Saddleback Valley Trails

South Orange County California Genealogical Society

Vol. 19 No. 3

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

March 2012

Editor: Gary Schwarz

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 17 March 2012


Presented by
Cheri Mello

In this program you will learn from a case study how DNA was used to overcome a brick wall that stood since the 1950s. Also included in the program is an overview of the 3 types of DNA used in genealogy: Y-DNA, mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA), and autosomal DNA (Family Finder).

About the Speaker: Cheri Mello began dabbling in genealogy as a 5th grader with a U.S. History assignment. She began her active adult research 19 years ago, after the death of her remaining grandparents. Her expertise ranges from various areas of America, to Portugal, as well as DNA, genealogy software and more!


Family Search Indexing for the 1940 Census

We are urging our SOCCGS members to help index the 1940 census which will be coming out on April 2, 2012. This is sponsored by and the index will be free. Herb Abrams has been appointed administrator for our SOCCGS indexing group and he asks members to sign up as follows:

  1. Go to the web site at and type in your name and email address and the state that you prefer to index. Then click on Submit.
  2. You will then be forwarded to a page where you can download the Family Search Indexing program. It will then download the program and put an icon on your desktop.
  3. On the Sign-In to FamilySearch Indexing screen, enter your FamilySearch Account user name and password to sign in. If you do not have a FamilySearch Account yet, select Register for a New Account.
  4. If you are starting the indexing program for the first time, you will see a Profile Information screen, where you will need to select a group. Select the button next to Another Group, and then scroll down the list until you see SOCCGS and select it. Enter your phone number, and click OK to continue.
  5. For detailed information on how to download the program and register for an account see:

Safari News

The Southern California Genealogical Society Library in Burbank will be our destination on March 28th. We will leave the LDS Church parking lot at 9:00 A.M. You might bring a lunch with you. If you don’t, there are a few eateries within short walking distance. Don't forget $$ for your driver. There will be plans for dinner on the way home. Contact Bill Bluett to reserve a spot. You can search their library catalog before the trip by going to:

President's Message

~Bill Bluett

I have been doing some research on the “Library of Congress” website. This is one of the web pages that Curt Witcher recommended to us at our 2011 Seminar last October. They have a project titled CHRONICLING AMERICA. Just click on the Historic Newspapers link listed under their “Featured Digital Collections & Services” listing on their home page. Covering the years from 1836 to 1922, CHRONILING AMERICA is a growing collection of digitized and searchable newspapers from thirty states and Washington D.C. The number of states included grows every year. One can search across the entire collection of 677 newspapers as well as a specific newspaper title. It is a meaningful site to begin accessing those resources which detail the lives and times of our ancestors. Also, it is one of the listed links on the SOCCGS homepage.

I am finally getting back to doing research on my mother’s Irish side of the family. The surnames are Collins and Fallon. I thought it might be a good idea to search the above mentioned newspaper collections in the locations that the families were living from the 1870’s forward. Both families came to know one another in Gilpin County and Lake County, Colorado, during the gold and silver mining booms in the 1860’s and 1870’s. A number of members from each family (including my great grandparents) moved on to Utah to continue their westward venture. Utah has an excellent collection of newspapers on the CHRONICLING AMERICA website. And, fortunately, both States have their own collections online as well. So, I began my research to see what interesting articles might be found.

The first article I discovered was an announcement in the Salt Lake Tribune regarding the arrival of my great grandmother and her two children. This was in April of 1884. They had arrived by train from Leadville and were met by my great grandfather and two of her brothers. The article stated that Mary Fallon Collins had not seen her brothers for more than 17 years! Tom Collins, my great grandfather, undoubtedly had gone on ahead of his wife to Salt Lake City to get settled in. The article went on to say that he was living at the Clift House which was a hotel in the downtown area that would be the family’s first stop. I then searched the Internet for that particular hotel and found a photo taken in the late 1800’s on a Utah Historical Society website. The quality of the photo made an excellent copy when I printed it out. Then, I found an article in August of the same year describing a large birthday celebration with family and friends for my great grandmother. When I put two and two together, I realized it was her 30th birthday. Nothing like finding a couple of great articles about the family’s arrival to Utah! They help to fill the gaps between each Federal census - especially from 1880 to 1900 when there is no 1890 census available to search.

I broadened my search by trying to find information on Mary’s two brothers John and Robert Fallon – the ones who met her at the train. John Fallon was involved in mining and mining ventures most of his life. After extensive searching, I finally found his obituary in an 1889 Salt Lake City newspaper. It gave a brief chronology of where he had traveled and lived during his lifetime. His brother, Robert Fallon, was a rather interesting person. He was involved in mining ventures as well in Utah and Colorado and seemed to travel quite extensively. In the 1900 census, his occupation is listed as a Professional Gambler! The Phoenix area seemed to be one of his gambling hangouts according to one newspaper article. I’m continuing my research on this gentleman to see what else I can dig up about him. I have not yet found his death date or obituary.

I would like to encourage each of you to try out the CHRONICLING AMERICA newspapers and see want you can find. Try some surnames or other key words. You just might locate an interesting piece of news about an ancestor. It’s nice to put a little “flesh on the bones” as we’ve heard some genealogists say from time to time and learn a little more about those families from the past. Don’t forget that newspaper articles may reveal important clues that could enable any one of us to move beyond a “brick wall” situation and open the door to an entirely new area of research. So, check out this website and report back to our group what you find.

February Meeting

Randy Seaver’s topic was the website. He discussed techniques he uses to make his searches quicker to get desired results. He contrasted the “old and new” formats at Ancestry and noted how the old format is still available. Guests at the meeting: Carol Blake, Marilyn Ghere, Crystal Long, Tanya Ellis, Andrea Dietz, Michele Rispaud, and Barbara Vanek. Refreshments were provided by: Karyn Schumaker, Jo Ann Minning, Pat Nostrome, Barbara Taylor, and Mary Lou Brascia.

New Members: Marilyn Ghere ( of Laguna Beach, looking for: Ward, Henry and Ghere; Barbara Vanek of Dana Point Looking for: Fulmer, Muth and Vollmer

Brick Walls & Genealogy Research Suggestions

  • Barbara Taylor offered an additional copy of the “Family Tree Problem Solver” book that she had in her possession. One person at our meeting purchased it for “five bucks”!
  • Pat Christiansen has had great success on the Urbana Free Library website. She has found 93 relatives dating back to the Revolutionary War. Pat said that the website is excellent for researching the Erie Canal and Ohio Valley region.
  • Melbournea Pittman said that she grew up in Urbana - less than a mile from the Urbana Free Library site. She lived at 1005 E. Main Street. How about that!
  • Joyce Van Schaak could use help searching for a lost ancestor from Pennsylvania with the surname Hummel. It appears that he was a person of high status who sold ammunition even prior to the Revolutionary War.
  • Victoria Crayne has had good research success more recently with the Library of Congress. Their indexing has expanded and she even discovered that the developer of the Bissell Carpet Cleaner is in her family line.

Family Search Indexing for the 1940 Census

For people who already have a FamilySearch indexing account:

  1. Open the FamilySearch Indexing program and sign in as you normally would.
  2. When the program opens, go to the “Tools” menu, and select Options (bottom).
  3. When the window opens, click on the “Personal Info” tab.
  4. Then click the link “Change My Information,” which will take you to the website.
  5. You will need to sign there with your ID and password.
  6. Then, on your Profile page, click the “Edit” button at the bottom.
  7. In the 2nd group of information “Additional Indexing Information,” for “Local Support Level” select “Group or Society” from the drop-down list.
  8. Then, in the next box “Group,” select “SOCCGS.”
  9. Click the “Save” button at the bottom.

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, and he will have one ready at the next meeting.

Southern California Genealogical Society - 2012 Webinar Series

March Webinars:
03 March 10 am Pacific – Irish-American Catholic Genealogy - Michael Brophy
21 March 6 pm Pacific– Top 20 Lessons Genealogists Need to Know – Barry J. Ewell

The live broadcast of each session is open to the public and FREE to all (space is limited to 1000 attendees). Webinars are recorded, archived, and available for the next twelve months day or night to SCGS members, in the members-only section of the SCGS website.


Special Interest Groups

French-Canadian Interest Group - tips and help to aid research. Contact Pat Weeks to get involved at ( Pat has reserved the study room at the Mission Viejo Library at 11:00 AM Wednesday, March 7 for a collaborative session by those interested in French Canadian research.

Genealogical Definition

Mormal - Gangrene

Gould Stevens

~Gary Schwarz

In researching my great-great grand father, Gould Stevens, I found some inconsistencies in census records. I also had a letter written to my grandmother’s sister, Hazel Dell Phillips (1888-1972), from her aunt, Cora Roderick nee Stevens (1864-1943), in which Cora thought her grand fathers name was Samuel. I resolved in my mind the inconsistencies by supposing young deaths of wives and the early death of my third great grandfather. The attached picture of Gould Stevens (1828-1905) was in my grandmother’s; Adah May Golding nee Phillips (1887-1981), box of pictures. I later found the following biography written in 1889 for Gould Stevens which correlated my resolution and census inconsistencies.

"Gould Stevens, an honorable and honored member of the farming community of Carroll County, is extensively and profitably engaged in agricultural pursuits on section 25 of Salem Twp., where he owns a large and well improved farm of 388 acres, of exceeding fertility. He is a Pennsylvanian by birth, born in the township of Orwell, Bradford County, Oct. 6, 1828. His parents, Samuel W. "(abt 1800-1837)" and Nancy (Seymour) Stevens "(1806-1873)", were also natives of the Keystone State, and after their marriage they settled in Bradford County. The father died there in 1837, and the mother afterward came to Carroll County, and died here Oct. 5, 1873. They were people who were highly esteemed by all who knew them for their kindly ways and sterling qualities, and the death of the father was a loss to his community. They had five children, of whom our subject was the second in order of birth. There is nothing of any special interest in his childhood to note, for, he being reared on a farm, his life was much like that of other farmer's boys. He was married in his native county, and ambitious to try agriculture on the rich, virgin soil of the prairies of Illinois, he came to this State with his wife in 1851 and settled in Salem Township, of which he has since resided. He has given his entire attention to agricultural pursuits and is now the possessor of one of the most highly productive farms in all the township and as age draws nigh, finds himself well fortified against material want.

Mr. Stevens has been three times married. His first wife, to whom he was united in Bradford County, "Pennsylvania" was Hannah Marsh "(1832-1854)". One child was born of that union, Viola, now the wife of George Mullihan. Mrs. Stevens died in Salem Township in 1853, while yet in the bloom of young womanhood. Mr. Stevens second marriage was in this township to Martha "Jane" Stearns "(1833-1881)" and to them were born two children – Hannah "(1859-1939)" and Cora. Hannah is the wife of George Phillips "(1855-1935)" of Nebraska; Cora is the wife of Clinton Roderick "(1859-1949)" of Salem Twp, Carroll County, Illinois. In June 1880 our subject was again called on to mourn the death of a devoted companion. Mr. Stevens was married to his present estimable wife, Leonette Plummer "(1849-1918)" , in Fair Haven Twp. Jan. 18, 1883. Mrs. Stevens is of New England origin, having been born in Meredith NH Oct. 15, 1850. Mrs. Stevens is a valued member of the Baptist Church and takes an active part in its good works.

Mr. Stevens during his useful and busy career has displayed shrewdness, tact, and uncommon energy in the management of his affairs, and in his dealings with others always justice and fairness, so that his fellow men are glad to see him prosper. He has mingled in the public life of his adopted township, having served to his credit and to the benefit of the community, as Road Commissioner and School Director. In politics he is a stanch upholder of the Republican Party." (Portrait & Biographical Carroll County, Illinois, 1889 Pg 839)

In continued research I was saddened to learn from the Carroll County Death Register entry that cause of death for my great-great grandmother Martha J (Sterns) Stevens was "supposed self distruction (sic)". This appears to be a delayed record that was dated in 1888 where her death was recorded as 1881 and where the "Physician Returning Certificate" column contains "Gould Stevens husband of Martha J Stevens".

If the grave markers are true, Gould Stevens, his first two wives, his mother, and grand mother are all buried adjacent to each other in their large plot. His third wife is buried in a Plummer plot in the same cemetery. Separated from loved ones before their time during his life but rejoined after death.

My Great Grandfather

~Kailey Hutter

I would like to tell you a story about my great grampa, SGT George Emerick, during World War II. He was a waist gunner on a B17 and flew 35 missions over Germany, France and Holland in 1944. This is the story of one of those missions.

The 486th Bomb Group of the United States 8th Air Force was destined to spend Christmas Eve 1944 in the skies over Germany. In order to stop the attacks on Patton’s 3rd Army in the Battle of the Bulge, they were ordered to destroy a German airfield near Frankfort. This would be the largest formation of bombers to fly in Europe during World War II.

The Squadron was alerted at 4:00 a.m. After getting out of his warm sack, Gramps shaved with warm water in his helmet, which he had put on the stove the night before. He walked out of the Quonset hut into the pitch-black night, and rode his bicycle to the mess hall. On this day he had a fresh-egg breakfast, instead of the usual green powdered eggs.

On his way to the briefing room, he could hear the airplane engines being tested. The runways were being de-iced in preparation for takeoff.

During briefing, the men listened closely as they were told the mission target because they knew these instructions meant life and death. Many of them thought, "Who will be absent from here tonight? How many crews will get it today?"

The men were given "escape kits" to carry on the flight, which held maps of the target area and local currency. Each crewman also had a photo of himself taken in a civilian jacket, to be used by the "underground" in forging identification papers in case they crash landed.

Each airman was issued an electrically heated suit. It could be 50 degrees below zero in the air. Gramps, with the rest of the crew, headed for the hardstand, where the plane was waiting. The B17 was heavy with a 6000-pound bomb load plus fuel, and as they speed down the runway on the takeoff, it seemed to strain to get into the air.

The 486th put 53 B-17s in the air that day. Soon after they crossed the English Channel the German Luftwaffe attacked and the lead aircraft was hit and went down over Belgium. The planes continued on to the target and completed the mission successfully. Gramps’ plane made it back to England safely. However, three B-17s went down that day.

During his service, Airman Emerick was awarded the Air Medal and four Oak Leaf Clusters. The citation reads, "His courage, coolness and skill reflect great credit upon himself and the Armed Forces of the United States."

Postscript: George Emrich/Emerick, father of Mary Jo McQueen, was born 25 December 1912 in Aryshire, Iowa. His parents were Henry and Ida Ross Emrich. He passed away in Spencer, Iowa on 12 February 1993.

National Archives Website

The following URL takes you directly to veteran parts of the National Archives online website. The site has some documents from all the wars in which the United States has been engaged. This part of the site unlike other parts is fairly easy to navigate.

An article on how to use military records for genealogical research is located at:

Newsletter Submissions

~Gary Schwarz, Editor

I wish to thank members who have submitted articles for publication in the newsletter. Please continue to submit your articles of genealogical interest. Submissions should be submitted by the Wednesday after the monthly meeting. The articles should be a text or MS Word attachment, emailed to the editor and have a Subject line: “SOCCGS Newsletter Article – article title or description”.

Little Nick Became Quite a Man

~Jim Thordahl

Howard L. Beaver (1918-2000), my father-in-law, of Gowanda, New York, occasionally mentioned quite proudly that he was descended from a Nicholas Beaver (1824-1893) who came from France. In data provided by Howard, we find that little Nick was only six years old when he came to America. Surely he did not come alone. Where were his mother and father? I set out to find an answer to that question. Here are my results:

The Nicholas Beaver family of Western New York arrived in America from France in 1830. Many settlers to this frontier traveled by wagon, ox cart or simply walked to the promising land being offered by the Holland Land Company on the eastern shore of Lake Erie. The N. Beaver family may have arrived by the same means as they had crossed the Atlantic Ocean, by boat on the "Grand" canal. By 1830, the water road that would open an easy route to the west, the Erie Canal, had stretched across the State. Theirs may not have been a continuous journey, and the date of their arrival at their final homestead is unknown. Undoubtedly, pioneers then, as later when the West was tamed, were spurred on by tales from the frontier.

The Beaver family had come from Alsace Lorraine an area of France on the border of Germany. Its administration was in dispute for many years between the two countries that were rarely on friendly terms during the 19th century. It’s likely that the people from this area spoke both French and German. While there may be many explanations for diverse recordings, dual languages probably caused some confusion in subsequent generations as revealed in many census documents, when the survey asked what a parent’s "mother tongue" was. Nicholas’ grandfather is reported to have soldiered in the armies of Napoleon and lived to the ripe old age of 100. There is no evidence that this Beaver elder came to America, and no other information is known.

The name Beaver probably originated from French: Beauver or Beauvior, for "a place with a beautiful view." Sir names were often selected from a family’s home location or occupation. A German derivative would be Beiber or Bever meaning "a hard worker" and may be the family name when they arrived and by choice or chance the name became Beaver. Although the Bever form appears occasionally within the Federal and New York censuses, Nicholas Beaver is first recorded in the 1840 Federal census. The name has been indexed, in error, from Bean to Resser, adding to the difficulty in tracing what was to become a large family.

Little Nicholas Beaver grew up to father eleven children with his first wife and five more with his second wife. Large families were common in nineteenth century America. Nicholas’s two brothers, Jacob (1829-1898) and Henry (1836-unk), also had large families, eight and nine children respectively. His sons, Albert (1871-1960) and Clarence (1873-1945), from his second wife, had twelve and nine children respectively.

Tracking all these Beavers was not easy. Many times parents are still having children when their children are beginning to raise their own families. Adding to the task of sorting these large families is the apparent loaning of teenagers to neighbors and other family members who needed an extra boy to help with manual labor or a girl to tend young children. It was a labor intensive time; it was a time of basic farming, long before mechanization. Large dairy farms required the strong hands of many milk maids and the strong backs of several sons. The 1880 "farm" census provides a picture of Nicholas Beaver’s farm. On 165 acres he had 125 acres of meadow and he tilled 20 acres. The rest was woods. He had 22 milk cows from which he produced 250 pounds of butter. He also had a flock of sheep that dropped 18 lambs. His crops included buckwheat, Indian corn, oats, and wheat.

Fourteen of Nicholas’s children reached adulthood. Add to the descendants named Beaver the possible offspring of all their daughters who cannot be traced easily and there could be many Beaver descendant families in the twenty-first century all traceable back to little Nicholas Beaver. So, who brought little Nick to America? His parents were Nicholas (abt 1800-1878) and Magalana (Lana) (1797-1868). Lana’s maiden name has not been found.

2011 Genealogy Events

March 10: North Orange County Genealogical Society All Day Seminar – presenting John Coletta – Yorba Linda, California

March 31: Chula Vista Genealogical Society All-Day Seminar – presenting William Dollarhide and Jim Meitzler. More info:

May 26-27: United Scottish Society Highland Gathering & Festival, Costa Mesa, CA,

June 8–10: Southern California Genealogical Society Jamboree

June 14-17: 2012 American Historical Society of Germans from Russia Annual Convention, Portland, Oregon

July 18-22: 42nd Annual Germans from Russia Heritage Society International Convention, Bismarck, North Dakota

I like being a woman, even in a man's world. After all, men can't wear dresses, but we can wear the pants.
~Whitney Houston (1963-2012)

-Scottish men do wear "skirts" of a sort though.

Orange County Jewish Genealogical Society - March 18, 1:00 P.M. – 3:00 P.M. "Interviewing Our Family Members: An Oral History Workshop", presented by Wendy Elliot-Scheinberg, Professor of History, Cal State Fullerton, please RSVP to Sandy Bursten (, (949) 854-8854



President, Seminar & Safari
Chairman_______________________________ Bill Bluett___________________
Vice President / Program Chairman _____ David Flint___________________
Recording Secretary____________________ Pat Weeks_____________________
Corresponding Secretary________________ Marilyn Kowalski______________
Treasurer______________________________ Mary Jo McQueen_______________
Historian______________________________ Pat Christiansen______________
Hospitality____________________________ Barbara Heebner_______________
Hospitality____________________________ Sharon Keener_________________
Librarian______________________________ Bunny Smith___________________
Membership_____________________________ Jack Naylor___________________
Newsletter Editor______________________ Gary Schwarz__________________
Parliamentarian________________________ Pat Christiansen______________
Publicity / Webmaster__________________ Herb Abrams___________________
Ways & Means___________________________ Jim Thordahl__________________  

SOCCGS Website @
Mail List:
SOCCGS Research Center, Mission Viejo Library;
Marguerite Parkway at LaPaz, (949) 470-8498
SOCCGS E-mail:

Use this form to send with your dues payment

South Orange County California Genealogical Society Membership/Renewal Application

 ( ) New   ( ) Renewal      ( ) Individual, $20/yr.      ( ) Joint Members, same address, $25/yr.
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 Mail with application to: SOCCGS, P.O. Box 4513, Mission Viejo, CA 92690


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