Saddleback Valley Trails

South Orange County California Genealogical Society   

Vol. 15 No. 4                        P.O. Box 4513, Mission Viejo, CA. 92690                                   April 2008

Editor: Mary Jo McQueen      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 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.


Next General Meeting
    April 19, 2008


“Scottish Research”
Presented By
Mary Jo McQueen


            Ms. McQueen, who is a SOCCGS member, has been researching her family history since 1997 when a friend fostered an interest in the DAR. While searching through family papers Mary Jo found a connection to the American Revolution. Ensuing research uncovered a link through her maternal great grandmother. Thus began an “ancestor obsession” and the “genealogy demon” had hooked another soul!   Mary Jo began actively doing Scottish research after finding a “cousin” on the Internet with whom she shares a paternal third great grandfather who emigrated from Scotland. In this presentation she will share her experiences in taking this genealogical journey to Scotland. Her interest in Scotland also extends to her husband’s, McQueen, roots.

            Even though you may not have Scottish ancestors (or think you don’t) you are sure to learn techniques and areas of research that will help in your quest, no matter where it leads.

Please join us for genealogical Fun, fellowship and treats!


Safari News

            On April 30 the fifth Wednesday, we will travel to Santa Monica for a day of research at the Los Angeles Regional Family History Center. Go, where you can search for books, film and fiche available in the Center. This will enable you to better plan the day. The car(s) will leave the LDS parking lot at 9 a.m. Bring a brown-bag lunch, $$ for your driver and dinner on the way home.

Put some fun into your Genealogy Research. Join a SOCCGS Safari.


October Seminar

            October 18th is the date for the “SOCCGS Seventh Annual Family History Seminar”. George G. Morgan will present the following four lecture topics, which were chosen by the membership at the March meeting. "25 Places Where Family Facts May Hide," "The U.S. Naturalization Process & Documents: 1790 to 1954," "Bring'em Back to Life: Developing an Ancestor File" and  "Colonial & Early American Land Records: The Process & Evidence" Information regarding Mr. Morgan may be found on his website <>.


National Tartan Day USA
National Holiday for all Scottish Americans

                Americans of Scottish descent have played a vibrant and influential role in the development of the United States. From the framers of the Declaration of Independence to the first man on the moon, Scottish-Americans have contributed mightily to the fields of the arts, science, politics, law, and more. Today, over eleven million Americans claim Scottish and Scotch-Irish roots -- making them the eighth largest ethnic group in the United States. These are the people and accomplishments that are honored on National Tartan Day, April 6th. Go for lots more information.


President’s Message
~Bill Bluett

            One of my favorite genealogy pastimes is newspaper research. It is really exciting when I find an article with information about an ancestor’s family and friends. Many times, unanswered questions are discovered in the article and “brick walls” are broken through. There are several excellent newspaper websites on the Internet. Some of the databases have digitized issues dating back to the early 1700’s. Currently, you can access one of the largest newspaper websites on the Internet at the Cole Library in Carlsbad. NEWSPAPERARCHIVE.COM is available on library computers and may also be accessed at home using a free library card.

            Searching the Los Angeles Times** provided one of my most exciting newspaper finds. This can be found through PROQUEST on the LAPL website. You need to have a LAPL card to access the database at home. My great grandfather, Tom Collins, died in Los Angeles in 1910. There were two wonderful articles about him on consecutive days in the Times because he had been a longtime City employee. And, they included his picture! Information about his life and family were included in the write-up. I have since found several other articles about Tom when he was still living discussing politics and other topics with a little bit of his Irish humor thrown in. The articles give me a little more insight into his personality and character.

            When I was younger, a relative once told me that I should be in the paper only three times: when I was hatched, matched and dispatched. Well, those are three key items you can look for when researching newspaper databases. But, you might look for other key life events, such as: a special wedding anniversary, a court case, relatives coming to town for a christening, wedding, deathbed farewell, or funeral. Maybe a large family reunion took place. There could be many reasons for an ancestor’s name appearing in a newspaper. But, the one technique you will have to learn is what section of the newspaper is most appropriate for the life event for which you are searching. Some websites (such as ANCESTRY.COM) have a search feature that highlights the searched name in yellow or sometimes green - right on the page. This saves scanning the entire image looking for the surname.

            One other thing you might try on your computer is to go to GOOGLE and type in “historical newspapers” with the name of a city, town or State included, such as: “Utah Historical Newspapers.” See what comes up. There are some states that have free access to some newspapers from the past. I tried Colorado; put in a surname for a newspaper that was listed and a name came up highlighted in green. Unfortunately, it wasn’t the ancestor I was looking for. But, give it a try and see what you find.


**Historical L.A. Times (1881 - 1986)

            The “Friends of the Mission Viejo Library” has purchased a subscription to the above database. This is available on all library computers, including genealogy. Herb has installed a link on SOCCGS computers whereby you may access this tremendous research tool simply by a click of the “mouse”.



                Now is a good time for members to visit the website in search of surnames of interest. Herb Abrams will update your information on the SOCCGS Surname Website Listing as needed. Please check your information, and if corrections and/or additions are necessary notify Herb ( or (949) 581-6292). New members are especially encouraged to add their Surnames to this list.  Send an email to Herb listing your surnames, locations and years you are researching.



What’s New at the Library?

City Directories on CDs - Are you looking for lost 1890 census Records?   Look no further!  With over 4 million records these CDs are a verifiable substitute for those lost records. The SOCCGS library has New York 1886-1894, selected cities; Northern Midwest 1884-1898, selected cities in Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin; and Southern Midwest 1882-1898, selected cities in Indiana, Ohio, Iowa, and Illinois.   Stop in and ask for case #18.


"Why waste your money looking up your family tree?
Just go into politics and your opponents will do it for you."   ~Mark Twain



Archaic Medical Terms

Ague – Used to describe the recurring fever and chills of malarial infection, Aphonia – Laryngitis Biliousness – Jaundice or other symptoms associated with liver disease, Camp Fever – Typhus Canine Madness – Hydrophobia, Chlorosis – Iron deficiency anemia, Corruption – Infection, Coryza – A cold, Costiveness – Constipation, Cramp Colic – Appendicitis, Dropsy – Edema (swelling), sometimes caused by kidney or heart diseases, Dyspepsia – Acid indigestion, Extravasted Blood – Ruptured blood vessel, Falling Sickness – Epilepsy, Flux of Humour – Circulation, French Pox – Venereal disease, Green Sickness – Anemia, Hip GoutOsteomylitis, Jail Fever – Typhus, King’s EvilScofula, Lues Venera – Venereal disease, Lumbago – Back pain, Lung Fever – Pneumonia

Lung Sickness – Tuberculosis, Mania – Insanity, Mortification – Infection, Nostalgia – Homesickness, Putrid FeverDipheria, Quinsy – Tonsillitis, Remitting Fever – Malaria, Sanguinous Crust – Scab, Scofula – Tubercular infection of throat lymph glands, Ships’s Fever – Typhus, Strangery – Rupture, Summer Complaint – Infant diarrhea caused by spoiled milk, Venesection – Bleeding


Names of Old Occupations


Norma’s Cobbler
~Pat Weeks

            My mother was a master at deception. Her house was always neat and clean, everything was in place, and her dinners were marvelous. But, she deceived us all.

            Norma was born 14 February 1912 at Kansas City, Missouri, the sixth child of Clarence Rush and Lucy Kidd. Norma always said that, as being the youngest, she was never allowed in the kitchen, and so when she married my father, Jack Hennessy, she had no idea of how to run a household or cook a meal. She compensated by becoming very inventive.

            Jack Hennessy was employed by the Fluor Corporation and was assigned to many different sites throughout his career. Norma gladly made those moves, even relished them. It was her chance to travel, visit historical places, read histories, interact and make new friends. She was never home doing housework, but she was extremely organized and her house reflected that. And, she had tricks! If someone was coming over on sort notice she would get out the Pledge and spray it in the living room, making it smell like she had been cleaning all day.

            However, it was her cooking that was the amazing way she fooled the world. Everyone wanted to eat Norma’s delicious and wholesome dinners. She had the knack of making down-home food in such a simple way that guests though it was gourmet.

            One secret recipe was he fruit cobbler. I adopted it a few years ago and can attest to its success. Men love! I attribute this to the sweet flavor intertwined with the salt in the butter. It is short and quick and so good!


1 can frit pie filling (apple, cherry etc.)              1 box Jiffy single layer yellow cake mix                1 cube butter, melted

Put pie filling in a baking dish. With your hands, sprinkle the cake mix over the top of the cake mix, do not smooth out. Drizzle the melted butter over mix. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes, or until very bubble. Serve warm or cold. Top with ice cream or whipped cream. Will make 6 servings. (1/2 box regular cake mix may be substituted for the Jiffy mix.) 


National Burial Index Available on

            Now you can find the National Burial Index for England and Wales on To date there are about 13 million names in the index, transcribed from various parish and civil records by member societies. For more information about the index and the individual records it contains, visit Searching is free, but you must pay to view the full results.

(From Rootsweb Review, 12 March 2008.)

            This is a website worth checking out. It is another place on the Web where you may find pictures of ancestors. Lots of other genealogy helps too.  It is free however contributions are welcomed.



"Genealogy, n. An account of one's descent from an ancestor

Who did not particularly care to trace his own. "  ~Ambrose Bierce


William Hennessey
~Pat Weeks

            Genealogically speaking I was desperate in 1990. I had spent twenty years attempting to find my grandfather, William Hugh Hennessy. He had walked out of his marriage in 1924 and I had no clue of where he ended up, or even who he was. In desperation I had written articles and sent out queries, which brought forth nothing.

            Nope, nothing came of all of those attempts. My father John Hugh Hennessy, son of William Hugh Hennessy, was named after his uncle, Uncle John Hugh, who was named after his father (my great-grandfather) John Hugh Hennessy, who by family lore entered Canada illegally (1850-1880) and lived somewhere up in Canada. This lore ended up being only half correct. This was my problem.

            While visiting the St Louis Genealogy Society Library, in 1994, I found microfilm of the Missouri WW1 draft registrations, and low and behold, there was William Hugh Hennessy, presently living in Wichita, KS as a traveling salesman. His closest kin was Elizabeth Emily Hennessy of Kansas City, my grandmother. I had finally pinned him down!! He stated on the registration form that he was born USA, date of birth 27 Feb 1883. In other records he had stated he was born Albany, NY. (He lied, he lied, and he lied!) But, he told the truth when he listed his birth date as 27 February 1883.

            Having his exact birth date I was able to go back to the Ontario birth registrations and find that he was the son of James Hugh Hennessy (Not the John Hugh that I had dogged for so many years) and Margaret Christie. This gave me the location of Alliston in Simcoe County, Ontario to search. There I found his baptism and date of birth.  I also discovered that the uncle’s name was not John Hugh, but John Merritt Hennessy.  I also found a sister, and a possible grandmother in those church records. 

            Shortly after finding all of this I found an Ancestral File submission for a William Hugh Hennessy, married to an Olive Peck of Idaho. I contacted the submitter who gave me information about a William and Olive who had lived in Portland Oregon. From this information and that wonderful birth date obtained from the WW1 registration I confirmed that this was indeed my William Hugh. His Social Security enrollment papers, obituary, cemetery records all confirmed that he was born on that date, in the United States. And, yes, he was very good at lying.



Getting Current Information "Corrected"
~ Joyce Frey

                Several years ago I was in contact with an elderly family member genealogist. I was amazed on her up-to-date information. I asked her how she got so much information as I was having trouble getting information back from my relatives. She laughed and said that when she sent out a family sheet she added ten years to the woman's age. They usually sent a correction right away. I have to admit, I've tried it, and it works rather well.

(20 January 2008 Copyright © 2007, The Generations Network)


March Meeting

Seventy plus people heard a great Immigration lecture given by Penny Feike. Topics for the October Seminar were voted upon and are announced on page 1. Guests at the meeting were: Patricia Gahan, Kevin Gross, Bill Mills, Keith Woods and Don Yenche. We extend to each of them an invitation to join our society. Hospitality Chairman, Trish Leard, Bunny Smith, Marilyn Kowalski and Pat Weeks provided refreshments.



New embers during the month of March are:   Mary L Daughtry, Oak Harbor, WA

Carol Large Dominguez, Lake Forest Carol is searching for BLACKMORE in Devon, England, 1860 & earlier; BEALAFELD/BELAFELT in Germany 1850 & earlier; ELASSON/ALLISON in Sweden 1800s.


The Year Was 1853

            The year was 1853 and in the U.S., Franklin Pierce took the oath of office, succeeding Millard Fillmore. The inauguration was a sad one for President Pierce and his wife Jane. A couple months before the family was in a train wreck in Massachusetts and their eleven-year-old son Ben was killed.

            Another train wreck that year was considered the first major railroad disaster when a New Haven train plunged through an open drawbridge into the Norwalk River. Forty-six passengers were killed and many more injured.        (Ancestry Daily News – 11/3/2006,



"One of the greatest tragedies of life is the murder of a beautiful theory
By a gang of brutal facts."     ~ Benjamin Franklin


Genealogy from A to Z
~Michael John Neill

            Accuracy. Are your records as accurate as possible? Have transcriptions been made correctly and in an honest effort to copy the original precisely?

            Bibliographies. Have you looked at bibliographies and finding aids frequently shown on state archives websites and genealogical research libraries? Materials listed in these guides may assist you in your research. Bibliographies in historical or genealogical journal articles may also reference materials of which you were not aware.

            Cited. Are you sources cited in such a way that you or someone else could easily find the record again if necessary? If not, consider expanding your source detail.

            Documented. Do you have at least one source for each event or name in your database? Although one source does not imply accuracy and multiple independent sources are preferable, one is a start.

            Errors. Remember that any record can contain errors. Never assume that one record is 100 percent accurate. Gather as many records as possible before drawing conclusions.

            Faith. Have you searched for records of your ancestor's faith? Records of church membership may provide insights into your ancestor's life and family.

            Google. Have you Googled all your relatives? I searched for a relative that died twenty years ago, entering in his name and the last county of residence in the search box. I got several hits, including a post made by a granddaughter.

            Home. Did your ancestor go back "home" to marry, have a child, die, or to be buried? Do not assume your ancestor never made any trips back home. In some cases significant events might have taken place "at home" after the ancestor had left that required his return.

            Ignorance. We're all ignorant in some area or another. Being ignorant simply means you do not know something, and not knowing something can lead to misinterpretation. Remedy your ignorance. Attend a conference, read a journal article, read a book, ask questions, but do not let ignorance create additional research "blocks."

            Journals. Have you searched genealogical society journals and quarterlies for information on your ancestors? Some have been published in online form, some are indexed in PERSI (Periodical Source Index), and some are unindexed, but these print materials may contain just the clue you are looking for.

            Kith and kin. Have you researched all the kith and kin of your ancestor? Unless he was a Hoover, your ancestor did not travel in a vacuum and there's a good chance his neighbors and associates are people he knew back "home" or are related in some fashion.

            Lifetime. Have you researched your ancestor for her entire lifetime? The gaps that result from an incomplete picture may be hindering your research.

            Memorization. Are you using "facts" or concepts in your research that you have "memorized?" Are you certain you have remembered them correctly? Trusting your own memory should be done sparingly.

            New. Have you kept up with new indexes and databases? Many times "new" databases or websites provide easier access to records that previously have been difficult to utilize.

            Organization. Have you organized all your information in a way that makes sense and that others can understand? For some of us this may occupy the rest of our "genealogical lives."

            Preface. Do you read the preface to published and online materials you use? Prefatory material should indicate if there were records gaps, omissions, or difficulties, or other issues encountered when compiling the book or database. Not reading the preface could create problems where none exist.

Continued next month.


“The Scotsman”

The Scotsman Digital Archive contains every birth and death recorded in this newspaper from 1817 to 1950. Searches are free but a charge is incurred to view the actual page. You will see every article as it originally appeared.

(From FGS Forum Winter 2007 & OCGS Newsletter March 2008)


Library Notes

Librarian, Bunny Smith, introduces Melbournea Pittman as a new library docent.  The library schedule still has vacancies on the 1st and 5th Fridays from 1:00 to 4:00 pm and the 2nd, 4th, and 5th Saturdays from 1:00 to 4:00 pm. If anyone is interested in spending one or more scheduled days in the library, please contact Bunny Smith at 949-472-8046.


Stories as Survivors   
~D.G. Fulford

            When I lived in Nevada, there was a flood that washed away entire lives. Whole houses and households were destroyed. Everyday life was drowned.

            I spoke to a woman, an engineering professor at a university, who lost most of her possessions. All of her professorial files containing years of research, data, knowledge, were gone. So were her clothing, her dishes, her pictures–everything. Her biggest heartbreak, however, was the loss of her family history. Her late mother had collected anecdotes over the years; she wrote some, while family members added others. The stories grew to 250 pages, and this engineer, with her logical bent, kept her sentimental possession in a drawer in her nightstand so it would be beside her while she slept.

            Her mother had died a few years before the flood; all the aunts and uncles had passed on also. Their stories were in the nightstand, though, still a family. Ancestry on paper, ever present like a light on in the hall. The flood took the nightstand with the rest of the possessions. The rest of the possessions the engineer could live without. “The river could have my clothes,” she said.

            The loss of her mother’s stories was too much to bear. She prayed. She asked for her mother’s handwriting back. “And the river gave it back,” she said.

            More than a month after the flood, a rancher found the nightstand drawer stuck in his barbwire fence six miles downstream. And in the drawer were the stories that her mother wrote. Her mother’s handwriting was soaked and sodden, but still there.

            At times we feel frustrated, trying to write family history. At times we wonder why we’re even working on the project. At those times, remember this. Our stories can survive us. Our stories can survive anything. Our families live forever in our stories. Write them down - Write them down.  

(20 January 2008 Copyright © 2007, The Generations Network)



~Wayne Hand


Alas, my elusive kinsmen you've led me quite a chase

I thought I'd found your courthouse but the Yankees burned the place.


You always kept your bags packed although you had no fame, and

Just for the fun of it twice you changed your name.


You never owed any man, or at least I found no bills

In spite of eleven offspring you never left a will.


They say our name's from Europe came state side on a ship

Either they lost the passenger list or granddad gave them the slip.


I'm the only one that's looking another searcher I can't find

I play (maybe that's his fathers name) As I go out of my mind.


They said you had a headstone in a shady plot

I've been there twenty times, and can't even find the lot.


You never wrote a letter Your Bible we can't find

It's probably in some attic Out of sight and out of mind.


You first married a...Smith and just to set the tone

The other four were Sarah’s and everyone a Jones.


You cost me two fortunes one of which I did not have

My wife, my house and Fido. Oh, how I miss that golden lab.


But somewhere you slipped up, Ole Boy, Somewhere you left a track

And If I don't find you this year Well..........Next year I'll be back.


April 26 – Family History Fair at the Orange Family History Center, 674S Yorba St., Orange. Information and registration form may be found at             <,htm>.

June 27 – 29 –SCGS Jamboree, Airport Marriott, Burbank.

August 7-9 - The British Isles FHS-USA, Annual Seminar, "Sail Into Your Past Aboard the Queen Mary,” will be held at the Queen Mary Hotel in Long Beach. Flyers are available at SOCCGS Library. For more information, please see the website at <>

October 18 – SOCCGS Seminar featuring George Morgan


Member Badges

Please wear your name badge to the general meetings. Don’t have one? Sign up at the check-in table and Herb will make one for you. Or, call him (949) 581-6292; email  <>.



Please send 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. All submissions are subject to editorial approval, and may be edited for content or space. Articles should be of genealogical significance. If you don’t want to write a complete story, outlines and/or rough drafts will be accepted.

Send to:





                        President....................................  .Bill Bluett>

                        Vice President………………… …Nellie Domenick>

                        Recording Secretary………………Sandy Crowley   <>  

                        Corresponding Secretary.................Pat Weeks    <>

                        Treasurer.......................................Mary Jo McQueen>

                        Membership...................................Jack Naylor      <>

                        Publicity/Webmaster.......................Herb Abrams     <>

                        Librarian.........................................Bunny Smith     <>

                        Parliamentarian...............................Shirley Fraser    <>

                        Hospitality.......................................Trish Leard  

                        Historian.........................................Barbara Wilgus    <>

Editor..............................................Mary Jo McQueen>


SOCCGS Website @

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South Orange County California Genealogical Society Membership/Renewal Application


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


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

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