Saddleback Valley Trails

 South Orange County California Genealogical Society

Vol. 14 No. 5                                                                              Editor: Mary Jo McQueen                                                                                      May 2007

 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.


GENERAL MEETING – May 19, 2007








      Discover Genealogical Treasures in attics, at yard sales, swap meets, and on the Internet. According to Michael Ktratzer, family history and genealogical research can be much more than a collection of names and dates on family group sheets.  After all those birth notices, marriage records, death certificates and obituaries are compiled, then what?  Join Michael as he tells how he has discovered what he considers hidden treasures, waiting to be found, in the most unexpected places. He will explain how new and used books, photos, family business advertisements, ancestral heirlooms and memorabilia can enhance and enrich your enjoyment of your Family History Library and Archives. 

Michael has been adding to his personal family history for over fifteen years. He is a graduate of Orange Coast College and holds a certificate from the University of California at Irvine.  Michael volunteers his time assisting genealogy researchers at the Huntington Beach Family History Center.


                                                            2007 CALENDAR

                        June 16 – Alan Jones, “Bakers Dozen, 13 websites we should all know and use.”

July 21 – Ivan C. Johnson, “British Naming Patterns.”

August 18 – Penny Feike, “Court Records.”

September 15 – Joan Rambo, “Land & Tax Records.”

October 20 – John Colletta, Family History Seminar

November 17 - Nancy Carlberg

December 15 – Holiday Party



On May 23 we will research at the Los Angeles Public Library. Please call Bill Bluett, (949) 492-9408, if you would like to be included. If more than seven sign up we will need two cars. This is a long day with dinner on the way home. Please bring $$ for your driver and be prepared to buy your dinner. You may bring lunch or eat at one of the places available in or near the library.


Immigrant Servants Database

"More than 75 percent of the colonists who settled south of New England financed their voyages to the New World as indentured servants, convict servants, and redemptioners. This project aims to identify all immigrants described by these terms in American and European sources from 1607 through 1820." To date, there are approximately 10,000 immigrant servants listed in the database.” That number continues to grow. This database is free.




~Bill Bluett

In March, on our Genealogy Safari, we traveled to the Southern California Genealogical Society in Burbank. My van was filled to capacity with 7 members from our Society. The SCGS facility has a great collection of books plus microfilm, microfiche and CD’s. Also, they have many research publications, which may be purchased.

That day, I began my search on the bookshelves in the State of Iowa section where I noticed a book entitled HISTORY OF IOWA COUNTY. My wife, Helen, was raised on a farm in this county. So, I pulled out the book and began to browse through it. This book, and many others are the result of the fact that counties in many states were mandated to produce historical information in the late 1800’s. Each book usually contains Township sections within the county where there is information about the early settlers, homesteads, churches, schools, incidents, and some biographical sketches of key individuals.

I may have looked at this book before, but, this time, there was something that caught my eye, a paragraph written about O. B. BOLTON, one of the early settlers who had come to Iowa in 1853. By February of 1856, he and his family had settled in Iowa County, Iowa Township, in section 26. This was the first farm in the township. For some reason, his name seemed familiar. Then, I remembered; Helen and I have the documents that give the history of ownership of the family farm in Iowa. We took possession of this information when her father died in 1999. These recorded documents are referred to as an abstract.

An abstract of title lists all the owners of a piece of land, a house, or a building before it came into possession of the present owner. The abstract also records all deeds, wills, mortgages, and other documents that affect ownership of the property. An abstract describes a chain of transfers from owner to owner and any agreements by former owners that are binding on later owners.

I don’t know how many states have an abstract paper trail like Iowa does. It would be worth investigating. Our abstract has over 80 pages dating from 1853 to the present. So, when I arrived home the evening of our safari, I pulled out the documents to see if the first owner of our farm happened to be O. B. Bolton. And, in fact, it was!  This prompted me to look through the papers in more detail. The Bolton’s owned the farm from 1853 until 1896 when, a family by the name of Sherlock acquired it. They were the owners until 1942 when my wife’s parents, Seth and Helen Eimen, purchased it. In a period of more than 150 years, there have only been 3 owners. The HISTORY OF IOWA COUNTY book went on to say that when Mr. Bolton settled on the land, no neighbors were within 5 miles. He located the acreage in 1853 and paid $800 in gold, which I thought was interesting. And, it stated that he and his son operated a large farm of over 200 acres. The home farm is, in fact, 220 acres and it is located in section 26, as the book said. Also, there is an adjacent 160 acres, which brings the farm total to 380. Today, the family rents out 2 residences that are on the property and continue to farm approximately 330 acres of corn, soybeans and hay.

I guess the point of my story is to encourage you not to overlook historical publications that relate to an area in which your ancestors lived. You may not specifically find your surname in the book, but you might find some information that connects to your family. You might also find the history of the county, township, or town interesting. Reading a county history book can give you a picture of what life was like in the 1800’s. You may be able to find books of county histories on the HERITAGE QUEST website on the SOCCGS library computers. Some can be found in our CD collection or on the bookshelves. 

ALWAYS check out the resources that are available right here in our own genealogy section of the Mission Viejo Library. You could get lucky.



Lee Pound’s presentation gave us a new insight into Internet Research. We were reminded that it is still important to use microfilm. We should go further than the first few sites that come up, when we do a Google search. Lee also imparted that a search on “Google Books” might prove to be valuable. The morning’s treats were in the capable hands of Shelly Morgan and Joyce Van Schaack. Home Town Buffet also provided some of the goodies. Janet Parsons is looking for someone to interpret Danish documents. Her email address is   



We extend a special welcome to Patricia Christiansen who has reinstated her membership. Guests at the April meeting were: Meg Harkins, Katharine Obenour and Judith Bryant. We hope they will see the advantages of membership in our awesome Genealogical Society. Correction: Billie May Bowron, South Dakota, email address





~Ann Browning

          My mother, Dosia May Lister, was born in 1904 in Hillsdale County, Michigan. As a child, I remember hearing that her Lister Ancestor was Dr. Joseph Lister, the English doctor who pioneered antiseptic surgery, and for whom Listerine is named. In later years, when Mother’s sister, Beulah, became interested in genealogy, she discovered our first known Lister ancestor was anything but famous, perhaps “infamous” would be a better description.

          Our John Lister came to the colonies in 1770, not by choice, but by command of King George III of Great Britain. We have a copy of his London trial at the Old Bailey, and a copy of the “Bill of Indightment.

”John Lister was about fifteen and living in Black-Bay Alley, a rooming house in London. He and “Isaac Pemberton, a labourer – on the tenth day of January – about the hour of two in the Night – with force and arms did burglariously break and enter the dwelling house of one, Sir Thomas Wilson (Knight) –stole two Damask Napkins of the value of three shillings, sixteen Silver Tablespoons of the value of sixteen shillings and two Silver Candlesticks of the value of two pounds each – Jury says guilty. To be hanged by the Neck until he be dead.” (Obviously, he wasn’t!)

          In about 1925, Mother and Aunt Beulah opened the Green Lantern Tearoom in Hillsdale. They probably served this banana cake because it was one of mother’s favorite recipes (mine too). When our children were growing up, they called it “Grandma’s Bug Cake”….. You’ll see why!


Geraldine’s Banana Cake

1 cup sugar                                    Cream together sugar and butter. Add egg.

½ cup butter or margarine              Beat together until light.

1 egg

1 ½ cups flour                                Sift together flour, soda, salt & cinnamon.

1 ½ tsp. soda

½tsp. salt                                       Add flour mixture alternately with

½ tsp. cinnamon                             mashed bananas.

1 cup mashed ripe bananas

1 tsp. vanilla                                   Stir in vanilla.

Bake in greased loaf pan at 325 degrees for 40 minutes. Do not over bake.

When cool, sift powdered over top. Doubles easily. Freezes well.




          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.


Another Revolution In Genealogy,1249,660205784,00.html

Here is an excerpt from an interesting article at the above website. It is too lengthy to print here. “Using the Internet, from their homes or laptops, people around the world are about to have access to more documents than they ever dreamed possible. Before the end of the year, the church's free genealogy Web site,, will have a new look. That's how users will know when the revolution Dobson speaks of has begun.”



“If it weren’t for the last minute, nothing would get done!”



Severed Foot Leads To Family's Unusual History

~Dave Bakke

(Reprinted with permission: State Journal Register, Springfield, Illinois)


Henry Wenneborg made lemonade bloom where he was planted - or however that saying goes. Henry was a colorful bit of Springfield history that is not known by many people outside of his family. Let's change that.

He was 16 years old in about 1893 when he happened to be late getting somewhere across Springfield. The reason he was late and getting later was because a train was blocking his way. The train had stopped, so Henry, who was walking, crawled beneath it to get to the other side. Unfortunately for him, the train lurched into motion while he was under it. His foot was severed. But things got worse.

"Gangrene set in," says his grandson. "They kept taking off parts of his leg until they amputated it almost up to his hip. He almost lost his life." But he survived. Henry became a blacksmith with a shop on West Elliott Avenue. Artificial limbs were among the things he crafted.

"I make legs with felt feet, rubber feet, common wooden feet or my improved feet and automatic inside knee control," proclaimed an old advertisement Henry wrote. "I sell everything in the construction of artificial legs or arms," it says, "including the most famous Comfort Stump Sox."

Henry's advertisement includes testimonials from satisfied customers. William Cox of Springfield is quoted as saying, "I am wearing a Wenneborg leg and can truthfully say, if you want good and willing, ever ready service, day or night, and a first-class leg, say 'Wenneborg.'"

There is also this one from William Napierski of Springfield: "I was visited by all the leading artificial leg agents and saw their legs." "Then I decided to get a Wenneborg leg and can say I made no mistake. Any one interested in an artificial leg is welcome to call and I will show them advantages in the Wenneborg leg that no other leg maker can produce."

After Henry died, many of his creations went to his son, Dick. Dick died in 1989. Five years later, the family held an estate sale in which a lot of Henry's handiwork - including a barrel of legs - was sold. Also for sale at the auction were a wooden artificial limb machine, a plaster cast for legs and a variety of unique antiques such as 25 Thomas Edison records.

What was already an unusual story took an even more unusual turn years later.

Greg Wenneborg is a teacher in Tucson, Ariz. His father, Oliver, is Henry's nephew. A few weeks ago, Greg and his wife gave birth to a new son. Before choosing a name for the baby, Greg called his aunt in Springfield, who is the family historian, to get a little more family history on Henry.

Little Oliver Henry Wenneborg will have a colorful history to live up to.

About a year and a half ago, Greg was surfing eBay, the popular online auction site, looking to buy a unique gift for his father. He punched "Wenneborg" into eBay's search engine.

"I don't know what I was thinking," Greg says. "I was looking for something 'Wenneborg.' And there were a pair of longbows. Both were about 60 inches long."

The seller identified them as being carved by Henry Wenneborg. Further investigation by Greg found that the seller was also offering for auction other items from Henry.

"He had all these patent applications from Henry Wenneborg," says Greg. "There were these little inventions that he made. He had a patent for a certain type of leg.

"I e-mailed the seller and asked how he knew about it. He said he had gone to an estate sale that had a bunch of Wenneborg memorabilia. I want to guess that it was the sale here, but he was out of Oregon."

Rick remembers selling the bows at his father's estate sale in 1994, so the Oregon man was probably here.

Eleven years after that sale, Greg brought Henry's longbows back into the family. He bought the bows for his father. They hang on the wall of Oliver's cabin in Pinetop, Ariz.

Click on the state and then on the county to see old penny postcards from that area.....pretty neat.



Every book is a quotation; and every house is a quotation

Out of all forests, and mines, and stone quarries,

And every man is a quotation from all his ancestors.

~Ralph Waldo Emerson


Ohio, a Bittersweet Journey

~Patricia Ann (Dean) Christiansen

          For over a year, my husband and I planned a trip to visit a cousin of mine (whom I had never met), in Mansfield, Ohio.  Last April 18, about two weeks before our departure date, my husband, Elmer Leon Christiansen, on his 77th birthday, fell and was hospitalized. He appeared to be going well, and would soon be going into rehab. The doctor ruled out the possibility of Elmer’s making the trip. Since our son, Carl, agreed to look after his father, I would make the trip to Ohio alone. 

          My parents, John William Roy Dean and Rebecca Irene (Shultz) Dean, were married on 3 September 1929 in Columbus, Franklin County, Ohio, and moved to Cincinnati, Hamilton County, Ohio, where my sisters Barbara and Nancy and I were born.  In 1939 we relocated to Columbus. Our parents separated in 1943 and Mother, my sisters and I moved to Phoenix, Arizona.

          Eventually, our father also moved to Phoenix, however, our parents were divorced in 1945.  Living away from my father for so many years caused a great lack of information regarding his side of the family. Hence on this trip to Ohio, it was my desire to learn more about my father.

          My cousin Anne Marie (Nelson) McCracken was the daughter of one of my father’s sisters, Frances (Dean) Nelson.  Through Annie I met a gentleman, a former Ohio State University student, who had rented a room for $7 per week in our house in Columbus. In a conversation with him, I learned that my father had a degree in petroleum engineering.

          Until this trip, I did not know that my father had two brothers, Clyde Beeman, and John William Roy, and a sister, Dorothy Marie. His parents were Frank Dean and Mary Lucinda Highley.

          Dorothy married Robert B. Turnipseed whose ancestors supplied a place of refuge on the Underground Railroad in northern Ohio.

    On my journey to Ohio, I-------

          Visited the high school where my parents met, courted and married in Washington, Court House. The old high school still stands and continues to be used as a school.

          Visited the Victorian style home, in Columbus, where I lived from 1939 through 1943. A single mother and her family currently occupy the house, built circa 1909.

          Met and talked with a woman and her brother who were residents of a home across the street. They wanted to know why I was taking pictures of the houses.

          After the woman left, her brother tried to sell me two chairs from his sister’s front porch.

          Watched on the news, that night, a fast-breaking newscast of the murder of the man I had talked with that morning.  He had been shot in the street a few feet from the home he shared with his sister. (Yes, the one who offered the chairs for sale!)

          Visited cemeteries and filmed headstones in a half dozen Ohio counties.

Spent an entire afternoon with formerly unknown relatives and copied photographs, exchanged pedigree charts and family group sheets.

          Talked personally with individuals who had known my parents, most specifically my father.

          Obtained the names of the three wives of my grandfather, Frank Albert Dean. 

          What makes this trip bittersweet to me? My husband died on June 4, 2006, from complications of leukemia; and my cousin Annie was diagnosed this year [2007] with cancer.  

            Living relatives can contribute so much to the family historian; as can those friends and associates who knew our deceased family members. No opportunity should be taken lightly, nor any piece of information thought insignificant.

Grasp the moment time is fleeting.




This column will appear each month to note happenings in the lives of SOCCGS members. Please notify the president or Trails editor if you have an item of interest, or know of someone who needs a special card or phone call.

Trying Times

Pat Weeks is recovering from double bypass surgery. We will be missing her for six to eight weeks. Cards have been sent to Emily Allison and Bernice Brenner, neither of who has been well.

Memorable Moments

Leon and Bunny Smith are presently on the East Coast. Their major destination is Jamestown for the 400th Anniversary Celebration. Ruby White will be on a tour of England, Scotland and Wales. At the tour’s conclusion she is going to Harefordshire searching for her Lewis family. Congratulations to Marcia Roy who is graduating May 30 from California State University, Long Beach with a degree in Social Work. In May and June.




The award winning and popular genealogy booth will be back again this year at the Orange County Fair July 13th to August 5th. Fairgoers who are interested in learning more about their “roots” receive information about genealogy meetings, resources and libraries in the area, and get assistance from knowledgeable researchers.

Volunteers from the major genealogy groups in Southern California are being asked to assist in staffing the booth. A general knowledge of genealogy is all that is needed, since staff is there essentially to hand out resource materials and answer general questions, not to act as a genealogy tutor or assist people in their research. The reward is being able to see others getting excited about something we all already acknowledge as a passion! Many of last years’ volunteers mentioned how much fun they had staffing the booth, meeting people and sharing their knowledge.

Volunteers work a four or four and one-half hour shift and have the rest of the day to enjoy the fair. Free parking and fair entry are provided for each day a volunteer works. A free shuttle is provided between the volunteer parking lot and the fairgrounds. The fair is open 10 am to midnight on Saturday and Sunday, and noon to midnight on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. The theme of the fair this year is “Cowabunga! The Year of the Herefords, Surfers and Sand.”  The genealogy booth theme is “Cowabunga! Catch the Wave of Family History.

Each participating genealogy society will have the opportunity for free advertising by displaying a banner at the booth and/or providing handout materials about their group’s meetings and activities.

Sign up sheets will be available at SOCCGS May 19 meeting.

Questions? Or to volunteer now, please contact Norma Keating: or 714-319-5994


Indexers Needed To Help Digitize Granite Mountain Vault Records

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is in the process of digitizing 5 billion genealogical records stored in the Granite Mountain Vaults near Salt Lake City. These records will be connected to, the Church's website and one of the preeminent genealogy sites on the Web. Tens of thousands of volunteers are at work helping to index the collection and more are needed. To volunteer for the project, visit the following website:


Norwegian Research

Digitalarkivet (Digital Archives): National Archives of Norway - If you're tracing your Norwegian heritage, this website is a good place to start. It has migration, court, church, census, and military records; emigrant lists; maps; real estate books; and registers of conveyances and mortgages. It also has maps, online exhibitions, forums, an article on tracing your ancestry in Norway, and a directory of links to additional resources.


Start Writing Your Family History!

“Your genealogy source for ideas and resources to bring your family history to life.”



When you tell the story of your past, you inspire others to succeed.

When you tell the story of your future, you inspire yourself to succeed.

~ Lee Pound




Check out some of the new additions to They include:

The Reconstructed 1790 Census of Georgia

The Census Tables for the French Colony of Louisiana from 1699 through 1732

The Canary Islands Migration to Louisiana, 1778-1783

A List of the Early Settlers of Georgia

Alabama Notes, Vol. IV

Index to Alabama Wills, 1808-1870

Genealogies of Connecticut Families from The New England Historical and Genealogical Register: Vol. I, II & III

Scotland Census in its entirety, all seven available census years spanning 1841 to 1901.



May 12 – San Diego Genealogical Society’s All-Day Seminar & Luncheon featuring Dick Eastman. A registration form can be found on the SDGS Web Site at Reservations must be received by May 7th.

May 28Memorial Day Observance, 11 a.m. at El Toro Memorial Park, 24751 Trabuco Road, Lake Forest.

June 8, 9 & 10 - Southern California Genealogical Society’s 38th Annual Genealogy Jamboree and Resource Expo. For more information and/or registration visit the website at

June 23-24, 2007 - San Diego Scottish Highland Games and Gathering of the Clans, at Brengle Terrace Park, 1200 Vale Terrace Drive, Vista. For more information:

June 23 & 24 - Southern California Irish Fair and Music Festival at Irvine Meadows.

July 13 – August 5 – Orange County Fair (Genealogy Booth)

October 21 - SOCCGS Family History Seminar, featuring John Colletta



        THANK YOU to those who have already shared items for the newsletter. They will be printed as space allows. We have had several articles submitted, however, many more of you surely have ancestor stories to share. How about that “great find” which would be of special interest to us all? We would also like to print special recipes, which may be from the “olden days”, or a current favorite. Queries will be included in order to assist members in their search for genealogy information.

        The deadline for articles is Wednesday following the monthly meeting. Items may not always appear in the immediate newsletter. Don’t want to write a whole article? Simply submit the basic facts and background information and we will put it together. Items may be sent via email or Word attachment. All submissions are subject to editorial approval and may be edited. Send to:



Please inform the membership chairman of any changes in your contact information. (Verl Nash – Since the newsletters are sent by bulk mail, they are not forwarded. They are returned “postage due.” If your mail is held while you are out of town they are also returned to us. Let us know and we can hold, or send them first class.



         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

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


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