Saddleback Valley Trails

South Orange County California Genealogical Society

Vol. 19 No. 5

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

May 2012

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 19 MAY 2012

Finding Your Ancestors in English Parish Registers

Presented by
David Flint

This program will focus on finding records of baptisms, marriages and burials in Church parish registers in England. We will explore the importance of location in doing English parish research, and some useful finding aids for locating your ancestor’s parish. David will use examples from his own family research to illustrate key points, customs, and historical developments in Church registers and record keeping requirements, and how the detail found in register entries changed over time. There will also be discussion of useful websites and other resources to help you find your ancestors in English parish registers.

About the Speaker: David Flint was born in England and moved with his family to Canada at the age of ten. He has lived in the United States for more than 50 years. He became interested in genealogy through a work conference, and has been researching his own family’s genealogy in England for the past 10 years, developing a particular interest in researching Church of England Parish Registers. Since retiring in 2008, David regularly attends genealogy lectures and seminars around Southern California, and is a member of all three genealogy societies in Orange County. David is currently the Vice-President and Program Chairman for SOCCGS.


Safari News

The Cole Genealogy Library in Carlsbad is the destination for the Safari on May 23rd. We will leave the LDS parking lot at 9:30 a.m. This library has one of the finest genealogy collections in Southern California. Preparation is the key to making any research trip successful. You may bring lunch, or be prepared to drive a short distance to a local eatery. Don’t forget $$ for your driver. There are no plans for dinner on the way home. Contact Bill Bluett to reserve a spot.

Go to their research page for additional information regarding their fabulous genealogy collection at:

If you want to stay young-looking, pick your parents very carefully.
~Dick Clark (1929-2012)

~This also helps when researching ancestors.

President's Message

~Bill Bluett

This month, I thought that I might put in a plug for our safari trips that take us to locations that range anywhere from as far north as Burbank and south to the City of San Diego. I am going to use one of our more recent longer day trips as an example. Our safari this past March traveled to Burbank. We make this trip at least once each year. Ten folks joined us on this adventure. We even had as many with us when we traveled to the L.A. Public Library this past January. But, this time, we were heading for the Southern California Genealogical Society Library. This facility must have nearly 15,000 books on their shelves covering every state in the Union plus 1000’s more for the British Isles, Canada, and many European countries. There are nearly 30,000 total items in their collection when you include Family Histories, Manuscript files and CD’s. This facility is an excellent resource for all types of genealogy research. A few of our folks specifically made this trip because of the French-Canadian resources that this library has available to the public. There are quite a number of additional special collections that are highlighted on their website. You’ll just have to check them out and browse through their online catalog at for additional information. This year, SCGS will be hosting their 43rd annual JAMBOREE event in June. Many of our members have attended this weekend program in past years. There will be excellent speakers from all corners of the U.S.A. in attendance covering many aspects of genealogy research techniques.

I noticed on the SCGS website that they have a volunteer project underway to recreate the missing 1890 census for Los Angeles County. Wouldn’t it be great if other counties across the country were to undertake a similar project? Maybe some have already done this. I went to GOOGLE to inquire. And, low and behold, I discovered that projects of this type are being worked on through USGENWEB. You can volunteer to work on a State of your choice to re-assemble the 1890 census. How great is that!

Our Burbank safari group worked steadily on their research until the library closed at 4:00 PM. The next time we travel to this facility, we might change from Wednesday to a Tuesday as this library is open until 9:00 PM on that one particular day of the week.

Our next stop was the Burbank Central Library which just happens to be on the way to our dinner stop. Some of our folks browsed the library while others got online with their laptops. This facility had a sizable history collection, but, very little on genealogy.

By 5:45 PM, we were ready to make our way to one of our favorite restaurant stops, CONRADS in Glendale. Every Wednesday, their menu special is a fried chicken dinner for $6.95. The meal includes a half chicken, potato (mashed w/gravy or baked), cold slaw, and rolls with butter and honey. This is one of the premier meals we look forward to each year. If we were to change our Burbank safari day to a Tuesday instead of Wednesday, our chicken dinner would be a dollar more. I guess we could handle that.

On these long journeys to Los Angeles or Burbank, we have usually returned to Mission Viejo by no later than 9:00 PM. We always stop for dinner to avoid the peak traffic period when we travel to the L.A. Public Library, the LDS Family History Research Center in West L.A. or SCGS in Burbank. On shorter trips to Carlsbad, Huntington Beach, the Orange FHS, etc, we are back in time to have dinner at home. So, I would like to encourage each of you to join us on one of our safari journeys. We are very fortunate to live in Southern California and have so many great research facilities right in our own backyard. So, come join us on one of these adventures. We are a fun group to spend the day (and evening) with!

April Meeting

Kerry Bartels gave a presentation on the National Archives - which is now located in Perris, California. Kerry discussed the NARA website as well as the National Archives itself and how the billions of documents in its holdings are organized. Little known and little used documents were also discussed during his presentation. Refreshments: Diane Hearne, Judith Ryu, Pat Weeks, and Barbara Wilgus. Guests: David Keleman.


New Member: David Keleman - – Researching: Keleman - Austro Hungary, Rosen – Lithuania, Kimelman – Austria, and Danovitz – Ukraine.

Brick Walls & Genealogy Research Suggestions

Naomi McCabe says that there are interesting exhibit changes that have taken place at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library. Folks might want to consider a visit to this facility.
Carol Lobo has ancestors that were located in Michigan in 1864 and show up in San Francisco in 1867. How would they have most likely traveled to their new location?
Jackie Hanson shared that Carol’s ancestors may have traveled by water to New Orleans. Then, sailed to Panama, crossed the Isthmus, and sailed on the Pacific to San Francisco. Or, they could have traveled overland if they had a lot of furnishings – which could take at least 4 to 5 months.
Victoria Crane has ancestors that were in the more northern part of Saskatchewan, Canada. Because the area is so remote, could they have been overlooked in the Canadian census in the early 1900’s? She cannot find them.
Sherry Penland has a newer version of the Family Tree Maker program and needs help in correctly merging the files so that nothing is lost in the process.
Judy Malone is looking for additional “Ships Manifest” information.
Kerry Bartels shared that private sources hold ships logs and company records. You can e-mail Kerry at for additional help in locating this type of information.

The Totes are Here

~Jim Thordahl – Ways and Means Chairman

That’s right; if you missed the announcement, the totes are here, and they will be available at the SOCCGS meeting again in May. These stylish totes are a handy size and sport our logo in a pretty blue color. What a great way to “show our colors,” and for you to tell the world about your participation in genealogy with the South Orange County California Genealogical Society. Also, take note of the story behind our logo that you will find on a card in your tote. Although this topic is under the Ways and Means heading, your board is happy to offer them for promotion – virtually at cost - only $4.00.


The website, has many images of out of copyright county history books that can be downloaded for free so you can view them at your own pace. At the website, click on the lower right in the “Texts” area. Enter a county and state in the search box at the top of the “Texts Page” and click “Go”. Choose a book to view. On the left side of the book page is a list of ways to view and download a book. This site is different from which is being acquired by

National Archives Guide to Family Research

The National Archives issued a press release regarding a new 160 page guide to conducting family research at the archives.

The Foundation for the National Archives announced the publication of the book, Genealogy Tool Kit: Getting Started on Your Family History at the National Archives, written by National Archives genealogy archives specialist John P. Deeben. This 160-page step-by-step guide was published by the Foundation and launched in April 2012 to coincide with the celebration of the National Archives’ release of the 1940 U.S. Census. The foundation has long supported research at the National Archives, including its annual support of the Archives’ Genealogy Fair, and the development of genealogy products such as this toolkit, and other archival and research-oriented items.

Order the book at: or call (202) 357-5271 to order by telephone.

Southern California Genealogical Society - 2012 Webinar Series

May Webinars:
16 May 2012, 6pm PDT – Building a Research Toolbox – Thomas MacEntee

The live broadcast of each session is open to the public and FREE to all (space is limited to 1000 attendees). Webinars are recorded, archived, and available for the next twelve months day or night to SCGS members, in the members-only section of the SCGS website.


Only had an eighth-grade education: A Final Exam from 1895

Remember when grandparents and great-grandparents stated that they only had an 8th grade education? Could any of us have passed the 8th grade in 1895?

Only had an eighth-grade education: A Final Exam from 1895

Grammar (Time, one hour)

  1. Give nine rules for the use of capital letters.
  2. Name the parts of speech and define those that have no modifications.
  3. Define verse, stanza and paragraph.
  4. What are the principal parts of a verb? Give principal parts of 'lie,’ 'play,' and 'run.'
  5. Define case; illustrate each case.
  6. What is punctuation? Give rules for principal marks of punctuation.
  7. (to 10) Write a composition of about 150 words and show therein that you understand the practical use of the rules of grammar.

Arithmetic (Time, 1 hour 15 minutes)

  1. Name and define the Fundamental Rules of Arithmetic.
  2. A wagon box is 2 feet deep, 10 feet long, and 3 feet wide. How many bushels of wheat will it hold?
  3. If a load of wheat weighs 3,942 lbs., what is its worth at 50cts/bushel, deducting 1,050 lbs. for tare?
  4. District No. 33 has a valuation of $35,000. What is the necessary levy to carry on a school seven months at $50 per month and have $104 for incidentals?
  5. Find the cost of 6,720 lbs. of coal at $6.00 per ton.
  6. Find the interest of $512.60 for 8 months and 18 days at 7 percent.
  7. What is the cost of 40 boards 12 inches wide and 16 feet long at $20 per metre?
  8. Find bank discount on $300 for 90 days (no grace) at 10 percent.
  9. What is the cost of a square farm at $15 per acre, the distance of which is 640 rods?
  10. Write a Bank Check, a Promissory Note, and a Receipt.

U.S. History (Time, 45 minutes)

  1. Give the epochs into which U.S. history is divided.
  2. Give an account of the discovery of America by Columbus.
  3. Relate the causes and results of the Revolutionary War.
  4. Show the territorial growth of the United States.
  5. Tell what you can of the history of Kansas.
  6. Describe three of the most prominent battles of the Rebellion.
  7. Who were the following: Morse, Whitney, Fulton, Bell, Lincoln, Penn, and Howe?
  8. Name events connected with the following dates: 1607, 1620, 1800, 1849, 1865.

Orthography (Time, one hour)

  1. What is meant by the following: alphabet, phonetic, orthography, etymology, syllabication.
  2. What are elementary sounds? How classified?
  3. What are the following and give examples of each: trigraph, subvocals, diphthong, cognate letters, linguals.
  4. Give four substitutes for caret 'u.'
  5. Give two rules for spelling words with final 'e.' Name two exceptions under each rule.
  6. Give two uses of silent letters in spelling. Illustrate each.
  7. Define the following prefixes and use in connection with a word: bi, dis-mis, pre, semi, post, non, inter, mono, sup.
  8. Mark diacritically and divide into syllables the following and name the sign that indicates the sound: card, ball, mercy, sir, odd, cell, rise, blood, fare, last.
  9. Use the following correctly in sentences: cite, site, sight, fane, fain, feign, vane, vain, vein, raze, raise, rays.
  10. Write 10 words frequently mispronounced and indicate pronunciation by use of diacritical marks and by syllabication.

Geography (Time, one hour)

  1. What is climate? Upon what does climate depend?
  2. How do you account for the extremes of climate in Kansas?
  3. Of what use are rivers? Of what use is the ocean?
  4. Describe the mountains of North America
  5. Name and describe the following: Monrovia, Odessa, Denver, Manitoba, Hecla, Yukon, St. Helena, Juan Fernandez, Aspinwall and Orinoco.
  6. Name and locate the principal trade centers of the U.S. Name all the republics of Europe and give the capital of each.
  7. Why is the Atlantic Coast colder than the Pacific in the same latitude?
  8. Describe the process by which the water of the ocean returns to the sources of rivers.
  9. Describe the movements of the earth. Give the inclination of the earth.

Notice that the exam took FIVE HOURS to complete. Gives the saying 'he only had an 8th grade education' a whole new meaning.

Coming October 20th

Loretto Dennis (Lou) Szucs will be our seminar guest speaker for 2012. Lou is currently the executive editor and vice president of community relations for ANCESTRY.COM. She holds a degree in history and has been involved in genealogical research, teaching, lecturing, and publishing for more than thirty years and was previously employed by the National Archives. Lou has been interviewed for the PBS Ancestry series and has appeared on numerous TV networks including ABC News, CNN News, and the ABC television show “The View”. Her topics for our seminar will be as follows:

“What’s New and How to Best Use” – With more than seven billion records and always growing, is home to a treasure house of stories and clues about your ancestors. This presentation covers new collections and the very best techniques for finding them.

“Beyond names and Dates: Finding Biographical Details” – We’re often so excited when we find new names and dates that we add them to the family tree without thinking to look further into their lives. Behind names and dates are the stories of people who were living, breathing human beings and whose stories are worth finding and preserving. This presentation is designed to explore and make the most of records that will help us and others to understand ourselves and our past.

“Finding Naturalizations, Passenger Lists and Immigrant Origins” – Some amazing details and clues are waiting to be found in personal, local, county, state and federal collections. This presentation is based on 30 years of personal and professional research from experience as an archives specialist for the National Archives.

“A Dozen Ways to Jumpstart Your Family History Project” – With so many new sources and methods popping up, it’s hard to keep up with it all. This presentation is designed to stay on top of it all, and if your project is in a rut, to provide some tried and proven tips to get your research moving down the road again.

Ralphs Community Contribution Program

Jim Thordahl – Ways & Means Chairman

Thanks to supporters of this generous program your SOCCGS’ treasury garnered $268.19 for the last quarter (DEC-JAN-FEB). This is a new high. The 37 households who participated were: Abrams, Barry, Crayne, Crowley, D. M. (initials only), Dill, Dunk, Flint, Freund, Gahran, Harley, Inouye, Keyser, Larsen, Luckman, Matt, Mauzey, Mc Queen, McGuigan, Murtha, Nash, Naylor, Penland, Petrime, Poff, Reinhold, Rottenberg, Ryu, Schwarz, Sheean, Taylor, Thordahl, Weeks, White, Wilgus, Witte and one for whom information was incomplete.

If you have questions, call: (949)-492-5334 or e-mail:

Newsletter Submissions

~Gary Schwarz, Editor

I wish to thank members who have submitted articles for publication 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.

Free State Vital Record Lookups

A few states have taken their vital records online. These are mostly births and deaths, but sometimes marriages and divorces as well. Diligent state bureaucrats or dedicated volunteers from historical societies and the like have entered millions of records into online databases or better yet, scanned actual images of birth or death certificates, and all the wonderful information they contain. And they've done all this for your benefit, just so you can look up vital records online, and fill in more of your family history. The best of what the states have to offer are listed here, in reverse alphabetical order (because why should WV always be last?):

West Virginia Death Index 1917-1958. Coverage here varies by county; also includes some birth and marriage indexes. Actual images of certificates available.

Washington State Digital Archives. There are birth, death and marriage records here, along with census information, military records, and a host of other information. Coverage is very variable.

Utah Death Index, 1905-1956. Database includes digitized images of the death certificates. Also check out the "Utah Burials Search".

Oregon Death Index, 1903-1930. Basic information here: Name, date of death, county, and certificate number.

Ohio Death Index, 1913-1944. Just the basics here. Lookup is free, the certificate will cost you.

North Dakota Department of Health's Death Index from 1881-one year before present. You must specify date of death within a ten year period in order to get search results (why oh why did you do that, NDDOH?).

New York City Death Index for 1891-1948 (big enough that I'm counting it as a state, even though it's only a city)

Missouri Death Certificates, 1910-1958 (with images). Also check out "pre-1910 birth (including stillbirths) and death records".

Minnesota Death Certificates, 1904-2001, from the Minnesota Historical Society. Search and results are free, but there is a charge for an actual copy of the death certificate. You can also search the "Minnesota state census" for 1849-1905.

The Maryland State Archives Death Index (1898-1951) offers county by county lookups of death records. There are also separate databases for Baltimore covering death records from 1875-1972. The set-up here is cumbersome, but worth playing around with if you have family history in Md.

Kentucky's online vital records include a death index (1911-1992) and a marriage and divorce index for 1973-1993. Information is largely limited to name, place and date, with pointers to the original off-line files.

Illinois State Archives has a pretty incredible collection of not only birth and death records, by poorhouse records, court case, probates, and much more. Their Global Search" allows name- searching of all databases at once.

Idaho's digital archives include death records, though these appear to be excerpts from the freely available "SSDI" database.

Delaware's online Probate Records Database offers up a hodge-podge of personal history usually having to do with a person's death, and the disposition of their estate. Click on Preface for an explanation of the database.

The Arizona Genealogy Birth and Death Certificates site is very nice, very fast, and includes actual images of birth and death certificates for births that occurred at least 75 years ago, and deaths that occurred at least 50 years ago. In addition to including individual names, the database lookup includes parents' names as well.

Consanguinity – degree of relationship in descending from a common ancestor.

2011 Genealogy Events

June 8–10: Southern California Genealogical Society Jamboree

June 14-17: 2012 American Historical Society of Germans from Russia Annual Convention, Portland, Oregon

July 18-22: 42nd Annual Germans from Russia Heritage Society International Convention, Bismarck, North Dakota

Oct 20: South Orange County California Genealogical Society Seminar.

Genealogical Definition

Dower – legal provision of real estate and support made to the widow for her lifetime from a husband’s estate.
Dowry/Dowery – land, money, goods, personal property brought by a bride to her husband in marriage.

Orange County Jewish Genealogical Society: April 29 – “History of Jews in Orange County”, presented by Dalia Taft, archivist of the Orange County Jewish Society, please RSVP to Sandy Bursten (, (949) 854-8854 for time and location.

Family Search Indexing for the 1940 Census

We are urging our SOCCGS members to help index the 1940 census which will be coming out on April 2, 2012. This is sponsored by and the index will be free. Herb Abrams has been appointed administrator for our SOCCGS indexing group and he asks members to sign up. Go to the web site at to sign up. Review detailed instructions in the March Newsletter found at

Except for the occasional heart attach, I never felt better.

~Dick Cheney



President, Seminar & Safari
Chairman_______________________________ Bill Bluett___________________
Vice President / Program Chairman _____ David Flint___________________
Recording Secretary____________________ Pat Weeks_____________________
Corresponding Secretary________________ Marilyn Kowalski______________
Treasurer______________________________ Mary Jo McQueen_______________
Historian______________________________ Pat Christiansen______________
Hospitality____________________________ Barbara Heebner_______________
Hospitality____________________________ Sharon Keener_________________
Librarian______________________________ Bunny Smith___________________
Membership_____________________________ Jack Naylor___________________
Newsletter Editor______________________ Gary Schwarz__________________
Parliamentarian________________________ Pat Christiansen______________
Publicity / Webmaster__________________ Herb Abrams___________________
Ways & Means___________________________ Jim Thordahl__________________  

SOCCGS Website @
Mail List:
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.
 City_____________________________________ State_______ Zip _____________ Phone__________________
 Email address:__________________________________________________________________________________
 Make check payable to: SOCCGS
 Mail with application to: SOCCGS, P.O. Box 4513, Mission Viejo, CA 92690


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