Saddleback Valley Trails

South Orange County California Genealogical Society

Vol. 16 No. 6

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

June 2009

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.

General Meeting – 20 June 2009

“Researching Cemetery & Mortuary Records”
Presented By
Nancy Huebotter

Traipsing through a cemetery in search of an ancestor’s tombstone can be an exhilarating experience. Things to know that will help make a search successful include: what cemetery or mortuary records are available, types of cemeteries that exist, and significant characteristics of monuments and grave markers. If an onsite visit is not possible, there are other ways the average researcher can find information. These will be some of the nuggets shared by Ms. Huebotter in this presentation. Nancy is one of our favorite speakers. You will not want to miss this program!

Nancy Huebotter began her family history research in the fall of 1980. She has a Master’s Degree in History and English, and is a much sought after speaker for genealogy classes and seminars. By profession, Nancy has been with the Raytheon Company for 33 years and is currently a senior technical writer and instructor.

SOCCGS Seminar - 17 October 2009

Bill Bluett and his committee are planning an “enjoyable and informative” seminar. The guest lecturer, Paula Stuart-Warren, will present four topics. Another beautiful quilt will be up for raffle this year. Our seminars are always an interesting and fun learning experience. So, don’t miss it! Please see the registration form included in the newsletter. The seminar registration form can also be found on the SOCCGS website @ Invite your genealogy friends!

Safari News – Huntington Beach In June

Plans are in the works for a safari on June 24 to the Huntington Beach Library. This is a great place to research your genealogy research. The SOCCGS group will leave the LDS parking lot at promptly at 9:30 a.m. Plan to bring lunch and $$ for your driver. This will not be an extended day so no plans are being made for dinner. Contact Bill Bluett (949-492-9408) to make a reservation.

SOCCGS 15th Anniversary

Program Chairman, Bill Bluett, set up a great party! He introduced founding members who were present, They were: Goldie Gay, Ruth Sheean, Barbara Smith, Beverly Long, Gail DeShane, Shirley Fraser, Mel Kinnee, Kathy Mauzey, Eleanor McInnis, Pat Weeks. Ruby White, Georgiana Emery, Arlene Schreder, Bea Norred. Barbara Wilgus, our ever-diligent photographer, took their picture. Hostesses were Barbara Heebner and Eunice Murai. There was a decorated cake…..delicious!

Our own Herb Abrams gave a great presentation on Internet research. Thank you, Herb, for sharing some of your vast knowledge!

We welcomed new member, Jim Hill, San Juan Capistrano, Jim is searching for Hill in Texas and Alabama, Shull in Kansas & Missouri and Rudder in Kentucky, Indiana and Pennsylvania. Bert R. Norred, Dana Point, has also recently joined the society.

Guests at the meeting: Karen Jachetta, Ted Keyser, Richard and Pat Merritt and Margot Taylor.

President's Message

~Sandy Crowley

May has to be one of my favorite months at SOCCGS. Our own Herb Abrams had a great presentation on Internet research, and we had a wonderful SOCCGS 15th birthday! How nice to see a number of our founding members at our meeting. Thanks to Bill Bluett and Mary Jo McQueen for planning the event and to all who helped make it a good day.

The following is a continuation of letters written by my Tannahill ancestors, brothers Robert and John who came from Scotland via Cornwall via Liverpool, England in 1841/1842 to be with their sister Janet and other family members in Fulton, MS.

These brother’s parents William and Helen Burns Tannahill and other siblings had already come from Scotland in 1840 to Fulton and were awaiting brothers Robert & John’s arrival.

“After landing in the town of Eastport, (containing 4 log cabins) we started through the Forest Track for Fulton, Mary mounted on horseback and Robert and I on foot. It was a most awful night at Eastport. By the help of poles to steady us, Mary and I got up the bank and got lodging that night in a cabin. The people said they had never seen such a thunderstorm. There was in the same room 3 men and 2 females. This is the universal practice here – no separate sleeping apartments.

When we got to Mr. T’s (Toomer’s) we found our people all well except mother, who had fretted herself into a fever almost on our account. The Black People came round us grinning and the head cook yelled and danced with delight to see how nimbly my Mother jumped down the stairs, which she had not been able to do for weeks before.

I think my Mother is looking better than when I left the Port (Portpatrick, Wigtonshire, Scotland) but my Father is beginning to have the appearance of an old man. All the siblings enjoyed visiting. Father William is putting the floor in their new dwelling house with the help of son Alexander. It is about 2 miles from Mr. Toomer’s store where they all live at present but they will move in a fortnight. Robert for the most part is helping Mr. Toomer to gin the seeds out of the cotton and put it in bales for export. As for myself (John) I have come over here to take the management of Mr. Toomer’s store, his late partners having let the concern run into confusion and a considerable quantity of property has been made away with, of which the books say nothing.

There is very little money current here. Mr. T is glad to have the yearly accounts of the farmers settled by the cotton, which can be turned into specie at Mobile. I think that property in land and stock can be acquired here, but as for money there is little of it that I don’t know well how to come by it. I could have made more in Cornwall. “

To be continued...

Recent Additions To The Library

Donated by the Mission Viejo Chapter DAR:
Books: “Index of Gravestones for the People of Putnam County, New York” and ”Forgotten Allies, Oneida Indians and the American Revolution” by Glatthaar and Martin

CD’s: “Early West Virginia Settlers, 1600s-1900s.” This CD includes fourteen books including family and local histories, marriage records, military records, and court records on 200,000 individuals.

“History of Western Maryland; Frederick, Montgomery, Carroll, Washington, Allegany, and Garrett Counties.” Vol. 1 & 2. The first volume covers the French and Indian War to the War of 1812, giving lists of early soldiers, settlers, voters, patents, marriages and churches. The second volume is devoted to historical and biographical sketches.

“History of Northwestern New York; Erie, Niagara, Wyoming, Genesee, & Orleans Counties, by Lewis Historical Pub. Co., Horton, John Theodore. This is a digital copy of the book. .

“Genealogy and History of Tioga County, New York.” Three complete searchable publications. Historical Gazetteer of Tioga County, New York, 1785-1888, Our County and its People: A Memorial History of Tioga County and Gazetteer and Business Directory of Broome and Tioga Counties, New York.

Donated by Jennifer Chiaverini: ”A Step by Step Handbook, Your Swedish Roots”

Purchased by SOCCGS: ”The Shaping of America: A Geographical Perspective on 500 Years of History, Vol. 2: Continental America, 1800-1867” by D. W. Meinig This is the book Norma Keating used in her February presentation. ”The Shaping of America: Vol. 3: Transcontinental America, 1850-1915” by D.W. Meinig. Lots of good maps in both books.

A “Little Gem” From

~ Bill Bluett

While searching my grandmother's name on the NEWSPAPERARCHIVE.COM website, I ran across a most amazing headline. On November 24th, 1903, a Syracuse newspaper stated in bold type KIDNAPPED GIRL AT HIGH SCHOOL - Woman Took Mildred Paddock Away During Session. For the better part of a day, the community of Pulaski, New York, thought that 11-year old Mildred had been kidnapped. Fortunately, this isn't exactly what happened. A little explanation regarding the circumstances is needed at this point. My great grandparents, Charles and Mabel Paddock had been having marital problems for a number of years. Mildred had been living with Charles parents for nearly 4 years and her younger brother, Louie, had been living with Mabel's parents for about the same length of time. Charles and Mabel had been separated from one another for several years. Unfortunately, Charles took his life in May of 1903 at the age of 31. As a widow, Mabel was probably trying to support herself after Charles died.

On that November day, Mabel made the decision to take Mildred away to live with her in Syracuse. After removing her from school, they immediately boarded the train in Pulaski and traveled to her residence in Syracuse. Mabel had not notified the grandparents about her intensions. And, when Mildred did not come home, concern for her well being created an investigation. People who saw Mildred being taken away furnished a description of a "mysterious" woman wearing a veil. Upon hearing the woman’s description, my great-great grandfather (William Paddock) then said he was able to identify the woman as Mrs. C.D. Paddock, his daughter-in-law and mother of the child.

The following night, an interview took place at Mabel’s residence by a newspaper reporter. She stated: "I wish to impress upon the public that I did not kidnap my child. I wrote her grandparents, Mr. and Mrs. William H. Paddock, that I had taken Mildred and they need not worry, as she would be content with me. I purpose keeping Mildred with me and will send her to one of the public schools so that she will not lose any of her studies. I fear no trouble from her grandparents, as it was understood when I consented to leave Mildred with them that she was to remain only temporarily. The idea that I was a strange woman, heavily veiled, is preposterous! Why, I lived in Pulaski for eight years and the veil I wore was only a light flimsy one". The article went on to say that: “she will shortly have her son, Louie, with her. He is younger than Mildred and has been living with Mrs. Paddock's parents”.

So, the "mystery" of the kidnapping was over. Mildred and Louie would now be living with their mother. But, it is interesting to note that several years later, Mabel left the children again. This time, she traveled to Los Angeles with two of her sister-in–laws to seek work. Nellie (recently widowed-no children) and Georgina (recently divorced with at least one child) made the move with Mabel. I do not know what drew them out to California. There were no family members left in L.A. of which I am aware. There may have been friends. For whatever reason, they came to L.A without their children. But, within the year, Mabel sent for 16-year old Mildred and 14-year old Louie to join her in California. They traveled all the way from Syracuse to Los Angeles by themselves on the train in 1909! Unfortunately, Georgina’s child never came to L.A. until later as an adult. On a positive note, my mother (Betty) has an album filled with postcards that Mabel and the kids sent back to an “Aunt Blanche” in New York as they were traveling on the train. They continued sending postcards over the next several years. They are dated from 1909 to 1913. Evidently, “Aunt Blanche” must have mailed them back to the family in California at some point in time so they could have them as a keepsake.

One final note: My mother had never heard the story about the so-called “kidnapping”. So, she was rather surprised when she read the newspaper articles. This tells me that I should continue searching those old newspapers for other “Little Gems”. Who knows what else I may run across at the NEWSPAPERARCHIVES.COM website. I encourage our members to do the same. It can be fun, revealing and rewarding.

News From The Library

We extend a big THANK YOU to Kevin Gross, Barbara Harley and Jo Taylor for stepping up and volunteering to fill the vacant docent positions. However, we are still in need of volunteers to become substitute docents in order to fill in as vacation relief. If you are interested in helping out please contact Bunny Smith, 949-472-8046.

Have you had a kindness shown? Pass it on.
'Twas not given for thee alone. Pass it on.
Let it travel down the years, Let it wipe another's tears,
'Till in Heaven the deed appears. Pass it on.
~ Rev. Henry Burton

“A Bit of SOCCGS History”

~Bill Bluett

The first SOCCGS meeting was held in February 1994. By June there were 124 Founding Members. Ed Gill submitted the logo. At Pat McCoy’s suggestion the newsletter was titled “Saddleback Valley Trails.” John Smith set up the SOCCGS website. Until January 1997 the monthly meetings were at the Norman P. Murray Center. The group moved to the LDA Church in February.

Organized by Janet Franks, the first safari with eleven in attendance traveled to the Carlsbad Library in June 1995. In July seventeen went to the Sons of the Revolution Library in Glendale.

SOCCGS opened the Genealogy Department in the new Mission Viejo Library in October 1997. We moved into the new expansion in April 2002.

We had Garage Sales! In September 2001 a sale was held at the home of Mary Jo and Bob McQueen. For the next three years Leon and Bunny Smith were the “Garage Sale Hosts.”

The first and second seminars were held at the Library’s Community Room in November 1998 and September 1999.

2002–2009 Seminars: Chairman Mary Jo McQueen - Hank Jones, Dr. George Schweitzer (2), Bill Dollarhide & Leland Meitzler, Lloyd Bockstruck and John Colletta. Chairman Bill Bluett - George G. Morgan and, upcoming, Paula Stuart Warren.

Newsletter Editors: Pat Weeks, July 1994-June 1999; Gail Gilbert, July 1999-June 2003; Mary Jo McQueen, July 2003 to present.

Presidents: 1994, Mary Ellen Lytle; 1995-96, John Smith; 1997-98, Janet Franks; 1999-2000, Judy Deeter; 2001-02 Mary Jo McQueen; 2003-04 Joe Barney; 2004; 2005-06, Mary Jo McQueen 2007-08, Bill Bluett; 2009, Sandy Crowley. ollowing is what Herb reports: I recently upgraded my 12-marker DNA test to a 67 marker test and now have the results. There were two 63/67 matches, one with a Gary McNeil and one with a Rodney Richard Baird and two 62/67 matches, one with a Lamar Beard and one with a Larry Beard.

“A Letter From A Past President”

To My Dear Friends at SOCCGS,
           Just a quick note to say, “hello” from Ohio on the occasion of the 15th anniversary of SOCCGS. It is really hard to believe it has been 15 years since we began.
           I think I was at the first meeting of SOCCGS. If I remember correctly, it was at the Sizzler Restaurant on Lake Mission Viejo. Maryellen Lytle, our founder and first President, was in charge. At the time, I thought I would probably attend a few meetings, learn more about genealogy and just go home at the end of the meetings. I had no idea that one day I would serve as Program Chairman, President and work with the Mission Viejo library to plan a section for genealogy in the library.
           A few times, I presented the programs at SOCCGS. Mostly, I presented Christmas programs prior to our wonderful snack times--eating all the goodies brought by our “member-bakers.”
           I no longer do as much genealogy as I used to do. Some of you may recall that I do not really like doing computer genealogy. When genealogy became computerized, my interest went away. Genealogy lost its “romance” for me. Give me the back room of some small library or courthouse any day!!
           I continue, however, to use the skills that I learned through genealogy. I write historical stories for the Wednesday section of a newspaper. Actually, my stories are in the Wednesday edition of newspapers in Troy, Piqua and Sidney, Ohio. It has been great fun. Nearly every time I write an article, I remember that I must document, document, document my facts. If I am writing a biographical piece, I try to include the names of the parents or where the person lived while growing up.
           I am still involved in history. I was just re-elected as the President of the Troy (Ohio) Historical Society. The public library in Troy bought a bank and set up a local history library and genealogical center there a few years ago. It is a wonderful little place.
           Tomorrow (probably at about the time you have your meeting) I will be attending the dedication of an historical marker for Charley Furnas. Charley was the world’s first airplane passenger. He worked as a mechanic for the Wright Brothers. He took the place of a sandbag in their plane on one of the flights at Kitty Hawk. Life is still good, still fun.
           My sincere congratulations on your achievements to all of you, who have worked so hard to make SOCCGS a success,
           Sincerely, Judy Deeter, Past President

"Don't aim for success if you want it;
Just do what you love and believe in, and it will come naturally."
~David Frost

"Websites of Interest to Genealogists"
  Historical Portuguese-American Newspaper.
  “AskAboutIreland” is a constantly growing Irish resource. Here, you can freely access Griffith’s Valuation and Digital books.
  100 Genealogy Resources to discover your ancestry Dick Eastman suggests “… a list like this should be given to every genealogy novice. Can't recall if we've shared this website before.
  Old Penny Postcards. Click on the state and then on the county.

Note: If you did not attend the May meeting you might want to stop in the library and pick up a copy of Herb’s handout. It is filled with great websites!

David Flint – Ways & Means Chairman

Following is a list of revised instructions to make it easier to sign up for the Ralphs Rewards Program:
If you don’t have a Ralphs Rewards Card you can get one the next time you visit your Ralphs Market. Once you have your card, you will need to register online. Go to and click on the “Sign In/Register” link in the upper right corner of the page.

  • Most participants are new online customers, so you must click on “Sign up today!” in the “New Customer?” box.
  • Sign up for a Ralphs Account by entering your zip code, clicking on your favorite store, entering your e-mail address and creating a password, and agreeing to the terms and conditions.
  • You will then get a message to check your e-mail inbox and click on the link within the body of the e-mail message you received.
  • Click on “My Account” and use your e-mail address and password to proceed to the next step.
  • Click on “Edit Community Contribution Program Information” and input your Ralphs REWARDS card number. (It is a 12-digit number.)
  • Update or confirm your information.
  • Enter the NPO number or name of organization (South Orange County California Genealogical Society), or select organization from list and click on confirm. (The NPO number for SOCCGS is 91293). To verify you are enrolled correctly, you will see your organization’s name on the right side of your information page.
If you are a customer who uses your phone number at the register, you can call 800-660-9003 to get your REWARDS card number.

You must swipe your registered Ralphs REWARDS card (or use the phone number that is connected to your registered Ralphs card) when shopping for each purchase to count. Remember that purchases will not count to provide funds for SOCCGS until after you register your Ralphs card.

If you are interested in the alternate SCANBAR method of member registration, please call 800-443-4438 and a SCANBAR letter will be mailed to you.

I hope you are successful in registering in this program to help raise funds for our society. If you have any difficulty or need help with the instructions, feel free to contact me.

I Could Be Wrong About Some Things

~David Servant

"Television won't last. It's a flash in the pan."

~Mary Somerville, pioneer of radio educational broadcasts, 1948

"I think there is a world market for maybe five computers."

~Thomas Watson, chairman of IBM, 1943

"An Ancestor I Wish I Had Known"

“Abraham Venable”
~ Sandy Crowley

During the Revolutionary War my ancestor, Abraham Venable, served as an Assistant Commissary person. When food for the troops was running low, he was ordered to impress (take) 2 cows from locals wherever he could find them. The cows he took were those of someone with allegiance to England, not to the American cause.

Abraham asked the owner to fill out a public claim form requesting reimbursement. The owner of the cows said no, and instead sued Abraham Venable. As luck would have it, the great orator and lawyer, Patrick Henry happened to be a neighbor of Abraham’s father, Abraham Venable Sr. and knew the Venables well. In court, Patrick Henry represented Abraham in what has come to be known as the “beef speech.” Volumes of Patrick Henry’s speeches have survived and I have read this speech. Henry apparently had the court visitors in stitches as he poked fun at the owner of the cows. The owner was awarded two cents – one for each cow – considerably less than the true value.

It would have been a treat for me to be sitting there with Abraham Venable listening to Patrick Henry doing what he did best.

“Grandmère, dites-moi, dites-moi”

(Tell me, tell me.)
~Pat Weeks

Grandmother, tell me all. I am fascinated with your life. I want to know all the details, so tell me all. Were you surprised that you were chosen in 1724 to go with explorer Etienne Veniard de Bourgemont to Paris? You, as a daughter of one of the Missouri tribal chiefs, were taken to Paris with seven male Indians. It has been suggested that you were chosen because you were Bourgemont’s mistress. Well, were you?

None-the-less, that travel down the Mississippi from central Missouri in 1724 must have been a big excursion. Then, after departing from Mobile, your ship sank in the harbor and you all had to be rescued. It must have been frightening to board another boat in order to make the trip across the gulf and Atlantic.

We know from the local newspaper of that time while in Paris you were entertained at court. You were given a yellow satin dress, in the style of the latest Paris décor. You were also received a repeater watch, of which your daughter, Marie Rose, spoke 25 years later. It was also reported in the newspaper that the total Indian entourage was on display at the Bois de Boulogne, showing off their native skills of the hunt, etc. I must ask, were you there, a la façon des Indiens? If so, were you bare breasted, in the Indian fashion?

How exciting to have been married at Notre Dame Cathedral to Bourgemont’s Sergeant, François Dubois. You two then returned to the Missouri Country where you resided for a few years. How did it feel to return to those primitive dwellings? Chief Chicagou, one of your travel companions to Paris, later remarked on the unbelievable smells and clamoring sounds of Paris life. Were you, also, filled with such awe?

What were the circumstances when the Indians attacked Fort Orleans where you were living? Your husband, DuBois, was killed along with seven other soldiers. However, you were mysteriously absent on that occasion. Did you know of the plans to ambush the Frenchmen at the Fort? Were you part of that ambush? Oh Grandmère, dites-moi!

After the massacre at Fort Orleans, you married the fur trader, Louis Marin, and it appears you settled down to a humdrum life around the Kaskaskia region on the Mississippi River. Your daughter, Marie Rose, my ancestor, appeared to know all about your early life. She told what she knew to Jean-Bernard Bossu when he came through the Illinois region in 1752 and wrote his “Travels”

Thank you, Grandmère Marie Rose, you have left wonderful, wonderful accounts about your mother, but it still leaves me thinking about all the things I would like to ask Grandmère Francoise Missouri.


June 20 & 21 - Irish Fair & Music Festival, Irvine Meadows Fairgrounds. Follow the VerizonWireless Amphitheater signs into the Park. 8800 Irvine Center Drive.
June 26-28 - Southern California Genealogy 40th Annual Jamboree at the Burbank Marriott Hotel and Convention Center. Check the blog Registrations may be made online at
June 27 & 28 - San Diego Scottish Highland Games & Gathering of Clans in Vista.
October 17 - SOCCGS 7th Annual Seminar. This year featuring Paula Stewart Warren. For information contact Bill Bluett (949) 492-9408 or

Newsletter Submissions

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 and must be 800 words or less. 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:


President _________________________ Sandy Crowley____________________
Vice President, Seminar
Chairman & Safari Coordinator ________

Bill Bluett ________________________
Recording Secretary ________________ Cindie Reily _______________________
Corresponding Secretary ____________ Pat Weeks _______________________
Treasurer & Newsletter Editor ________ Mary Jo McQueen _________________
Membership ______________________ Jack Naylor ______________________
Publicity/Webmaster _______________ Herb Abrams _____________________
Librarian _________________________ Bunny Smith _____________________
Parliamentarian ___________________ Charles & Patricia Nostrome _________
Hospitality _______________________    
Historian  ________________________ Barbara Wilgus ____________________
Ways & Means  __________________ David Flint ________________________

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)

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

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