Saddleback Valley Trails

South Orange County California Genealogical Society

Vol. 17 No. 3

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

March 2010

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.

March 20, 2010

“Civil War Collection”
Presented By
Michael Kratzer

You have just discovered that your long lost great uncle Jeb fought for the Union Army in the Civil War. Now what? There is no denying that the American Civil War was one of the most significant and defining moments in our nation’s history. All families living in the United States during this turbulent time frame of 1861 to 1865 were affected to some degree by this tragic event. While this conflict lasted only a scant 4 years, over 140 years later there is an amazing amount of government records, personal soldier stories, family artifacts, and Civil War historical sites which remain for the family history researcher to discover and enjoy.

Michael Kratzer has been researching his family history for over 20 years. During that time he has taken a particular interest in his own family and collateral lines that lived and participated in the Civil War. Tips and tricks for collecting Soldier Service Records, Pension files, period photographs, tales about visits to Civil War Battlefields, and other surprising family discoveries will be told during this amusing presentation about adventures in Civil War research.

Safari News

On March 23 we will be visiting the Research Library of the San Diego Genealogical Society. Its extensive collection is one of the major genealogical resources in San Diego County. Housed in approximately 2200 square feet, the SDGS Library is located at 7343 Ronson Road, Suite O in San Diego, California. Visitors who are not members of the Society are encouraged to make a $3,oo donation for their day use of the library. Computers with high-speed Internet access are available for patron use. Check out the library and catalog at . Cars will leave the LDS parking lot promptly at 9:00 a.m. Since the library closes at 4 p.m. there are no plans for dinner. Please bring lunch and $$ for your driver. Bill Bluett

"Coming in October"

Dr. George Schweitzer is coming back to SOCCGS!
He will be the featured speaker at the October 16 Seminar.

President's Message

~Sandy Crowley

Mary Jo McQueen spoke about Orphan Trains at our February meeting. Her talk left many with teary eyes thinking of the uncertain plight of these children. Many of the kids did go on, however, to live fulfilled lives participating in various professions and became a valuable part of the fabric of our country. The research source handout will give searchers a good start in finding possible orphan train ancestors.

Do you need help finding small cemeteries that are perhaps not listed anywhere? While doing some of my Texas research, I came across some good information about finding a small cemetery in Burleson, Texas (outside Ft. Worth) where I knew I had ancestors. I even knew where Oak Grove cemetery was supposed to be. I found out that the cemetery had not been moved, but had changed names.

I found out that Texas has a Commissioner of Cemeteries. I called that phone number in Austin, Texas’ capitol. I was told that the Commissioner worked out of his offices in Ft. Worth, Tarrant County, Texas. I was given the phone number of his assistant. Imagine my surprise when I found out that his assistant worked at Greenwood Cemetery in Ft. Worth, and that I knew her. Probably about a hundred of my ancestors are buried in Greenwood Cemetery, so I have called and visited many times. It’s a huge place.

The assistant found out for me that the small cemetery for which I was searching was right where I thought it was, but it had changed names. Apparently upkeep on small cemeteries is a challenge. When the Tye family, who lived nearby and had ancestors in Oak Grove, agreed to mow the grass, paint the wrought iron gates and arches and generally take care of the place, and offered to take over the cemetery’s maintenance, all involved agreed. For this help, families with ancestors there agreed to a name change to honor the Tye Family. It is now the Tye Cemetery. The Tyes are kind enough to take phone calls and look through their records for researchers. This is a very small town and friendly operation.

Salt Lake City 2010 NGS Family History Conference
April 28 – May 1

The National Genealogical Society (NGS) is a non-profit organization that has been providing education and resources for genealogists and family history enthusiasts for over 100 years. Each year, NGS holds a national conference to share the latest ideas, trends, and information.

This year’s conference will be particularly unique and exciting in many ways. Some of the special activities include:
  • Free one-on-one research consultations with accredited genealogists
  • Extended Family History Library hours and extra staffing
  • Free same-day access to millions of rolls of microfilm from over 100 countries
  • Dozens of special international presentations and hands-on workshops
  • Free admission to an evening celebration of family history featuring special speakers and a concert by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir
  • Free access to over 250 genealogy and technology exhibiters—the largest-ever gathering under one roof
More details about the conference can be found online at


Welcome to the first new members for 2010:
Thomas & Joan Tullar, Mission Viejo Thomas is looking for: TULLAR, KLITZ, STAVIG and NOTTINGHAM. Joan is researching LITRICH in Pennsylvania & Yugoslavia; WILCOX in Canada & Nebraska; HAZEN; GILLIGAN & KENNEDY in Ireland & Illinois.
Michellea David, Ladera Ranch Surnames: SOUTHERN, BEAUCHAMP, FRAZER, SHAW, MASSEY, LEWIS.
Laurie Pratt Sisk, Aliso Viejo,

Google Workshop

Francie Kennedy will conduct a Google workshop on March 26, 10 a.m. – 1 p.m., in the Genealogy Section of the Mission Viejo Library. There are a limited number of spaces so signups are required. Contact Bunny Smith (949) 472-8046 or Laptops are permissible.

“Great Grand Uncle’s Partner, Tom Dennison”

~Bill Bluett

My great-grandparents, Tom and Mary (Fallon) Collins, were married in the mining town of Leadville, Colorado, in September of 1878. Mary’s sister, Maggie Fallon, was married the very same day at the same residence to man named Bailey C. Youngson. Bailey was a painter of business signs and other miscellaneous painting projects. In 1883, Tom and Mary decided to head west while Maggie and Bailey remained in Leadville. About 1884, Bailey and two other men became partners in the TEXAS HOUSE SALOON, a drinking and gambling establishment. In the past, I have shared some stories about Bailey and some of the disagreements and shoot-outs he had in the streets of Leadville. But now, I would like to share with you some interesting information I have discovered about one of his business partners, namely Tom Dennison.

In 1892, this former itinerant farm laborer, blacksmith, railroad worker, and, finally, owner of several gambling houses in the mining areas of the Rocky Mountains, moved to Omaha. Tom Dennison was 34 years old when he arrived in Omaha with $75,000 in cash. He found a city that had done much to control vice and had “taken on airs” of propriety and decorum, but also contained the notorious downtown Third Ward. Here lived most of Omaha’s gamblers, swindlers, saloonkeepers, drifters, and prostitutes, as well as many of its first generation Americans. Slowly but surely Dennison gained control of the Third Ward vice, bribed other inhabitants with well-advertised gifts of coal and food, then inexorably extended his influence to city and county public officials. Just how great that influence was perhaps will never be known, however, Tom Dennison became known as “The Boss”. By the time of World War I, Omaha’s “Boss” had complete control of the city. His influence reached every ward. His influence in the police department was so great that an African-American officer, Harry Buford, was assigned to be Dennison’s chauffeur and also became the liaison between the “Machine” and the city’s Black community.

In the 1920’s, Dennison monopolized banks and the bootleg liquor trade in Omaha. He developed alliances with Al Capone in Chicago and Tom Pendergast in Kansas City. This led to much violence among the city’s other bootleggers including many murders. In 1930, at the age of 72, Tom Dennison married a sweet young 16 year old by the name of Nevajo Truman. Their marriage ended in divorce in 1933. In 1932, Dennison suffered, and recovered from, a paralytic stroke. But, by this time, his power was dwindling. In 1934, one month after being acquitted of conspiracy in a major trial, he traveled to Chula Vista, California, to visit business associates. He was fatally injured in an auto accident and died in San Diego at the age of 75. On February 20th, 1934, Dennison’s funeral was held at St. Peter’s Catholic Church in Omaha and was attended by more than a thousand people. One hundred eight cars made up the procession to Forest Lawn Cemetery. So ended the career of Omaha’s longtime “Boss” who also became known in his later years as the “Old Grey Wolf”.

My great grand uncle, Bailey Youngson, did not follow Tom Dennison to Omaha. They both left Leadville about the same time. But, Bailey chose to go west and ended up in Idaho, and ultimately Utah, where he died in 1924. He appears in the 1910 and 1920 census as a painter or laborer and is indicated as a widow in 1910. It seems, in later years, that Bailey elected to work in more honest professions than that of his former partner, Tom Dennison.

"Original Civil War Pictures"

These are really interesting photos from the Civil War. It is truly fortunate that so many of these have survived. Probably a million wet plate photos were made during the civil war on glass plate. Popular during the war, they lost their appeal afterwards, so many were sold for the glass. Many used in green houses, where, over the years the sun caused the images to disappear.

Those remaining are pretty amazing considering they were taken up to 150 years ago. This website showcases a compendium of photos from the Civil War era. If you double click on the picture it will enlarge and the picture caption will show. It is not advisable to click on “Back or Return to Home.” My advice is to click the back button on your cursor or click the green arrow on the top left of your screen and then you won’t lose your position within the pictures. Don’t want to type the long URL – put “Original Civil War Pictures” into Google. Enjoy - Dick Merritt

"If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses."

~Henry Ford

February Meeting

There was a roomful of interested family history researchers who attended the February meeting. Mary Jo McQueen gave an insightful, if emotional, presentation on the Orphan Train. Much is to be gained by studying these events in our country’s history. Learn more about the Orphan Train at

Several members shared with us their brick walls and their research suggestions.

Myrna Hamid shared that she had successfully used Google to find information on the Italian Genealogy group and the New York death index.

Patricia Christiansen has been working on a Revolutionary War roadblock. While stopped on that, she interviewed her son-in-law about his family history and looked at pictures he had. She ended up with 5 pages of information to help her start working on his genealogy.

Ed Reardon mentioned that Google indexes newspapers. He had lost track of ancestors shortly after their marriage. He’s found them! “Google newspapers” brought up their names and information regarding their colorful past in Bridgeport, Connecticut.

Francie Kennedy, our January speaker on Google, told us that Google books is working hard to get all the world’s books on Google. They are working with publishers and authors to get at least snippets of books on Google. Francie also mentioned via Google, through Worldcat, you can learn where to find books in the closest library. You can then attempt an inter-library loan.

Membership Chairman, Jack Naylor, introduced guests Richard & Patricia Yocky, Lake Forest and Thomas & Jean Tullar, Mission Viejo. The Tullars have since become members.

The USCIS Genealogy Program

This is a fee-for-service program providing family historians and other researchers with timely access to historical immigration and naturalization records. 

The USCIS Genealogy Program offers two services:

Index Search: Using biographical information provided by the researcher, USCIS searches its historical immigration and naturalization record indices for citations related to a specific immigrant. Search results (record citations) are returned to the researcher, along with instructions on how to request the file(s) from USCIS or the National Archives. Fee: $20.00.

Record Copy Request: Researchers with valid record citations (USCIS file numbers), gained through a USCIS Genealogy Program index search or through independent research, may request copies of historical immigration and naturalization records.  Fee: $20.00/$35.00  (depending on the record type). Records available through the USCIS Genealogy Program:
  • Naturalization Certificate Files (C-files) from September 27, 1906 to April 1, 1956
  • Alien Registration Forms from August 1, 1940 to March 31, 1944
  • Visa files from July 1, 1924 to March 31, 1944
  • Registry Files from March 2, 1929 to March 31, 1944
  • Alien Files (A-files) numbered below 8 million (A8000000) and documents therein dated prior to May 1, 1951
They are currently answering requests received in mid-November 2009. Note: Type “USCIS Genealogy Program” into “Google” to reach this website.

“Baby Girl Becomes An Orphan”

Baby girl found abandoned in subway train. The tot, about a month old, was found on the train in Brooklyn. Authorities believe the youngster's mother left her on train at Coney Island. The blue-eyed, brown-haired baby girl was warmly clad and equipped with a bottle of milk.

The train was bound for Manhattan, when passengers in the first car heard the infant wailing. The motorman was notified, and he turned the infant over to police. Authorities were told that a pretty young woman of about 20, carrying a suitcase, had entered the train a the Coney Island terminus and left at the next station. Presumably, she had carried the child into the train in the suitcase. Fellow passengers said the young woman was hatless, brown-haired and wore a short red jacket over a blue dress.

The child was dressed in a pink wool sleeper and sweater, and was wrapped in a pink, white-striped blanket covered by a red, white, and blue-plaid outer blanket. She was in good health.

From the Parkville police station, the infant was taken to the Foundling Hospital at 178 E. 68th St.

New at the Library

Librarian, Bunny Smith, reports that we have newly donated books, CD’s and maps, the majority of which have been given by former members Donald & Darlene Dary. Several of the CD’s are also from an anonymous donor. Following is the list of donations; less the ones we already have in our library. These will be held for sale at the October Seminar. Thank you for remembering the SOCCGS library.

Heritage Books CD: Quaker Marriage Certificates - Gwen Boyer Bjorkman. The three volumes included on this CD-ROM are: Quaker Marriage Certificates: Concord Monthly Meeting, Delaware County, PA, 1679-1808 (1991); Quaker Marriage Certificates: New Garden Monthly Meeting, Chester County, PA 1704-1799 (1990); and Quaker Marriage Certificates: Pasquotank, Perquimans, Piney Woods, and Suttons Creek Monthly Meetings, North Carolina, 1677-1800 (1988). These records are essential for those researching their Quaker roots as they contain not only names of bride and groom, but also an extensive listing of witnesses and attendees, providing a partial census of friends and family of the bride and groom.

FTM CD #12 EVERTON'S COMPUTERIZED FAMILY FILE, VOL. 1. Contains images of family group sheets submitted to Everton Publishers, Inc. by readers of the magazine Everton's Genealogical Helper; data on about 375,000 individuals on three CDs; gives name and address of the submitter.

FTM CD #13. EVERTON'S COMPUTERIZED FAMILY FILE, VOLS. 2-3. Contains images of family group sheets submitted to Everton Publishers, Inc. by readers of the magazine Everton's Genealogical Helper; data on about 495,000 individuals on four CDs; gives name and address of the submitter.

FTM CD #14 EVERTON'S COMPUTERIZED FAMILY FILE, VOL. 4. Contains images of family group sheets submitted to Everton Publishers, Inc. by readers of the magazine Everton's Genealogical Helper; data on about 375,000 individuals on three CDs; gives name and address of the submitter.

FTM CD #134 Massachusetts’s soldiers, sailors, and marines in the Civil War - 1861 to 1865:
By Massachusetts Adjutant-general's office, Norwood Press, 1931. The compilation contains the names of all the men who served in Massachusetts units during the Civil War. There is a short history of the regiment followed by the names of the men. The details for each man named in the record are: full name, rank, home, age, occupation, date of service and discharge, and reason for discharge.

FTM CD#183 Early Settlers of New York State, 1760-1942, features approximately 97,000 names of individuals with New York connections. This data set contains page images from the following two-volume set: Early Settlers of New York State — Their Ancestors and Descendants, Volumes I and II. These books are comprised of articles that originally appeared in the periodical Early Settlers of New York State.

CD Early American Gazetteers 1883 & 1853 Editions
CD’s can be found in Cases 29 and 30.

BOOKS: ”American Migration Patterns,” New York Genealogical Research Tips.” “Searching American Military Records.”

MAPS: Chicago 1973, Southern Ireland 1875, Ireland 1820, First Families of Ireland, North Ireland 1875, Quebec 1800 and Ontario 1800. (The maps can be found in the map box.

Ancestry World Archives Project
David Flint

Please visit our website at (or type SOCCGS into Google) to learn about our society’s co-sponsorship and participation in the World Archives Project with There are links on our website to connect you with information about the program and how to get started.

The project SOCCGS is sponsoring is "California, U.S. Naturalization Records - Original Documents, 1795-1972". If you decide to participate in the World Archives Project, please be sure to work on that project. Also, when registering, you will be asked, “What made you decide to participate in the World Archives Project?” When you reply, please select, “I learned about it from a genealogical society” and in the free text area type “South Orange County California Genealogical Society” or “SOCCGS” so that Ancestry knows you are associated with our group on this project. Please consider helping with this service project. It’s a great way to give something back to the larger genealogy community.

"If you want to see the true measure of a man, Watch how he treats his inferiors, not his equals."
~J. K. Rowling

“Just an Old Cabinet”

“It belonged to Aunt Ruth:” Bonnie spoke out.
“Oh, the horror of it; how could she so - speak out?
I’ve been places. I’ve seen things.
From where do you think come all my dings?
I’m not just an “IT.” I’m not just an old cabinet!

Ruth (Amann) was born in 1892,
In Collins, a Western New York town of some few.
She and her husband, George North, were fond of me,
From the year of their marriage, that would be.
I should remember the date. But, oh dear,
It’s been so long, I’ve even forgotten what year.
George died before his time; but when? That too I have forgot;
Sometime before 1930, then - maybe not.
Yet, I’m not just an old cabinet!

It was in the town of Gowanda that I did reside,
On Aldrich Street until 73 when dear Aunt Ruth died.
Up the hill, to Maltbie Heights, I was moved for a while,
To the home of Ruth’s niece, Elizabeth June, my brother’s first child.
Betty lived in Gowanda from 1921 to 1999; all of her life.
Libby as her husband, Howard Beaver, called his wife,
Set me in their basement, with a fireplace for good cheer.
There I stayed until Howard, at 81, died, in the millennial year.
Maybe I was just used, for storing old things.
Still, I am more than just an old cabinet!
From mold and must, I protected treasures aplenty;
Until their daughter, Bonnie, sent me, to San Clemente,
To the home of her daughter, Johanne and husband Jack.
I just knew; I would never go back.
I could see the Pacific and Catalina too
From the prominent place, I know I was due.
Three years together, they would keep me that way.
When the household was split, I was allowed to stay
My time in his place has come to an end.
To the trash heap Jack plans me to send.
How could he? I’m not just an old cabinet!

My coat of mahogany does still shine.
It’s bright and always been mine.
Handle with care my glass doors that glide;
Now brittle with age they’re not easy to slide.
My drawer may stick, but my hinges work fine.
They would make a handy place to hide your wine.
It’s not as I wish; but my family no longer has a place for me.
So, I hope that, as they once did, you’ll come to love me.
I have a story to tell and I hope you add to ‘it.’
I’m not just an ‘IT.’ I’m not just an old cabinet.

A fine vintage hutch, that’s it.”


(Written by member, Jim Thodahl)

Ralph's Update

~David Flint - Ways & Means Chairman

Don’t forget to shop at Ralphs! This is a reminder for you to designate SOCCGS as the organization to receive funds from Ralphs. Please see the detailed instructions on our website

Note: There is also now a new and easier method to re-designate for those who already have a Ralphs Rewards Card. Ralphs has provided us a special “scanbar” letter to use when check out.. Simply show this “scanbar” letter to the cashier who will scan the bar at the bottom of the letter. This it will register SOCCGS as he designated organization to receive the Ralphs donations for your purchases. Instructions are provided in the letter. If you would like to receive one of these letters, please contact David Flint at 949-551-6300 or

Surname List

Members, please check your information on the SOCCGS Surname Website. If corrections and/or additions are necessary notify Herb at or (949) 581-6292. New members may add their information by sending an email to Herb listing surnames, locations and years being researched.

Newsletter Submissions

Please send queries, ancestor stories, web site information, or items of special interest to the newsletter editor by Wednesday following the monthly meeting. These may be sent via email or Word attachment and must be 800 words or less. All submissions are subject to editorial approval, and may be edited for content or space. Articles should be of genealogical significance. Send to:

2010 Membership Dues

Thank you to everyone who has sent in their membership renewals, and those who have indicated that they intend to do so. To date, we have 172 names on the newsletter mailing list. We need two hundred in order to continue receiving our bulk mailing rate.


March 6 – Family History Fair 2010, Escondido, California, David E. Rencher, Keynote speaker. For information:
March 13 – Genealogy Society of North Orange County California presents “Family History for Fun and Profit” featuring Arlene H. Eakle, Ph.D. Brea United Methodist Church. Pre-register by March 6. Information: (714) 777-2379 or
March 27 – North San Diego County Genealogical Society’s Spring Seminar will be held at the Carlsbad Senior Center. “Family Tree DNA & You” will be presented by Family Tree DNA. For registration form go to
April 28–May 1. - Salt Lake City NGS Family History Conference <>

October 16 – SOCCGS Family History Seminar featuring Dr. George Schweitzer.

Do you need a name badge?

Wearing a name badge at the monthly meetings is an excellent way to meet new friends and/or possibly a “cousin.” These are provided to all members at no cost. Please contact Herb Abrams at (949) 581-6292 or He will have one ready at the next meeting.


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

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 _______________________ Barbara Heebner __________________
Eunice Muari ______________________
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.  

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

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