Saddleback Valley Trails

 South Orange County California Genealogical Society

Vol. 15 No. 6                               P.O. Box 4513, Mission Viejo, CA. 92690                             June 2008

Editor: Mary Jo McQueen

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


Next General Meeting

June 21, 2008


“Compiling & Publishing A Family History”

Presented by

Leland Pound


                                Mr. Pound’s presentation will incorporate, how to:

            Find living descendants of unknown lines.

          Format your family History.

          Research your family history.

          Research lines going forward rather than back.

          Find a publishing source.

          Create the book on your computer.

          Decide whether to use a soft or hard cover.

          Sell your family history.

          Find sources for researching your more distant relatives.

          Contact living relatives.

          Lee Pound has been doing genealogical research for over forty years. He has published three family histories: Glabe Family in America, Hornbuckles in America and Hardings of the Northern Neck of Virginia.  Lee has also compiled a database of 30,000 names on the Pound and Pounds, and 10,000 names on the Sacre family.  He has lectured to genealogical societies for over thirty years.


Attend the meeting and learn new avenues of research.

Meet others who share your interest in Genealogy. 

Refreshments provided.


October Seminar

          Bill Bluett and his committee are planning a “great and wonderful” Seminar for October 18. The guest lecturer will be George G. Morgan who will present four topics. Our seminars are always fun, informative and “not to be missed!”  Please see the registration form on page 6.

          Another beautiful quilt will be up for raffle this year. Tickets will be available at this month’s meeting along with seminar registration forms. A picture of the quilt and seminar registration form may be found on the SOCCGS website,


May Meeting

          Beth McCarty gave an extremely interesting and informative presentation on researching Family History Centers and There may be some extra handouts at the library if you missed this meeting. Check at the docent desk. Hospitality Chairman, Trish Leard, along with Noel Jensen and Shelley Morgan provided refreshments. Among the eighty persons in attendance were, guests, Paula Rawlin, Margy Brown and Barbara Calabrese.


President’s Message

~Bill Bluett        

          Searching for a female ancestor’s married or maiden name can certainly be a challenge. Take married names for instance. About a month ago I was fortunate to locate an obituary for one of my great-great great grandmothers on a Carlsbad Library database, NEWSPAPERARCHIVES.COM. My ancestor, Martha Ann (Pooler) Stowell was born in 1820 and died in 1906 in Oswego County, New York. Her seven living children (now adults) were listed in the write-up. However, the most interesting part of the obituary was the fact that the married names of the four daughters were in the article! This information was previously unknown to me. They were the sisters of Eugene Stowell, my great-great grandfather, who served in the Civil War and ultimately received a pension. Eugene was also listed in the obituary. Knowing the married names of these women will help me discover more information about the Stowell family. I cannot over emphasize how important newspaper research can be in helping find the married (or maiden) names of women in our family trees. Searching newspapers for obituaries, engagement or wedding announcements, or family gatherings may uncover useful information. If you cannot find what you need through Internet sites, try searching for newspapers that are available on microfilm through the LDS Family History Centers. Also, be sure to check local libraries in the area where your ancestors lived. You may be able to receive microfilms through inter-library loan or have someone at the location do research for you.

          Now, regarding maiden names. These can be just as illusive as trying to find the married name of female ancestors from generations past. There are many resources available for this research. First, be sure to check out cemeteries. If the tombstone does not bear any clue to a woman’s maiden name, check nearby plots for possible relatives. In addition, be sure to seek out the burial records for any additional clues. Contact the cemetery caretaker or church office for this record information.

          Secondly, look at the census records. Neighboring households may be relatives to the family being researched. Also, look at the names of children listed in the census. My grandfather’s full name was Robert Fallon Collins. Fallon was his mother’s maiden name. I’m sure many of you have seen this pattern in past or current generations. Other sources to search include death records, which may contain the name of the ancestor’s parents. Locating an actual marriage record may be the best source for finding a maiden name. Prior to marriage certificates being recorded, a church record would be the best place to look. Also, don’t overlook land and court records. You just might get lucky and find mention of a maiden name on one of these documents. If you cannot get to the local county courthouse to see these records, rent a microfilm through a Family History Center.

          Finally, be sure to investigate war-related pension documents, as I mentioned in last month’s newsletter. They will usually include a wealth of information.

          Finding our female ancestors married and maiden names requires persistence. I realize that the Internet is helping us more and more each year with the number of records that are being put online. But, don’t forget how blessed we are by having so many wonderful library and research facilities right in our own back yard. Southern California is a great place to live, especially, if you are an avid genealogist.

Happy Hunting!



            Two new members joined our group this month: Gary Schwarz, Laguna Hills. Gary is researching GOLDING, Bradford Co., PA 1790-1860; PHILIPS, Carroll & Ogle Counties, Illinois 1840-1900; MILLER, Hagerstown, Maryland 1800-1860; DARBY, Pennsylvania 1800-1860; SCHWARZ, Southern Russia 1800-1860, KAUK - So. Russia 1800-186. <> Membership Chairman, Jack Naylor, Linda Dibble and Sandra Callaway have reinstated their memberships. A new member since the May meeting is Phil Jergensen from Mission Viejo,


“The Lunch Bunch”

            After each monthly meeting members and guests are invited to meet for lunch at Carrow’s Restaurant located on Marguerite Parkway. This is a great way to meet new friends and discuss genealogy.


DNA! Why Oh Why?

~Herb Abrams

          In July 2004 I joined the Abrams Family DNA Group. This surname group is part of the Family Tree DNA testing service. I had been in contact with several other researchers with the Abrams surname, and we wanted to determine if we were, indeed, related. As it turned out none of us had a DNA match with anyone with the Abrams surname. I had 65 matches with people with other surnames but that only meant we had a common ancestor about 1000 years ago.

          I convinced a cousin to join the group and sure enough we matched. His grandfather was a brother to my grandfather so this proved we were both related to William Fletcher Abrams b. 1839 in Lauderdale County, Alabama. William was the son of Thomas Abrams and Alsey Duckett, who are listed on the Hardin County, Tennessee 1850 census, which shows both Thomas and Alsey to have been born in South Carolina.

          I had ascertained from reliable sources that Alsey was the daughter of James Odell Duckett and Sarah Whitmore of Laurens County, South Carolina and I was pretty sure Thomas was the son of William Abrams and Martha Whitmore also of Laurens County. This information was found in "The Abrams Family Genealogy, 1745 -1979,” a book by George Carter Abrams of Newberry County, South Carolina which is adjacent to Laurens County. This book showed William to be the eldest son of James Abrams who had fought in the American Revolution. Wow! I had a Revolutionary War ancestor!

          Two years ago I assisted a John Abrams in researching his genealogy, and we determined that he was related to Alexander Abrams. Alexander was the second son of the above mentioned, James Abrams. I convinced John to join the Abrams DNA group and it was established that there was no match and, therefore we were unrelated. But one of us could be related to the Revolutionary soldier.   “I was sure it had to be me but we would need another DNA sample to prove it."

          In 1995 I visited South Carolina and met with Ronald Abrams in Newberry County who is related to James Abrams, Jr., the third son of James Abrams. Just this year I persuaded, and paid for, Ronald to join the DNA group. Last month the results came back and, to my dismay, his DNA was not a match to mine. It was, however, a match to John Abrams, the descendant of Alexander.

          So now that my Revolutionary War ancestor is lost to me, there seems I have three avenues of research open. First, is William Fletcher actually the son of Thomas and Alsey? Secondly, are William Abrams and Martha Whitmore really the parents of Thomas? Third, perhaps William was not the son of “Revolutionary War” James.

           As the saying goes, "Ignorance is bliss." Why, oh why, did I join that DNA group?


New Books at the Library

We are excited to announce the purchase of three books just published from the Department of the Grand Army of the Republic by Northcott Genealogical Publications. The G.A.R was organized into departments, most of which comprised one state. The departments published annual reports that were often titled Proceedings of the Annual Encampment. By the 1800s many of the department proceedings began to include death rolls of the members or comrades for the preceding year. These death rolls usually contain the name, rank, company and regiment (or ship), date of death; and the name, number and location of the post to which he belonged.

          The first book, Grand Army of the Republic, Department of Illinois: Transcription of the Death Rolls, 1879-1947, contains death records of more than 32,000 members of the Department of Illinois, who served in Civil War units from 36 states and territories.

          The second book, Indiana Civil War Veterans: Transcription of the Death Rolls of the Department of Indiana, Grand Army of the Republic, 1882-1948, contains death records of more than 22,000 G.A.R. members, who served in regiments from 31 states and territories.

          The third book, Iowa, Kansas and Nebraska Civil War Veterans: Compilation of the Death Rolls of the Department of Iowa, Kansas and Nebraska, Grand Army of the Republic, 1883-1948, contains death records of more than 36,000 G.A.R. members, who served in regiments from 37 states and territories.

          These books are located in the “Military/Wars” section of the SOCCGS Library, next to the docent desk.   We hope to see you at the library soon.

Bunny Smith, Librarian



~Patricia Ann (Dean) Christiansen

          When I was 11, my mother and two sisters and I moved to Phoenix, Arizona. This move initiated a marital separation between my parents, who eventually divorced in May of 1945. At the time of the divorce, my sisters and I hadn’t seen our father for almost two years; then after the divorce he moved to Yuma, Arizona, to begin his new life. These multiple separations did not allow us to ever learn much about our dad, John Dean, or his accomplishments. 

          A trip to Ohio in 2005 to meet with some of my father’s surviving relatives provided a large measure of information about his high school and college years and some detail about his professional life and marriage to our mother. I found this information to be extremely interesting and it ignited a spark, which started me on a quest to know more. 

          Recently, while scanning some of the new databases on, a category called “Historical Newspapers” jumped out and listed was “The Yuma Daily Sun” newspaper published in Yuma, Arizona. 

          Knowing that my father had been in business in Yuma and married his second wife there, I decided to type in his name and browse the newspaper. There were a couple of other John Dean’s referenced: John Dean, White House counsel; John Dean, football player and John Wayne/Dean Martin appearing in a movie advertisement. However, it wasn’t long before I not only found multiple items about my father, but also of his wife, Lois Dean. 

          Lois Dean was called “Mrs. John Dean” in most of the articles relating to St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Pilot Club International (a service organization), and the GOP Women’s Club of Yuma. Lois served in a variety of volunteer positions, often as corresponding secretary or treasurer. She headed committees in each organization, as well. When Lois became licensed to sell insurance she joined the Business and Professional Women’s Club and was then called by her full name. 

Although many of the articles are about Lois, it is heartwarming to know that this wonderful woman belies the image that many stepmothers’ have. When I knew her, my impressions of Lois were that she was a warm and caring individual and that was reinforced by her caring ways. Lois never had children of her own, but she always made my sisters and me welcome in the home she had made for our father, and always treated us well. 

During my research in the archives of the newspaper, which covered the years 1954 through 1969, I found nearly 100 references to John and Lois Dean. These included a trip they had taken in 1952 to visit her sister and brother-in-law in Rialto, California; advertisements of their business; service in the community; help wanted classified ads for sales people; donations of charitable funds; need for a commercial property to buy; pictures of each of them and lastly, John Dean’s obituary in 1966. In all, 62 items relating to my father and his second wife were copied from the archives of the various the Yuma Daily Sun Newspapers. This was truly a bonanza of insights into a time of my father’s life that warms my heart. 

Not all jackpots are found at a slot machine; this one was found in a database on my computer. This is the best kind of winning! 

(The foregoing findings covered the period from1954 to1969}




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


Safari News - No safaris are scheduled for June or July.


Docent Position Available

            Currently there is a need for a volunteer on Thursday’s 5:30 to 8:00 p.m. Please contact librarian, Bunny Smith if you are interested. Keep in mind that this is an excellent opportunity to research your own genealogy.



          RootsWeb has been transplanted onto the domain. This move will not change the RootsWeb experience or alter the ease of navigation to or within RootsWeb. RootsWeb will remain a free online experience. A major difference is that the Web address for all RootsWeb pages will change from “” to “”.  (This notice courtesy of The Generations Network.)


 “Some Websites of Interest to Genealogists”     Digital History: The History of Private Life.  It includes such topics as "Childbirth in Early America," "Courtship in Early America" and "Food in America"     Here is another site that could be very helpful if someone wants to know what was going on during the lifetime of an ancestor or ancestors.  It's just plain fascinating besides!  It only covers 1900 to the present, but it features yearly entries as well as decade-by-decade history and quizzes and there are several timelines, too.


Family Search recently announced the release of new research guides for England and Scotland, Finding Records of Your Ancestors, England, and Finding Records of Your Ancestors, Scotland.  These may be downloaded at no charge. These guides are in color and come in a handy work book format with information and examples of civil registration records, parish records, census records, maps, forms and key historical dates. If you are researching England or Scotland you will find these new research fresh, interesting and helpful reference tools.

          Other guides in the “Finding Records of Your Ancestors” series include African American, Denmark, Finland, France, Iceland, Italy, Jewish, Mexico, Norway, and Sweden.

Go to:

(From May 2, 2008 news release.) 


NOTE: LDS will no longer print any Research Guides when the current supply runs out. In the future, they will all be available in PDF format on the Family Search Website. (


Virginia Petitions - The Library of Virginia announces the completion of the Legislative Petitions Database. Over 25,000 petitions were entered into the database between 2001 and 2007 and are available to search through the Library of Virginia's website at Petitions to the General Assembly were the primary catalyst for legislation in the Commonwealth from 1776 until 1865. Public improvements, military claims, divorce, manumission of slaves, division of counties, incorporation of towns, religious freedom, and taxation were just some of the concerns expressed in these petitions. The petitions often contain hundreds of signatures and are a useful tool in genealogical research.  Frequently, the petitions contain supplementary support documents useful in research, including maps, wills, naturalizations, deeds, resolutions, affidavits, judgments, and other items.     This site is full of information and maps for all of Tennessee, not just Warren County.   Anyone interested in the south might like to take a peek.  (From the Louisa County, VA Rootsweb.)


Histories of Illinois Civil War Regiments and Units

Containing Reports for the Years 1861– 1866

Note: (This is a PDF file, of the actual report.)

          These histories of Illinois Civil War regiments and units originate from the first eight volumes of the

Nine-volume publication, Report of the Adjutant General of the State of Illinois (1900-1902). (The ninth

volume lists units of the Black Hawk, Mexican and Spanish-American Wars as well as the War of 1812.)     This is an interesting website. Lots of good blogs to read and lots pertain to Ireland.


(Thanks to Donna Hobbs, Mickie Dempsey, Shirley Fraser and David Flint for their contributions to this page.)



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




South Orange County

California Genealogical Society

Mission Viejo, California




A Family History Seminar

Saturday, October 18, 2008 - 9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

(Doors Open 8:00 a.m.)

City Hall, Saddleback Room, 100 Civic Center Drive, Corner La Paz & Marguerite

(North end of the city hall directly across the library parking lot.)


Getting to Know Your Ancestors


George G. Morgan

Renowned Genealogy Author & Lecturer



 “25 Places Where Family Facts May Hide”  

“Bring’em Back to Life: Developing an Ancestor File”

 “The U.S. Naturalization Process & Documents: 1790 to 1954”

  “Colonial & Early American Land Records: The Process & Evidence”




Refreshments - Door Prizes - Drawing for Handmade Quilt

Sales Tables and Displays


Pre-registration must be received by October 15 / Tickets at the door $25.00, no lunch.

(Seminar information & registration form also available on SOCCGS website.)



SOCCGS ‘2008’ Seminar Registration


Name(s) __________________________________________Registration: ____ @ $20.00 _________________________________________________ Box Lunch: _____@ $7.50

Address: ____________________________________________ Total: $________

City & Zip: ___________________________________________               

Telephone: __________________________________________

E-mail: _____________________________________________

Mail to:  SOCCGS, P.O. Box 4513                                  Information: (949) 492-9408 or

Mission Viejo, CA 92690-4513                                    http://www.rootsweb.ancestrycom/~casoccgs/







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

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

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

October 18SOCCGS Seminar featuring George Morgan


***Following is an excerpt from an email sent from the British Isles Family History Society, regarding the seminar they had planned for August 9, 2008:

          “Two weeks ago it was my unpleasant duty to announce that the British Isles Family History Society's seminar on the Queen Mary had been canceled. Now it is my pleasure to announce that we are in the process of arranging a special meeting featuring MICHAEL GANDY.

          The Society had already purchased Michael Gandy's airline ticket, which was non-refundable. He has very graciously volunteered to come anyway and give several talks. Although there are details still to be worked out, I am writing to you now so that you can save the date – SATURDAY AFTERNOON, AUGUST 9th, 2008. The event will be open to the public, but there will be a minimum suggested donation to help defray our costs.

          The seminar cancellation has cost the Society dearly, but much less than had we continued and with a low attendance.             Ivan C. Johnson, President


Member Badges

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





Bill Bluett


Vice President…………………..

Nellie Domenick


Recording Secretary………….

Sandy Crowley


Corresponding Secretary.....

Pat Weeks



Mary Jo McQueen



Jack Naylor



Herb Abrams



Bunny Smith



Shirley Fraser



Trish Leard



Barbara Wilgus


Newsletter Editor................

Mary Jo McQueen



SOCCGS Website @

Mail List:

SOCCGS Library within the Mission Viejo Library;

Marguerite Parkway at LaPaz, (949) 470-8498


SOCCGS E-mail:



South Orange County California Genealogical Society Membership/Renewal Application


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


Renewal Membership Number(s) ___________________________________________________________


Name(s) _______________________________________________________________________________


Address _______________________________________________________________________________


City _____________________________ State_____ Zip ____________ Phone ______________________


Email address:__________________________________________________________________________

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

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

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