Saddleback Valley Trails

 South Orange County California Genealogical Society

Vol. 14 No. 3                                                                              Editor: Mary Jo McQueen                                                                                 March 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.



GENERAL MEETING – March 17, 2007



Presented By

Liz Stookesberry Meyers


Opening up the area west of the Ohio River meant major growth for our country. Many of our ancestors most likely settled in the Ohio area for a period of time. Then continued onward to explore the new world. This presentation will touch on the history and records for Buckeye research.

The “Genealogy Bug” afflicted Liz Stookesberry Meyers in 1970. Her main interest is in researching Ohio. She is a member of First Families of Ohio. Liz has lectured, and taught many classes in Climbing the Family Tree. She has held offices in the Ohio Genealogy Society, Southern California chapter and is now President of Questing Heirs Genealogical Society, serving the greater Long Beach area.

Ms. Stookesberry Meyers is a new lecturer to our group.

Come and make her feel welcome!


                                                                    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.”

June 16 – Alan Jones, “Bakers Dozen, 13 websites we should all know and use.”

July 21 – Ivan C. Johnson, “British Naming Patterns.”

August 18 – Penny Feike

September 15 – Joan Rambo

October 20 – John Colletta, Family History Seminar

December 15 – Holiday Party



            On Wednesday, March 28, we will visit the Southern California Genealogical Society Research Library in Burbank. This is a premier research facility and one of our favorite safari destinations. Complete information and library catalog can be found at: A short visit to the Glendale Sons of the Revolution Library is scheduled for later in the afternoon.  ( Please be prepared to leave the LDS parking lot promptly at 9 a.m. Bring a lunch, $$ to pay your driver and for dinner on the way home. Make your reservation with Bill Bluett and volunteer to drive, if needed.



            Are we all ready to “hit the courthouses” after the great presentation by Caroline Rober? Now, we are certainly armed with sufficient information to make these visits more successful and less stressful. Bill Bluett conducted another efficient business meeting, which left time for our favorite, “genealogy moments.” We had a record attendance of seventy-three including two guests and two new members. Terry Lancey and Nellie Domineck provided delicious goodies. Hospitality Chairman, Eileen Merchant, was unable to attend so her husband, Ray, graciously delivered the hospitality supplies.


First we are children to our parents, then parents to our children, then parents

to our parents, and then children to our children.  ~Milton Greenblatt


~Bill Bluett

Did you ever wonder if a neighbor, fellow worker, or good friend might be related to you? We could pass someone on the street or come in contact with an individual every week that could be a distant cousin or a long time friend of a family member and never realize it. How close, yet so far we are, from finding all the answers in our genealogy quest.

I had an interesting find a few weeks ago. My wife and I are good friends with a couple from our church, Jim and Sue Hancock. We have known them for about 8 years. I remember Jim saying at one time that his ancestors were from Cornwall, England. Up until now, I had not questioned him about any additional information. A couple of weeks ago, the subject of genealogy came up in our conversation and I mentioned the name of the small village from which my ancestors came. The village (or town) is Tywardreath. It is located near the northeastern coastline of Cornwall. Today, there are about 2200 residents. A 150 years ago there were about half that number. My wife, Helen and I, visited this location in 2005 on our trip to England and Europe.

When I mentioned the name of the village to Jim, he said, “Gee, that name kind of sounds familiar. Let me take a look at the copy I have of my grandfather’s baptism and I’ll get back to you.” So, Jim went home and called back that evening to tell me that the name of the town on the baptismal certificate was, in fact, Tywardreath. His grandfather was baptized in December of 1864. The church was located on the Tywardreath Highway just outside the town. The name of the church was the Bible Christian Chapel. It was coined “The Tywardreath Highway Chapel”. This is not the same church that my family attended. The Bluett family had membership at St. Andrews, the Church of England located in the village. Perhaps the Hancock and Bluett families were neighbors, friends, or cousins! 

Well! That got me into action! I began locating Jim’s family in the census records to find out when they immigrated to the U.S.A. It seems they came here about 1865. So, his grandfather was less than two years old when the family immigrated. I have not found the family in the U.K. census records yet; but, I will keep looking. I have the name of his grandfather’s parents from the baptismal document.

About two years ago, I subscribed to a Tywardreath Yahoo E-Mail chat group that is specifically set up for genealogists to exchange information. What are the chances of having a chat group set up specifically from the small town of your ancestors? Lucky me! There are about 45 people subscribed. Some are currently living in and around Tywardreath and the rest are from Canada, Australia, and the U.S. I have sent them an e-mail asking about the chapel on the highway to see if it still exists today. Also, I am inquiring about the Hancock family. I have not received any responses to date, but I am hoping that someone will fill me in with some information. I will keep you posted.



We welcome two new members: ANN HAGERTY Mission Viejo, 364-6786, and DEBBIE PERKINS Dana Point, 487-0384, Guests at the February meeting were: JoAnn Davis and Ann Miller. We extend a special invitation for them to join our group.



            Let us not get so caught up in Internet Research that we forget about the entire wonderful book and CD resources which are also in the library. Contact Librarian, Bunny Smith, if you would like to request a particular book or CD. Thank you to the Mission Viejo Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution for the recent donation.


Books donated by MVDAR

Virginia Soldiers of 1776, Vols. I, II, III by Louis A. Burgess

Muster Rolls of New York Provincial Troops 1755-1764 by E. F. DeLancey             

Maryland Militia in the Revolutionary War by Clements & Wright

Berks County Pennsylvania Church Records Of the 18th Century, Vol. I by E. F. Wright        

Abstracts of Lancaster Co., Pennsylvania Deed Records, Vol. 5 1786-1797 by E. N. Wevodau          

Abstracts of Lancaster Co., Pennsylvania Deed Records, Vol. 6 1787-1793 by E. N. Wevodau          

Abstracts of Lancaster Co., Pennsylvania Wills 1732-1785 by E. F. Wright


Books Purchased by SOCCGS

South Carolina Deed Abstracts 1719-1772 Vols. II, III, IV by Clara Langley



They say genes skip generations.  Maybe that's why grandparents

Find their grandchildren so likeable.  ~Joan McIntosh


Your Old, Old Family Tree

The Genographic Project of the National Geographic Society uses a large collection of DNA samples from all over the world to map the migratory patterns of humans from ancient times. If you would like to participate, you can order a DNA test kit, submit a scraping from inside your cheek, and receive information about the migration of your family group -- where they came from, where they went, and how they ended up where they are now. The test costs $99 plus shipping and handling; for women, they do a test of mitochondrial DNA, tracing your maternal line (your mother, her mother, her mother, etc.). Men can order both a mitochondrial DNA test tracing the maternal line, and a Y chromosome DNA test, tracing the paternal line (your father, his father, his father...). If you choose, you can submit your test results to the world database. For information, go to After you get your results, you can also choose to follow a link to , where your data can be automatically submitted at no charge. You may find living "cousins" with similar DNA patterns.

Submitted by Karen Shaver   



            To those of us who knew him, it was sad news to learn of the death of Lee Patton on 18 December 2006. Lee was a well-liked member of our society, and volunteer at the library before health concerns forced him to discontinue these activities. I, especially, miss seeing his smiling face with the small white beard.

            Lee was born in Memphis, Tennessee on July 16, 1920. His parents were Rhoda Evans from Cheshire, England and Lucius Elmer Patton from Memphis. These two families were the emphasis of his genealogy research. Doris Marvin became Lee’s bride in Peoria, Illinois on August 31, 1947. They lived in Latin America and Washington, D.C. during Lee’s years as an officer of the Central Intelligence Agency. After his retirement they moved to California. Survivors, besides his wife, Doris, include five daughters, eleven grandchildren and four great grandchildren.

Mary Jo McQueen

Recipe from Mayme Hammond

~Diane Hearne

 “For a relative (old person), my grandmother was a lot of fun,” my husband Pat said when I asked about Lizzie May Hammond (1886-1967).  She always went by “Mayme” and never wanted to be called Grandmother.  I asked if she ever cooked since, during the few years I knew her after our marriage, we always went out for dinner.  No, Pat couldn’t remember her ever cooking.

We recently uncovered a well worn copy of The Forsyth Cook Book; A Collection of Well Tested Recipes Contributed by the Ladies of Forsyth, Montana, March 1905.  The Cook Book was edited by The Ladies Aid Society of the First Presbyterian Church.

The recipe, printed on pages 29 and 30, amazed us.


To Cook Wild Game - Boil one hour then add an onion; and two or three potatoes cut in small bits; season with salt, pepper and a lump of butter; cook until tender; thicken gravy.  This is the western bachelor’s way of cooking antelope, venison, sage hen and rabbit.

                                                       Submitted by Mayme Hammond


Not only we were surprised to see that Mayme had contributed a recipe, but realized how glad we were that we’d always gone out to dinner!


National Tartan Day, April 6

The date commemorates the signing of the Declaration of Arbroath in 1320, which asserted Scotland's sovereignty over English territorial claims, and which was an influence on the American Declaration of Independence.

Americans of Scottish descent have played a vibrant and influential role in the development of the United States. From the framers of the Declaration of Independence to the first man on the moon, Scottish-Americans have contributed mightily to the fields of the arts, science, politics, law, and more.

Today, over eleven million Americans claim Scottish and Scotch-Irish roots -- making them the eighth largest ethnic group in the United States. These are the people and the accomplishments that are honored on National Tartan Day. So, all you Scots wear your kilts and celebrate!


Did you know? After Bonnie Prince Charlie’s defeat at Culloden in 1746, the wearing of the kilt was banned and the Gaelic language discouraged. Anyone caught wearing tartan or playing the bagpipes was jailed. The ban was not lifted until 1782.




~Bob Reilly

It was the 4th of July 2005, and I was visiting my cousin, Carol, for a few days. Carol is like an older sister to me, since we were raised together several times while growing up. The first time was when I was born in New Jersey and lived with my grandparents until I was almost 2 years old. The next time was for a year at our uncle's house in Garden Grove, when I was in the 4th grade. I had no siblings growing up, as I was my mother’s only child.

             On this trip up north, Carol had been showing me pictures and letters from our New Jersey family. She has been doing genealogy for many years, and has traced our grandfather’s family back to the 1600's in France. That was really nice; now I knew about Mother’s family. However, I still didn't know about my father’s, in fact, I didn't even know his name. As a child I was told, "you don't need to know now", or “when you get older." The answers never came, so I just put it out of my mind. After high school I went to college, got a job and got on with my life.

            Then came this 4th of July week. One morning Carol asked if I had read all the family papers carefully. I said, "Yes." She replied, "Look at them again!" This time I read a birth announcement for a Robert Harold Sprose with my birth date. But, my last name is Reilly. I also read a letter written to our uncle chewing him out for introducing that ‘Tom guy’ to my mother.

Now I had a name! When we got home I mailed away to New Jersey for my birth certificate. This took four months. While waiting for it, I started looking for people with the last name of Sprose. I knew my mother had worked for Kodak, along the eastern coast from New Jersey to Florida, before I was born. She had talked to me about the South and especially Atlanta, so that was my starting point. I found a website that charged thirty dollars for names, ages, addresses and telephone numbers. With in a couple of weeks I had a list with possible ages and locations. There was one name on the list that was the same as my father’s except for the middle name and age. So, now I needed to work up the nerve and something to say, so he doesn't hang up the telephone. I called a couple of times but I had just missed him. His family was very polite and said to call back later. In the meantime I made calls to other numbers with no success, or they just hung up.  A couple of days later I got this younger Tom Sprose on the phone and I told him I was looking for a Tom Sprose who had been a painter in 1951-1952, maybe in California or New Jersey, where my mother had been living. He said his dad had been a painter, and had left their family about that time. He also told me that his father passed away 45 years ago.

I thanked him and asked if I could call back after my birth certificate arrived. He said, “ no problem.” When the birth certificate came, boy, did I get a shock! The first thing was that my father’s name was Thomas Harold Sprose, born in Epworth, Georgia in 1922. That wasn't all. There was an affidavit my mother had filled out two days after my 16th birthday. She had changed my last name from Sprose to Reilly, which was the name of her husband who died years before I was born. Here, I had lived my first 16 years as a Sprose and never knew it.

So, now it was time to call Tom back with this newfound information and to ask him some new questions. "Was your father born in Epworth, Georgia, I asked?" He replied. "Uh-huh." "Was his birthday April 22, 1922? " Uh-huh". Silence. I said, "I think we may have a connection." He replied again, "Uh-huh.” I requested a picture of Tom, Sr. to see if my cousins might recognize him. The picture arrived a week later. One of my cousins said she thought it looked like Tom, but it had been 53 years ago. So I called again to ask Tom if he would send a picture of himself. The next day I received an email from him. I watched as it down loaded, bar by bar from the top; first the hair then the forehead, eyes, nose, mouth and then I saw the full face. Everyone in the room could hardly believe the similarity, in looks, to me. I then sent Tom a picture of me, and his family said the same.

Two months later my wife and I flew to Georgia to meet Tom and his family; my nieces, their husbands and kids. What a great experience that was! Tom and I decided to have a DNA Test done, in order to remove all doubt. Two weeks later my sister-in-law called to say I was right. Tom is my half brother. His results came two days before mine. The results were that the probability we share the same father is 99.79%. Also, while we were in Georgia, Tom told me about Virginia, his sister, my half sister. I waited until the DNA test results were in before I tried to contact her. She deleted my emails thinking they were junk mail. My phone calls went unanswered. She thought they were from solicitors. I finally asked Tom to tell her “the guy trying to get a hold of you is your half brother!”

The very next day she called and we talked for an hour.  Since then I've gone back to Georgia again and met her and her son. I also met other cousins and their large families. Online I have met even more cousins.

 “I think that this has really just begun.”



To be seventy years young is sometimes far more cheerful

And hopeful than to be forty years old.  ~Oliver Wendell Holmes


Retracing the Trails of Your Ancestors Using Deed Records

~William Dollarhide

Establishing Proof of Residence and Learning Genealogical Clues. Since the first colonists came to this continent, land ownership has always been an important part of our American society. As an example, nine out of ten adult white males in America owned land before 1850. Even today the figure is over fifty percent.

With this nearly universal coverage before 1850, and since genealogical research starts getting more difficult about that time, it is a wonder that family historians are not using land ownership records more often.

For instance, did you know that there is a county-wide-surname index to virtually every land owner in America since the early 1600s -- an index that is more complete than any head-of-household census index ever compiled? And did you know that you have a ninety percent chance of finding your ancestor in that land ownership index?

There is a surname index for Los Angeles County that gives the names of ninety percent of the heads of households of that county during the 1850s. The index is called the "Grantee/Grantor" index or "Index to real estate conveyances". Such an index can be found in all 3,100 counties in the United States.

Let's take the 1840 census as an example. In 1840, the names of the heads of households are all that are shown -- but if you were to look at the Grantee/Grantor index for the same county, you may discover that one household could have more than one landowner. Say you find in the census that the head of household is John Smith, Jr. But what you don't know is that living in the same household is John Smith, Sr., and maybe even John Smith, III, and each of them own a piece of property. Only John Smith, Jr. is listed in the 1840 head of household census, but the Grantee/Grantor Index lists all three landowners.

We genealogists eventually recognize the significance of land ownership as we attempt to locate records of our ancestors. But at first look we may not see the importance of land records because they do not seem to give us the vital genealogical facts we are after, i.e., names of parents, dates, children, and so on.

But genealogists who dig into the land records deeper will discover that land grants and deeds can provide evidence of the places where an ancestor lived and for how long, when he moved into or moved out of a county, and in many cases, a surprising amount of detailed information about a person.

Why Land Records?  Here are three good reasons why land records are valuable for genealogical research:

1. The odds are good. Since 90% of the adult white male population owned land before 1850, land grants and deeds provide an excellent way of finding an ancestor in local records. Deeds are recorded at the county level and when property is sold a deed is recorded at the local courthouse. It is a protection to both the buyer and seller that the land being transferred is properly recorded. There are rare exceptions, such as a deed held by a private party and never recorded -- which is every Title Insurance agent's worst nightmare -- but deeds are almost always recorded at the courthouse of the county wherein the land is located.

2. Land records are more complete than other records. Land records such as property tax lists, deeds and deed indexes, and the written transcripts of real estate transactions all go back further in time than any other type of record we use in genealogical research. The earliest records in Europe other than those recorded for the Royal Courts are land records. For example, the "Domesday Books" -- which are property tax lists -- were first gathered for William the Conqueror in the 11th century and are the earliest English records in which a common farmer or tradesman may be listed by name. Certain Scandinavian land records date back to 950 A.D. In this country, land ownership has always been important -- so much so that if a courthouse were to be destroyed by fire or natural disaster, the deed records -- proof of land ownership -- were reconstructed by local authorities soon after. For example, deed records were reconstructed for several Georgia counties after General Sherman's troops burned courthouse after courthouse during the Civil War.

3. Land records often reveal the name of a man's wife. The English common law system of "dower rights" for a widow was followed in the American colonies and continued in most U.S. states well into the 19th Century. Dower rights entitled a widow to 1/3 of her husband's estate upon his death. No written will had to specify that amount. As a result of the dower rights of a married woman, early land deeds will almost always mentioned the name of a man's wife because she had a legal interest in any land being sold or purchased. In fact, a woman had "veto power" over the sale of land by her husband. Under the English system, a married woman could not own land in her own name, but with her dower rights, she could veto the sale of the land. Many early deed transcripts will include an affidavit in which a wife was interviewed privately by the court clerk to determine if she was in favor of the sale or not.

(From the Genealogy Bulletin, Issue No. 25, Jan-Feb 1995)


It's one of nature's ways that we often feel closer to distant generations

Than to the generation immediately preceding us.  ~Igor Stravinsky


Sharing Genealogy Information on the Internet

~Mary Jo McQueen

            Attendees at the February meeting know that, during genealogy moments, I shared my latest attempt at finding genealogical data. For several months I have been contemplating placing my Family Tree on the Web at Rootsweb’s WorldConnect. A few weeks ago I took the plunge and have been contacted by a person who is researching one of my dead ends, the family of my three great-grandmother, Emelia Osborn. Now, we are sharing information. Getting this project accomplished was far easier that I ever thought it could be. The first thing I did was to make a copy of my family file and then, using the index, I eliminated persons that were not to be included. After that, with a click of the mouse my program exported a Gedcom onto the computer desktop!  From there I logged on to World Connect and followed the simple instructions. My info is also to be found at, even though I didn’t put it there. Since both RootsWeb and Ancestry are part of the same company the data is shared. I am excited to see where this new venture will lead!



The Immigrants Servants Database is a project designed to help Americans trace the European origins of their colonial ancestors. Historians estimate that more than 75% of the colonists who settled south of New England financed their voyages to the New World as indentured servants, convict servants, and redemptioners. This project aims to identify all immigrants described by these terms in American and European sources from 1697 through 1820 and to reconstruct their lives and families.

From the County Down mail list. Lots of records are available for a small fee - mainly Northern Ireland counties.

                  Scotland’s Old Parish Records Images are now Online. Images of Old Parish Register (OPR) records are now publicly available online for the very first time. These comprise the records of births & baptisms and banns & marriages kept by individual parishes of the Established Church of Scotland, before the introduction of civil registration in 1855. The earliest records available date from 1553. Customers can now search the Old Parish Register records by county as well as parish, offering greater search flexibility. The session time limit has now been extended from seven days to ninety days. ScotlandsPeople is pleased to announce a new method of paying for credits. You can now order vouchers by post, and pay by cheque or by credit card. (Shared by Shirley Fraser.)

The Year of Birth from Census. We know that the ages on census records can range all over the place and that people fudged on their ages, that's a given. The following link saves the brain from doing basic subtraction which gets harder the older we are! This is a neat chart that you can print off and take with you!   (Shared by Donna Hobbs & Kathy Mauzey.)

The web address for information regarding the Southern California Genealogy Society DNA Project is

Fayette County, Iowa Research: The Fitch's 1910 History is available as PDF files from:



         Seventy-two researchers have signed up for computer usage since the Mission Viejo Library began providing This is a healthy increase over what we normally experienced. Have you visited your SOCCGS library lately? We encourage you to come in and take advantage of “Ancestry” and the many books and CDs that are available.

         Researchers must 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. 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!   


Helpful Hint In Identifying Photographs

            When I want to identify people in a photo, I lay a piece of tracing paper over the top and note their identities there, rather than on the back of the photo. The tracing paper can be folded back to view the picture. This protects the photo and makes it easy to correct if I have misidentified anyone. I also use this method when I send photos to relatives so they can identify any they recognize and mail the tissue paper back to me, keeping the photo.

S. Hirschfeld, (Passed along to us by Iris Graham)




March 10 – The Genealogical Society of North Orange County California presents a Family History Seminar, “Uncle Sam Wants You To Discover Military Records,” featuring William Beigel, Nancy Carlberg, Wendy Elliott, Rosalind Heaps, Jean Hibben, Norma Keating and Caroline Rober. 8:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m., 1301 N. Rose Drive, Placentia. Call (714) 777-2379 for more information.


March 24 – Spring Seminar, North San Diego County Genealogical Society featuring Sharon DeBartolo Carmack. 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at 799 Pine Avenue, Carlsbad. Information: Fred Spong or (858) 453-8469. 


June 8, 9 & 10 - Southern California Genealogical Society’s 38th Annual Genealogy Jamboree and Resource Expo. For more information and/or registration visit the website at




         THANK YOU to those who have already sent, or given, items for the newsletter. They will be printed as space allows. So far, only about five out of the 70, or so, members who regularly attend the monthly meetings have contributed. Many more of you certainly have Ancestor stories to share. And, how about that “great find” that would be of special interest to us all? We would like to print special recipes, but have only received one! These may be from the olden days, or a current favorite. Queries will also be included in order to assist members in their search for genealogy 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:




         If your address label is highlighted you will know that this is your final newsletter, unless the dues are paid by the March 17 general meeting.



Renewing for 2007?

Please use the form below to mail your renewal. Forms will also be available at the March 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

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


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