Saddleback Valley Trails

South Orange County California Genealogical Society

Vol. 16 No. 3

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

March 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.

Birthday Party May 16, 2009

General Meeting - 21 March 2009

"Overcoming Dead Ends & Brick Walls"
Presented By
Caroline Braxton Rober

Ms. Rober’s presentation will help researchers see that answers to many genealogical problems may have already been found. This can be accomplished by learning how to more fully understand records as well as the research process. Many times, research efforts are duplicated. This presentation will not only teach us how not to re-do the work already done, but how to uncover answers that may already be in our grasp.

Caroline is a professional genealogical lecturer, teacher and researcher, and has been doing genealogy research for 36 years. She is President of the Southern California Chapter of the Association of Professional Genealogists and Staff Training Coordinator for the Regional Family History Center in Orange, California. She is a member of the National Genealogical Society, New England Historical Genealogical Society and the Kentucky Historical Society. Caroline is a native Southern Californian.

This month pictures of pets or other animal friends will be shared.

SOCCGS Seminar 2009

October 17th is the date for the Eighth Annual Family History Seminar. Paula Stuart-Warren will be the guest speaker. She will present four lectures, the topics of which will be finalized by the membership at the March meeting. Seminar Chairman, Bill Bluett, will present a list of topic titles from which members will choose the final four. Paula has lectured for genealogical societies and organizations across the U.S. and Canada. Her presentations are lively, professional and educational. Information about her may be found by entering her name in GOOGLE. Click on the GENEALOGICAL SPEAKERS GUILD and it will open to her page.

Safari News

On March 25, we will travel to Santa Monica for a day of research at the Los Angeles Regional Family History Center. Go, where you can search for books, film and fiche available in the Center. This will enable you to better plan the day. The car(s) will leave the LDS parking lot at 9 a.m. Bring a brown-bag lunch, $$ for your driver and for dinner on the way home. Contact Bill Bluett, Safari Chairman.

"There is no king who has not had a slave among his ancestors,
And no slave who has not had a king among his."

~Helen Keller

President's Message

~Sandy Crowley

This year is starting off with good speakers and information. I was fortunate to speak to the Lake Forest Kiwanis group in January on "Beginning Genealogy." I gave them "getting started" packets, a club brochure, and information on our library. I hope to see some of them take part in our activities. Most showed a special interest in DNA data. Perhaps this would be a good topic for a future speaker.

I'd like to share some excerpts from letters written by my Scottish great-great grandfather Robert Tannahill and his brother John detailing their voyage to America in 1841 and their 1842 trip across land eventually arriving in Mississippi. They came in response to an older widowed sister's plea to join her there. My family is thrilled that the Tannahills left many letters and pictures to help us in our search for ancestors.

Brothers Robert Tannahill and John Tannahill had left their birthplace Portpatrick, Wigtonshire, Scotland as older teens to travel to Cornwall, England to take part in the lucrative fabric trade. In 1841, these brothers, plus John's wife Mary, and their friend, McKee, set sail from Liverpool, England for America together with the goal of reaching Mississippi to be with their sister.

Robert wrote to his brother James in Cornwall: New York Oct (or Dec) 14, 1841: "I now address you from the other side of the little Antic. We arrived here on the 7th in good health and spirits. Except Mary, we were all very well on the passage. McKee and I had all the cooking to do for John would not put himself much out of the way about it. He would not do it and I would not do it, so it fell upon McKee and I had to wash the dishes and Mary the bed. It would have you Grizzle if you could have popped your head down among us then. But we got over it.

We were 28 1/2, days out of Liverpool. We were very unfortunate after we crossed the boundary of Newfoundland. We made the western edge of Maine in 12 days and we were only 900 miles then from New York and worse than that after we had beat about for 10 days and had a pilot on board off the Jersey shore about 7 AM we sailed all day and neared within 12 miles of Sandy Hook (if we had got inside of that we would have been safe), it came to blow from NW and we had such another storm as I never saw. On Sunday the day following the blowing the NNW worse that it did over night, we lost an entire sail of canvas except mail royal and mizzen to gale and the fore topsail was carried away inside double reef. The lee sheet parted and it gave a report like a gun and in 2 minutes it was flying like ribbons. There was a piece carved out of the center of it 4 yards square. After that she had only a lone mainsail to steady her and all the men were up on topsail yard bending a new sail and the cpt. came down to our cabin and told us if we did not come up and help them to make sail, we would be ashore. And then there was the staggering to get up the stairs and women and children crying out. I can assure you it was not the most pleasant sound I heard. I went up then and got my legs and shins bruised and John he turned up in his sleeves. He was in bed when the captain came down and did not have time to dress himself.

But we got in a length and I think it is one of the prettiest places I have seen coming down NY bay from Staten Island. It is all studded with islands larger and smaller and the houses look very lightsome. They are all light colored and very tasty looking from the outside and well furnished in general. Steamers are flitting about in all directions. They are quite different looking though from our steamboats. NYork itself as a city is anything but grand and pleasant; all streets except Broadway are constantly filled up with boxes and barrels Sunday and Monday. They don't pay much respect to the Sabbath I think you will see in going through stores of every kind open.

John and Mary and myself leave tomorrow for Philadelphia thence to Pittsburgh and thence all the way down to Ohio to nearly the place we disembark all together. We have a lot of bother and calculating about which would be cheapest and quickest way to go, whether by Albany and Buffalo or some other way. The other way has been chosen. It will cost a good deal going that way. We had to pay 8.10 pounds at the customhouse in N York here for what good John had with him with expenses and all. We have shipped the luggage to Pittsburgh at 2.75 per 100 Ibs, that is 500 or better, and the trunks and bags we will be allowed free of charge. And our passage to Pittsburgh is 7.00 each. It will cost about 1.5 pounds to take us to Pittsburgh and how much for the rest of the way I can't tell."

To be continued...

I Could Be Wrong About Some Things

~David Servant

“We don’t like their sound, and guitar music is on the way out anyway.”

~ President of Decca Records, rejecting The Beatles after an audition, 1962

"An Ancestor I Wish I Had Known"

~Barbara Zuccolotto

My great-great grandfather, Uriah Ayers, was born in 1829 in Cayuga County, New York. He was a descendant of an old New England family, which first arrived in the U.S. in the 17th century. Uriah spent his childhood and until he was a young man in Cuba, New York. His family was farmers and when he was 22 yrs. old began farming on his own. He lived in Cuba, N.Y until 1879 when he, his wife, Phoebe, and their 3 children went to Dakota Territory to homestead. The homestead is still in the Ayers family to this day.

While Uriah was still a bachelor and farming in Cuba he began a hand written diary writing about the daily life in upstate New York beginning in 1851. From reading this diary, which I still have, it is plain to see and understand what a hard and sometimes lonely life our descendants lead.

Uriah was very adept at writing and wrote poetry throughout the diary. It appears that he had sufficient schooling as his handwriting is very fancy and the spelling is good. An example of his poetry follows. It was the first entry in the diary after his opening comments, which were; "Wrote in Cuba, Allegany Co. state of New York and containing all the passing events of the farm, and of the day, which falleth to the observation of U.C. Ayers, henceforth from the 6th of April, Anno Domini 1851"

"There is no lingering of Winter 'in the lap fo Spring' this year. But the reverse, our mother Nature seems in unusual haste to deck her bosom with flowers.”

Dear as the dove whose wafting wing
The green leaf ransomed from the main,
Thy genial glow, returning Spring,
Comes to our shore again;
For thou hast been a wanderer long,
On many a fair and foreign strand,
In balm and beauty, sun and song,
Passing from land to land.

His hand written pages contain many such writings and when reading them he seems to have been a melancholy person.

In 1879 Uriah, Phoebe and their children, Solomon (my great grandfather), Cora and Enna were residing in Wisconsin when they migrated to the Dakota Territory to homestead. Letters written to the family still in Cuba reveal that Uriah did not like the prairie but knew that the opportunities were better than in New York. One quote from a letter written to his brother in New York makes his thoughts clear. In writing about a storm that hit on July 6, 1888 blowing fences down, taking the top of the chimney and moving the barn about 3 feet, he said "Verily, I say, this is a great country where the storms will blow down a man’s house & barn and destroy his crops and perhaps kill a part of his family, and yet he will keep right on at work, chewing his cud as if nothing had happened, and praise up the country with yarns bigger than ever."

With those quotes from his diary, and letters written to family still in New York, I have decided that Uriah was a strong, intelligent man who persevered under the harshest conditions and just kept on going. He died on the prairie, in Madison, South Dakota, at the age of 64 years. I truly wish I had known him.

New At The Library

~Bunny Smith, Librarian

New Books purchased by SOCCGS: A History of the City of Roanoke, Virginia by Raymond Barns, The Offical Guide to by George G Morgan and Google Your Family Tree, Unlock the Hidden Power of Google by Daniel Lynch.

An anonymous donation: The Complete Book of Emigrants 1661-1699 by Peter Wilson Coldham.

Donated by Marilyn Kowalski, The Leamers A Family History by Laurence E Leamer and by Joyce Van Schaack, Only A Few Bones by John Philip Colletta.

You will find these books identified on the shelves by "New" signs made by our resident woodworker, Jack Naylor. Thanks Jack!.

Early Boundaries

The Atlas of Historical County Boundaries at the Newberry Library - They published all of the states as books and now have the data available at this website for free. Kentucky and Virginia are available now. Tennessee and North Carolina will be available later this year. Put in a date and see the boundaries in place at that time. (Kathy Mauzey, Donna Hobbs)

"Websites of Interest to Genealogists"
  Sons of Union Civil War Veterans National Graves Registration Database
  U. S. Military History Institute-Civil War Photographs
  Library of Congress' National Union Catalog of Manuscript Collections
  Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies in the War of the Rebellion
  A “blog” where you will find tips on how to scan and improve photos; the best internet sites for family research; and some great sites for historical images.

February Meeting

Norma Keating gave an informative lecture regarding using maps in genealogical research. We never knew there were so many kinds of maps! There are a few handouts left, which are available at the library docent desk. Wedding photos and family mementos were shared by Myrna Hamid McGuigan, Kathy Mauzey, Diane Sanborn, Patti Warren, Pat McCoy and Trish Leard. Patti & Dallas Liebenow were guests. Trish & Crew served refreshments, which were provided by Myrna Hamid-McGuigan and Diane Sanborn. Special acknowledgement was made of Herb Abrams birthday; the birthday song and a specially decorated cake. Some of those who shared during the “Brick Wall Segment” were: Ruth Sheehan, Theresa Lancey and Virginia Gilmore.


The following fellow genealogists are welcomed as new members:

Tom & Sally Hamilton, Mission Viejo, They are resesarching HAMILTON (Georgia 1700), MYERS (Pennsylvania 1700), CHAMPIION and SIMMS (Kentucky 1850), KANE and KINSELLA (Ireland, Wisconsin, Illinois 1850).

Jim Thordahl, Dana Point,

Eugenia Gannon

Eugenia’s obituary can be found at

2009 Officers & Chair People - This month we introduce two members of the executive board.


Barbara Wilgus

Barbara was born and raised in Pontiac, Illinois. While in high school, she became a First Class Girl Scout, helped run Girl Scout Day Camps during the summer, taught Sunday School and joined the Theta Rho Girls’ Club. This organization is sponsored by the International Order of Odd Fellows and Rebekahs. Barbara’s maternal side has had many members in these organizations. She was elected President of the State Assembly of Theta Rho Girls’ Clubs of Illinois in 1957. During the 1958 annual meeting in Springfield, Illinois, she took a pilgrimage to Abraham Lincoln’s Tomb which is specially opened for this occasion. Barbara, being President, had the honor of giving a speech about Abraham Lincoln and to lay a wreath in his honor. This was a most memorable event in her life.

After graduating in 1962 from Illinois State University with an Elementary Teaching Credential, Barbara headed west to Anaheim, California. to get out of the snow and cold. She taught second grade and kindergarten in the Anaheim City School District for 33 years. During this time she met her husband Don, a systems engineer with Rockwell International. They moved to Mission Viejo in 1969.

The interest in genealogy was instilled in Barbara when it was an 8th grade assignment. She dabbled in her family history throughout the years and got back to it seriously after retiring in 1995, after some cousins asked if she had anything new. This past month of February has been a most exciting one for Barbara. She submitted her first application to the DAR for Revolutionary Soldier, George McNeely. One of her proof papers was a letter from Great Aunt Grace dated 1953, from that long ago 8th grade assignment. Barbara’s advice—NEVER GIVE UP! You never know where or when you will find that important piece of information.

Barbara joined SOCCGS shortly after her retirement. She has served as Society Historian since January 2006. She is also a substitute genealogy docent at the library. Barbara loves join the genealogy field trips, garden, travel, and read. But genealogy is her favorite hobby. Surnames she is searching are Patterson, Chandler, Barnett, McNeely, Hinton, Gill, Drake, Rose & Loch.

Pat Weeks

Pat hails from Kansas City Missouri, and she is dang proud of her Missouri roots. She has traced her ancestry back to Francoise Missouri, also known as the “Princess of the Missouris” who was born about 1704 in Missouri.

Pat is an only child. Her father worked for Fluor Corporation, so the family relocated to various jobsites. After Kansas City, they lived in Philadelphia, then back to KC, to Montreal Canada and, finally, to Los Angeles. She attended Santa Monica City College, and when her only child was three years old, she went back to college. It took five years, but she graduated from San Fernando State College in 1967 as a Speech and Language Specialist. She worked as such at Long Beach Unified for five years, and then moved to Dana Point where she was employed by the Saddleback Unified School District for 24 years. It was a wonderful job.

In 1989 her husband was retired, their boat was calling them, so she retired. With retirement, Pat immediately became a genealogy volunteer, at the Family History Center in Mission Viejo, and the National Archives in Laguna Niguel.

In 1994, Pat became a charter member of SOCCGS, and for five years took on the duty of being the editor of the Saddleback Valley Trails. For the past five years she has been Corresponding Secretary - a grueling job if you are Pat's cat who must pose for pictures to put on the Society’s cards.

Pat began her genealogy research in 1970. Her basic genealogy love is early 1700 Missouri French Canadian alliances.

Library Docent Positions Available

We are looking for someone to fill the second, fourth and, sometimes, fifth Saturdays from 1:00 to 4:00 pm., and on Wednesdays 1-3. If you are interested please contact Bunny Smith, 949-472-8046.

New Ways & Means Project

David Flint, Ways & Means Chairman

Please go to this website to find printable information regarding the fund raising project in conjunction with Ralphs Grocery.

Reflections On A Good Day At The Archives

~Eugene N. Cramer
(Reprinted from the October 1998 Saddleback Valley Trails)

Have you ever heard of a person who, on being introduced to someone, could tell them a unique significant personal fact that would come true in the future? For a few brief moments this week, I could imagine what it would be like to have this "second sight".

Recently I was stimulated to complete my study of the 1880, 1900, 1910 and 1920 censuses for descendants of the my great-grandparents, Robert Cramer (b. Nov 1851) and Angeline Fandel (b. May 1856) and other Fandels: Peter Fandel and Mary Ann Belen; Margarethe Fandel and Joseph Kramer; and John Fandel and Katherine Boltz. I had put off the census of 1870, until this week. NO soundex, NO index, too much like work!!

In Livingston County, I found FEANDELL, Peter and Mary who had a daughter Angeline Fandel, age 14. My great-great Grandmother! But no Robert Cramer, no other Fandel family. I'll go back to look in the film for the site of the Mill in Parschallville, built in 1871 by Daniel Townley, in Hartland or Tyrone townships. The mill was where Robert worked and Angeline Cramer produced Christopher Cramer, my grandfather, on 12 Dec 1877.

In Clinton County, I suddenly started seeing names I had seen years before, particularly in Watertown Twp. AINSLIE, Hiram and Mary. Robert and Angeline's daughter Elizabeth married Claud AINSLIE. My "Aunt Lizzie" would introduce Dad and Mom years later.

DANIELLS, A. J. and Lucinda with son Cary R. DANIELLS, age 24. Cary hired Robert Cramer in the 1880s to run his mill. In the 1900 census, Cary employed Robert and Angeline's son PETER CRAMER, then 24 and unmarried, as a Cornwatcher.

GARLOCK Levi and Diana. My uncle Lawrence Maier married Ruth Garlock!

MAIER, my mother's entire family! On the same page! MAIER, George, 28, born Wirtemberg, and Elizabeth with a son, Frederick, age 1 - my maternal grandfather! MAIER, Ernst, 35, born Wirtemberg and Elisabeth with four children (one HULDAH, my Mother's name)!

MAIER, Christopher 41, born Wirtemberg, and Catherine, with five children! Maier, Martin 42, born Wirtemberg, and Caroline, with five children. Also Christian Maier, 22.

DE WITT Twp. LONIER, Augustus and Mary. Robert and Angeline's granddaughter, Dorothea AINSLIE married Romauld LONIER. I correspond with Dorothea today!

Westphalia Twp. THOME, Nicolas and August. Robert and Angeline's daughter, Theresa, married Frank THOME.

Suddenly, I could see the futures entwining for some of these individuals yet to be born. My long lost relations.

(Eugene is the great grandson of Robert Cramer and Angeline Fandel, and grandson of Frederick Maier and Marie Krieger)

Maps At Ancestry

~Julianna Smith recently updated its Historic Land Ownership and Reference Atlases, 1507-2000. So I thought I would take a look at what was available.

A neat find was a map of Rush Run, Ohio, from 1871. My grandfather was born there in 1906 and even though the map was from thirty years prior, it was still interesting. I had never realized the town was on the banks of the Ohio River. The map also noted coal veins in the area, which is very relevant to my family history because my great-grandparents’ families were miners and ran the mining store.

The Cleveland and & Pittsburgh Railroad line is shown with a stop in Rush Run. Since my great-grandparents moved back and forth to and from Cleveland and the southeastern Ohio area around Rush Run, I imagine that could have been a convenient way to move. For many trains were the easiest way to travel, so pay close attention to the railroads in the areas in which your ancestor lived. The maps are really detailed and if you find one for a place in which your ancestor lived, you may find his name on the map as the property owner.

Finding a Map - You can search the database by keyword, by location, or preferably browse by state. When you scroll down to the links, you’ll find that there are several Canadian provinces listed. I found a really neat map of Quebec from 1764.

Remember, is available on the SOCCGS Library Computers.

(Ancestry Weekly Journal, February 2, 2009, ©


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.
October 17 - SOCCGS Annual Seminar featuring Paula Stewart Warren. For information contact Bill Bluett (949) 492-9408 or

If your address label is highlighted this will be your last newsletter,
As 2009 dues have not been received.
Please notify membership chairman, Jack Naylor, if you believe this is an error.


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 @

Mail List:

SOCCGS Library within the Mission Viejo Library;

Marguerite Parkway at LaPaz, (949) 470-8498

SOCCGS E-mail:

South Orange County California Genealogical Society Membership/Renewal Application

( ) New   ( ) Renewal                                    ( ) Individual, $20/yr.                        ( ) Joint 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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