Saddleback Valley Trails

South Orange County California Genealogical Society

Vol. 16 No. 4

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

April 2009

Editor: Mary Jo McQueen

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

Birthday Party May 16, 2009

General Meeting - 18 April 2009

“Researching Civil War Ancestors”
Presented By
Connie Moretti

Ms. Moretti will instruct as to the procedures of researching Civil War ancestors, whether they served under Abraham Lincoln or Jefferson Davis. She will show facts that may be found in pension files about both male and female ancestors. She will also discuss Internet and printed resources as well as Heritage Organizations, as a means of furthering research into Civil War participants.

Connie is a Torrance native, a third generation Californian, and is retired from 30 years as an educator. She is a member of the Association of Professional Genealogists, National Society Daughters of the American Revolution, and the United States Daughters of 1812. She formerly was the editor of the South Bay Cities Genealogical Society Newsletter. Ms. Moretti specializes in American lineage and has traveled extensively in Virginia, Louisiana, Mississippi, Indiana, Tennessee, South Carolina and California.

“Ancestors who were colorful characters.”
Members are encouraged to share a picture, story or memento of such an ancestor.

SOCCGS Seminar
17 October 2009

The results are in for the topics to be presented by Paula Stuart-Warren at the October seminar. Members have selected the following: "Genealogy on the Internet: Make it Work For You," "Organizing Your Genealogical Materials," "The U.S. Federal Government: 13 Underutilized Resources" and "Untrodden Ground: Sources You May Not Have Encountered."

Paula has lectured for genealogical societies and organizations across the U.S. and Canada. Her presentations are lively, professional and educational. Information about her may be found by entering her name in GOOGLE. Click on the GENEALOGICAL SPEAKERS GUILD and it will open to her page.

Be sure to set that day aside to attend what is sure to be another great seminar!

General Safari April 22

Join the group for a day of “ancestor searching,” when we travel to the Orange Family History Center. If you have never taken a SOCCGS Safari, now is the time. Haven’t been for a while? Again, now is the time! The car(s) will leave the LDS parking lot at 9:30 a.m. Bring a brown-bag lunch and $$ for your driver. Since this a shorter distance, there are no plans for dinner. Please contact Bill Bluett for further information, or to reserve a spot.

President's Message

~Sandy Crowley

The month of March has brought us spring; another great speaker (Caroline Rober) who has left us with suggestions on how to forge ahead on our research; and the continuing support of our fellow members. I’m amazed at the wealth of information we members have and are willing to share amongst ourselves. I’m thankful to be a member of SOCCGS.

The following is a continuation of letters left by my Scottish ancestors detailing their voyage to America and their trip across the country in 1842 to be with their sister who had come to the country in 1832. My ancestor Robert Tannahill’s brother, John wrote this letter to their brother, James who remained in Truro, Cornwall, England,

Written from their destination in Fulton County, Mississippi, Jan. 19th, 1842:

“Dear Brother.
           After having been tossed about the world for about 4 months, I have at last found a home in the wilderness. Robert wrote you from New York, so I will not enter into any detail of our passage which was on the whole favorable. I had rather a severe fit of sickness at New York which lasted for several days. I dare say it was owing to change of diet on coming ashore. The ‘La Belle Poole (Poule?)’ the frigate that carried Napoleon’s remains to France, was lying in the bay. She is here with the Prince de Joinville (?) who I understand is making the tour of the American States at present.
           The Bay of New York is one of the most pleasing pieces of scenery that I have seen. Large ships are continually leaving and entering the harbour and they have got a beautifully built and swift class of schooner flying about the bay like sea birds, and steamers to different points: New Jersey, Long Island, Staten Island, and up the North and East Rivers, which give an air of animation to the whole. The margin of the bay is thickly wooded in most parts, and the houses are built (like some of the representations you will have seen of Asiatic villages) and gaudily painted. It only wanted the rich green turf to make it complete. Instead of this the ground was quite brown, when it could be seen for the trees.
           We remained a week in New York. The customs charged us 9 lbs for our goods. This I assure you I did not expect. We had a pleasant sail up the Hudson – got to the Highlands about nightfall. They are exceedingly romantic. When we got to the narrowest place, the river widened to something like a lake, and once through the narrows there was no visible outlet. The hills on each side are nearly perpendicular. I think it is the very place for one who wishes to indulge a gloomy love of solitude. All was still but the sharp hissing of the boat through the water.
           We got to Albany in 10 hours – 164 miles. It is common I am told to go in 8 hrs. This will convince you that the Americans know how to make fast river boats. I will give you a sketch of the American steamer. The hull is long, narrow and sharp, and the deck extends over it about its own breath, on each side so that they are very commodious. On the lower deck is raised another story as it may be called, containing a saloon with sleeping apartments on each side. The chief cabin is on the hull of the Hudson and Lake Erie boats, but the Ohio boats have these cabins on the upper story, with good roomy berths on each side. They are neatly decorated, some of them richly, and no better table is spread here, than that on board a steam boat. On the Ohio, but not on the Hudson, when cabin passages are taken board is included.
           The journey by canal was not so comfortable as by steam. The passengers are crammed at the rate of 22 to a room 16 by 8. Through the day we could amuse ourselves pretty well. The table on board of them is abundant and well supplied. The Erie Canal was parallel to the Mohawk for a great distance. This is a very rich district. It is that which Sir A. Johnson had from the crown by grant, and which was forfeited by his adherence to England at the Revolution. A great portion of event the most cultivated part is in a state of nature. The improvements are confined to the merest patches. Ages must elapse ere this country assumes anything like the appearance of England.”

To be continued...

I Could Be Wrong About Some Things

~David Servant

"You ain't going nowhere, son. You ought to go back to driving a truck."

~ ~Jim Denny, manager of the Grand Ole Opry,
In firing Elvis Presley after a performance, 1954

"An Ancestor I Wish I Had Known"

~Bill Bluett

My great uncle, Louis Paddock, married Lillian Addison in 1916. They lived in the San Gabriel area east of Los Angeles. I knew them as “Aunt Lillian” and “Uncle Louie”. One of my Great-Aunt Lillian’s brothers, Chuck Addison, had a rather interesting and unusual occupation. In the 1920’s and 1930’s the gambling syndicate was going strong in the L.A. area, and Chuck was a part of that organized network. He associated with many of the big names of that era, such as, Bugsy Siegal, Tony Conero, Guy McAfee, Farmer Page, Bill Curland, and Tutor Scherer. A host of well-known gambling dens had flourished for years around Spring Street in Los Angeles. A corrupt atmosphere enveloped the “City of Angels” because of its 600 brothels, 200 gambling dens and 1800 bookie joints. Los Angeles was known nationally as a notorious city. There were even gambling ships owned by Tony Cornero situated just beyond the three-mile international limit off the shorelines of Long Beach and Los Angeles. As a young woman, my mother (Betty) remembers traveling out to one of the gambling ships in a fancy speedboat that was used as a shuttle from the Santa Monica Pier. The underworld was flourishing very well in the Southern California area - until the late 1930’s.

Then, the City began a strong movement to shut down the under world syndicate and drive that element out of Los Angeles. So, many of the “big time” operators started shifting their attention to a little spot in the Nevada desert called Las Vegas. In 1942, Chuck Addison opened the “Pioneer Club” in what is now downtown Las Vegas along with Farmer Page, Bill Curland, and Tudor Scherer. I’m sure you’ve seen the big neon cowboy (Las Vegas Vic) waving his arm to all the passers-by. This group of investors developed an interest in a few other clubs in this desert oasis during the 1940’s and 1950’s. In 1958 the group sold their interest in the “Pioneer Club” and Chuck Addison, more or less, retired. I assume he ran some fairly clean operations during his lifetime. He did find it necessary to testify in court on a number of occasions, however, no charges were ever brought against him. He passed away in 1968.

Mom remembers going to the Addison home in West Los Angeles for family get-togethers when she was a young girl. They had a beautiful Spanish style home a half block from the Hillcrest County Club. This is located near present day Century City. One visit was during the Christmas holiday season. Mom says they had a big beautiful Christmas tree surrounded with dozens of presents for family and friends. As would happen during many of their visits, there would be a knock on the door and several tough-looking men dressed in suits would come in and walk through the house to a room in the back, and close the door. "I suppose a friendly game of poker was about to take place.” Mom remembers seeing Tony Cornero and a man named “Tuts” (probably Tudor Scherer) come through the house. She even remembers the name Bugsy being mentioned in conversation. Mrs. Addison liked my mom and once made the comment that she would love to adopt her. Mom went crying to her mother and said, “Please, mommy! Don’t let them adopt me. I want to stay with you.” My grandmother never really considered the offer seriously. I think the Addison’s thought they were just trying to help out. My grand parents were in the process of getting a divorce and times were difficult in the Depression years.

I’m not sure if I ever met Chuck Addison. I may have at a family picnic when I was a boy, but I don’t recall. It would have been interesting to have a chat with him about his particular occupation and get a little insight about some of the people he knew and associated with during his underworld career. I did find the Addison home on Google Maps, with a 360 degree video clip showing the outside of the house and the neighborhood. The home was probably constructed in the 1920’s. I think of the phrase “if walls could talk”. Who knows the conversations that those walls have heard over the years when the Addison’s lived in the house. Currently, there is a movie producer living in the old home.

March Meeting

The guest speaker, Caroline Rober, presented a very interesting program relating to "Brick Walls." Three of her key points were: recheck your records for any information that may have been overlooked; join a local Historical Society where ancestors resided and, if possible, personally visit the location where the records are held. Members who shared their "favorite pet" pictures were: Eunice Murai - a pet pig; Myrna Hamid McGuigan - a statue of a "bronze dog" who saved people from a house fire in Santa Barbara and Pat Christiansen - her grandfather's pigs, horses, and mules on his farm. Judy Heck, Laguna Woods was welcomed as a guest. We encouraged her to join at a future date. Thank you to Nellie Domenick and Pat McCoy who provided the treats.


Welcome to our newest member, Patti Jo Liebenow, Laguna Woods, Patti Jo is researching Zerboni, Mason, Hosack, Ebinger, Lovle & Zurney.

Message From the California State Genealogical Alliance

At the California State Genealogical Alliance annual meeting on 21 Feb 2009, those in attendance unanimously voted to become a sponsor in the Ancestry World Archives Project. The set of records we are sponsoring is “Northern California Naturalization Indexes.” You can find information at I would like to encourage each and every member, and all members of member societies to help out on the project. You can give as little as five minutes.

What is in it for CSGA?
      1.  Permanent recognition on the Ancestry web site whenever anyone accesses this index
      2.  The digital images to put on our members only web page.
      3.  Satisfaction that we are in fact helping make California records accessible to researchers.
What is in it for project participants?
      1.  CSGA members will have access to the images
      2.  Active participants - those that key 900 records [they can be any project if you like a little variety] in 90 days get access to ALL World Archive images
      3.  Active participants with Ancestry subscriptions get a 15% discount of their World subscription or 10% on a US subscription.
      4.  Satisfaction in helping make California records more accessible to researchers

Keying 5 records takes me about 3 minutes of time so becoming an active participant really would require less than 10 minutes a day or an hour a week and it can be on your time. Go to: Click on “Projects” and choose “Naturalization.”

Cath Madden Trindle, CG, CSGA Projects Committee Chair

"Seeking Michigan"

Here is an exciting announcement for Michigan researchers. The Library of Michigan has launched a free Web site that will feature nearly 1 million Michigan death certificates never before available electronically. These certificates for the years 1897 to 1920 hold tremendous research opportunities for genealogists, historians and students.

These records are online at, the brand-new, one-stop shop for Michigan historical records. (Or, Google Seeking Michigan.) “Seeking Michigan” is a partnership between the Library of Michigan and the Archives of Michigan, which also has digitized state records for this Web site.

The Library of Michigan’s Abrams Foundation Historical Collection is one of the top 10 genealogy collections in the United States. The Abrams Foundation, which has given the library more than $2 million since the 1980s, funded the death records digitization. In addition to having the records digitized, the Library had them indexed for easy searching by name, death date, location, age and more. As of today, about 25 percent of the nearly 1 million death records have been added. The remaining death records should be online within the next month.

"Wyoming Stories"

The Wyoming State Library is making available to Web researchers full-text access to the first set of historical Wyoming newspapers. This project involves digitizing a 70-year comprehensive statewide collection of Wyoming newspapers from 1849 to 1922. The first release will cover selected years, ranging from 1867 to 1922, of over 200 titles such as The Cheyenne Daily Leader, The Laramie Sentinel (weekly and daily), The Natrona County Tribune, The South Pass News, The Torrington Telegram and The Inter-Mountain Globe. These issues are now available at Researchers can access the individual issues through keyword searching or browsing through the collection.

"Show me first the graveyards of a country
And I will tell you the true character of the people."

~Benjamin Franklin

"Websites of Interest to Genealogists"
  For those with English ancestry the “Yesterdays” site has thousands of names of persons who appear in official records within the County of Derbyshire but who came from elsewhere.
  “Save Your Memories.” Find out what digital scrapbooking is all about!
  A genealogy photo archive website. You can post photos showing people that you do not know and hopefully someone else will recognize them!

“A Couple of 19th Century Searching Tips.”

From the Sullivan Co. NY List.

1.  I was searching for an ancestor in 19th century newspapers. One paper was a hit, but I just couldn't find the woman's name in any of the stories. I was about to chalk it up to another ancestry search flub when I noticed her name after all - as one of the endorsers in an ad for a patent medicine product!
2.  I am transcribing a directory and see where sometimes a person moves away or dies between the info being recorded and the printing of the book. I'm guessing that in order to save re-designing the whole page, they just add in the note that the person moved to such a place or died. This can be helpful secondary info for you if your relative has such a note attached to their listing.

~ 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 Sarahs 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.

Overheard at a genealogy meeting.
"My ancestry goes all the way back to Alexander the Great," said one lady.
She then turned to a second woman and asked, "How far does your family go back?"
"I don't know," was the reply. "All of our records were lost in the Flood."

From the Internet

"Games We Used To Play"
~Glenn Witte

Back in the late 1930s, when I was age seven or eight, my Great Grandmother, Louise Grasser Klessig, often served as my baby sitter. Even though she was born in this country in 1860, she did not speak much English, but mostly German. So, we didn’t spend a lot of time in conversation. But, she loved to play board games with me, especially strategy games. We played Checkers and Chinese Checkers and a game she called Mill. In German it would be Mühle. A player scored points by arranging their game pieces in a row of three, which was called a Mill.

When my wife and I began writing our Family History Book in 1994 I was determined to write about all the games we used to play as children. You know: Tag, Annie Annie Over, Work-Up-Baseball, Captain May I, and remember, Spin-The Bottle!

Then there was Mill. But, I could not remember what the game board looked like or the rules of play. I did remember that Great Gma would bring out an old piece of brown butcher paper on which she had sketched the game layout. She kept it rolled up in her closet. We played using buttons as game pieces.

In October 2008, I attended a SOCCGS symposium held at the Mission Viejo City Hall. There, I won a “door prize”. It was a book of “The Six Oldest….Games On Earth.” Inside was the description of a game called Nine Man Morris. It was popular in England during Shakespeare’s time. He refers to it in A Midsummer’s Night Dream. The book’s game instructions for Nine Man Morris pointedly refer to scoring Mills by arranging one’s game pieces in a row of three. It even had the game board layout. The game’s roots evidently date to the time of the ancient Roman Empire.

Now, I know the history of the game of Mill I once played with my Great-Grandmother.

Library Docent Positions Available

We are looking for someone to fill the second, fourth and, sometimes, fifth Saturdays from 1:00 to 4:00 pm., and on Wednesdays 1-3. If you are interested please contact Bunny Smith, (949) 472-8046.

New Ways & Means Project

David Flint, Ways & Means Chairman

Please go to this website to find printable information regarding the fund raising project in conjunction with Ralphs Grocery.

Member Badges

Ladies, please stop by the check-in table to pick up a new badge holder. Bring your current badge and make the change. Don’t have one? Sign up and Herb will make you one. Gentlemen, of course, may have a new badge holder, but this change is being made particularly with women in mind. New members may also pick up their badges. Please wear your badge at each meeting. If you forget there are temporary ones available.

Newsletter Submissions

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 and must be 800 words or less, Arial size 11 font. All submissions are subject to editorial approval, and may be edited for content or space. Articles should be of genealogical significance. Complete stories, outlines and/or rough drafts will be accepted. Send to:

Surname List

Have you searched the SOCCGS Surname Website lately?
Please check your information, and if corrections and/or additions are necessary notify Herb at or (949) 581-6292). New members may add their information by sending an email to Herb listing surnames, locations and years being researched.

"Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever."
~ Mahatma Gandhi


April 18 – Orange Family History Fair, 8 a.m.-5p.m. Free. Call (714) 997-7710 to register.
June 26-28 - Southern California Genealogy 40th Annual Jamboree at the Burbank Marriott Hotel and Convention Center. Check the blog Registrations may be made online at
October 17 - SOCCGS 7th Annual Seminar. This year featuring Paula Stewart Warren. For information contact Bill Bluett (949) 492-9408 or

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

Bill Bluett ________________________
Recording Secretary ________________ Cindie Reily _______________________
Corresponding Secretary ____________ Pat Weeks _______________________
Treasurer & Newsletter Editor ________ Mary Jo McQueen _________________
Membership ______________________ Jack Naylor ______________________
Publicity/Webmaster _______________ Herb Abrams _____________________
Librarian _________________________ Bunny Smith _____________________
Parliamentarian ___________________ Charles & Patricia Nostrome _________
Hospitality _______________________ Patricia Leard _____________________  
Historian  ________________________ Barbara Wilgus ____________________
Ways & Means  __________________ David Flint ________________________

SOCCGS Website @

Mail List:

SOCCGS Library within the Mission Viejo Library;

Marguerite Parkway at LaPaz, (949) 470-8498

SOCCGS E-mail:

South Orange County California Genealogical Society Membership/Renewal Application

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

Renewal Membership Number(s) ________________        ________________

Name(s)  ________________________________________________________________________________

Address _________________________________________________________________________________

City _____________________________ State_____ Zip ____________ Phone _________________________

Email address: ____________________________________________________________________________

Make check payable to: SOCCGS (South Orange County CA Genealogical Society)

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

Top of Page

Soccgs Home Page