Saddleback Valley Trails
South Orange County California Genealogical Society

Vol. 12 No. 4 Editor: Mary Jo McQueen April 2005

 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.

Presented By

The first phase of genealogical research is the survey phase. The goal of this phase of research is to find what has already been researched by others on that surname in that locality, to avoid a duplication of effort. The survey phase deals primarily with compiled records. There are many online resources to help you search farther and faster than ever before for these types of sources. Ms. Renick’s presentation will help us sort out the resources available on the Internet and get us going in the right direction.
Barbara Renick is a frequent lecturer at national genealogical conferences. She writes for several genealogy publications, has two instructional videos on using the Internet for genealogy, and a recent book titled “Genealogy 101: How to Trace Your Family’s History and Heritage” sponsored by the National Genealogical Society. She is one of SOCCGS’ favorite speakers.



May 21st -------- Rosalind Heaps - "The Research Notebook."
June 18th -------- Leland Pound - "German Research."
July----------------Annie Lloyd - “Welsh Settlements in the USA.”
August-------------Kathy Mauzey - “What To Do With That Census Information.”
September---------Caroline Rober - “Kentucky Research.”
October 22 ------ Seminar featuring Lloyd Bockstruck.
December 16 ---- Holiday Party.


In place of the April 27 safari, we are hosting “A Day At The Genealogy Library.” Docents will be in attendance from 10 a.m. until 8 p.m. There will be assistance on the three new computers, plus the computer used only for CDs. Tours of the SOCCGS library will be on gong during the day and evening. This will be a day for beginners as well as those who have been doing research for some time.

Please mark your calendars and visit your library on April 27.


“THANK YOU” to the new docent substitutes, Georgiana Emory, Mary Lou Wilcox and Robert & Marjorie Reinhold, for answering the plea made at the March meeting. Since the meeting Verl Nash has said “yes” to a telephone plea. Being a docent substitute is a pretty painless way for members to help the society. It entails about one or two shifts a month, depending upon your availability.

Ongoing classes for persons considering becoming docents are held on Thursdays (12-3) and Saturdays (10 to 1). These classes are also open to current docents and others needing help using the resources available at the library.

"Smile well and often. It makes people wonder what you've been up to."
~Satchel Paige


We had about fifty five persons in attendance to hear Wendy Elliott presentation on finding our women ancestors. The program was well received and we should all have renewed determination to find those elusive females. Thank you to Diane Hearne for providing the goodies.
Hospitality Chairman, Leesola Cannon, broke her arm and will be unable to perform her duties for awhile. We miss her and wish her a speedy recovery!
We are happy to welcome seven new Members who joined in March.
Jim Baker, Westminster, CA,, BAKER (TN 1802), CHILDERS (IN 1834, MO 1860), BENSON (SC 1820, MO 1840), HARRIS (Timberlake, KS 1880);
Nancy Kring, Laguna Hills, - KRINGr, TYSON, LANDRY, BOONE, HAHAN;
Roger Peterson
, Mission Viejo, - PETERSON (MN), WAIT(E) (NY), WHALLON (NY?);
June Malchow, Lake Forest, - STROUD (Great Hasley & Oxford, ENG), DUNBAR (SCOT), O'SHEA (IRE).
Dorothy Helton, Mission Viejo, FISHBAUGH (MD, KS)
Patricia & Elmer Christiansen, San Juan Capistrano, - DEAN, HIGHLY (LEY), SHULTZ, POTTER (OH, IL)

Guests at the meeting were: Desley Adams and Patrice Gaspard.


Herb has been so busy this past month, he deserves a column of his own. SOCCGS has many members who give generously of their time to the benefit of the society, and Herb tops the list!

He recently installed two of the three new computers. The first was installed last month by Herb and Gary Giddings. We now have a new computer for the docent desk and two for patron use. One of these has the capability of burning CDs. This past Saturday, Herb helped a patron burn a CD from a dozen floppy discs containing her family history information.

Janet Franks brought into the library a huge old family bible that had belonged to Thomas H. Boydston of Platte County, Missouri. Following, in his words, is the account of how Herb found the current owner:

“On the chance that there might be a Boydston in the local area, I checked I just specified California for the location and the nearest one found was a B. (Bruce) Boydston in Laguna Niguel. I called him and told him about the bible and that the people were from Platte County, Missouri. He told me that is where his father, Roy, and his grandfather, Strode Boydston, were from. I researched for those two men and found Roy and Strother Boydston in Platte County. Strother's grandfather was a brother to Thomas H. Boydston's grandfather.

I thought, why not do a little more research? So, I spent a couple of days checking the connection. I found a lot of information on a website from a descendant of one of the other Boydston brothers. The Boydston family came from Cocke County, Tennessee (far eastern TN) to Platte County, Missouri (far western MO) in the 1830s. The 1830 census shows they were in the Cocke County. In 1840 they were in the Platte County. The family probably floated down the Tennessee River to the Mississippi River, then up the Missouri River to Platte County. The families are found in every census year from 1830 to 1930.

When Mr. Boyston picked up his family Bible he also received a genealogy report on his ancestors! He had previously known little about his family and was very happy to receive this gift.”

Herb announced at the March meeting the final disposition of what we called “The Billy Sunday Bible.” This was not a family Bible, but was made interesting by several signatures on the flyleaf. (See your February issue of the SVT.) Herb’s account of the ebay sale follows:

“The bible was listed on ebay at a starting bid of $99.99. There were 31 bids with only two bidders, both dealers in old books.

It sold for $450 to Historicprints of Hagerstown, MD. This company sells copies of religious paintings and historic documents. The owner has his own collection and already had some letters signed by Billy Sunday so we feel that it found a good home. The webpage for Historic Prints or Historic Reproductions as it is called on the website at

The money from the sale of this bible has been deposited into SOCCGS Ways & Means account.


Please save the flyer inserted within this newsletter or to see a copy online click here. There, you will find complete information on, and directions for participating in the SOCCGS Family History Recipe Book. This project is being directed by our Ways and Means Chairman, Colleen Robledo. The plan is to have it ready for sale at the October Seminar. She needs our cooperation and participation to make this a successful project. Remember, it is unlikely that we will have a garage sale this year.

by George G. Morgan

I don't know about you, but for me, message boards and mailing lists are an integral part of my genealogical research. I make contact with all sorts of people who are actively pursuing their family history. They share information in their postings, post queries for more information, and are often willing to collaborate with you for the purpose of extending their research. Best of all, these are free resources!

Perhaps the best message boards on the Internet are at and can be accessed from the tab labeled Message Boards at the top of the main screen. Another good source are the GenForum message boards ( at

It is unfortunate that so many posted messages are never answered. In "Along Those Lines . . ." this week, let's discuss the ins and outs of creating really good message postings that will pique the interest of other researchers and more effectively draw responses.

Create an Informative Subject Line - Whenever I get an e-mail that contains a meaningless subject line, such as "Help," I immediately delete it, along with all the e-mails with no subject line. They are certainly less than intriguing. They convey no information whatsoever about the contents of the e-mail. Subject lines on message board postings produce the same effect for me. I feel sad that the poster will probably never get a response to their posting.

The subject line of your posting should cause someone to be interested. It should convey enough information that the reader can think, "Wow! That may be one of the people in my line!" There are message boards for surnames, geographies, and topic areas, so your posting might vary a bit. However, a really good subject line contains several pieces of pertinent information:

* the name of the primary person for whom you are seeking information;
* a year (or year range) for the information you are seeking, and
* information about the location(s) where they may have been or to which they may have migrated.

Here are examples of two good subject lines:

Spencer BALL - (1773- ca. 1856) - Fairfax, VA> Tallagdega Co., AL This one tells me that a man named Spencer BALL lived from 1773 to circa 1856, and that he migrated from Fairfax, Virginia, to Talladega County, Alabama. The > character is used as an abbreviation to indicate movement.

Walton C. WEATHERLY - 1882-1948 - TN>AL>GA>NC This one tells me that Walton C. WEATHERLY, born in 1882 and died in 1948, started in Tennessee, moved to Alabama, and then to Georgia, and then to North Carolina.

Both of these subject lines help the reader understand precisely who the people are that you are researching, and perhaps he or she will open the posting to read the contents. A really bad subject line conveys little or no information. For example, there was a posting on a surname message board in 1998 and the subject line read, "Need [surname] Information." To this day, that message has received no response.

Tell the Reader in the Body of the Message What You Are Seeking - Once someone has opened your message board posting, you need to communicate exactly what you are seeking. That also should include any information you already know as well as any resources you may already have exhausted. This will prevent a reader from duplicating the efforts you've already expended. This is a very nice courtesy.

The body of your message may include more information about the person or family for which you are seeking any information, including names and nicknames, vital dates, and places. It is better to provide more concise details to indicate what you already know that to omit what you feel is obvious.

It is important to organize your message in such a way that it is logical and easy to understand. A wandering diatribe will lose the reader's interest, and he or she may not even be able to determine what it is that you want to learn!

Here is an example of a body text of a message board posting that I made: "I am seeking information about Jesse HOLDER and his wife, Hepsebah (Hepsevah?) who lived in Gwinnett County, GA, in the 1830s and early 1840s. They produced at least two sons, Green Berry HOLDER and John Thomas HOLDER. I am descended from Green Berry and have all descent there, and most of his brothers. I am looking for more information on Jesse and Hepsevah (maiden name unknown). Thank you."

Here is an example of a less than complete body in a message posting: "Hi I'm trying to find information on a Mr. and Mrs. Scoobydoo that died in 1929. They were on their honeymoon and the hotel they were at caught fire. I don't know if they both died in the fire or if they died shortly after as a result of it. The woman's name was Ruby but have no info on the gentleman's first name. If anyone can help, please post a reply. Thank you."

As you can see, there is a big difference in the content of each posting. A good education for you is to go to one of the message boards and read some of the more interesting and complete postings. They will provide insight into what captures your interest, and you can begin to emulate really well-written postings.

People Who Post Who Disappear - Many of us have changed e-mail addresses over the years. If you change yours, post a message on the message board indicating that you have previously posted there and that you have changed the address. Ask people to respond to that address in future. You might do this as a general message, but it is perhaps more appropriate to post it in a reply to your message postings.

Post to Multiple Message Boards - Readers of message boards often read more than just the surname boards. Therefore, you may want to post the same or a similar message to the geographical message boards for the places that your ancestors lived or to which they migrated. You may often get a response from one or the other posting. There also are subject areas on the message boards and you might consider posting to one or more of those that may be appropriate for your ancestor's condition. Such categories might include the Adoption, Cemeteries and Tombstones, Ethnic/Race, Immigration and Emigration, Military, Orphans and Orphanages, or other message board forums.

The USGenWeb Project at consists of state and county websites, many of which allow you to post a query on some sort of message-type board. Its international equivalent is the WorldGenWeb Project at, which represents countries around the world and their subsidiary governmental entities, such as counties, parishes, provinces, etc. These, too, may provide the capability of posting queries.

Family websites, including personal Web pages and family sites established at, may also provide message posting facilities that help you make connections to other living family members and researchers interested in your family lines.

Establish a Review Methodology - If you post to a message board and never go back to check for replies, you've probably just wasted your time. The message boards on provide a facility to add the board to a notification process. That means that, whenever someone responds to your posting, you receive an e-mail notification with a hyperlink that takes you to the board and the posting. Not all message boards provide a facility with this convenience.

I also have a routine that I use. First, I bookmark the message board sites to which I have posted for the surnames, locations, and topics in my Web browser. I maintain these bookmarks in a separate folder. Then, every Sunday afternoon, I go out and check those message boards for postings that have been made in the last week. Therefore, whether my postings have been responded to, I can see who is posting and whom they are researching. Who knows? There might just be that missing link to knock down some brick wall.

Message boards can be fun to use, and you will almost definitely make connections, perhaps to other researchers and long-lost or distant family members. If you haven't used the message boards, give them a try.
Happy Message Board Posting!

March 11, 2005
Copyright 2005, All rights reserved.


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To send a message or query to the list address the message to


New to the SOCCGS Library are three wood filing cabinets located under the periodical counter. These cabinets house a manuscript collection of genealogical information researched, over many years, by Wanda Cunningham of Laguna Woods. Ms. Cunningham has donated these materials to our library. Surnames in this compilation include: Allison, Ashcraft, Cason, Cole, Davis, Denton, Ellison, Eidson, Elridge, Evans, Gerber, Hammond, Hardenbrock, Harnsberger, Harrod, Herod, Hoffman, Holtzman, Hunter, Jelly, Kuntz, Landers, Lemmon, Lichliter, Lilborne, Linch, Lingle, Littlepage, Lunsden, Magg, Maggart, Martin, Mauch, McClure, McCord, Miller, Mock, Morris, Motz, Moyers, Mueller, Murdock Owens, Pemberton and Pence. Many states are represented.

Come, see for yourself!

"Every man's memory is his private literature."
~Aldous Huxley


Few documents have survived from Toronto, Ontario, Canada in the 1850s. The 1852 city census is long-lost. But volunteers from the Ontario Genealogical Society, with the help of the city’s archives, have painstakingly transmuted the 1853 tax assessment rolls — seven volumes of elegantly spidery writing so fragile they have to be handled with white gloves — into digital form.

Those with Canadian heritage will want to check out the Virtual Reference Library. Many subjects are well covered, with genealogy being one of them. There you will find lots of excellent links.

The Missouri State Archives
now have a searchable database online for the index of Naturalization Records, 1816 - 1955 at:
**Also, they are looking for e-volunteers to help transcribe nearly two million death certificates from 1910 to 1954, which will be made available in a searchable database that links to the actual digitized records. This can be done from anywhere; they mail the indexes to you. Get more info at:

Links to every state. No telling what you might find here!

In case anyone hasn't seen this already, the Orange County Register's web site has a beautiful historical photo collection available online, to commemorate their centennial this year:
Click on the "A Moment in OC History" link. During the Civil War many photographs were taken from which the government has created a website, with a search engine. The search engine is for surname only. If your surname comes up, it will then list all that they have. You can send for a copy of it first to see if it is something you want to buy, if it is, then you can send for a nice print. Be sure and read all the instructions about sending for the copy, it will be on plain paper.

From October 1831 through October 1921, the Boston Pilot newspaper printed a “Missing Friends” column with advertisements from people looking for “lost” friends and relatives who had emigrated from Ireland to the United States. This extraordinary collection of more than 31,438 records is available here as a searchable online database, which contains a text record for each ad that appeared in the Pilot.

U.S. County Formation Maps 1643-Present. When you click on one of the Map Links there are additional links on some of the the pages.... including Terminology, Diseases, Occupations, etc.

Early Canadiana Online is a digital library containing 1,834,223 pages in 11,527 volumes. New titles are added each month.

You can download free charts and forms to help organize and record your family history at (Requires free Adobe Acrobat Reader)

This is a great site for anyone whose ancestor was a sailor from Norway during WWII. It has complete descriptions of the ships, and lots of pictures!


The Whittier Historical Society currently has an exhibit entitled “Quilts, Tools & Gadgets” that features over thirty quilts including Civil War, crazy patch and hand-pieced friendship quilts. The exhibit runs through May 2, 2005. The museum is located at 6755 Newlin Avenue in Whittier. For information call (562) 945-3871 or go to their website:
(WAGS Newsletter, March 2005)

"What is a weed? A plant whose virtues have not been discovered."
~Ralph Waldo Emerson

(Ancestry Daily News, 2005,

Changes Caused by the War
From the Morning Oregonian (Portland, Oregon), 04 March 1867, page 2

In an article on the changes caused by the war in the South, the Baltimore Transcript says: Misery is said to make strange bed fellows, and the distresses caused by the late war have certainly thrown many Southern men into positions and associations extremely alien to their former pursuits and habits...........

Gen. Lee teaching a school, Joe Johnston and Beauregard, railroading, other Generals running express wagons and taking photographs, are some of the specimens of the changes which the results of the war have wrought in the change of vocations and habits. But these are nothing in comparison with the metamorphosis in he lives of civilians, of men and women once in affluent circumstances, and who are betaking themselves by force of necessity to every occupation which can be named. Gentlemen once the proprietors of large estates, may now be found equipped with yardsticks, holding plough handles, or weighing out sugar and coffee by the pound in grocery shops; ladies, high-bred dames, who were once the leaders of society, are now taking in sewing for the bare means of subsistence. And happy are they who are able to find even such a refuge from the wild beasts of poverty and want. Others there are, and the number is large, who, with families of little children dependent upon them, have absolutely no resources, no means of life, no earthly hope of ultimately escaping the horrors of starvation.

The financial difficulties of 1857...
From The Ohio Repository (Canton, Ohio), 03 March 1858, page 4

The financial difficulties of 1857, in England, were of greater extent than any which had previously occurred for a long time.--There were no fewer than 1,429 bankruptcies gazetted. Of these 765 were in the country, and 664 in London alone. In Liverpool there were 113, in Manchester 114, in Birmingham 210, in Leeds, 124, and in Bristol 101.

New York Paralyzed by the Worst Storm on Record
From the Morning Oregonian (New York, New York), 13 March 1888, page 1

SNOW BOUND-Travel and Traffic Stopped--Many People Suffering from Cold and Injuries--A Woman Perishes on Broadway--The Blizzard Sweeps Many States.

New York, March 12.--The hardest snow storm of the year is raging. At 8 o'clock there was a foot or over on the ground. High winds caused drifts which in the upper part of the city were three and four feet high. Traffic is almost suspended. Thousands of passengers are blocked on the elevated roads. The horse cars are entirely unable to move. People who left uptown by the elevated roads were unable to get further than Eighth street by that road. Many of the more venturesome descended to the street by ladder and walked the rest of the way down town. People in the suburban towns found it almost impossible to reach the city, so severe were the drifts. . . .
The storm is general in New York state, Connecticut and points south. From all surrounding country reports come of the severest snow and wind storm in years. . . .

Business is virtually at a standstill. Down town houses are almost deserted. Only two trains arrived with mails this morning, and the work of the post office is partially suspended. Hundreds of telegraph wires are down. Ferry boats between New York, Brooklyn and New Jersey are running once an hour or less. The wind attained a velocity of sixty-four miles an hour. . . .

The women of Cuyahoga Falls...
From The Ohio Repository (Canton, Ohio), 24 March 1858, page 3

The women of Cuyahoga Falls having for some time past been much exercised on the temperance question, and becoming impatient at the tardiness or uncertainty of the law, concluded to resort to lynch law, and on Friday last, "with force and arms," assaulted the whisky shops. They emptied out the liquor in most of the saloons, and even ventured to make a demonstration against a drug store. The promises of the scared pill vender that he "would do so no more," satisfied the Amazons, and they retired highly elated at their success.


April 16 - North San Diego County Genealogical Society Spring Seminar featuring Lloyd DeWitt Bockstruck.
For Information:

April 23 -
BIGRA and GRA are cooperating on a joint presentation April 23, Saturday, 9:00 AM to noon, Joyce Beers Community Center, 1230 Vermont Street, San Diego (Uptown Shopping District in Hillcrest, one block north of University Ave.) Hank Jones is the featured speaker. His topics will be "The Irish Palatines and Cautionary Tales about Genealogical Roots". His initial presentation will cover the historic immigration of German Palatines to Ireland, methods of discovering ancestral villages, and changes to surnames. The second talk will cover research tools used by all researchers (not just German and Irish!) and some cautions about their use. No reservations are needed. $5 payable at the door. For information call 858-271-9287 or 858-279-8350.

May 13 & 14 - Southern California 36th Annual Jamboree in Burbank. LTMYERS@EARTHLINK.NET
Scheduled speakers are: Jana Sloan Broglin, Tom Kemp, Bill Dollarhide, Leland Meitzler, Andy Pomeroy, Tom Underhill, Elaine Alexander and John Shupe.

Genealogical Workshops

April 26 & May 25 - Introduction to Genealogical Resources
April 21 - Introduction to Military Records
May 18 - Preserving Your Family’s History
April 14 & May 3 - Naturalization & Immigrations Records
All classes begin at 9:30 a.m.

Call (949) 360-2641, ext. 0 to reserve your space. Cost, $7.50, payable at the door. 24000 Avila Road, 1st Floor East, Laguna Niguel 92677.

"Happiness is a perfume which you cannot pour on someone
without getting some on yourself."
~Ralph Waldo Emerson


South Orange County California Genealogical Society Membership/Renewal Application

( ) New ( ) Renewal ( ) Individual, $20/yr. ( ) Jt. Members, same address $25/yr.

Renewal Membership Number(s) _________________________ _____________________

Name(s) _______________________________________________________________________________

Address _______________________________________________________________________________

City _____________________________ State_____Zip ____________Phone ______________________

Email address:__________________________________________________________________________

Make check payable to: SOCCGS (South Orange County CA Genealogical Society) Check No. __________________

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


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