Saddleback Valley Trails

 South Orange County California Genealogical Society   

Vol. 15 No. 5                          P.O. Box 4513, Mission Viejo, CA. 92690                             May 2008

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.


Next General Meeting

May 17, 2008


“Effective use of L.D.S. Family History Centers”

Presented by

Beth McCarty


     This discourse addresses the effective use of L.D.S. Family History Centers to discover records compiled by others to primary records for research.  The use of major indexes and databases available at the centers will be discussed. The availability of some of these resources on the FamilySearch Internet site will also be included in this presentation.

          Ms. McCarty holds a Bachelors Degree in Education from California State University with a California teaching credential.  She has been doing Genealogical research for over thirty-five years and for More than twenty years has been researching English records.  Beth is a member of Southern California Chapter of the Association of Professional Genealogists.  She is the author a book entitled “Daniel Cobia, 1714, Descendants in America.”  Beth has served as Director of a Family History center for twenty years and is currently Director of the Orange Regional Family History Center.  Her ancestry comes from England, Ireland, Denmark and Norway.


Reasons for to attend the meeting.

Learn new avenues of research.

Meet others who share your interest in Genealogy. 

Refreshments will be served.


Safari News

          On May 28 the safari destination will be the Orange Regional Family History Center, 674 South Yorba Street, Orange. Cars will leave the LDS parking lot at 9:30 a.m. You will need to bring lunch or plan to drive to a local restaurant. Since this research facility is not far we do not plan for dinner on the way home. Some participants may want to spend less time, so perhaps one car can leave earlier. Please plan to pay your driver. The ORFHC has the following research aids available: Copy Machine, 24 Microfilm Readers, 6 Microfiche Readers, 2 Microfilm and Fiche Copiers (to paper, CD, or USB Media), 15 Computers with internet access and subscription services, 3 flatbed Scanners, 18,000 Microfilm reels and 8,900 Books.


October Seminar

          The “SOCCGS Seventh Annual Family History Seminar” will take place on October 18. George G. Morgan will present the following four lecture topics: "25 Places Where Family Facts May Hide," "The U.S. Naturalization Process & Documents: 1790 to 1954," "Bring'em Back to Life: Developing an Ancestor File" and  "Colonial & Early American Land Records: The Process & Evidence.” Registration forms and quilt raffle tickets will be available at the June meeting.


Books are the carriers of civilization.

~ Barbara Tuchman


President’s Message

~Bill Bluett     

          This past month I have been thinking about some of my ancestors who were Civil War veterans, and how fortunate we are that records still exist for those that received pensions. I am sure that a number of you have already acquired those records. For those who have not, I would recommend that you do. When my mother began her genealogy journey nearly 40 years ago, she discovered that several of our ancestors were Union soldiers. Mom received the necessary application forms for requesting pension records from the National Archives in Washington D.C. The three records she requested were for two great-grandfathers, William Paddock, Eugene Stowell and Richard Paddock, William’s brother. They were all volunteers from the State of New York. She received copies of their files in August 1971. I believe it took several months for the order to be filled.

          Now, I have to tell you something about the instructions that were on the form. It read: “ Submit a separate form for each veteran. Do not send payment with your order. You will be billed $1 for each record sent.” ONE DOLLAR! Can you imagine that? Just this past year, the fee was increased to $75 per file! Just think. If I had been earning $10,000 a year in 1971 and my salary increased 75 times by 2008, I would now be earning $750,000 per year. Well, that didn’t happen. I think the National Archives is ahead of inflation on this particular fee.

          But, regardless of the fee, you can find a wealth of information in those records. Mom received about 20 pages of documentation for each file. As I periodically pour over those pages, I find many of the forms are filled out in my ancestor’s own handwriting, with his signature. Also, there is detailed information regarding the date and place of marriage, who married them, and the wife’s maiden name. Not knowing the wife’s name prior to marriage can be a huge “brick wall” for many researchers. Another item included in the packet is the death certificate of the pensioner with the burial location indicated. Now, you can go to GOOGLE MAPS, zoom in, and possibly find the cemetery on the satellite image. And finally, you will find the names and birth dates of the pensioner’s children listed on as least one of the documents. By the time the application was originally filed, the children were adults and the female’s married name appears on the form. So, you can see that there may be many useful pieces of information found in these records.

          To find ancestors who served in the Civil War, look through the indexed set of Ancestry CD’s in our genealogy library. (Civil War Service Records, Case #18.) Or, spend some time at the National Archives in Laguna Niguel. They have hundreds of microfilm rolls with names listed in alphabetical order. Also, the Cole Library in Carlsbad has a large book section covering Civil War enlistments by State as well as many other useful sources of information. You will need to research in order to find in which group your ancestor served when you fill out the application for receiving copies of the pension records. I hope that you will have successful results if you decide to search those files. Good Luck.


Catalog Your Heirlooms

As keeper of the family history, you probably have some family heirlooms scattered around your house. Have you ever taken the time to note their significance? Why not create your own catalog, complete with digital photographs. Tell who the original owner was, whether it was a gift on a special occasion, and any story about the item? You will be helping to ensure that the item doesn't end up on a flea market table once you're gone, and you can also store a copy of your catalog off-site for insurance purposes.


New Books at the Library

The following books have been added to SOCCGS bookshelves courtesy of the

Mission Viejo Chapter, Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR).


Revolutionary Soldiers Buried in Illinois, Harriet J. Walker

Names of Persons Who Took The Oath of Allegiance in Pennsylvania, Wescott, Thompson

Revolutionary Soldiers Buried in Indiana, Margaret Waters

Some of the Earliest Oaths of Allegiance to the U. S., Waldenmaier (Wars, Military)



Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.

~Ralph Waldo Emerson


 “Knowing What Enumerators Were Instructed”

          Searching for American families is pretty easy these days -- especially if you subscribe to the U.S. census records at Just type in the names and narrow the search to a particular census year and state, right?

          Alas, it is not always that simple. And, even when you find them, how can you be sure they are yours, when the ages and other information do not quite match?

          Did our ancestors really lie to the enumerators? Did the census takers "pad" the records? Of course, there is no way to know for sure in a particular instance, but knowing what the rules were and how the answers were suppose to be recorded can make you a better family historian. Such knowledge might enable you to sort out some anomalies you encounter during your census searches.

          The enumerator instructions for the 1850-2000 census years are online and well worth the time to read them in order to understand the questions asked and how the responses were to be recorded. American censuses are available for searching for the years 1790-1930.

          For example, in the instructions for the 1910 U.S. census under "ages of children" the enumerator was instructed to take particular pains to get the exact ages of children. The instructions were that in the case of a child not two years old, the age should be given in “completed months,” expressed as twelfths of a year. If a child was not yet a month old, enter the age as 0/12, but note again that this question should be answered with reference to April 15 [Census Day]. A child who is just a year old on the 17th of April 1910 should nevertheless be returned as 11/12, because that is the age in completed months on April 15.

          So, if you, like many researchers, have assumed that the ages given were those as of the day of the enumerator's visit, take a closer look, noting what the official Census Day was for each census. You might have made an assumption that is erroneous. U.S. Censuses for 1790-1800-1810-1820 had a Census Day of the first Monday in August, which ranged from August 2 to August 7. For the years 1830-1900, Census Day was 1 June. In 1910 it was 15 April; in 1920 it was 1 January; and in 1930 it was 1 April.

          The 1910 instructions pertaining to Column 8 were: Persons who were single on April 15 should be so reported, even though they may have married between that date and the day of your visit; and, similarly, persons who become widowed or divorced after April 15 should be returned as married if that was their condition on that date.

          In Column 12 (place of birth of this person) if the person was born in the United States, give the state or territory (not county, city, or town) in which born. The words "United States" are not sufficiently definite. A person born in what is now West Virginia, North Dakota, South Dakota, or Oklahoma should be reported as so born, although at the time of his birth the particular region may have had a different name.

          Enumerators also were cautioned not to rely upon the language spoken to determine birthplace, noting that this is especially true of German, for "more than one-third of the Austrians and nearly three- fourths of the Swiss speak German. In the case of persons speaking German, therefore, inquire carefully whether the birthplace was Germany, Switzerland, Austria, or elsewhere."

          Also in Column 12, about "mother tongue" can trip you up if you are not aware of the instructions given to the enumerators. They were told that the question "What is your mother tongue or native language?" should be asked of all persons who were born in any foreign country, and the answer should be written in column 12, after the name of the country of birth. In order to save space, the abbreviations (which were indicated on separate "List of foreign countries") should be used for the country of birth, but the language given as the mother tongue should be written out in full. For example, if a person reports that he was born in Russia and that his mother tongue is Lithuanian, write in column 12 Russ.--Lithuanian; or if a person reports that he was born in Switzerland and that his mother tongue is German, write Switz.--German. The name of the mother tongue must be given even when it is the same as the language of the country in which the person was born. Thus, if a person reports that he was born in England and that his mother tongue is English, write Eng.

(Originally published in the RootsWeb Review 9 March 2005.)


“An introduction to U.S. Federal Census Research”



“If wrinkles must be written upon our brows,

Let them not be written on the heart.

The spirit should never grow old.”




“Tips from The Pros”

~D.G. Fulford

Ancestry Weekly Journal, April 2008

          We could all spend an interesting and distracting week discussing everything that can keep a person from a family history project-- ironically something they've always wanted to do.

          Anything can stop a person. I'm not talking about excuses--I'm talking about things as real as today and today's errands. Maybe the dog ate the genealogy chart. Or maybe there are rotten apples on your family tree.

          There is no one around to ask, you say. My stories aren't interesting to tell. It's such a huge process--unfathomable really. I don't know where to begin.

          That's the magic word. Begin. Nothing feels better than finally beginning.  You can get off your own back now. You've begun! The joy flows from there step-by-step, one memory at a time. And then you'll become addicted, because you'll never want to stop.



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


April Meeting

          Over sixty members and guests were in attendance to hear the lecture given by Mary Jo McQueen. A special guest provided an appropriate introduction to the Scottish presentation. Keegan Hutter, dressed in his McQueen plaid kilt, played a medley of songs on the bagpipe. Keegan is Mary Jo’s grandson.

          Shirley Fraser announced that a Czechoslovakian interest group meets every other month on the first Sunday. The next meeting will be held in June. She may be contacted for more information ( President Bill Bluett told of his success on using the website

          Guests at the meeting were: Carol Crow, Noelle Van Pulis and Paxton Lockhart. Hospitality Chairman, Trish Leard, along with Shirley Good and Judy Ryu provided refreshments.



               We are sorry to report that Ann Ford’s husband, William Ford, passed away on 11 April 2008 at his home in Lake Forest. William Edsel Ford was born 11 January 1931 in Etowah County, Alabama. He was married to Ann Carter 1 June 1962 in El Paso, Texas. Mr. Ford served in the U. S. Army for twenty years. His parents were William Franklin Ford and Eula Susan Allsup. His paternal line goes back to 1835 in Putnam County, Georgia. His great grandmother, Nancy Ann Posey was of Cherokee Indian descent.


Scottish Research Microfilm

          The following Scottish record films were not listed on the April handout. FHL British Film #385261, Indexes to Scotland Voting Registers. FHL Film #559527/28, Scotland Poll Tax Records. FHL Film #559524, Hearth Tax Records. Go for complete descriptions of these films.


May Meeting

          In honor of Mothers Day members are encouraged to bring a picture of a female member of their family tree to share on May 17. Trish Leard, hospitality chairman will set up a special display.



Welcome! Dianne Sanborn, Laguna Hills <> has reinstated her membership. Robert Carmichael, Mission Viejo <>, is the newest member to join the society.


"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



Library Notes

~Bunny Smith, Librarian

The SOCCGS Library has two new CD’s, donated by the Mission Viejo DAR.

          Egle's Notes and Queries of Pennsylvania, 1700s-1800s is the most important multi-volume work on the genealogy, biography, and history of central Pennsylvania ever published. It comprises a total of twelve volumes, included in its nearly 5,000 pages are family sketches, biographies, lists of early settlers and soldiers from the French and Indian to the War of 1812. This work also includes sources like-early wills, church records, marriage and death records, tax lists, and lists of early immigrants and frontiersmen.

          The Colonial New Jersey Source Records, 1600s-1800s includes the records of approximately 330,000 individuals in a collection of church, court, marriage, land, military, and probate records. Made up of images of the pages of nine New Jersey reference works. These include: New Jersey Marriage records 1665-1800; Patents and Deeds and Other Early Records of NJ, 1664-1703; New Jersey Index of Wills, Inventories, etc, in the Office of the Sec of State, 1663-1900; Official Register of Officers and Men of New Jersey in the Revolutionary War; General Index to the Documents Relating to the Colonial History of New Jersey; The Burlington Court Book, A Record of Quaker Jurisprudence in West New Jersey, 1680-1709; Bergen Records of the Reformed Protestant Dutch Church, 1666-1788; and more.



Please send ancestor stories, web site information or items of special interest to the newsletter editor by Wednesday following the monthly meeting. These may be sent via email or Word attachment. All submissions are subject to editorial approval, and may be edited for content or space. Articles should be of genealogical significance. Complete stories, outlines and/or rough drafts will be accepted.         Send to:


“The Clothesline”

(For some of us this will bring back memories.)


1. You had to wash the clothesline before hanging any clothes. Walk the length of each line with a damp cloth around the line.

2. You had to hang the clothes in a certain order and always hung whites with whites and hang them first.

3. You never hung a shirt by the shoulders, always by the tail. What would the neighbors think?

4. Wash day was always on a Monday. We never hung clothes on the weekend or Sunday for heaven’s sake!

5.  Hang the sheets and towels on the outside lines so you could hide your ‘unmentionables’ in the middle.

6.  It didn’t matter if it was sub zero weather, clothes would ‘freeze dry.’ 

7.  Always gather the clothes pins when taking down dry clothes. Clothes pins left on the line was ‘tacky’.

8.  If you were efficient, you would line the clothes up so that each item did not need two clothes pins, but     shared one of the clothes pins with the next washed item.

9.  Clothes off of the line before dinnertime, neatly folded in the clothes basket and ready to be ironed.

10. IRONED?  Well, that’s a whole other subject.

(Shared by Donna Hobbs & Herb Abrams.)


"Ancestors Of Yesterday"

~Sandy Solari


Ancestors of so long ago, I'll search until I find.

Till I can prove and clearly show, that you are truly mine.


I'll follow behind your trail of tears, the hidden footprints of time.

Covered and buried throughout the years, and continue each mountain to climb.


I'll search every faraway seaside shore, and every valley below.

I'll unlock each and every door, as my own teardrops flow.


I'll unearth the buried History of you, and your own Ancestral kin,

I'll search for that all-important clue, and open my heart to let you in.



“Some Websites of Interest to Genealogists”

The Immigrant Servants Database is a project designed to help Americans trace the European origins of their colonial ancestors.


Southern Campaign Revolutionary War Pension Applications


A free LDS Web Page that allows searching records in U.S. and Foreign Countries. Family Search Labs showcases new family history technologies that aren't ready for prime time. They need feedback to help refine new ideas and bring them to market sooner.


The War of the Rebellion: a Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies


Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War National Graves Registration Database.


Online Civil War Indexes, Records & Rosters. This page has a list of military links for different states, mainly Civil War.  Some are pay sites, & Remember we have subscriptions to both at our library.


Two places to search for burials: contains thousands of transcriptions of cemetery records and tombstone inscriptions, from cemeteries in the USA, Canada, England, Ireland, Australia, and New Zealand. Search 22 million grave records or search for a cemetery.


This site is a map lover's dream.


Find your ancestors in death records. Search free databases such as coffin plates, death cards, funeral cards, wills, church records, family bibles, cenotaphs and tombstone inscriptions on this site. Find links to other death records like cemeteries, vital stats, and obituaries. Learn where to find death records off the Net. Site is searchable by state. Kansas State Library. Click on Genealogy Resources


MISSOURI - A webpage with a map and history of St. Louis neighborhoods.


NEW MEXICO - This is a great site, and I think little known. You can find death records here.


And then there's a "Digital Prairie - the "One Stop Shop" for Oklahoma's Online Library Resources" that lets you search and find all the holdings of the Oklahoma Library System, and more.


Rudy's List of Archaic Medical Terms. A Glossary of Archaic Medical Terms, Diseases and Causes of Death.

The Genealogist's Resource for Interpreting Causes of Death.


Click on “maps” for Library of Congress map collection.


Put “Browsing Old Cemeteries” into Google to find some fascinating inscriptions on old tombstones.


The History of Scottish Tartans & Clans Tartans


Thanks to members Kathy Mauzey, Pat Weeks, Donna Hobbs, Eugene Cramer, Jack Naylor, Herb Abrams & Shirley Fraser for sharing the information on this page.




WORLD VITAL RECORDS, now available on SOCCGS computers, is a growing collection of birth, death, military, census and parish records. They now have thousands of databases online and will be adding over 10,000 new databases in the next few months.


SOCCGS Family History Seminar, featuring John Colletta



“Chasing Your Ancestors ‘Round the U. K. & Ireland.”

Dr. Eakle will present four lectures at the seminar on August 25 at the Veterans Memorial Complex, 4117 Overland Avenue, Culver City. Advance registration is required and none accepted after August 10. For information: Lydia Jeffrey; email Annie Lloyd; susa.



2008 United Scottish Society Highland Games at Costa Mesa

Orange County Fairgrounds

Memorial Day Weekend - May 24-25, 2008


June 21-22 – Great American Irish Fair & Music Festival, Irvine Meadows -

June 27-29 – SCGS Jamboree, Airport Marriott, Burbank. Register online at www.scgsgenealogy, by mail, or by phone at 818-843-7247.

June 28 & 29 - San Diego Scottish Highland Games & Gathering of Clans, Vista, CA,

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

October 18 – SOCCGS Seminar featuring George Morgan


Member Badges

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Newsletter Editor......................Mary Jo McQueen


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) Check No. __________________

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


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