CD’s which you would like to have added to our collection.

Democracy is two wolves and a sheep voting on the lunch menu...
Liberty is a well-armed sheep contesting the vote!
~Benjamin Franklin


Diane Hearne

Dear Great Great Grandfather Steele,

May I call you Grandfather? All those “greats” make you seem so much farther away! You don’t know me, but I’m your great granddaughter, Jane’s little girl. I hope you remember Jane? I’m staring at a picture of the two of you when she was about two years old and you were about 90. Now that I’m a grandmother myself, these pictures and memories have become so important to me.

I have no pictures of your wives or your children, other than my great grandmother, Mary. I wonder what you looked like as a little boy in 1827? I will never know. Now that I look at this photo more closely, I realize it’s from you that I get my unruly hair. Mine does look a little more controlled than yours, probably due to my lack of a white beard and the skills of my hairdresser.

Grandfather, I have a few questions to ask you which would satisfy my curiosity and increase the number of leaves gracing our family tree. I know that your father was born in Kentucky, your mother in Indiana, and you in Ohio (or so you told the census takers each year). Where was YOUR grandfather born, or more precisely, where did the Steeles come from? Maybe they made that long journey from Ireland? Why did they choose Kentucky over more eastern states? They came well before the potato famine, so what were their reasons for leaving, better farm land, glowing descriptions of relatives who preceded them?
How did you meet Permelia, your first wife? Did you see her at church every Sunday and finally get up enough nerve to ask to walk her home? How awful for you when she died leaving you with little Mary Elizabeth and George. Which relative on that tree stepped in to take care of them while you worked the farm? How lucky you were to find Elizabeth, your second wife, who not only took care of your two older children, but had the strength to give you seven more! It did not surprise me to see that she succumbed nine years before you did.

Were you one of those gruff farmers who come in from the fields, wash the dirt off your hands, plunk your exhausted body down at the kitchen table, hoist your knife and fork in the air, demanding your dinner? Did you play games with your children or take the boys out to the fields with you as soon as they were able, insisting that the girls help their mother with the chores of the house? Were you religious, did you sit and read your Bible in the evenings? Did you buy the latest in farm equipment and conveniences for the house such as indoor plumbing, electricity, and a gas stove, or were you a miser who didn’t want any of that newfangled stuff?

Speak to me Grandfather, I feel a real closeness to you now, after visiting your grave in Indiana and seeing your signature on old farm deeds. I did finally inherit, along with my brother, the farmland described as “east of a meridian line drawn from the mouth of the Great Miami River, bounded by 41 chains and 50 links to a stake, north 6 chains and 12 links to a large Sycamore, etc.” Thank you. What I missed by being so far apart from you in years, however, was the choice of personal belongings in the house and the right to select one cow, as was given to those who preceded me. I am not sure what I would do with my very own cow, but I’m confident I would have chosen wisely.

If I don’t hear from you soon, I will resume using more accepted methods of digging the roots of our tree in order to close the gap between us.

Your great great granddaughter,


(The foregoing letter, for which Diane was awarded an honorable mention in the 2003 Southern California Genealogy Society writing contest, appeared in the The Searcher, March/April 2003, page 71. Diane is a member of SOCCGS.)

"You have not lived a perfect day, even though you have earned your money, unless you have done something for someone
who will never be able to repay you." ~Ruth Smeltzer


An interesting Genealogy CHART site:

Power of Place. This new database, compiled by journalists, draws from hundreds of published sources to offer a list of prior post office names, railroad depots, plat names, informal place names, and merged communities in the United States.

Displaced Persons For those researching German, Austrian, Italian, and French displaced persons after World War II.

"England and Wales: Getting More from Online Censuses," article by Sherry Irvine, CGRS, FSA (Scot)

Is your e-mail address up-to-date at all RootsWeb sources?

The War Of The Rebellion: A Compilation Of The Official Records Of The Union and Confederate Armies.

Search the official records at:

No serious study of the American Civil War is complete without consulting the Official Records. Affectionately known as the "OR", the 128 volumes of the Official Records provide the most comprehensive, authoritative, and voluminous reference on Civil War operations.

Access the Official Records by Series or Volume. Browse the Official Records with the fast and easy-to-use index. Jump to the exact Volume, Part or Campaign.

As the 400th anniversary of the founding of the Jamestown colony nears, a visit to the Virtual Jamestown website is in order. Visit

The Virtual Jamestown Archive, described as "a digital research, teaching and learning project that explores the legacies of the Jamestown settlement and the 'Virginia experiment'" on the website's home page, focuses not only on Jamestown during the period from its founding in 1607 to 1699, but also on creating a better understanding of Jamestown's legacies, including slavery and indentured servitude. The site contains a number of searchable databases and records. Click on the map on the home page to access them.


Perhaps you remember aprons, or still use one.... The principle use of Grandma's apron was to protect the dress underneath, but along with that, it served as a holder for removing hot pans from the oven; it was wonderful for drying children's tears, and on occasion was even used for cleaning out dirty ears.

From the chicken-coop the apron was used for carrying eggs, fussy chicks and sometimes half-hatched eggs to be finished in the warming oven,

When company came those old aprons were ideal hiding places for shy kids; and when the weather was cold, grandma wrapped it around her arms.

Those big old aprons wiped many a perspiring brow, bent over the hot wood stove. Chips and kindling-wood were brought into the kitchen in that apron.

From the garden it carried all sorts of vegetables. After the peas had been shelled it carried out the hulls. In the fall it was used to bring in apples that had fallen from the trees.

When unexpected company drove up the road, it was surprising how much furniture that old apron could dust in a matter of seconds.

When dinner was ready, Grandma walked out on the porch and waved her apron, and the men knew it was time to come in from the fields for dinner.

It will be a long time before anyone invents something that will replace that old-time apron that served so many purposes

(Author Unknown. This came, via the Internet , from a special friend of Shirley Fraser.)

"We are not interested in the possibilities of defeat; they do not exist."
~Queen Victoria


The society has purchased a new computer for use at the docent desk at SOCCGS library. Our thanks to Herb Abrams and Gary Giddings for using their time and expertise in setting it up. Could this be just one more reason for you to consider becoming a docent?

From the Democrat (Olean, New York), 10 February 1881, page 2
(Ancestry Daily News, 2005)

Died on the seventh day of Feb. 1881, at his residence in Napoli, Hardy R. Finch, in the eighty-fifth year of his age. Deceased moved into Napoli in March, 1823, and settled upon the farm, where he has lived fifty-seven years last March, and by his industry and ability he has accumulated a large fortune. In 1820 he married Rachael Porter, of Covington, Genessee county, this State, and settled in the town of Perry, Genessee county. After living there three years they moved into this wilderness country. Having no children of their own they adopted one, who went by the name of Hiram Finch. This boy, when first entering the family, was in his seventh year, and is now living in the town of Coldspring.

The deceased buried his wife, Rachael, one year ago last fall, in the eighty-second year of her age. This worthy couple were all a father and mother could be to this poor boy Hiram, who was a member of the family for thirteen years, and while I live I shall never forget with what anxiety they watched my welfare; and the earnest counsel I have received from them all the way through life. We came into Napoli when there was but seven families in the town and but few in the county. The bears and wolves were plenty and would frequently come into the door yard and take a sheep or swine out of the yard for their own eating. Uncle Hardy would frequently go away and leave Aunt Rachael and I alone, perhaps a week at a time, but not unnecessarily. Now they are both gone, never more to return. As we look around and see how few of the old pioneers are left, we are reminded that we too must go, and if we follow the example and teachings of our good departed friends, we shall be ready for the summons. Farewell. H. C.


Canadian Photographer Turns Up Befitting Stone

Murray Pletsch writes that his hobby and contribution to the family research "world" is to photograph entire cemeteries by township and by county in the vast area of northeastern Ontario, Canada.

Pletsch puts these pictures up on his personal website for researchers from all over the world to use at:

"One day, after almost finishing a cemetery in the sweltering heat, I was fighting off ravenous black flies, deer flies, horse flies, mosquitoes, watching for bears, and looking for the end of this huge cemetery and I was in great pain," he relates.

"Just as I as about to break prematurely for the day and head to my air-conditioned van, I had to take a second look at a headstone just ahead. The surname on this stone was -- DEADMAN.

"After I photographed that stone, my pain left and there was a skip in my gait as I headed for my car in a state of amazement at the irony and shaking my head in disbelief," said Pletsche.

Take a peek:


Until 1786, all children born in Virginia, regardless of religious affiliation, were required to be baptized in the episcopal Church, which was the “state church.” Parish registers giving names, dates of birth, and names of parents are in the Virginia State Library, Richmond.
(From the Yarbrough Family Quarterly, Vol. 14, #2)

"Learning is a kind of natural food for the mind."
~Marcus Tullius Cicero


(Ancestry Daily News, 2005,

From the Adams Centinel (Gettysburg, Pa.), 26 January 1820, page 3

Charleston, Jan 13: Dreadful Conflagration!

By this morning's Southern mail we have received the following particulars of a most destructive fire in Savannah, which has laid one half of that city in ashes.--Courier

Extract of a letter to the editor--Jan. 11. "Savannah has been visited this morning with a destructive fire. About four hundred houses are consumed, and five millions of dollars may not cover the loss. A space of one third of a mile in length and one seventh in breadth, closely built and in the most active part, with a few exceptions, is desolated. It commenced at Baptist church square, and as the wind was N.W. swept to Abercorn street; on the east side of Broughton st. every house is gone from Jefferson street to Mr. Denning's house, which was saved.--Mr. Anderson's & the Episcopal church in St. Julian street stopped the flames; both are safe. The State Bank and Planters' Bank, in Bryan street are preserved.

From Washington Hotel Range and Capt. Rice's on Bay street, to Abercorn, all is lost except Mr. Dickson's store. Dr. Jones' house was blown up. The Branch Bank and the new custom-house, with stores not occupied are burnt. The vault of the Bank built in the yard resisted the heat, and kept secure the papers and specie.---Many buildings supposed to be fireproof could not withstand the intense heat. The largest store here, or perhaps in the U. States, with most of its contents of dry goods, is destroyed.--The warehouses and shipping are safe. All the printing offices are burnt.

Several explosions of powder took place. The distress is great. Not a barber's or Apothecary's shop, a hardware, dry good, stationary, crockery or clothing store left. The Phoenix Company, of London, had insured about 163,000 dollars, besides a good deal by the New York Fire Companies. Many are ruined; particularly retailers."

From the New York Times (New York, N.Y.), 03 February 1858, page 5

A New-York Free Colored Man Sold Into Slavery

Interesting Letter from Mayor Mayo, of Richmond, Va.: An interesting case has been brought to the notice of Mayor Tismann, in which there is alleged the kidnapping of a colored man, who formerly lived in this City, and the selling of him in Virginia as a slave. The name of the alleged kidnapper is Mason Thomas, and that of the colored man George Anderson. Thomas sold Anderson in Richmond, Va., insisting that he was his slave. Owing to the persistent assertions of Anderson to the contrary, and circumstances which developed themselves subsequent to the sale, Thomas was arrested by the Richmond authorities, and taken before the Mayor. On hearing the statements of the parties, Mayor Mayo was inclined to believe the allegations of the colored man.

From the Adams Centinel (Gettysburg, Pa.) 07 February 1816, page 3

Soap Making: Soap made of snow in the following manner:--Take and cut into very small pieces one pound of good hard soap, dissolve it with a slow fire, when dissolved put six or eight pounds of clean snow with it, and after having boiled them together well for three hours (or until it shows a lather on its surface) add a wine glass of salt, and let it get cold, when it will be found the finest soap & to weigh as much as the snow did originally.

From the Adams Centinel (Gettysburg, Pa.), 8 December 1824, page 3:

It is an interesting fact that the twenty thousand children, whose names have been registered on the books of the common or public schools of the state of New York, but one of them has been traced to a criminal court of justice, charged with an offense. A glorious instance of the effect of education in the improvement of morals in a land of free institutions.

From the Adams Centinel (Gettysburg, Pa.), 09 December 1801, page 2:

We understand that some improvements are projected in the carriage of the mails in the United States. It is contemplated that the mail shall pass from New-York to Boston in 48 hours, and shall not be interrupted by the laws for preventing traveling on Sunday!

"What's well begun, is half done." ~Horace

April 2

Dr. Ralph Crandall, Executive Director of NEHGS will be main speaker at the April meeting of the Orange County California Genealogical Society. Subject: "Migration Patterns from New England to the Old Northwest 1750 to 1850." This should be great for Californias and that "lost" time period.
His afternoon session is "Can Californians Do Research at NEHGS? - New Possibilities."
For information:

April 16

North San Diego County Genealogical Society Spring Seminar featuring Lloyd DeWitt Bockstruck.

May 13 & 14

Southern California 36th Annual Jamboree in Burbank. LTMYERS@EARTHLINK.NET
Scheduled speakers are: Jana Sloan Broglin, Tom Kemp, Bill Dollarhide, Leland Meitzler, Andy Pomeroy, Tom Underhill, Elaine Alexander and John Shupe.


The Southern California Chapter of GSHA meets at the Southern California Genealogical Society Family History Library at 417 Irving Drive, Burbank. Meetings are scheduled for April 9, and June 11, 2005. Call (818)843-7240 for directions.


Biological parents and adopted children (of legal age) may register with International Soundex Reunion Registry, P. O. Box 2312, Carson City, NV, 89072. Send a long, stamped, self-addressed envelope to request further information and forms. (This information was passed along by a SOCCGS member.)

"A family is a unit composed not only of children but of men, women, an occasional animal, and the common cold."
~Ogden Nash



South Orange County California Genealogical Society Membership/Renewal Application

( ) New ( ) Renewal ( ) Individual, $20/yr. ( ) Jt. Members, same address $25/yr.

Renewal Membership Number(s) _________________________ _____________________

Name(s) _______________________________________________________________________________

Address _______________________________________________________________________________

City _____________________________ State_____Zip ____________Phone ______________________

Email address:__________________________________________________________________________

Make check payable to: SOCCGS (South Orange County CA Genealogical Society) Check No. __________________

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


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