Saddleback Valley Trails

Saddleback Valley Trails

Vol 8 No 4 ...Editor: Gail Gilbert ...April 2001

South Orange County California Genealogical Society

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

Monthly meetings are held on the third Saturday of each month from 10:00 a.m. to Noon at the Mission Viejo Family History Center Institute Building, 27978 Marguerite Parkway, Mission Viejo, between Medical Center Drive and Hillcrest Drive. Membership is open to anyone wishing to join. Yearly membership fees are $20 per calendar year for individuals, $25 for joint membership. SOCCGS is not affiliated with the LDS Family History Center.


A book by Laverne Galeener-Moore called Collecting Dead Relatives has provided me with both humor and instruction while gathering information on my ancestors. She writes, "Collecting dead relatives has fast become a more popular hobby than gathering rocks or butterflies. Once GENEALOGY strikes, an otherwise rational human being finds himself or herself in danger of hanging out in graveyards, libraries and county courthouses."

With this in mind, and book in tow, on April 17th, my husband and I will be on our way to New England. At the time of the April 21st SOCCGS meeting I will likely be walking an aforementioned graveyard with my somewhat reluctant spouse. However, Bob is a good sport about this consuming hobby of mine!

At the March meeting members and visitors alike shared the challenges and successes of their genealogical research. Karyn provided a wonderfully informative program, in the person of Joan E. Rambo. Joan spoke to us on "Getting The Most Out of Public and Genealogical Libraries." We learned that we might find information in the most unlikely places.

Thanks to Herb Abrams, our three computers, donated by the City of Mission Viejo, are up and running in the genealogy section of the library. He has also installed a copy machine, which was donated to our organization by Laura and Stewart Mollrich. Our purchase of toner and a drum, along with Herb's expertise, has now made it available to researchers. We also have a "new" typewriter due to the generosity of Caroline Geddes.

Now, until next month, I will leave you with this quote from George Bernard Shaw, "If you cannot get rid of the family skeleton, you may as well make it dance."

Mary Jo McQueen


FOR SALE: Used copy machine. If interested, please contact our SOCCGS librarian, Janet Franks (949) 496-8428 or our webmaster (Jack of all trades), Herb Abrams (949) 581-6292.


21 April 2001 Celebrate the beginning of the new millennium with a whirlwind tour through the last 2000 years! On April 21, 2001, Kathleen Roe Trevena will speak to us on "Great Moments in Genealogy During the Past Two Millennia."

Where were your ancestors 2000 years ago? What simple invention led to "knights in shining armor?" Why did your forebears of 1000 years ago probably have healthier teeth than you do? You know what happened in 1066, but what happened in 1348 that changed your ancestors' lives forever? And just how far back can you really trace those ancestors? Learn the answers to these and many other intriguing historical and genealogical questions at our April meeting.

Kathleen Trevena has lectured throughout Southern California on surnames, given names, and migration patterns. In her spare time, Kathleen manages a documentation group for a large software company in Costa Mesa.

19 May 2001 Louis Carlson will talk to us about "Everything You Wanted to Know About Headstones and Were Afraid to Ask: "A Humorous Look at Headstones Through the Ages,Their Maintenance and their Symbolism."

16 June 2001 Gary Shumway will speak on:"Using Oral History to Document Your Genealogy."

21 July 2001 Norma Keating will cover Danish Research for us.



31 March 2001 The First Annual West Coast Summit on African American Genealogy, sponsored by the African American Genealogical Society of Northern CA, will be held at the We the People Conference Center, 200 Harrison Street, Oakland, CA from 8:30 - 5:00 pm. Keynote speaker will be Dr. Dee Parmer Woodtor, author of "Finding A Place Called Home." You can register online at AAGSNC.ORG or call Lisa B. Lee at (510) 832-5146. (Your newsletter may be too late for this.)

7 April 2001 The Sacramento German Genealogy Society will hold a German Research Conference at Carmichael, CA. For information contact Charles Knuthson at (916) 782-5704 or email him at

23 April 2001 The Orange Family History Center will hold its annual all day genealogy event at the FHC, Orange Stake Center, 674 Yorba St., Orange, CA.

5 & 6 May 2001 LOCH PRADO, the Scottish Clan Gathering and Highland Games, previously held in the fall, will now be held in the spring at the Prado Regional Park, 16700 S. Euclid, Chino, CA. For further information see:

12 May 2001 Scottish Day at SCGS. If you have Scottish Ancestry, you won't want to miss this event on Saturday, May 12, 2001 at the Southern CA Genalogical Society, 417 Irving Drive, Burbank, CA. From 10 to 11:30 am, Al Lewis will educate and entertain us with his talk on "The History of the Clans." From 1 to 3 pm, Fran Bumann, Clan Ross Genealogist, and Nellie Lowry, Clan Graham Genealogist, will facilitate a round table discussion, and provide individual help on researching your Scottish ancestors. Bring your books, research materials, and questions to share with others. For information e-mail: or call (818) 842-7247.

16-19 May 2001 The NGS - National Genealogical Society will hold their Annual Conference in the States, "Explore New Frontiers," in Portland, OR. For a conference brochure, you can contact NGS at 4527 17th St. N., Arlington, VA 22207-2399. For additional information, see their web site at

24-25 August 2001 The British Isles Family History Society -USA will present its 14th Annual British & Irish Genealogical Seminar, "Journey to the Past" on the Queen Mary with famous speakers from England, Ireland, Scotland & Wales. The cost for those who register before June 1 is $150 for members and $175 for non-members. For additional information visit their web site at: or call Dorothy Losee at (310) 838-6085 or email her at <>.


The Mission Viejo Library staff is now in the process of cataloging our genealogy section in the library. This should be a benefit to, not only our docents, but to the many researchers who use our collection.

Although the library is expanding, we will not acquire any more shelf space than we presently enjoy. So, the Board has made the decision to continue to have our books in alphabetical order by sections, ie. family names, countries, states, etc. The research aids will be by category and we will have shelf labels to aid in finding the various sections. There will be a general history section also.

The number of researchers continues to grow, as the public becomes more aware of us. It is surprising that so many come into the library not aware of the fact that we have a genealogy collection available. We are always in need of docents, so if you can give 2 or 3 hours a week, or even once a month, please let me know. Thank you for your help and a sincere thanks to all those docents who continue to be so generous with their time and talents.

Also, every member is welcome to join our Safari Group which visits other libraries in Southern CA on the fourth Wednesday of each month. On April 28 we will be going to the Southern CA Genealogical Society Library in Burbank. This library seems to have grown each time we visit. They close at 4 pm, and we will then go to the Sons of The Revolution Library in Glendale which stays open until 8 pm. This library recently received a generous donation and has acquired many new books, including 40 volumes of the Barbour Collection. They also have new computers and numerous discs with census and vital records. Please call if you would like to join this Safari.

Janet Pooley Franks (949) 496-8428


1. For schedule of current classes being held at the LA Family History Center, 10741 Santa Monica Blvd., Los Angeles, call (310) 474-9990 or visit their website at

2. For information on classes held at the Orange FHC, 674 S. Yorba St., Orange, call Beth McCarty at (714) 998-3408. The winter 2001 mini class schedule is as follows:

3. Classes for beginners and intermediates in Computer-assisted Genealogy are offered each month by the Orange County CA Genealogy Society in the General Meeting Room of the Huntington Beach Central Library, 7111 Talbert Ave., Huntington Beach, CA for a fee of $4 for non-members, payable at the door. See for schedule.

4. For classes at the Mission Viejo Family History Center, 27976 Marguerite Parkway, Mission Viejo: or phone (949) 364-2742.

5. NARA Schedule of Spring/Summer 2001 Genealogical Workshops:

Wed Apr 18 9:30am Introduction to Genealogical Resources at NARA

Mon Apr 23 9:30 am Genealogical Resources on the Internet

Sat May 5 10:00am Introduction to Naturalizations and Ships' Passenger Arrivals

Wed May 16 9:30 am Introduction to Military Records

Sat May 19 10:00 am Preparing for the 1930 Census

Thrs May 24 9:30 am Preserving Your Family's History

Sat Jun 2 10:00 am Introduction to Genealogical Resources

Thrs Jun 7 9:30 am Naturalization and Immigration

Thrs Jun 28 9:30 am Preparing for the 1930 Census

Classes are limited so you need to call to reserve a place in each class, (949) 360-2641.



1. Identify your photographs and put one of each ancestor in your safe deposit box.

2. Save newspaper clippings for future reference of historical data.

3. Make a video of yourself and other family members in your current generation.

4. Write a personal history and/or start keeping a journal.

5. Create a scrapbook of memories using significant memorabelia.

6. Include details about yourself in your family tree software & distribute your data.

7. Photograph items of value or items which document your family history.

8. Have your pictures digitized.

9. Get your family history into print, at least typed legibly as a bare minimum.

10. Establish a family website on the Internet to record/display your genealogical data.

11. Set up a family tree on a CD that can be shared with other websites.

12. Make a note of the location & disposition of your genealogy material in your will.



If you are looking for a small graveyard, located perhaps on a private farm in a wooded area, it has been suggested in a letter by Carolyn Ballantyne of Maine to the Rootsweb Review that you stand back and look for an older, taller tree that stands out from the crowd. That is likely to be where the old cemetery is located because she says that "loggers will rarely cut a tree around a graveyard." Perhaps this will be of help to our president on her trek through the cemeteries of New England.

And watch your step Mary Jo. According to the February GSNOCC Newsletter, some gravesites are marked in cemetery records as "Dangerous: a torpedo grave." The explanation given in the OGS Newsletter (31:12, 2000, pg 148), was that, "in the late 19th century, actual torpedoes were sometimes buried with or near the coffins to prevent grave robbing." Apparently, it was quite common for medical students to obtain their cadavers for their studies this way. They also cite an example from the book Awesome Almanac: Ohio (pg. 154) where, in 1885, residents of Johnsville refused to bury murderer Valentine Wagner, the first person hanged in the Ohio Penitentiary, in their village cemetery. Instead he was buried outside the village limits and 12 torpedoes were embedded in his tomb to prevent vandalism.

If you find a tombstone which gives the date of death with the age of the deceased, how do you figure the person's exact birthdate? Just such a problem was presented on the BROWN-List that I subscribe to, for an individual who died Aug. 9, 1889 at age 32 years, 9 months and 13 days. Seems simple, you say? Well, which one of the following would you chose to use:

1. Start with days and count backwards, then count back months, then subtract the years. Solution: Oct. 28, 1856. But what about leap year?

2. Apply the 8870 formula from Everton's Genealogical Helper which takes the date of death (18890809), subtracts the age at death (320913) and then subtracts 8870. Solution: Oct 28, 1856

3.Use the Date Calculator in the PAF program which is available at and you get what is considered to be the correct date of birth. Solution: Oct. 27, 1856.


The California State Genealogical Alliance informs us that the California 1890 Great Register of Voters Index has been printed and is now at the binders. The 3 volumes hardbound set of 3000 pages will be available from the publisher, Heritage Quest, at $395. See their website for further information at and search on 1890 Great Register.

The National Archives and Records Administration, according to Cyndi Howells, has announced the publication of their Microfilm Resources for Research: A Comprehensive Catalog (Washington, DC: NARA, 2000) which replaces the 1996 edition. For orders by credit card, call 1-800-234-8861. Or write NARA, Attn: Archives 2 Research Support Branch (NWCC2), 8601 Adelphi Rd., College Park, MD 20760-0001. Cost is $5 + $3 s&h, checks payable to National Archives Trust Fund.


BURIED TREASURE AT ROOTSWEB. A recent addition to the vast and varied resources of the USGenWeb Archives Project and an example of the level of quality of material being placed online is The German Settlement at Anaheim, by Dorothea Jean Paule, a M.A. thesis presented to the Faculty of the Department of History, The University of Southern California, 1952. Chapters include an Introduction, Prelude to Settlement, Establishment of the Colony, Early Economic Activities, Culture and Institutions, and Growth of the Community plus an extensive Bibliography.

Previously published by, Inc., RootsWeb Review: RootsWeb's Genealogy News, Vol. 4, No. 12, 21 March 2001. RootsWeb:

To keep up to date on submissions to The USGenWeb Archives, look up the Archives Newsletter at . Weekly announcements of updates to the Archives can be found online at To subscribe to this read-only mailing list, send e-mail to and put SUBSCRIBE in the body of the message.

ENGLISH ORIGINS can be explored at the following web site: This site contains indexes and records ranging from marriages and wills to London apprenticeships. The site is sponsored by The Society of Genealogists (London) who have contracted with an Internet "pay-per- view" service to make these records available to the public. You may view the surname indexes for free and then pay a $9 fee to access up to 150 actual printable documents during a 48 hour period. Additional record sources are to be available later this year. A similar service is available for Scottish records, but we are warned that most of these can be accessed for free at the Los Angeles Family History Center. Thank you Questing Heirs (March 2001) for this very useful information.

SLAVE GENEALOGY EXCHANGE is a web site which offers help, data and a forum for the exchange of data which requires no sign-in to participate. It also contains a photo album and chat room, as well as links to African Ancestored genealogy forum, Freedmen's Bureau Records and others. Go to This information was provided by the California State Genealogical Alliance Newsletter (March 2001).

FRENCH CANADIAN researchers can contact the French Canadian Heritage Society of CA at their web site at This site contains a listing of this society's collection and the surnames being researched by their members with e-mail addresses for easy contact. The society meets 5-6 times a year at the SCGS Library in Burbank. For information contact Doug Miller (661) 296-8740 or Ann LeBlanc Bowen (909) 949-1328.

ONLINE ATLAS assistance, for genealogists needing to know just what county that town was located in, can be found at

ELLIS ISLAND records for over 17 million people entering the US 1892-1924, will be available online in April. See (Questing Heirs)


If you were at the last general meeting, you heard about Jeanne Barrett's great little organizer which she carries in her purse when she makes genealogy research trips. Unbelievable as it seems, this is the only reference she needs with her, even when going to Salt Lake City! This compact binder measures 5 1/2 x 7 1/2 inches and holds fold out pages for genealogy data, including 10 lineage charts and 30 family group sheets with 5 index tabs. It is available through the publisher, "Ye Olde Genealogie Shoppe" in Indianapolis (1-800-419-0200), but if you want to save shipping charges, you can buy it at the meeting of the Orange County California Genealogical Society which is held at the Huntington Beach Library on the 1st Saturday morning of each month. The price there is $18 or $30 for two. Jeanne has kindly offered to bring hers again to our meeting April 21st, so be sure to attend if you want to see what we are talking about.


The following guests and new members attended our March meeting: Dixie Ohs, guest; Laura Criss, Elizabeth Haydock, Diane Hearne, and Beryl Viebeck, new members. Welcome to you all. Since we did not publish names of our new members the past couple years, we would like to introduce any member now and include a list of the surnames they are currently researching. If you would like to be included in a future newsletter, please send your name and surname list to the newsletter editor at the address listed in the form below.


South Orange County California Genealogical Society

Membership/Renewal Application

( ) New 1 Year ( ) Individual, $20 ( ) Jt. Members, same address $25

( ) Renewal Membership Number(s)______________ _______________

Name (s) ________________________________________________________


City _______________________________State_______Zip________Phone___________

Make check payable to: SOCCGS (South Orange County 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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