Saddleback Valley Trails

Vol 10 No 5 ...Editor: Gail Gilbert ...May 2003

South Orange County California Genealogical Society

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

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

SOCCGS MEETING - May 17, 2003

Our speaker will be Tom Underhill whose topic will be "Save An Hour A Day On Your Computer." Tom is the senior designer for Creative Continuum, a book design and publishing company specializing in high-quality, short-run books. Many of these books are family histories. Tom's background includes extensive graphic design, marketing and project management experience. He has written five books, the latest of which is, Save An Hour A Day On Your Computer. An improperly configured computer does more than nibble away at your time all day can eat your files and really waste time. Discover simple tips and changes in habit that lead to big increases in productivity. Learn how to keep your computer in top shape to save time and frustration! This really sounds like a program tailored for genealogists who keep their family records on a computer and for those of us researching on the Internet. Please join us at the May 17 meeting to hear Mr. Underhill. You will find it to be time well spent.


The following list from our V.P. & Program Chairman, Mary Jo McQueen, gives you an idea of what to look forward to for the meetings in 2003. We will be having some outstanding speakers with a variety of interesting topics which you won't want to miss. So, plan ahead!

June - Doug Mason: "My Own Ancestral Billy Yank and Johnny Reb"

July - Barbara Renick: "Internet Research"

August - Nancy Huebotter: "Writing Your Autobiography"

September - Andrew Pomeroy: "Mastering Search Engines, Internet Research Skills You Need"

October - Seminar with Dr. George K. Schweitzer

November - Nancy Bier: "Everyone Lived on the Land"


This month's Safari will be to the Carlsbad Library on May 28, leaving the parking lot of the Mission Viejo FHC at 9:30. Call Janet or Mary Jo with any questions.


At the April meeting, we welcomed new member Sol Shenker of Laguna Woods. Guests included Judy Kammon, Tom Fangrow, Mervie Beam, L. A. Chamblin, J. Katz, and Nancy Perez.


The second SOCCGS annual seminar will be held October 18 in the Saddleback Room, Mission Viejo City Hall. The speaker will be Dr. George K. Schweitzer. Topics will be announced at the May meeting and in the next newsletter. Professor Schweitzer is a great speaker who uses historical reenactment to teach genealogy. He is an Alumni Distinguished Professor at the University of Tennessee and is listed in Who's Who in America. He has traced many of his own ancestral lines back to the early 1500s. Dr. Schweitzer has authored 220 publications including 19 genealogical guidebooks. He has lectured to over 200 genealogical and historical societies in the U.S., Canada, England and Germany. We are indeed fortunate to be able to include his presentations in our seminar. The cost for this day will be $20 per person plus $5 for lunch, if desired. MARK YOUR CALENDARS NOW! For further information, call Mary Jo at 581-0690.


3 May 2003 Orange Family History Fair, Orange Stake Center(FHC), 674 S. Yorba, Orange, CA, "Honoring the Past - Looking to the Future." Registration at 8:00, assembly at 9:00, and classes at 10:00. Free admission for classes and displays. Box lunch can be reserved for $7.25 and syllabus can be purchased for $9.50. For more details call (714) 997-7710.

10 May 2003 The North San Diego County Genealogical Society will present for their program meeting Ann Hege Hughes, "Preparing Your Family History Book for Publication." For those of you working on your own books, it would be well worth the trip to Carlsbad to hear Ms. Hughes who is the president of Gateway Press, Inc. of Baltimore, Maryland. The NSDCGS newsletter states, "She has been helping people self-publish their family and local history, genealogical records, church history and memoirs books since 1975. She has designed and produced well over 2000 titles, many of which have won awards in various genealogical and historical book contests. Over the years, she has spoken to dozens of genealogical societies throughout the country about the publishing process. She has produced a video entitled "Prepare to Publish," has written a book of her own."


by Dorothy Miller

presented by North San Diego County Genealogical Society

Saturday, June 7, 2003

9 a.m. - 3 p.m.

Carlsbad City Council Chambers, 1200 Carlsbad Drive, Carlsbad, CA

Cost - $12.50 if registered by June 1, 2003, $17.50 for registration received after June 1, 2003

For an additional $5 you may order lunch for that day. For more information email Dorothy Miller at

About the Presenter: Dorothy Miller retired from California State University, Northridge in 1998. She has had 30 years experience in education; the majority of those years teaching computer science. She has also consulted for private industry and educational institutions, but is now very much involved in genealogical research. This is a repeat of her popular class held in February.

Rules Our Ancestors Followed, Or How to Confuse Your Descendants!

from the South-Central-Kentucky Mailing List - author unknown

(1) Thou shalt name your male children: James, John, Joseph, David, Robert, Richard, Thomas, William.

(2) Thou shalt name your female children: Elizabeth, Mary, Martha, and Sarah.

(3) Thou shalt leave NO trace of your female children.

(4) Thou shalt, after naming your children from the above lists, call them by strange nicknames such as, Ike, Eli, Polly, Dolly, Sukey, making them difficult to trace.

(5) Thou shalt NOT use any middle names on any legal documents or census reports, and only where necessary, you may use only initials on legal documents.

(6) Thou shalt learn to sign all documents illegibly so that your surname can be spelled, or misspelled, in various ways.

(7) Thou shalt, after no more than 3 generations, make sure that all family records are lost, misplaced, burned in a court house fire, or buried so that NO future trace of them can be found.

(8) Thou shalt propagate misleading legends, rumors, & vague innuendo regarding your place origination.

A. You may have come from England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales...or Iran.

B. You may have American Indian ancestry of the ________tribe.....

C. You may have descended from one of three brothers that came over from _____.

(9) Thou shalt leave NO cemetery records, or headstones with legible names.

(10) Thou shalt leave NO family Bible with records of birth, marriages or deaths.

(11) Thou shalt ALWAYS flip thy name around. If born James Albert, thou must make all the rest of thy records in the names of Albert, AJ, JA, Al, Bert, Bart, or Alfred.

(12) Thou must also flip thy parent's names when making reference to them, although "Unknown" or a blank line is an acceptable alternative.

(13) Thou shalt name at least 5 generations of males, and dozens of their cousins with identical names in order to totally confuse researchers.


Reprinted from the CSGA Newsletter, Vol. 21, No. 4, April 2003

The Southern California Genealogical Society has a new project, "The 1890 Project." They will be attempting to re-create the population of Los Angeles County in 1890.

Volunteers will combine every resource available into a searchable database on CD. Resources will include an every name index of the Los Angeles Times of 1890, vital records, court records, voter rolls, church and cemetery records and business and civic rosters.

If you have anyone who you know was in Los Angeles County in 1890, they would appreciate your contribution. All information must be documented.

If you would like to volunteer to help, contact the SCGS Library, 4127 Irving Drive, Burbank, CA, (818) 843-7247.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

A special thank you to Pat Weeks & Eileen Merchant for their help with the newsletter!


DOCENTS NEEDED! We desperately need docents for one Friday and one Saturday a month, 1 to 4. Also, it is increasingly difficult to find someone to fill in when a docent needs to be gone....Please sign up to be a substitute. Thanks, Janet & Mary Jo


Donated by Jackie Hanson - books

American & British Genealogy & Heraldry

Colonial Familiesof the Southern States of America by Hardy

Rambles About Portsmouth, by Brewster

Genealogies of Virginia Families, Vol. N-T, Wm. & Mary Quarterly

Ship Passenger Lists, National & New England (1600-1825)

Quaker Arrivals at Philadelphia, 1682-1750

The Strassburger Families, And Allied Families of Pennsylvania

Index and Digest to Hathaway's North Carolina Historical Register

Donated by Jackie Hanson - periodicals

200 copies early NEHGS Registers 1930-1970

Genealogical Research: Methods and Sources, ASG

California Mayflower Society Quarterlies

The American Genealogist, Vol. 19: 1,2,4; Vol. 40; 1,2,3,4

Donated by Ron Tovsen

Dictionary of Heraldry

Scandinavia, Past and Present

Assorted Family Tree Magazines

Donated by Diane Webb

Grant County, KY Marriages, 1820-1850

Pendleton County Kentucky Marriages, 1799-1843

Society of Kentucky Pioneers, 1983 Yearbook

B. O. Gaines History of Scott County, KY Vols. I & II

Hancock County, Indiana

Muscatine County Iowa Marriage Records, 1880-1910

Muscatine County Iowa Marriage Records, 1837-1879

Genealogical Branches from Monroe County, Wisconsin, Vol. III (2 copies)

Kentucky Cemetery Records, Vol. V

Early Shelby County, Indiana Marriage Returns, 1822-1839

Piedmont North Carolina Cemeteries, Vol. I

McDaniel Family

Rock County, Wisconsin Index - 1879, 1889

Breaking Through Those Brick Walls

by George G. Morgan "Along Those Lines"

We all encounter pitfalls in our research. Sometimesthese are brick walls that result from lack of resources, lost or destroyed data, uncommunicative relatives, uncooperative courthouse clerks, and other obstacles. Unfortunately though, we somtimes do it to ourselves. I'm the first to admit that I also am guilty of undermining my own research by not working as effectively as I should. However, over the years, I've learned how to 'work smarter' in conducting my own research. In this week's "Along Those Lines..." column, I'd like to share some ways that you can improve your work approach to genealogical and family history research.


We collect informational fragments of our ancestors' and families' lives over time, and these seldom are discovered in any particular order. It is always helpful to organize the facts of an individual's life, and the documentary evidence, in chronological sequence, and then REREAD everything as if you've never seen it before. It's easy to just scan or browse through it because you think you 'know' it, but I'll wager that by rereading all the material in chronological order you'll see something new. And don't make the mistake of just doing this exercise once. Over time you will have collected more information on a person, his or her family members, information about the local history and geography, and a host of other pertinent information. And while the facts you have uncovered about other people's lives may not ring a bell at that time, when you reread your ancestor's records, these other facts may assert themselves and add a new insight or clarity.

Create a timeline for your ancestor or what I prefer to call an 'Ancestor Profile' ( asp?sourceid=831&key=A092106) which helps bring information about your ancestor, his or her family members, and a variety of other data together in outline format. At that juncture, you begin to see the person's life as a whole. Sometimes this provides the perspective you need to look for missing information.


Every genealogist should be using maps, both contemporary and historical, in his or her research. There are several reasons for this.

1) You need to know what governmental entity had jurisdiction over the area in which your ancestors lived at that particular time in order to know WHO created the records, WHY they were created, and potentailly WHERE the records may now reside.

2) If you are a member of AAA, use your membership to obtain maps of all the areas in which you are researching. AAA can provide maps at different levels of detail - from country to state/province to county/parish to city. Then, purchase felt tip markers of different colors and establish a color code scheme for your different families or branches. Use the markers to indicate who lived where at what time. Make notes on the map or type labels (which also are available in different colors) and affix them to the map. A favorite tactic I use is to draw the migration path of a family from Point A to Point B, using historical information about migration routes at the time. You may find that your ancestors stopped for a while along the route and there may be records in the intermediate counties.

3) Use maps to undersand the locations in which your ancestors lived for purposes of evaluating land records, locating census records, determining, voting precincts, determining the towns where they transacted business, and narrowing the list of possible religious institutions with which they might have been involved.


Professional genealogical researchers, before they begin working on a project for a client, do advance work to set their goals. They gather all the information they have and organize it, usually sequentially as discussed above, and then prepare a list of their research goals. Using this methodical approach, you can conduct your research in a much more time-and cost-effective manner.

For example, let's say you are working on one family line and you know there are a number of things you want to learn. If you determine that you want to obtain proof of marriage for several family members, prepare a list of the couples' full names, the probable locations where they were married and possible dates, and then determine where those records might be located. You also might want to obtain death certificates for all your great-uncles and -aunts in a particular place. Prepare a similar list with full names, locations where they lived (and/or died), and the probable dates of death.

Next, perform some additional, preliminary research to confirm

A) that the records you seek really exist,

B) where those records are now stored, and

C) how you can access the records or obtain copies. You can do much of this by checking websites, but always make a phone call to verify access the data. (Imagine the dismay of a researcher arriving at the county courthouse only to find that all the records she sought were in off-site storage and required several days advance notice to recall the box containing those she wanted to access.)


Few genealogists I know maintain research logs for the persons and lines they are tracing. As a result, they often waste time researching the same materials again and again and waste money photocopying the same book pages. Author Brent Holcomb has produced any number of books about South Carolina records. Imagine my excitement-on at least three occasions-to have found a book containing extracts from one of my Revolutionary War ancestors who lived in South Carolina, only to return home and find that I already had that material.

The use of a structured log sheet detailing what resources you have accessed, where you accessed them, what you researched, and what the results were, can eliminate redundant and wateful research. It also can help you retrace your own research for materials you may once have thought useless but which you suddenly may want to locate and access again. has two forms that can provide the structure you need. The Research Calendar at provides forms that you can use for a family or for an individual. The Source Summary for Family Information at provides an excellent format for keeping track of resource materials of many types (books, journals, microform, etc.) you have already used. You also can produce your own forms to meet your own research need, using a word processor or spreadsheet program. The latter provides the option of entering data and the flexibility of sorting it in a vaiety of ways. And if you have been doing a good job entering source citations in your genealogy database program, you may want to check to see if your will produce a report of your master source database. Happy hunting!

Copyright 2003, Inc. All rights reserved. Reprinted with permission from "Ancestry Daily News", a free newsletter available at George Morgan's website:


A roster of all the current courses is maintained at our library. Be sure to check at the desk for details.

1. Continuous classes are offered at the Mission Viejo Family History Center at 27976 Marguerite Parkway. For a current schedule or to register call (949) 364-2742.

2. For information on classes held at the Orange FHC, 674 S. Yorba St., Orange, call Beth McCarty at (714) 998-3408.

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

4. The schedule for NARA workshops is available by calling (949) 360-2641.

5. The British Isles Family History Society (BIFHS) holds classes monthly at the LA FHC of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 10741 Santa Monica Blvd., W. LA. Classes and parking are free. For information contact Dorothy Losee at (310) 838-6085,

6. Classes are offered monthly by the LA Family History Center, 10741 Santa Monica Blvd. Los Angeles which offer a wide variety of topics. To see the schedule for the current month, go to their website at or call (310) 474-9990.

7. Brigham Young University's Department of Independent Studies offers two free online genealogy courses, Finding Your Ancestors and Providing Temple Ordinances for Your Ancestors. See for details.

8. Community College genealogy courses can be found listed at the website: Many of these are also free online.

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__________________

NOTE: When renewing your membership, please include your email address, if you have one, so we may include you in a membership email directory.


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