Saddleback Valley Trails

South Orange County California Genealogical Society

Vol. 18 No. 4

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

April 2011

Editor: Gary Schwarz

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

General Meeting 16 April 2011

“Land, Tax and Court Records”
Presented by
Wendy Bebout Elliott, PhD, FUGA

This program provides an overview of land, tax, and court records with an emphasis on how these records intertwine and genealogical data and clues are included. Learn the historical background of the area where your family lived, and how these records may provide clues for family relationships, when family members should appear, when land transferred to children, a wife’s given name or maiden name, and parentage for males and females.

About the Speaker: Wendy is a professor of history at California State University, Fullerton. She currently is immediate past president of the Federation of Genealogical Societies and held several positions on its Board of Directors for many years. Wendy also served on the national Records Preservation and Access committee. She completed several terms as president of the California State Genealogical Alliance during the 1980s and 1990s. She is an internationally known genealogical teacher and beginning in 1984 annually lectures at the NGS and FGS national conferences held throughout the United States

Safari News

The Southern California Genealogical Society Research Library will be our destination on April 27th. They are located in Burbank and will be open from 10 AM until 4:00 PM on that day. You can check out their website for general information regarding their holdings. We will not be able to go to the Sons of the Revolution Library on this trip. An alternate location will be selected to fill in the remainder of the afternoon prior to stopping for dinner. We’ll be leaving the LDS Church parking lot at 9:00 A.M. Bringing a lunch would be more convenient for this safari. Don't forget $$ for your driver. Contact Bill Bluett to reserve a spot.

**** Coming in October ****

Curt B. Witcher will be the featured speaker for our October 15th seminar. He is the Manager of the Historical Genealogy Department at the Allen County Library located in Ft. Wayne, Indiana. Be sure to reserve this date on your calendar!

April Meeting Location

The Mission Viejo Family History Center Institute Building is to be torn down to make way for the construction of a larger building. The project start date has not been determined at this time, but could begin before the April meeting. During the construction project, the meeting will be held in the main Family History Center Building.

President's Message

~Bill Bluett

In February, our Safari traveled to the Cole Library in Carlsbad. Nine of us spent the day utilizing all that their facility has to offer – many books, periodicals, computers, microfilm and microfiche. I decided to focus most of my day on additional information related to the MORMON HANDCART EXPEDITIONS that traveled from Iowa City, Iowa, to Salt Lake City, Utah, from 1856 to 1860. As I had mentioned in my January “PowerPoint” presentation, my wife’s great-great grandparents farm was just a few hundred yards north of the main road (old US Highway 6) that headed west from Iowa City. This is the road that thousands of Mormons walked upon as they began their 1300 mile journey. I was able to find articles in a couple of Iowa genealogical publications and there was even some mention in a few Iowa books as well. Let me give you some background regarding this historical event.

Most of these “converts” were from England, Wales, Scotland, Ireland, Denmark, and Sweden. After crossing the Atlantic, they traveled by train to the end of the line in Iowa City. They encamped along the banks of Clear Creek just outside Iowa City until their equipment was ready. One handcart was built for every five persons for carrying their bedding, clothing, and food. A wagon drawn by three yoke of oxen was provided for every hundred persons for carrying additional provisions and five tents (twenty folks to a tent when camping). The old and crippled were allowed to ride on the wagons. Most of the men, women and children pulled the loaded handcarts over the rough dusty trails. This arrangement with handcarts was to considerably reduce the cost of the journey to Salt Lake City. It was the idea of the Mormon leader, Brigham Young, which enabled 1000’s to make the long journey. The first detachment departed on June 9th, 1856, which included 226 people. Five companies would leave Iowa City that summer. A total of ten handcart companies made the trip between 1856 and 1860. Over 3000 people took part in this overland trek. Many would not survive the journey.

Now, let us get back to Helen’s G-G grandparents, Neunom and Susannah Reynolds. By 1856, there were 8 children in their family. Helen’s great grandfather, Isaiah Parker Reynolds, would have been 13 years old when the first Mormon party traveled past their farm. I would think that Isaiah and his brothers and sisters were curious about these foreigners that were heading west. While the Mormons were encamped along Clear Creek awaiting their provisions, wouldn’t you think that the Reynolds kids would want to go “sneak a peek” at the Mormon encampment or even talk to them? Ma and Pa wouldn’t have to know. There certainly would have been plenty of opportunities to do this during the warm summer months. According to diaries written by a few of the Mormon travelers, the first day of travel was only 4 to 8 miles. That would put the first night’s encampment near Tiffin (which is 6 miles west of Iowa City) where the Reynolds lived. A mile or two would be easy walking distance for Isaiah and the rest of the clan to check out each Mormon group that came through. Also, all of these expeditions would pass by the Oak Hill Cemetery in Tiffin that was established in 1845 (and located on Highway 6). The Mormon groups passing through Tiffin may have seen a few grave markers of my wife’s ancestors who died before 1856. Helen’s ancestors settled in that area around 1838.

Now, we can fast forward to the present. What significance does the MORMON HANDCART EXPEDITIONS have for my generation? Well, Helen and I were married in Iowa in 1965. And, as folks usually do, we had our rehearsal dinner the night before our wedding. Where was it held? At “The Lark” restaurant located on Highway 6 in Tiffin. Where else? Of course, at that time, I had no idea about the history of the area or the fact that dozens of Helen’s ancestors were buried just a few hundred yards down the road from the restaurant. I had never been to that cemetery in all the years that we vacationed in Iowa until I got the genealogy “bug”. Now, we travel that portion of Highway 6 to Iowa City instead of Interstate 80 so we can visualize those Mormon pioneers coming down the trail as we make our routine stop at the Oak Hill Cemetery.

I enjoy connecting historical events with my ancestors. It would have been nice to have had an interview with Isaiah Parker Reynolds about his impression of the Mormon Expeditions as they began their difficult 1300 mile walk to the Utah Territory. Did Isaiah speak to anyone who may have died during this 10 to 12 week journey? I’ll never know the answer to that question.


We are saddened to just recently learn of the death of Robert H. LaLonde on November 23, 2010. Robert and his wife, Ellen, were founding members of SOCCGS. We extend our sincere sympathy to Ellen.

March Meeting

Speaker: Francie Kennedy showed new searches at Google, how to create a Google account to save and share personal Google maps and how to create a Gmail (Google Mail) account. Francie demonstrated searches using Google Groups. Guests introduced at the meeting were: Edison Crayne, Leo Larson, Robert & Ramona Roy, Linda Gottfredson, Joyce Spriggs. Refreshment providers were: Judy Ryu, Barbara Wilgus, Mary-Ellen Syer and Ron and Mickie Dempsey.


New Members: Sheila Larson of Laguna Hills, CA;; surnames: Larson, Roselie, Bahler, Hager, Embree, Baldwin, and Pelton. Eveline Paulin of Mission Viejo, CA;

***** Surname List *****

Members, please check your information on the SOCCGS Surname Website. 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.

Brick Walls & Genealogy Research Suggestions

Pat Weeks spoke of Missouri History Books as a good source, recent Irish records added at and of her use of mitochondrial DNA in research. Joyce Van Schaack wanted to know the method for cremation in the 1828 time period in non-urban areas and whether it was customary. Marlene Elster mentioned a new search engine called MOCAVO GENEALOGY SEARCH that she is trying out. Mickie Dempsey found obvious contradictions on She sent comments and corrections to and received a “thank you” from them.

Newsletter Submissions

~Gary Schwarz - Editor

Members, please consider submitting articles to be published in our newsletter. The articles can be short or long, but they should be of genealogical interest. A biography of your ancestor living between 1820 and 1940 including a photograph with the individual or family members identified really grabs my interest. If you have busted through a block wall or even a little hedge to get some new information, an article of your method could help others, if submitted to the newsletter. Interesting facts about a location, place, or custom pertaining to your genealogy would be something to submit. If you use the Gramps Genealogical Program, an article of your experiences with Gramps’ and why you chose it might be of interest.

Submissions must be received by the Wednesday after the monthly meeting to have a chance of making it into the next month’s newsletter. The articles should be a text or MS Word attachment, emailed to the editor and have a Subject line: SOCCGS Newsletter Article – article title or description. I would prefer articles be kept under 500 to 600 words. All articles may be edited by the editor, though I prefer to alter articles as little as possible. If you wish to review your edited article prior to publication, say that in your email. All articles will be spell checked and grammar checked with MS Word.

News from the Mission Viejo Library

~Bunny Smith – SOCCGS Librarian

The Mission Viejo Library will be closed from April 15th until April 25th to replace the carpet...Docents have a nice week off.

While the Library is closed, I need everyone to go on the SOCCGS Website and study the Card Catalogue. Is there a book that you would like to read that is not on our list? Is there a state or county that you are interested in that is not represented? Well now is your chance to let us know. We would like to expand our books on CD's. Please email Bunny Smith, with the name of the CD's you would like to add to our collection. Thank you, I am waiting to hear from you.

Czech Genealogy Group

The Czech Area Genealogy Club (CAGC) meets every few months on Sunday afternoon in Fullerton, CA.  For more information contact: Shirley Frazer; or visit to read the CAGC Newsletter.

Civil War Widow

~Mickie Dempsey

In a previous article in this newsletter, I wrote about my great grandmother Elizabeth Ann Hulvey who was a young child in Rockingham County, Virginia, during the American Civil War. Her father, Madison Hulvey, a blacksmith, had apparently been pressed into service shoeing horses for both Confederate and Union armies in the early days of the war. He died in December, 1861, or he probably would have joined a Confederate regiment. His widow, much like the countless wives and widows of Confederate soldiers in the Shenandoah Valley, was left to care for her family of ten children, including her three-month-old baby girl, Ella Beauregard named for the Confederate hero of Fort Sumter.

Not only did Caroline Longacre Hulvey lose her husband, but within six months of his death, she had lost her sixteen-year-old son, James, who was mortally wounded not far from home at the Battle of Port Republic. Her oldest son, George, had left home at seventeen, probably in the company of his younger brother, to join the local hero Turner Ashby and his brigade. He fought for two years, long after his brother and Ashby died, until he lost an arm at the Battle of the Wilderness in 1864.

With that scenario in mind, I recently decided to learn what I could about the lives of the women, who like my great, great grandmother had to cope with a desperate situation beyond anything they could have imagined. I found a wealth of information in an online publication of the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities, Encyclopedia Virginia, edited by Brendan Wolfe. Every conceivable Civil War topic is covered in an incredibly comprehensive series of categories. But the articles that I most wanted to explore were those that discussed women’s issues generated by the war. I hoped to find details that might apply to what I imagine Caroline Hulvey experienced.

Chronologically speaking, there were two immediate issues facing her. She had to find a way to support her three little boys and her four even younger daughters. And she needed to bury precious members of her family. Surprisingly, the matter of mourning before and during the war merited an essay in the Encyclopedia Virginia. I learned that prior to the war; there had been an elaborate tradition of mourning. A widow was expected to wear only black, keep her face covered by a black veil when she left home, and avoid social functions for two and a half years. A mother was to mourn a child for one year. By necessity these practices were curtailed during the war. Among other things, most women couldn’t even spare the money to acquire a black dress. As burdensome as those rituals might seem to us today, they were undoubtedly a source of comfort to those suffering such untimely loss. To that unresolved emotional pain must have been added a second concern: how to provide for her children and herself. Another article explains that women took over many of the jobs left behind by their men folk; farming and performing other work that neither they nor their families had ever dreamed they could do. However, since Caroline’s husband had been a blacksmith, she certainly wasn’t equipped to take over his workshop. I suppose the family may have had a garden and a few animals, but there wouldn’t have been large crops that needed harvesting and re-planting. As time went on, the desperate efforts to feed their families included a dramatic occurrence called the Richmond Bread Riot.

While my great, great grandmother was not in Richmond, apparently the sentiment that provoked that event was felt in many parts of Virginia and the rest of the Confederacy. On April 2, 1863, a group of about one thousand women marched on the Governor’s Mansion demanding help in providing food for their families. Ultimately this action led to a state-sponsored welfare system for the poorest members of the society. I don’t know if Caroline was among those who required that kind of assistance, but it wouldn’t surprise me if she did.

I have barely touched on all that I learned from reading these wonderfully informative articles. But if you feel as I do that in pursuing our family histories we are given an opportunity to immerse ourselves in our country’s history as well, I encourage you to explore the rich sources of Civil War history that are available in abundance this year as we commemorate the 150th anniversary of the beginning of that war.

Do you need a name badge?

Wearing a name badge at the monthly meetings is an excellent way to meet new friends and/or possibly a “cousin.” These are provided to all members at no cost. Please contact Herb Abrams at (949) 581-6292 or He will have one ready at the next meeting.

“Time you enjoy wasting, was not wasted.”

~John Lennon
-Try using this quote on your non-genealogical spouse!-

February at the Salt Lake City Family History Center

~Pat and Dick Merritt

We started out at 8:30 Friday morning on our trip to the Salt Lake City Family History Center. Driving through Banning we looked at the beautiful mountains covered with snow. Usually when we drive past Banning, it’s blazing hot, but on this trip it was very windy and cold. We first made a side trip to Prescott Valley, AZ. Dick found a distant relative on the internet that had done a little genealogy on the Merritt’s, but had passed away. We visited his widow, Mary Ellen, who was willing to share information with us before we pressed on to Salt Lake.

We stayed at the very nice Little American Hotel in Salt Lake City. The lobby was beautiful and we ate in the restaurant quite a few times. The hotel was in the trolley free zone. We got on the trolley at the stop in front of the hotel and rode to the Family History Library for free. The doorman advised us not to walk the three blocks to the Family History Center because the blocks are very long. The wind was so strong; it could have pushed us there.

Monday morning we were off to the Library. We had planned to have lunch later in the day with Dick’s third cousin, Norman Merritt. Dick found him through DNA testing. Norman lives in Park City and commutes to work at the Zion Bank about a block from the Library. They were a nice couple and we enjoyed their visit very much. They had done a lot of genealogy research on the Merritt’s.

On Monday, Dick did so well. He was able to go back two more generations on his Merritt side, to the early 1600’s. He found a webpage created by Barbara Merritt. One of the Sisters at the library helped him write to Barbara through the website. Barbara has already written back to him. What luck! I just took my McCoy information to the library to concentrate my research for the day to one family. The McCoy’s are still in hiding. I did find out that many people in that time married and never filed or recorded the event.

The Mormon Sisters and Brothers rotate their post every hour, so just about the time one gets comfortable working with one person, they must move another station. One Sister I liked, had to rotate to books, but a few minutes later she returned and said she had found some things for me. She had continued looking even after she changed locations. I enjoyed looking through the books. They have so many books from every county in every state. I found out my John Ingram was tall, slender and had dark brown hair. Humm?

Each day I took different family information with me. Dick stayed with the Merritt’s. I found names I can contact. The Sisters and Brothers were very impressed with my Payne and Shelby families, but I seem to want to know more about the pig farmer families. I will find them someday.

Thursday the 17th we had a big storm. The wind blew between 85-113 miles per hour. It almost knocked us down a few times. When we got off the trolley the wind and snow hit us so hard. It was like ice hitting us. We could hardly make it to our room. There was loud thunder and lighting with the snow. It snowed most of the night.

We drove to Cedar City and it was snowing hard and cars were spinning out and we were a little afraid to drive home. Dick called the Highway Patrol. They advised us to go, because it was going to snow at least another day.

It was a trip everyone should take. Next is a trip back to TN, KY, NY, and CT to fill in some of the blanks with local searches.

Ralph's Community Contribution Program

~Jim Thordahl – Ways & Means Chairman

Thanks to all who are enrolled in this generous fundraising program. If you are a new SOCCGS member or have not yet enrolled, it’s easy. Get a Ralphs Rewards Card, if you don’t have one. Present a copy of the “Scanbar letter” which contains our code at checkout the next time you shop at Ralphs. There, you’re’ enrolled until September. Please see me at the next meeting for a “Scanbar letter.” There are copies of the letter at the library docent desk, or one will mailed at your request. You may also enroll on-line at Was your name missing? The names of three participants were missing in SOCCGS January newsletter. This suggests that their information is not correct in the Ralph’s rewards Card Database. If you have a question call or e-mail:; ph: (949) 492-5334.

Genealogical Definition

Base Born Child - a child born out of wedlock with parents being of low social status. A bastard was usually defined as a child born out of wedlock with a parent of gentile or noble status.

“When the sun comes up, I have morals again”

~Elisabeth Taylor

mtDNA Success

~Pat Weeks

I am on a high! I received my mitochondrial DNA results this week, and they agree with my paper research. I am of American Indian descent.

In the 1980s, I researched my female ancestors back to Francoise Missouri, a young Missouri Indian who was taken to Paris in 1725, then returned to the Missouri region to live out the remainder of her life. She lived it up big while in Paris; she was baptized and married at Notre Dame. Upon her return her husband, Sgt Dubois, was murdered by the Indians, and she soon thereafter married Louis Marin. All of this notoriety led her to be named “Princess of the Missouri’s” and gave her a brief spot in the history books.

My research was mainly based on the Catholic records of the Illinois country region of the 1700s. I felt very confident that my research was rock-solid, but having the DNA to confirm my research was the real icing on the cake. Hey, can one beat a solid paper trail backed up by a blood trail?

Now, I had two other Indian grands-mères of that early period, but did not have the genealogical run of females like I had with Francoise. It took ten generations of females from Francoise to me to complete these 300 years.

Pat’s story and family lineage appeared in the April 1996 issue of “Saddleback Valley Trails”. You can access that article on the SOCCGS Website -

New At Ancestry

U.S. Census Reconstructed Records, 1660-1820
U.S. City Directories — UPDATE
New York State, Passenger and Crew Lists, 1917–1973 — UPDATE
Returns from U.S. Military Posts, 1806–1916 — INDEX
Clemson University (Agricultural College) Directory of Graduates, 1896-1940
Clemson University Student Military Service Records, 1894-1944
Washington County, Ohio, U.S. Territorial Census, 1803
1891 New South Wales, Australia, Census
1901 New South Wales, Australia, Census
Lübeck, Germany, Births, 1811–1875 — UPDATE
Lübeck, Germany, Deaths, 1811–1875 — UPDATE
Lübeck, Germany, Marriage Banns, 1811–1871 — UPDATE
Lübeck, Germany, Genealogical Register, 1200–1910
Ottawa, Canada, Beechwood Cemetery Registers, 1873–1990
1841 England Census — UPDATE
Dictionary of National Biography, Volumes 1–20, 22 — UPDATE
Lewis's Topographical Dictionary of England, 1845

Visit your SOCCGS Library soon!

Genealogy Software

A way to share your Windows PAF database or selected parts of your database with Mac users without Mac genealogical software is to use the “Create Web Page” function under the PAF “Tools” Menu. “Create Web Page” will create a folder, that you name, in which web page files are placed. If you take the option to include photographs, “Create Web Page” creates a new “Images” folder within your web page folder to place copied photograph image files (Note: PAF renames these copied photo files in the “Images” folder to use in links on your webpage.). Get a copy of your web page folder onto the Mac’s hard drive. This copy transfer can be done using a flash drive, a data CD you have burned, a data DVD you have burned, or any other means to transfer your web page folder and its contents. The web page can be accessed directly from a CD, if you do not want to copy it to the hard drive. To access your web page, open your web page folder on the MAC and run the Index.htm file. Navigating on your genealogy web page is done by following clearly labeled links.

Other Windows based genealogical programs like Legacy, Roots Magic, and Family Tree Maker also have “Create Web Page” type functions which would probably work as well. Since the file types are html and jpg, your web page folder would probably work for someone using a Linux operating system as well.

2011 Genealogy Events

April 23Orange County Family History Center is hosting their “2011 Family History Fair”, Orange, CA. Additional information:
May 28 & 29 - United Scottish Society Highland Gathering & Festival, Costa Mesa, CA,
June 10-1242nd Annual Genealogy Jamboree presented by Southern California Genealogical Society at the Los Angeles Burbank Airport Marriott Hotel and Convention Center,
Jun. 25 & 26San Diego Scottish Highland Games & Gathering of Clans, Vista, CA,
October 15South Orange County California Genealogical Society presents its annual seminar in Mission Viejo, CA, this year featuring Curt B. Wicher, Manager of the Allen County Library, Fort Wayne, Indiana.

Indiana Search Tips

~Patti Bartlett Russell

Vigo County Library in Terre Haute, Indiana, has a great website of Vigo County Marriage Records that can actually be viewed online dating from the 1800's to 1951.  Their website address is: A helpful tip: only type in LAST NAME of either groom or bride (don’t type both last names). Also good:


President, Seminar & Safari
Chairman ________________________

Bill Bluett ________________________
Vice President / Program Chairman ___ David Flint _______________________
Recording Secretary _______________ Sandy Crowley____________________
Corresponding Secretary ____________ Pat Weeks _______________________
Treasurer ________________________ Mary Jo McQueen _________________
Historian  ________________________ Barbara Wilgus  ___________________
Hospitality _______________________ Barbara Heebner__________________
  Sharon Keener____________________
Librarian _________________________ Bunny Smith _____________________
Membership ______________________ Jack Naylor ______________________
Newsletter Editor __________________ Gary Schwarz ____________________
Parliamentarian ___________________ Marilyn Kowalski __________________
Publicity / Webmaster ______________ Herb Abrams _____________________
Ways & Means  __________________ Jim Thordahl______________________

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)

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