Saddleback Valley Trails
South Orange County California Genealogical Society

Vol. 11 No. 6 Editor: Mary Jo McQueen June 2004

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

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

Catherine Mikolajczak

At Valley Forge, the number of colonial soldiers who were Irish or of Irish descent range from 30% to 50%. Yet many historians count the beginning of the Irish immigration to the American Colonies with the building of the Erie Canal and the great famines of the mid-1800’s. Although no official immigration records were kept in the 1700’s, the presence of large numbers of Irishmen or people of Irish descent can be proven by rosters of early colonial soldiers; and the testimony of British and Tory officers during Parliamentary Inquiries.

Catherine L. Mikolajczak has always had a love of history and a passion for genealogy. She is a graduate of California State University at Long Beach with a major in history and a minor in English; and has been a teacher for the Long Beach Unified School District for 34 years. She is the immediate past Regent of the Mission Viejo Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution; and past California Division Recording Secretary for the Daughters of the Confederacy. When she began her search for her ancestors back in 1982, she had no idea of just how Irish her ancestors were. Since that time she has discovered Irish ancestors with links to the Indian Wars, the War of 1812, and the American Revolution. This lead her to the topic of her presentation, “Irish participation and presence not only in the mid-1850’s but also in the colonial period of American History.”


July 17.................Connie Moretti, “Learning to Love the Pre-1850 Censuses”
August 21.............Joan Rambo, “Getting the Most Out of Family History Centers”
September 11.......Garage Sale
September 18.......Nancy Huebotter, “Bringing Order Out of Chaos”
October 16.......... Seminar - Bill Dollarhide and Leland Metzler
November 20.......Elaine Alexander, “How to Locate Naturalization Records”


On June 23 interested members will travel to the Carlsbad Library. Please meet at the LDS parking lot by 9:30 a.m. There is no need to make advance reservations for this safari since it is an easy drive and some prefer to take their own cars. We will, however, take a count at the June 19 meeting so that we can inform the library of the approximate number of researchers to expect.

GARAGE SALE , September 11, 2004

OUR ANNUAL SALE IS A MERE THREE MONTHS AWAY! Leon Smith, Ways and Means Chairman reminds us that the date for our annual garage sale is fast approaching. It is not too early to start cleaning out and saving your salable goodies. As in the past, Leon will accept and/or pick up items before the day of the sale. August 28 is the first day items will be accepted.

There was never yet an uninteresting life. Such a thing is an impossibility.
Inside of the dullest exterior, there is a drama, a comedy, and a tragedy.
~ Mark Twain


Mark those October calendars now! SOCCGS is hosting its third annual seminar at the Saddleback Room, Mission Viejo Civic Center. Plans are underway to provide you with another fun and informative genealogy experience. A flyer, with registration and lecture information, will be included in the July newsletter. Following is a bit of information about our seminar speakers:

Mr. Meitzler began publishing local histories in 1982 and is a graduate of the 1982 National Institute on Genealogical Research. He founded Heritage Quest Magazine in 1985. Mr. Meitzler opened the Genealogical Resource Center in Salt Lake City in March of 1991. He has continued to work as an editor of Heritage Quest Magazine. The company was sold to ProQuest in 2001. In January of 2003, the Meitzlers bought back the magazine as well as much of Heritage Quest's retail operations, and now work under the business name of Heritage Creations. In March of 2003, Mr. Meitzler began the publication of Genealogy Bulletin (edited by William Dollarhide), which had not been published in paper form for three years. As a highly regarded speaker, he has given over 2000 lectures on genealogical subjects to national, state and local genealogical groups.

William Dollarhide is a member of the Heritage Quest staff. A genealogist since 1971, he started the Dollarhide Systems for Genealogical Records and founded the Genealogy Bulletin, a Heritage Quest publication since 1994. In addition to his Bulletin articles, he writes features for Heritage Quest Magazine.

Mr. Dollarhide is a compelling speaker and has been recognized for his genealogical merits by numerous organizations. He is the author of seven best-selling books: Managing a Genealogical Project, Genealogy Starter Kit, Map Guide to the U.S. Federal Censuses, 1790-1920 co-authored with William Thorndale, Map Guide to American Migration Routes 1735-1815, British Origins of American Colonists 1629-1775, America's Best Genealogy Resource Centers co-authored with Ronald Bremer, The Census Book: A Genealogist's Guide to Federal Census Facts, Schedules and Indexes.


Patrick McShane has agreed to volunteer as a substitute docent at the SOCCGS library. Thank you Patrick! Substitutes are extremely important. They make it possible for others to sign up for regular shifts knowing a sub is available if needed.


We welcome five new members who joined our society at the May meeting: Warren G. Bruns,,searching BRUNS, OLTJENBRUNS, MEYER, RICHTER, HONEY; Ruth Duncan,, DUNCAN - Northfield, Ohio, JENKINS - Virginia, Tennessee & Missouri, HEIDEL (HEYDEL) - Germany, Kansas, Illinois, & Missouri, KAMPEN/REIMER - Germany, REIMER - Germany & Missouri, HAMMOND - Virginia, LALK -Missouri; Gary Giddings,, MILLER in Rhode Island and BATES in Louisiana; Janey Saavedra, PITTMAN in Missouri; Mary L. Bump,, WELKER in Pennsylvania & Virginia, BUMP in Ohio.


Corrections and additions: Teresa Lancey,
Note: 2004 membership lists will be available for members to purchase at the June meeting. Cost is thirty five cents each.


Over fifty were in attendance May 15 to hear Dawn Thurston explain how to write a family history that will be pleasant to read. More than basic facts must be written. Researching where and how our ancestors lived, then adding that information to the facts, should make your family history enjoyable to read. Guests joining us were: Paul Swanson, Mike Lawlor, Bobbie Kamae, June Moyer, Kathie Moyer and Barbara Guthrie. We invite them to visit us again and, perhaps, join our group.

YOUR ANCESTOR WAS..... by Michael John Neill

At one point in time, all of our ancestors were living, breathing humans. Sometimes in our search for records and answers this crucial fact is forgotten. I would like to discuss several facts and characteristics of individuals that can cause them to be listed in records (or even sometimes to be omitted). Are there features of your ancestor that you are overlooking? Remember that your ancestor lived in an actual time and in an actual place and interacted with other people. Perhaps these features or these interactions have generated additional records.

Your Ancestor Was Born
Have you looked for birth records (both civil and church)? Have you looked for baptismal records?

Your Ancestor Was Married (Probably)
Have you looked for complete marriage records (both civil and church)? Have you looked for marriage bonds and marriage banns? Was there a notice in the newspaper?

Your Ancestor Died
Have you looked for death records (both civil and church)? Have you looked for cemetery or sexton's records and obtained the information on the tombstone? Have you looked for probate and will files and guardianship records on any minor children?

Your Ancestor Owned Land
Have you found records indicating how the land was obtained and how the land was transferred from your ancestor's ownership? Have you looked for property tax records? Have you looked for county plat books or atlases, which may provide additional information on the property?

Your Ancestor Paid Taxes
The census taker may miss your ancestor, but the taxman usually does not. Personal property or real estate tax records may help you establish when your ancestor resided in a certain area, when he died, or when he obtained property.

Your Ancestor Was Not Home When the Census Taker Came to the Door
Did a child answer the door AND the census questions that soon followed? Did an uncertain neighbor answer the questions instead of a family member? The census will not tell you who provided the information or how reliable of a source they were.

Your Ancestor Had Neighbors
Do records on these neighbors--particularly land, probate files, or court records--mention your ancestor? Perhaps he is mentioned as sharing a property line, purchasing items at an estate sale, or testifying at a trial.

Your Ancestor Was an Immigrant
Are there records of his arrival? Are there records of departure in the country from which she came? Are there records of a declaration of intent or naturalization?

Your Ancestor Was a Citizen
Are there records of the ancestor voting or serving on a jury? If so, these records may help you approximate the year of birth for your ancestor.

Your Ancestor Was a Revolutionary Patriot
If so, there may be records of oaths of allegiance, military service, or military pension. The National Archives ( or appropriate state archives may have additional information.

Your Ancestor Was a Civil War Soldier
If so, there may be Federal or state records of his service and Federal records of his pension if he was a Union soldier. If his service was Confederate, there may be state pension records.

Your Ancestor Was Well-Known Locally
Have you read the gossip columns of the local paper where your ancestor lived? There may be significant information on your ancestor contained in these columns, which are typically more valuable for smaller papers.

Your Ancestor Was Less Than Dirt Poor
Perhaps the poor farm or almshouse registers will mention him and his family. In some cases, particularly before the American Revolution, church records may make mention of widows and other families unable to support themselves. Was your ancestor forced to farm her children out to strangers in order to keep them fed?

Your Ancestor Was Dishonest
If he got caught, there might be court records or newspaper accounts of his activity. If he did not get caught, what records he did leave behind may be inconsistent or intentionally incorrect.

Your Ancestor Attended Church Regularly
If so, the family may appear in records of the church beyond the typical baptisms, confirmations, marriages, and burial records of many congregations.

Your Ancestor Was Literate
Did she leave any letters or diaries behind as a record of her life and existence? Does her will or her estate inventory mention any books by name?

Your Ancestor Did Not Speak the Language
Consequently was she unable to completely understand questions when asked by various record officials?

Your Ancestor Was Distrustful of the Government
As a consequence did he answer census and other questions incorrectly? Did he try and avoid being listed in any government records at all?

Your Ancestor Had In-Laws
Does your ancestor appear in any of their records, particularly as a witness or a bondsman?

Your Ancestor Was...
...more than just a name in a file. He or she was a breathing, living person. Think about all the events that might have happened in his or her life and determine if any records might have been created in the process. Think about how he or she would have responded to various events in his life and determine if dates of significant events correspond to sudden moves or changes in lifestyle. Remember that if our ancestors were not human, they probably would not be our ancestors!

Copyright 19 May 2004,, Ancestry Daily News


A very old bible was recently brought to the docent desk in hopes that the family could be located. Herb has been doing some searching on the Internet but, so far, the bible has gone unclaimed. The first entry reads:

George Smith & Elizabeth W. Wilson
May 13, 1837 by John Law, Esq. of Philadelphia

From the Ohio Repository (Canton, Ohio) 14 May 1846, page 2:

CALIFORNIA.--A gentleman who arrived at New Orleans from California on the 20th mentions that Capt. Fremont had arrived at New Helvetica, about the 1st of Feb., and had been so fortunate as to discover a new route or pass, by which California can be reached by emigrants in 60 days less time than by the old route via Oregon. This will give a renewed impetus to emigration to California. The Californians have almost entirely thrown off their allegiance to the Central Government of Mexico. There is a strong tide of emigration pouring in from the States by way of Oregon. Some leave this country with a view in the outset to settle there, but there is yet a greater influx of disappointed emigrants to Oregon, who wander on further south in search of better lands and happier skies. ---Adam's Sen.

From the Ohio Repository (Canton, Ohio) 12 May 1852, page 2:

Famine is destroying the population in some portions of Germany, according to late accounts. Not long ago, Prussia was the granary from which France and England drew supplies of food, but now, it is said, France is sending corn to Prussia by sea and land. ---Sandusky Weekly Register.


The Family History Library in Salt Lake City will be undergoing extensive remodeling this summer, which will affect the availability of some collections at times. For the renovation schedule, see

The family is one of nature's masterpieces.
~ George Santayana


SOCCGS Purchases:

Land & Property Research In The United States, E. Wade Howe (From the book jacket: Bill Dollarhide says “Nowhere else will a researcher find the information as conveniently assenmbled...this book is the most comprehensive and useful review of land and property research to date.)

Naturalization Records of the United States, Christina K. Schaefer (The most unique feature of this book is that it identifies every single piece of information on naturalizations that is available on microfilm, through the NA or the FHL, including call numbers. Records that are available on microfilm through other facilities have also be included.)

Barbour Collection of Connecticut Town Records:
Vol. 11 - East Windsor, 1768-1860; Ellington Part I-Vital Records, 1786-1850 and Ellington Part II - Marriage Records, 1820-1853
Vol. 14 - Goshen, 1739-1854; Granby, 1786-1850; Greenwich, 1640-1848
Vol. 25 - Madison, 1826-1805; Manchester, 1823-1853; Marlborough, 1803-1852; Meriden 1806-1853; Middlebury, 1807-1850; Monroe, 1823-1854; Montville, 1786-1850; Naugatuck, 1844-1853
Vol. 28 - Milford (1640-1850), New Cannaan (1901-=1854), New Hartford (1740-1854)
Vol. 30 - New Milford (1712-1860), Norfolk (1758-1850, North Stonington (17807-1852)
Vol. 40 - Somers (1734-1850, Southbury (1787-1830), Southington (1779-1857, South Windsor (1845-1851)
Locating Your Roots: Discover Your Ancestors Using Land Records, Patricia Law Hatcher (From this book you will learn where to find land records and how to use them. The procedure for finding a deed in a courthouse is outlined, along with ways to figure out how the land was transferred.)

From the Syracuse Daily Courier and Union (Syracuse, N. Y.)
29 April 1865, page 3:

STEAMBOAT DISASTER ....St. Louis, April 28.--A telegram received by the military authorities from New Madrid, says the steamer Sultana with 2,000 paroled prisoners, exploded. 1400 lives were lost.

Cairo, April 28.--The steamer Sultana from New Orleans the 21st, arrived at Vicksburg with boiler leaking badly. She remained 30 hours repairing, and taking on 1,996 Federal soldiers and 35 officers, lately released from Cahawba and Andersonville prisons. She arrived at Memphis last evening, and after coaling, proceeded at 2 A. M. When 7 miles up, she blew up and immediately took fire and burned to the water's edge. Of 2,100 souls on board, not more than 700 will be recovered. 500 were rescued, and all now are in the hospital. Capt. Mason, of the Sultana, is supposed to be lost.
At 4 o'clock this morning the river in front of Memphis was covered with soldiers struggling for life. Many were badly scalded. Boats immediately went to their rescue and are still engaged in picking them up.
Gen. Washburne immediately organized a board of officers to investigate the affair. They are now at work.

"Our DNA does not fade like an ancient parchment; it is not rust
in the ground like the sword of a warrior long dead. It is not
eroded by wind or rain, nor reduced to ruin by fire and earthquake.
It is the traveler from an antique land who lives within us all."
(~ Dr. Bryan Sykes, writing in his book "The Seven Daughters of Eve")


Maggie's World of Courthouse Dust & Genealogy Fever is a great web site with lots of Ohio information.

VA Burials Database
: The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has set up an online database containing more than 3 million records that show where veterans have been buried in national cemeteries. The nationwide grave locator contains records of veterans and dependents buried in the VA's 120 cemeteries since the Civil War.

Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial at:

995 Bibles Online: 4935 Instances of 3082 Different Surnames:

Welsh Websites:
Genealogy U.K. and Ireland, Wales section

Gathering the Jewels (the website for Welsh cultural history)
Wales on the Web (a subject gateway to quality sites about Wales)
National Library of Wales
FamilySearch (Find the Wales guide under "W" in the Research Helps section)

17th Century English Recipes. If you're just dying to learn how to stretch sheep's guts for sausages and/or to make a foole -- not of yourself, but rather a popular dish of cream, eggs and wine -- you'll enjoy this website:

Feeding America: The Historic American Cookbook Project. Created by the Michigan State University Library and the MSU Museum, here's a searchable collection of America's most influential cookbooks of the 19th and 20th centuries.

Wisconsin Public Land Survey Records: Original Field Notes.

The area that now constitutes the state of Wisconsin was first surveyed by the federal government between the years 1833 and 1866. This survey was performed (as it was across the United States) to divide the public domain into salable-sized lots that could be sold or given away to both encourage settlement through this territory and raise monies for the federal government. While surveyors divided up these lands into townships and smaller units, they wrote a general description of what they observed during their time on the land. Fortunately for persons interested in landscape history and the original land survey information, these field notes from the Wisconsin Public Land Survey are now available online, courtesy of the University of Wisconsin Library and the Wisconsin Board of Commissioners of Public Lands. Currently, visitors to the site may access the original field notes by clicking on an interactive map of Wisconsin, then moving down to the appropriate area of interest by range and section. For the novice user, there is also a helpful background section relating the details of the land survey which will help them on their way. [KMG] WIMONROE Mailing List

The New Georgia Encyclopedia:

The New Georgia Encyclopedia represents an ambitious effort to create an authoritative online resource for literally hundreds of topics about the state of Georgia. Visitors can select from a number of broad topics to browse through, including: folklife, education, religion, and transportation. Within each topic, there are numerous sub topics. The site also provides links to basic Quick Facts about the state, galleries featuring the works of prominent museums through the state, and a Features area, which each month hones-in on any number of topics, such as Creek Leaders of Georgia and Twelve Great Works of Georgia Fiction. This site is a fine fountain of information about the people, places, and traditions of the Peach State. [KMG] WIMONROE Mailing List

SOCCGS Surname Website: http://www.soccgs.orgsurnames.htm

Diligence is the mother of good luck.
~ Benjamin Franklin


June 5 - OCCGS Special Interest Group on New England research, 12:30 p.m., Room D, Huntington Beach Library
June 7-21 - Tour Wales, research your ancestors with Nancy Bier. Information:
June 20-27 - San Diego Genealogical Society trip to Salt Lake City <>
October 18 - SOCCGS Annual Seminar featuring Leland Metzler and Bill Dollarhide


OCCGS is starting a New England SIG on Saturday, June 5th at 12:30, after the general meeting and lecture. This group will meet in Room D at the Huntington Beach Library. Plans for this first meeting include having each attendee discuss his or her ancestral background, names, dates, areas they are currently researching, and their own area of expertise. Persons interested in research in any of the six New England States - Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island - are welcome. Persons attending are encouraged to bring their five-generation charts. For further information contact Marcia Huntley Maloney, or Bob

Orange County Fair Genealogy Booth
Help spread the word about how much fun family history can be!

The award winning and very popular genealogy booth will be back again this year at the Orange County Fair in Costa Mesa from July 9th to July 31st. Fairgoers who are interested in learning more about their "roots" receive information about how and where to attend genealogy meetings, find resources and libraries in the area, and get assistance from knowledgeable researchers. The booth is so popular that people have actually returned the next day....yes, paid to enter the fair again!...just to talk to the staff at the booth about their family research.
Sponsors of the booth are asking for volunteers from the major genealogy groups in Orange County to assist in staffing the booth during the run of the fair. A general knowledge of genealogy is all that is needed, since most of the people who stop at the booth are looking for very basic information. Staff is there essentially to handout 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 get excited about something we all already acknowledge as a passion! Many of last years' staff mentioned how much fun they had staffing the booth, meeting people and sharing their knowledge.
Volunteers work a four or five 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 at the booth. A free shuttle is provided between the Arlington Street parking lot and the fairgrounds. The fair is open from 9:45 am to 11:00 pm on Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Tuesday, and from 11:45 am to 11:00 pm on Wednesday and Thursday.
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. This is a great opportunity to reach thousands of people with little cost to each society.

Questions? Or to volunteer now, please contact Norma Keating
norma@yourfamilyconnection or 714-970-7040


South Orange County California Genealogical Society
Membership/Renewal Application

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

Name(s) _______________________________________________________________________________

Address _______________________________________________________________________________

City _______________________________ State_____Zip____________Phone ____________________

Email address:__________________________________________________________________________

Make check payable to: SOCCGS Check No. __________________
Mail with application to: SOCCGS, P.O. Box 4513, Mission Viejo, CA 92690-4513


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