Saddleback Valley Trails

South Orange County California Genealogical Society

Vol. 18 No. 5

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

May 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 21 May 2011

“Preserving Your Heirlooms”
Presented by
Hal Horrocks

This program will provide an overview of how to preserve those heirlooms that have been passed down through your family. All forms of treasures will be examined, including photographs, furniture, clothing and documents.

About the Speaker: Hal Horrocks has been doing family research for 12 years, and is a genealogist, teacher, and lecturer. He is a member of the Southern California Chapter-Association of Professional Genealogists, Genealogical Speakers Guild, Orange County California Genealogical Society, Genealogical Society of North Orange County California, Guild for One-Name-Studies, Manchester & Lancashire Family History Society (UK), and Cheshire Family History Society (UK). Hal is currently Vice President of OCCGS in charge of Programs and teaches most of the Intermediate/Advanced classes.  He also created and maintains a website for Horrocks surname genealogy researchers from around the world.

Safari News

Our destination on May 25th will be the Orange Family History Center located on South Yorba Street in the City of Orange. You can check out their website for information regarding their collection holdings, We’ll be leaving the LDS Church parking lot at 9:30 A.M. Keep in mind that it is a couple of miles distance for eating out if you do not bring a lunch. Don't forget $$ for your driver. Contact Bill Bluett at (949) 492-9408 to reserve a spot.

May 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 is scheduled to start in May, so during the construction project, the meeting will be held in the main Family History Center Building.

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

Our surname list has 951 surname list entries submitted by 63 members. New and long time members are encouraged to add information by sending an email to Herb listing surnames, locations and years being researched. Herb at or (949) 581-6292.

“Facts are stubborn things.”            A fact well known to genealogists.
        ~Ronald Reagan

President's Message

~Bill Bluett

Last month, I spoke about the extensive collection of periodicals that are on the shelves at the Cole Library in Carlsbad. There is always the possibility of finding new information about your ancestors in periodicals that are printed monthly, bi-monthly, or quarterly. You will find many different newsletters, bulletins, or journals produced by historical and genealogical societies. I believe that Carlsbad may have at least a few periodicals for nearly every state in the Union. I had a fantastic find a few years ago for my wife’s Amish-Mennonite ancestors that were featured in the Mennonite Family History magazine. I’ll briefly share that experience with you in a moment.

I would first like to bring your attention to the Heritage Quest website that we have available at our research center in the Mission Viejo Library, but also remind you this website can be accessed on your home computer, if you have a Carlsbad Library card. Carlsbad Library currently has Heritage Quest and Footnote on their website and the library card is free. You do not have to be a resident of San Diego County. The Heritage Quest site can be utilized for researching periodical articles that may be of interest to you. When you open the website, click on “SearchPERSI”. You can search for people, places, or periodical titles. Then, browse the titles of periodicals by using the alphabetical listing that is available. Once you find a newsletter of interest, click on the title and a listing of volumes and issues will come up. A listing of known repositories will also be indicated. All periodicals listed are at the Allen County Library in Indiana. Many may be found locally at the Los Angeles Public Library. Clicking on any issue will give you a listing of the article titles from that particular publication. If you would like to have a copy of a particular article, it can be ordered through the Allen County Public Library by using the “request form” option provided on the “article detail” page. This library has more than 5100 current subscriptions including tens of thousands of article titles. Just as a reminder, our October 15th seminar guest speaker, Curt B. Witcher, is the Manager of the Historical Genealogy Department at the Allen County Public Library located in Indiana. It will be an honor to have him speak to our group. Curt is a very knowledgeable and entertaining speaker.

Now, I will share my “genealogy moment” regarding periodicals. A few years ago, I was looking through the Mennonite Family History magazines at the Carlsbad Library and I came across a series of articles about my wife’s ancestors – the Eymann family. Two contributors to the magazine, Neil Ann Stuckey Levine and Lorraine Roth, embarked on a project to profile 10 Anabaptist families from the area around Strasbourg in Bis-Rhin, Alsace, France. The Eymann family (which has been spelled Eimann and is currently spelled Eimen) was selected because of a bible brought to America by the Eymann and Roth families. The bible is now on display at the Mennonite Historical Society of Iowa Museum in Kalona (20 miles south of Iowa City). The Bible was published in Zurich, Switzerland, in 1554. Buried on some original pages is handwritten documentation that gives a remarkable chronicle of private ownership of the bible by various individuals from the Eymann and Roth families. A series of three articles were written for the magazine. The first documented the history and ownership of the bible. The second article documented the Eimen (Eymann) genealogy including a full-page copy of Helen’s (my wife) great-great grandparent’s marriage certificate from 1826 in Ste. Croix en Plaine, Alsace, France. The third article documented the Roth genealogy. In all, the three articles added up to a total of 37 pages of history and documentation. How could I have ever researched this information on my own? These families came through New York in the 1850’s and ultimately settled in Ontario, Canada. Eventually, many of the family members immigrated to the United States and settled in Central Illinois. By the 1870’s, Helen’s ancestors (and others) came to Southeastern Iowa and settled south of Iowa City. My father-in-law was raised in a Mennonite home, but as a young man, he and most of his brothers broke away from the church and joined more mainstream denominations. I believe all of their sisters remained with the Mennonite Church. My wife still has many Mennonite cousins that we visit with when we travel to Iowa.

Helen and I are indeed forever grateful for the research and the articles that were put together by Neil Ann Stuckey Levine and Lorraine Roth. They provided us with the link we needed “across the pond”. So, don’t forget to look through those periodical magazines. You just never know what information you may find that will enhance your genealogy research.


New Members: Barbara Perez of Temecula, California - – is researching: Lite, Bennett, Pearson, Nelson, Olson, Sibbitt, McClure, Noble and Morton.

"Coming October 15th"

Curt B. Witcher, Manager of the Historical Genealogy Department at the Allen County Public Library in Indiana, will be our featured seminar speaker. He will give four interesting and informative presentations during this event. A brief description of each topic is as follows:

“Doing the History Eliminates the Mystery” – This presentation will be an explanation and demonstration of how researching all the details of each ancestral family as well as the history surrounding the area can pay significant research dividends. Histories of geographic areas, ethnic and religious groups, migration patterns, and occupations can provide the genealogist with important data as well as pointers to other information.

“Fingerprinting Our Families: Using Ancestral Origins as a Research Key” – The concept of “America, the Great Melting Pot” may really be a flawed concept, and that identifying the particular ethnic group of one’s ancestor can pay significant research dividends. Topics covered include population clusters, various patterns (naming, migration, settlement etc.) as well as locating repositories for various ethnic groups.

“An Ancestor’s Death - A Time for Reaping” – Typically, no other time in our ancestor’s lives is the record creation potentially as high as it is at their death. This talk, complemented with many record examples, spotlights numerous “happenings” surrounding an individual’s death that can generate records.

“The Road Not Taken: Mega Internet Sites, Off the Beaten Path” – The number of genealogy Internet sites continues to grow at an exponential rate. This lecture looks at some large online bibliographic databases genealogists should be using to further their research. Many are important sites for doing more than “surname surfing”. Additionally, this talk also incorporates and demonstrates some successful search strategies.

Chapman Family Association Convention

The Chapman Family Association will hold its 11th annual convention and reunion on June 10 & 11, 2011 at the Salt Lake Plaza Hotel, 122 West South Temple, Salt Lake City, Utah.

The program will consist of a variety of presentations and there will be a photo contest, a silent auction, some sessions at the Family History Library, and a fantastic photo display. Sessions will include sharing information about Chapman Rogues, whether they are ancestors or not, and other historical and genealogical topics.

You need not be a CFA member to attend the convention, but registration is required. Registration can be made onsite and advance registration is recommended. Hotel reservations must be received by May 10, 2011 to get the special rates by mentioning the Chapman Family Association.

Further information is available by contacting one of the following: the CFA website at Go to “Annual Convention” choose “Salt Lake City, Utah,” or contact Liz Codding at

Ralph's Community Contribution Program

~Jim Thordahl – Ways & Means Chairman

Thanks to SOCCGS members involved in this program our treasury garnered $200.55 for the last quarter. The 43 households who participated were: Abrams, Barry, Cramer, Crayne, Crowley, D. (initial only), Dill, Domenick, Elster, Flint, Frankel, Gahran, Harley, Irey, Keyser, Lancey, Larsen, Laventure, Lobo, Luckman, Mauzey, Mc Queen, McGuigan, Merchant, Merritt, Murtha, Nash, Naylor, Nolen, Penland, Poff, Reilly, Reinhold, Roy, Ryu, Schwarz, Sheean, Smith, Thordahl, Weeks, White, Wilgus, Witte.

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. You may also enroll on-line at Please see me at the next meeting for a “Scanbar letter.” A “Scanbar Letter” can also be downloaded from our website. If you have a question call or e-mail:; ph: (949) 492-5334.

“Obsession is a young man’s game, and my only excuse
is that I never grew old.”

~Michael Caine
Does this mean genealogists never grow old?

April Meeting

Speaker: Wendy Bebout Elliot described different land survey methods and where to search for records generated by property dealings: tax records, land transfers, property disputes, slave sales, etc. She also noted what genealogical information might be found on the different types documents. Guests: Yvonne Horton, Bunny Carpenter, Barbara Perez, Brenda Hardiman. Refreshments: Tina Murtha, Joan Petrime, Pat Christiansen, Barbara Heebner.

Brick Walls & Genealogy Research Suggestions

Myrna Hamid McGuigan – Searched on the MOCAVO website for her husband (Jim’s) great grandfather. He was one of 15 children and they only knew the names of three. On MOCAVO, they found one brother’s obituary and the married name of one of the sisters.

Sheila Larson – Has received newspapers on microfilm through the “library loan” system and was wondering where she can print out articles. Some folks suggested the San Juan Capistrano and Aliso Viejo Libraries for microfilm printing or the Orange Family History Center.

Terri Lancey – Found a program called “Just Cuz” (as per cousins). It’s a “PowerPoint” type of program that might be a fun way to get young people interested in their relatives. It could be used in preparing for a family reunion. You can obtain a free copy of this program at:

Gary Schwarz – Will be attending a High School Reunion and is trying to identify names of some of the classmates from grade school. He is not having much luck trying to research school district records in the Los Angeles County area.

Donna Hobbs – By searching on FOOTNOTE, she has found additional Civil War documentation for an ancestor. It was not included in the packet she received from the National Archives.

Diane Hearne – Her father was in the Navy during WWII. She has two volumes of letters written by her parents during that time period. They discuss the war, Roosevelt’s death, money, and the adventures of raising Diane and her brother during the war in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Virginia Dunk – Had an ancestor from Kentucky who served as a Union soldier with Kit Carson in New Mexico during the Civil War. The Navajo were trying to take advantage of the military slack caused by the outbreak of the Civil War.

“If you could kick the person in the pants responsible
for most of your trouble, you wouldn't sit
for a month.”

~Theodore Roosevelt

Newsletter Submissions

~Gary Schwarz - Editor

I wish to thank members who have submitted articles to be published in the newsletter. Please continue to submit your articles of genealogical interest. Short, one or two paragraphs, or long, two or more pages are welcome.

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 800 words, but longer ones can be accommodated. All articles may be edited by the editor, but the preference is not to alter articles. 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

Please go to the SOCCGS Website and study the card catalogue. Is there a book that you would like to access that is not on our list? Is there a state or county that you are interested in that is not represented? Take this opportunity 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.

“Freedom from effort in the present merely means that there has been effort stored up in the past”
~Theodore Roosevelt
Our thanks to those genealogical ancestors who stored their effort for us!

Otis McKinley Abrams

~Herb Abrams

Abrams, Otis McKinley (Mack), (1894-1980) was born in Gillises Mills, Hardin Co., Tennessee, the son of George Dougal Abrams and Hettie Falls Abrams. He attended school there and on finishing high school taught briefly. At the onset of World War I, on 12 Nov 1917, he enlisted in the army at Waynesboro, Tennessee and was sent to Camp Gordon, Georgia for training. He was assigned to Company “A”, 1st Battalion, 307th Engineer Regiment of the 82nd Army Division. The Regiment was sent to France on 19 May 1918. As far as I know, Mack was not involved in combat, but was in the area where the Germans were shelling in the Toul Sector from 25 June to 10 Aug. 1918, Marbache Sector from 17 Aug. to 11 Sept. 1918, St. Mihiel Operation Sept. 12-16 and the Meuse Argonne Offensive from 26 Sept. to 3 Oct. 1918. Company “A” spent most of the time repairing roads, building bridges, concrete pill boxes and shelters and digging foxholes and trenches. On 10 October 1918 the company took over a captured German railroad north of Varennes and operated it in supply service, delivering rations, forage and artillery ammunition to Apremont, Chehery and Cornay for a period of about 2 weeks. Mack came down with malaria while in France and spent time in a French hospital in the village of Bar-le-duc near the town of Nancy. The French doctors cured the malaria and he never had a recurrence. On 15 April 1919 the regiment left France and returned home. Mack was discharged on 21 May 1919 and returned to Waynesboro, Tennessee where his parents lived.

In the fall of 1919 Mack went West - first to the wheat harvest in Kansas and then to Oklahoma. In Shawnee, Oklahoma he got a job with the Santa Fe Railroad as a locomotive fireman on the local switch engine. In 1927 he went back to Tennessee on vacation and while visiting relatives in Lawrenceburg met Lerlie Lee Powell, daughter of Jacob Marion Powell and Nancy Bassham. When Mack returned to Oklahoma, he and Lerlie corresponded by mail for a period of 2 months writing almost daily letters. In April 1927 he went back to Lawrenceburg and proposed marriage. She accepted and they were married 11 April 1927 and spent their honeymoon on the trip back to Oklahoma in Mack's Model A Ford.

Their first child, Mary Carolyn, was born in 1928 followed by Herbert Victor in 1930. Mack and family moved to Cushing, Oklahoma sometime between 1930 and 1935 when Mack got bumped from his job in Shawnee. A second daughter, Anita Jean, arrived in 1935. Shortly thereafter the family moved back to Shawnee where they stayed until 1939. Mack had been promoted to Engineer and was low man in seniority in that position so he got bumped again. This time the family moved to Purcell, Oklahoma in 1939. Purcell was not as large as Shawnee and at first they hated it, but over the years they grew to love the little town and the many friends that they made there. In 1941 a second son, Donald Mack, arrived followed by Gary Wayne in 1943. Mack worked seven days a week to support the family and put all three sons through college.

Mack retired in 1965 after 44 years of service with the Santa Fe Railroad. He enjoyed his retirement years and stayed active well into his 80's. He died on 5 August 1980 and was buried at the Purcell Hillside Cemetery with full military honors.

Italian Demographic

~Ancestry Archives

“Because of the Italian preference for chain migration, most Italians living in any American community came from a specific region or city in Italy.

One of the oldest and largest Italian immigrant aid societies was the Order of the Sons of Italy in America. Their records are currently housed in their lodges, at their national headquarters in Washington, D.C., and at the University of Minnesota’s Immigration History Research Center.”

Genealogy Software

Most genealogy software programs have a reporting function with a variety of pre-defined reports. A “Place” or “Location” Report is especially useful if you are planning a trip or visiting a genealogy library. A place report is a sorted list of places with dates, events and persons names listed at each place they have had an event occur. Most libraries have genealogy books shelved by country, state, county and then city, so the benefit of a place report is increased if it is sorted that way. Follow the descriptions below to generate a place report using some of the more popular software programs:
  • PAF: File, “Print Reports”, “Lists” tab, “Places sorted alphabetically”, Print or Preview.
  • Ancestral Quest: File, “Print Reports and Charts”, “Lists” tab, “Sorted place report”, Print or Preview.
  • Roots Magic: Reports, Lists, Place List, choose (“Print events which occurred in each place”, “reverse place names”, “print place details”), Generate report, then choose the printer icon on the tool bar if a printed copy is desired.
  • Legacy: Choose the “Master” icon on the tool bar, Location, “Sort” button, in “Pre-defined USA Sorts” box select – (Country, State, County, City), OK, check “Sort” box, Close. Choose “Reports” icon on the Tool bar, choose “Books/Other” tab, “Location Report” button, choose ( “Include” tab, choose (“All Locations”, “Master Locations and who uses them”, “Include specific events”), choose (“Options” tab, choose (“Show long location name”, “include RINs”, “Use the current sorted order of the Master Location List”), Preview or Print.
  • Family Tree Maker (FTM) 2005: Choose the “Reports” icon in the Tool bar, “Custom”, choose the “Items to Include” button on the side bar, choose (“birth location” on the left pane and move it to the right pane, choose “birth date” and move it right, choose “name” and move it right ( a panel will pop up (choose Format “Last, First Middle” and then OK) ), press OK again, a report will be generated sorted by (city, county, state, country), to print ( File, Print). Note: At this time a custom method within FTM to sort by country, state, county, city is not available.
  • Reunion: List, Places, choose (Birth, Baptism, Marriage, Death, Burial), check “Reverse Location”, click the “List” button, (Note: at this point a list will appear on the screen sorted Country, State, County and City, but for example, if the person actually only died there, what will appear in the report on the screen for that location is the persons name, their birth date, and their birth location. Double clicking on the name on the report brings up the persons record where one can see the death location matches the sorted location.), to print click on the “Report” button (this will generate the report into a text or MS Word document), send the document to the printer for a printed report.
Newer printers will print four pages on a side of an 8 ½ by 11 sheet of paper at a reduced sized font. Consider using this printer setting to reduce the bulk or number of sheets of paper for the report, after a test to make sure your eyesight or “readers” allow you to read the print.

Genealogical Definitions

Chain Migration - A migration process which depends on a small number of pioneers, who make the first moves to set up a new home in a new place. They send information back home, and this encourages further migration from the originating area to the new place.

Preserving Bibles and Other Old Books

Never put a Bible in the basement, garage or attic.
Never put a Bible upright without lateral support.
Never leave a Bible opened for prolonged periods.
Never let sunlight or harsh lighting contact the Bible
Never keep a Bible in either a humid or extremely dry environment.
Never keep a Bible in an extremely warm environment.
Do keep a Bible at room temperature 68 to 72 degrees.
Do store a Bible flat but make sure it’s kept to its form not canted.
Do maintain humidity as close to 50% as possible.
Do contain the Bible in an archival box.
Do store the Bible near bottom of the closet. (Not the floor (flood) not on top (fire))
Do keep the Bible Record updated with a note inside front cover with family names.
Do choose a responsible guardian to transfer the Bible when you are ready.

2011 Genealogy Events

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,

July 20-24The 41st Annual Germans from Russia Heritage Society International Convention is being held in Spokane, Washington,

August 1-72011 AHSGR Convention presented by The American Historical Society of Germans from Russia in Salt Lake City, Utah,

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.

October 22Clark County Nevada Genealogical Society presents its CCNGS Fall Family History Seminar in Las Vegas, Nevada, “Gardening Your Roots, A Genealogy Series”,


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________________________
Hospitality____________________________ 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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SOCCGS Research Center, Mission Viejo Library

Marguerite Parkway at LaPaz, (949) 470-8498

SOCCGS E-mail:

Use this form to send with your dues payment

South Orange County California Genealogical Society Membership/Renewal Application

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

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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