Saddleback Valley Trails
South Orange County California Genealogical Society

Vol. 13 No. 6 Editor: Mary Jo McQueen June 2006

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

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

GENERAL MEETING, June 17, 2006
Caroline Rober
“U. S. Midwest Research”

The June presentation will focus on United States Midwest Research. This section of the United States was a primary route for pioneer migration. Ms. Rober will share her expertise on finding resources that could help extend a branch on our family trees. Caroline may well be able to help us scale that brick wall, and/or open a door to new research data.
Ms. Rober is a native Californian. As a professional genealogist and lecturer her presentations are thorough, informative and delivered with enthusiasm. Caroline is the technical director for the Orange California Family History Center, and a member of several genealogical and historical societies. She is an authority on Midwest, Kentucky and Luxembourg research.

Caroline is one of our favorite lecturers, so come early to reserve your seat!

July 15 - Penny Feike, "Using Court Records in Genealogical Research"
August 19 - Michael Kratzer, “Cemetery Research”

September 16 - Nancy Huebotter, "Writing and Producing a Family History"

October 21 - Seminar, Dr. George Schweitzer
November 18 - Member-Participation Program. Details to be announced.

December 16 - Annual Holiday Luncheon


You will find seminar information and a registration form on page six of this newsletter. It is not too early to reserve your place for our fifth annual seminar. Dr. Schweitzer is a highly esteemed genealogy author and lecturer. Those who remember him from the 2003 seminar will be anxious to hear him again, and this will be a great experience for those who have not yet watched and listened to his presentations. Dr. Schweitzer does many of his lectures in costume. He will assume a frontier persona for the Scots-Irish lecture, and become a Colonial during the Virginia presentation. We will again be selling opportunity tickets for a handmade quilt. The drawing will take place at the end of the seminar. Remember, the proceeds from this project will be used for our library. This year a new vendor has been secured to provide a more substantial lunch, resulting in the additional cost. You are still welcome to bring your lunch, or to leave the area during the hour. However, we believe you will be pleased with the new menu.


The safari destination on June 28 is to our local branch of the National Archives in Laguna Niguel. If you are in need of a ride please be prepared to leave the LDS parking lot promptly at 9 a.m. Bring a lunch or plan to eat at the cafeteria located upstairs. Bill Bluett will take your reservation before, or at the June 17 meeting. Herb Abrams will be in attendance to give assistance to SOCCGS members. Holdings of the archives include: ALL FEDERAL CENSUSES, REVOLUTIONARY WAR RECORDS AND INDEXES,CIVIL WAR RECORDS AND INDEXES, OTHER MISC. MILITARY RECORDS, PASSENGER ARRIVAL INDEXES, LISTS, CORRESPONDENCE (all areas of the country), NATURALIZATION RECORDS (west coast and some Pennsylvania), FREEDMEN'S BUREAU (mostly records immediately following the Civil War), FEDERAL EMPLOYEES AND JOB SEEKERS, LAND (California, Arizona, New Mexico), TERRITORIAL AND REGIONAL PAPERS AND DOCUMENTS (California, Arizona, New Mexico), OTHER MISC. RECORDS, (Passport Applications, some city directories, etc.).

By Bill Bluett

On the 4th Wednesday of each month, a SOCCGS group spends the day at a research facility somewhere in Southern California. We have traveled as far north as Burbank and as far south as San Diego. Anyone may join in on these adventures. Perhaps you will be surprised at what you might find.
Let me give you just a couple of examples of exciting discoveries that I have made.
A few years ago, our SAFARI took us to the Pomona Library. We had heard that this location has quite a large book collection on California history as well as microfilm and microfiche. Also, they had the LOS ANGELES TIMES on microfilm. This was of interest to me because my mother's Collins family have been in Los Angeles since 1890. In searching the microfilm, I found two wonderful obituaries (with a photo) for my Great Grandfather, Thomas Collins. The articles confirmed his migration path to California and filled in many more details about his life. The information provided has assisted me in expanding my research on the family.
One of our more recent SAFARI trips took us to the Cole Library in Carlsbad. This is an excellent facility that we visit at least once a year. This library has a huge book section and plenty of microfilm, microfiche, and online computers. Also, there is a large collection of society publications from nearly every state in the union. I periodically check the quarterly publication of the MENNONITE HISTORY MAGAZINE published in Pennsylvania. My wife's ancestors (on her father's side) were Amish-Mennonite from Alsace-Lorraine. Well, it so happens that a woman editor for the magazine has been researching ten key family surnames from that region. My wife's surname, Eimen (Eymann), is one of those names. A series of three articles are being done just on her family, and the first two were printed in April and October of 2005. The family genealogy is listed in great detail including many additional facts about individuals and their specific locations in Alsace-Lorraine. I could not believe what I had found! What this means is that someone has done the European genealogy for me dating back to the 1600's. It all ties in perfectly with the arrival dates of these ancestors to America.
I guess what I'm trying to say is that you never know what genealogy gems you might find on a given day, and where you might find them. The information is out there just waiting to be discovered. I would encourage each of you to consider being, at least occasionally, a part of our SAFARI travels. We have a great time and finish the longer trips with a delicious dinner before heading home (that way we miss the bumper to bumper traffic). So, come join us on a SAFARI journey. You might be surprised what you find!


We welcome four new members:

Dianne Sanborn
Terry, Kimberly, Jamie Matthews,

Docents are needed for regular hours.
Three members have signed up as docents: LaRee Anderson, Marcia Roy and Dianne Sanborn.

Please think about donating two or three hours a month. Or, join the substitute list. Call Bunny Smith, 949-472-8046, if you can help.
Training classes for prospective docents are held on Wednesdays (10-1, except 4th), Thursdays (12-3) and Saturdays (10 to 1, except 3rd). These classes are also open to current docents and members wanting help in using the resources available at the library. If this is not convenient, please call Bunny to reserve a more convenient time.


Member, Dean Duet is looking for someone to translate a document written in Italian. If you, or you know someone who can help please email Dean at

Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year.
~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Unmarried Relatives: Please Don’t Overlook Them
by Paula Stuart Warren

It’s important to research every member in your ancestors’ families. I cringe when I hear a family historian say that they didn’t trace their great-grandmother’s two sisters because neither of them married or probably had no children. They might be missing some of the greatest tidbits of their family history and even the old family Bible or scrapbook. I would guess that some of you readers are today’s single sibling and are caring for the older generation or live in the old family home.
The Last Child at Home - Unmarried relatives may have been the last of the siblings to leave the family home or may have been the one to stay and take care of Mom after Dad passed away. Often, they continue to live in the house after Mom is gone. This might be the sibling who ended up with the family pictures, Dad’s letters from the Spanish-American War, Mom’s old address book, or that family Bible. Without such a connection to unmarried collateral relatives, I would never have seen the picture of my great-grandmother Betsy and the two sisters who also left Sweden and settled in the Midwest.
Obituaries - One set of my Irish great-great-grandparents were a bit tough to research. They lived in a relatively big city and had the common name of Cook. I had concentrated on their son, John, who was my great-grandfather.
Once I thought I had exhausted all the possible records to figure out more about them, on a whim, I decided to track a son of theirs, William Cook. He died as a young man, was still living with his parents, and due to his age, I assumed there were no children. I was correct in this assumption. However, I neglected to check for an obituary in the big city newspaper and finally did so after a year. I figured the obituary would not even exist in 1899–-after all, he was not famous or infamous. Imagine my surprise some twenty years ago when I did check and found a short two line notice that included: “Faribault papers please copy.” With a little additional help from my grandmother, I now knew where to look for more family records. This led to connections with a whole passel of relatives, the name of the parish in Ireland, and some records from that parish.
Extra Details - An unmarried relative or one without children in the household may have had more time to be an active volunteer in the community. They may be mentioned in the local newspaper, especially in a more rural area. A story about that person’s death may include such things as “when Ms. Hanley moved to Minnesota from Pennsylvania she was following in the footsteps of her sister and brother-in-law, John and Anna Griffith who arrived here five years earlier.” This person might have been very active in their church and minutes from the Ladies Aid Society may mention your relative several times over.
Probate Records - For other never-married members of the family there likely are no children and no husband to whom they left their real property or personal possessions. There may or may not be a will leaving things to the nieces and nephews. If there was property of either kind to be divided, it is more helpful to find that the relative did not leave a will to be probated. Without a will, the law may have provided that in such a case, the estate was to go to first to her parents.
At the time she passed away, her parents were long deceased and perhaps this person was not in regular contact with her siblings who legally were next in line to inherit. The court likely ordered a search be done to determine the siblings or their descendants (in the case of a deceased sibling) who would share in the estate. If the oldest sister, Anna Marie and also her husband were deceased, Anna Marie’s share would likely be divided among her children. They would then be named in the probate proceeding. Just think of how many additional relatives this could add to your family tree.
Every member of the family is a vital cog in research. The laws in effect at the time determine how this is handled and it may also depend on where the deceased resided, place of death, and the location of the real and personal property to be divided. You may find a time period and locality where the search also included previous generations.
Sale of Inherited Land - In some cases, this genealogical study may be necessary for inherited land to be sold. There may have been six siblings who inherited land “out West” or in the “old country” from their father. When the never-married sibling died, the heirs may need to be found for permission to sell land or determine the inherited share due to siblings or their descendants.

Copyright © 1998-2006, Inc. (28 May 2006)


Hospitality Chairman, Leesola Cannon requests that we bring “old” wedding photos to share at the June meeting. This will be appropriate for the “wedding” month! She will set up a display for all to enjoy. Thank you to last month’s goodie provider, Beverly Long.

Six Steps to Writing a Successful Genealogy Query

Step ONE: Pick the PRIMARY surname (last name) of your query. Note that this is your "main" surname and should have the highest priority.
"Shotgun" versus "Laser Beam" Genealogy Queries:
The Shotgun method: Is the WRONG way to organize your query. This is like you might imagine - BOOM! Anything and everything is listed. Every last surname that you are interested in is mentioned. You can find this on personal genealogy home pages (which is great) but it is not advisable for a successful genealogy query. If you use the shotgun method and give too much information you are spreading yourself too thin.
The Laser Beam Method: Is the BEST way to organize your query. Keep your information in a tight group or in a "laser beam" of solid information and your query will be the most productive.
Here is an example: Looking for information on information about the descendants of Thomas SUGGS Sr. who was born abt. 1700 in Norfolk Co., Virginia. He was the oldest son of George SUGGS and Sarah IVES. He married Mary HARBERT in 1725. They lived in Anson Co., North Carolina and were likely the parents of four sons and three daughters. Descendants lived in North Carolina, South Carolina, Oklahoma, Texas and elsewhere. Also researching the Cooter, Kerr, Ragan, Stamps and Teel families.
Note: see how well this reads? Even with a mention of all the children's names, this would still work well. This query covers a lot of ground and is very easy for others to read.
The "also researching" line -The RIGHT way: See the five families mentioned in the "also researching" sentence? These are families that are close knit with this particular group or cluster of (SUGGS) people.
Step TWO: Start with any specific information that you are seeking. Are you looking for the parents, children, wife of a certain ancestor? If so, START OFF with what you want to know.
Examples of the start of a genealogy query:
Need parents (wife, husband, children etc.) of...,What is the maiden name of..., Any information regarding...Seeking information on..., Wish correspondence with others researching..., Are you researching..., Desire help with...
Step THREE: Narrow it down to a specific location or region.
It's fine to say, "Researching the RAGAN surname in Georgia." BUT- if you are searching for the JONES surname in North Carolina you will get tons of false leads because there are so many of them. If your query is for a very common the surname, you MUST list a smaller region or it will not work well. My JONES line in North Carolina is concentrated (in a cluster) in Alamance Co., NC. If I mentioned any more than Alamance Co. (other than a surrounding county or two), I would be shooting myself in the foot.
Step FOUR: Be as specific as possible. You may be looking for a certain person. By all means - make them the focal point of your query. If you are more interested on anything you can get for a certain group of families in a certain area - go for the END of the line. Or in other words - the OLDEST known folks that you have information about.
Step FIVE: Only mention CLOSE KNIT FAMILIES in the "also researching" line. Again, the last part of your query should say, "Also researching the A, B, C, D families." Make sure that you do NOT include everyone that you are researching. They need to be very closely intertwined with your primary surname. Otherwise your query becomes too general and loses it's punch.
Step SIX:
Rewrite for clarity. Use all upper lower case except for "main body surnames." After you have written your query read it aloud. Have someone else read it (a child if possible). Is it easy to follow? Look at the SUGGS example again.
Looking for information on information about the descendants of Thomas SUGGS Sr. who was born abt. 1700 in Norfolk Co., Virginia. He was the oldest son of George SUGGS and Sarah IVES. He married Mary HARBERT in 1725. They lived in Anson Co., North Carolina and were likely the parents of four sons and three daughters. Descendants lived in North Carolina, South Carolina, Oklahoma, Texas and elsewhere. Also researching the Cooter, Kerr, Ragan, Stamps and Teel families.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Please make sure that the SURNAME in the main body of the query has ALL CAPITAL LETTERS. The surnames in the "also researching families ARE NOT all caps? This is the format that is easiest on the eyes.
(From Rootsweb Augusta Co VA Queries.)


Parliamentarian, Donna Hobbs, is heading a new SOCCGS project which will enable members and others to contact persons with expertise in their area of genealogy interest. Thirty seven have agreed so far to be listed. Please contact Donna at if you would like to be included.


The award winning and very popular genealogy booth will be back again this year at the Orange County Fair in Costa Mesa from July 7th to July 30th. 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.
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 basic information. Staff is there essentially to hand out resource materials and answer general questions, not act as a genealogy tutor or assist people in their research.
Volunteers work a four or four and one-half hour shift and have the rest of the day to enjoy the fair. Free parking and fair entry are provided for each day a volunteer works 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 and Sunday, and from 11:45 am to 11:00 pm on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. The theme of the fair this year is "Flower Power-Watch Your Garden Grow." The booth theme is "Who's Flowering on Your Family Tree?"
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 groups' meetings and activities. This is a great opportunity to reach thousands of people with little cost to the society.

Help spread the word about how much fun family history can be!
Sign-up sheets will be available at your society meetings beginning in April 2006.
Questions? Or to volunteer now, please contact Norma Keating: or 714-319-5994


The Michigan County Histories Collection is a collaborative effort of Michigan's Council of Library Directors. The collection is projected to provide access to 192 histories dating from 1866 to 1926. There are 202 volumes in 170 titles currently online.

Camp Life: Civil War Collections from Gettysburg -

Epidemics in US 1628-1918 - "In case you ever wondered why a large number of your ancestors disappeared during a certain period in history, this might help. Epidemics have always had a great influence on people - and thus influencing, as well, the genealogists trying to trace them. Many cases of people disappearing from records can be traced to dying during an epidemic or moving away from the affected area. Some of the major epidemics in the United States are listed here:

American Revolutionary War Soldiers & Their Descendants - Connect with people researching the same Revolutionary ancestor.

Black Loyalists: Our History, Our People - Read the stories of slaves who, persuaded by promises of freedom, fought for the British.

Spy Letters of the American Revolution - See letters written by Paul Revere, Benedict Armold and other undercover Revolutionaires.

Cyndi’s List Is Ten: Check out the new layout at

New Jersey Marriage Record Indexes:

100,000 Wisconsin Tombstone Photos:

If wrinkles must be written upon our brows,
let them not be written on our hearts.
The spirit should never grown old.

South Orange County
California Genealogical Society

Mission Viejo, CA


A Family History Seminar
Saturday, 21 October 2006 9 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Registration 8:30 a.m.
Mission Viejo City Hall, Saddleback Room, 100 Civic Center Drive, LaPaz & Marguerite
(located at the North end of the city hall directly across the parking lot from the library)

“Finding Lost Ancestors”
Dr. George K. Schweitzer
Nationally Known Genealogy Author & Speaker


Scots-Irish Genealogical Research
Virginia Genealogical Research
Finding Your Ancestors’ Parents
Questions & Answers

Refreshments - Door Prizes - Drawing for Handmade Quilt

Preregistration must be received by October 18 / Tickets at the door $25.00, no lunch.
(Seminar information & registration form also available on SOCCGS website.)


SOCCGS ‘2006’ Seminar Registration

Name(s) ___________________________________________ Registration: _________@ $20.00 ___________________________________________________ Box Lunch: _________@ $ 7.50 Address: ___________________________________________
City & Zip:__________________________________________ Total: $____________ Telephone:__________________________________________

Mail to:
SOCCGS, P.O. Box 4513 Information: (949) 581-0690 or
Mission Viejo, CA 92690-4513


The British Isles FHS-USA will present John M. Kitzmiller II as the featured speaker at its 18th annual Seminar on Saturday, July 15, 2006 at the Veterans Memorial Complex in Culver City, CA. Mr. Kitzmiller will be speaking on English, Irish, Scottish and Welsh research as well as a lecture entitled
"What's new in British and Irish Research."

Orange County California Genealogical Society - Special Interest Group

The OCCGS New England SIG group meets on the first Saturday of each month, after the general meeting and lecture. The meeting place is in Room D at the Huntington Beach Library. For further information contact Marcia Huntley Maloney, or Bob

Old News Articles -
Daily Herald (Delphos, Ohio), 29 December 1900, page 1

Determined to Smash Saloons - Wichita, Kan., Dec. 29.--Mrs. Nation, the woman who demolished a barroom in this city, was offered her liberty on condition that she would refrain from saloon smashing in the future, but she refused, saying it was her fixed intention to fling rocks at the windows and glassware of Kansas saloons. Nearly 1,000 radical temperance people surrounded the jail and all joined with Mrs. Nation in singing 'Nearer My God, to Thee." Mrs. Nation's husband is a lawyer, but she says she expects no help from him.

New York Herald (New York, New York), 02 September 1870, page 5:
Inhabitants Not Enumerated in the Census.

To the Editor of the Herald: In reply to your query in this morning's Herald, I would like to ask the United States Marshal for this district whether he has received an enumeration of the residents of 137 Eldridge street in the Tenth ward, and if he would allow me to see a copy of it. I have inquired of two or three persons in the house and they do not remember having any census enumerator there. I think if this enumeration of the population of this city was properly investigated some huge frauds would be discovered. Signed, A Resident

When my grandson asked me how old I was,
I teasingly replied "I'm not sure."
“Look in your underwear, Grandma, he advised

‘Mine says I’m four.”


know an

Please notify the membership chairman if you have a change of address.
Newsletters are not forwarded, the cost is 70 cents for each one returned.
Membership: Verl Nash, (949) 859-1419,


South Orange County California Genealogical Society Membership/Renewal Application

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

Renewal Membership Number(s) _________________________ _____________________

Name(s) _______________________________________________________________________________

Address _______________________________________________________________________________

City _____________________________ State_____Zip ____________Phone ______________________

Email address:__________________________________________________________________________

Make check payable to: SOCCGS (South Orange County CA Genealogical Society) Check No. __________________

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


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