Saddleback Valley Trails

South Orange County California Genealogical Society

Vol. 18 No. 6

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

June 2011

Editor: Gary Schwarz

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

General Meeting 18 June 2011

“Ethnic Groups: They Came to America”
Presented by
Linda Serna

This program considers the Polish, German, French, Walloons from Belgium, Irish, Italian, and Dutch and explores where they came from, when they came, why they came, and where they went in America. This presentation also looks at some common reasons for immigration, including the history behind why people left their homeland. In addition, it presents the time periods during which a group was most likely to immigrate into the United States and where the most common entry points were. By understanding our ethnic ancestors in greater depth, we can more easily find them and tell their story.

About the Speaker: Linda Serna has been involved with genealogy for many years. She is a member of the Association of Professional Genealogists, the Genealogical Speakers Guild, the Orange County California Genealogical Society, the Polish Genealogical Society, and the Genealogical Society of Hispanic America. For the last 20 years Linda has focused on tracing her and her husband’s families including her Polish, French, and German background. She enjoys helping others begin their research and write their family’s stories. Over the past several years she has given presentations to various groups in Southern California.

Safari News

Once again, by popular demand, the San Diego Genealogical Society Research Library will be our destination on June 29th, the 5th Wednesday of the month. Many of our books were relocated to their facility last summer. So, you might want to revisit what was once a part of our collection. We will meet at the LDS Church parking lot at 9:00 A.M. You may bring a lunch, or be prepared to drive a short distance to a local eatery. Don't forget $$ for your driver. There will be no plans for dinner on the way home. Contact Bill Bluett to reserve a spot. Use to access their Library Catalog.

Meeting Location

Until further notice the SOCCGS monthly meetings will be held in the main building at the Mission Viejo Family History Center.

Genealogical Definitions

Gravel – Listed as a cause of death usually meant complications from kidney stones.

President's Message

~Bill Bluett

Of all the research documents I have collected, I have to say that OBITUARIES have provided some of the most interesting “breakthroughs” in my genealogy research. They have indicated locations where the deceased lived during their lifetime, accomplishments they may have attained at some point in their life, and the names of brothers, sisters or children are usually given including the names of spouses. Many times, their current residence is indicated in the obituary. The biggest help I’ve found is when the married names are included. That piece of information alone has been a tremendous help to me in being able to continue following the female line of a particular ancestor. I have found many of these obituaries on the NEWSPAPERARCHIVES.COM website. Recently, I’ve found a few more on the ARCHIVES.COM/ website. Their membership cost is about $40 per year. Otherwise, Historical or Genealogical Societies in areas where ancestors died have sent me obituaries from local newspapers. Let me give you a few examples of what I have received with some examples of the information they contained.

Thomas Collins, my gg-grandfather, died in Dubuque, Iowa, in October of 1869. The Dubuque County – Key City Genealogical Society found the newspaper article for me. It stated where he was born (Portatown, County Armagh, Ireland), what year he came from Canada to Dubuque (1855), who he worked for (The Dubuque & Sioux City Railroad Company), what his age was at death (59), the number of children in his family (8), what church he was associated with (The Society of St Francis De Paul), and where he was buried (The Key West Cemetery). It also stated that - “In the earlier part of his life he followed the sea and had gone through all the positions of seamanship, from before the mast, to the captaincy of a vessel.” Needless to say, all this information has given me many additional resources to explore and research. I’m not sure exactly when Thomas departed Ireland and came to Canada. But, I’m working on it.

Tom Collins, my great-grandfather (son of Thomas), was a great find that I have shared with many of you in the past. In March of 2003, our society Safari traveled to the Pomona Library. Now, this was before the days of the LOS ANGELES TIMES newspaper being made available on the L. A. Public Library website. The Pomona Library had the newspaper on microfilm. I had a list of ancestors who had died in the Los Angeles area and I researched those dates on their microfilm. I found several obituaries that day. But, the big surprise was the articles that ran for two consecutive days in the L. A. Times (December of 1910) with my great grandfathers picture! Tom had worked at City Hall in the Water Department for many years and later served as a City Hall Guide for seven years – after he became blind! You see, he was a brick mason on the City Hall project when it was built and knew the layout of the building like the back of his hand. He became known as “Old Blind Tom” during those years. And, that is the way the articles were titled. They covered his entire lifetime from his birth in Chatham, Ontario, Canada, to his arrival in Los Angeles in 1890. The article gave me the path of his life and locations to search for additional information. The fact that he worked for William Mulholland at the Water Dept. may have had an influence on the coverage he received when he died. I am thankful for whatever reasons those articles were created.

Martha Stowell, my gg-grandmother, is my final example. She died in Syracuse, New York, in 1906. The obituary listed her children in the article. The main point of interest was her four daughters, their married names, and where they were living at the time of her death. Many times we lose track of the female lines unless we can find their married names. Now, I had their names and I could research those family lines if I chose to do so. One daughter of interest in the obituary was Jennie Blount. It mentioned the fact that she had lost an arm as a result of a trolley accident two years prior to her mother’s death. I found a number of newspaper articles in NEWSPAPERARCHIVES.COM covering the incident. That’s another story all together.

So, it is evident that obituaries can produce excellent leads for additional research. I’m sure that many of you have had great success with obituary information. But, there is always the possibility that one of them just might knock down a “brick wall” that has been up for many years and open up the floodgates to locating more of those elusive ancestors. So, keep on digging and share some of your stories with our group. We all learn from each other’s experiences.

Surname List

New and long time members are encouraged to add information by sending an email to Herb listing surnames, locations and years being researched. Herb at or (949)-581-6292

Genealogical Writing: Selecting Type

~Michael J. Leclerc

Part of publishing compiled genealogies is selecting an appropriate font and typeface to use. Font and type selection can make the difference between a polished work and one that looks less clean and more amateur. Fortunately there are a few simple rules to follow in selecting your fonts that can make you shine like a star.

There are two major types of type. Serif fonts have small accents, called serifs, on the end of the strokes in the letters. Serif fonts are used for body text in printed works because the serifs help the eye to keep the traveling along the lines in long blocks of text.

Times and Times New Roman have been the default fonts in word processing programs for years. As such, they now have an amateurish look about them. Neither should be used in publishing your family history. There are a number of serif fonts that will make your work look much more professional. Garamond and Palatino, for example, are two fonts that are commonly used by the Newbury Street Press when publishing books.

Sans-serif type is more straight, and do not have the serifs on them. The name comes from the French “sans” which means “without.” Another term for this type style is Gothic, although this is now an outmoded term. Sans-Serif fonts are traditionally used for headlines instead of body text. Sans-serif fonts have also become the standard for electronic publishing (CDs, websites, etc.). Serif fonts do not display well on many computer monitors, and so are rarely used in electronic publishing. Arial was the default sans-serif font in word processing programs for many years, so again should be avoided in your publishing. Calibri is an excellent choice for a sans-serif font.

Emphasizing text should also be used sparingly. If everything is bold or italicized, nothing will stick out. And avoid italics in electronic publishing. It can be very difficult to read on computer monitors, especially on smaller monitors.

When selecting a font from your word processor or web page creation software, you will often be provided with a wide variety of choices. Remember that just because you have 100 fonts in your word processing software, it doesn’t mean that you should use them all in a single document. As a rule, try to choose a single serif font and a single sans-serif font for your work. Specialty fonts (that make your type look like the wild west, for example) should be used sparingly, if at all.

Excerpted from NEHS The Weekly Genealogist, Vol. 14, No. 9, Whole #520, March 2, 2011

New Members

Dotty Frankel - Rancho Santa Margarita, CA, Looking for: Yeagen – 1930, Schroll – 1730.
Sue McClory - Laguna Niguel, CA, Looking for: McClory, Whitley, Warr and Chase (of Greenfield Co., MA).
Yvonne Horton - Trabuco Cyn, CA,
Judith A. Malone – Laguna Woods, CA,
Barbara Perez – Temecula, CA, Looking for Lite, Bennett, Pearson, Nelson, Olson, Sibbitt, McClure, Noble and Morton.

Ralph's Community Contribution Program

~Jim Thordahl – Ways & Means Chairman

If you are a new SOCCGS member or have not yet enrolled, it’s easy. Get a Ralphs Rewards Card, if you don’t have one. Present a copy of the “Scanbar letter” which contains our code at checkout the next time you shop at Ralphs. You may also enroll on-line at Please see me at the next meeting for a “Scanbar letter.” A “Scanbar Letter” can also be downloaded from our website. If you have a question call or e-mail:; ph: (949) 492-5334.

U.S. IRS Tax Assessment Lists, 1862-1918

When the taxman came to call, our ancestors probably grumbled as much as we do. But their tax woes can be a genealogists’ good fortune. Throughout history, taxes have been collected by federal and local governments on luxury items like carriages, watches, pianos, billiard tables, and silver, as well as real estate, slaves, and income. Poll taxes were sometimes levied by counties and towns on the free white males.

May Meeting

Guests at the meeting were: Robin Dries, Penny Sander and Beth Marcus.

Brick Walls & Genealogy Research Suggestions

Bunny Smith said that Pat McCoy has donated books for the October seminar’s book sale and asks that we please begin collecting books to donate.
Sondra Koegler asked for direction to a source for Norwegian translation. Jim Thordahl can provide information for her.
Pat Weeks suggested going to a family history library and asking for the research booklet for the country you are interested in. Those booklets have info on sources.
Melbournia Pittman has been searching for WPA records.
Barbara Taylor has been using Ancestry and has found ships records and info on her grandparents. New stuff is being added, so keep checking on Ancestry.
Kathy Mauzey has found an 1895 will. The will gives $1 each to the children of the first wife. The children of the 2nd wife received substantially more money. She told of the story of a lawsuit between the children of the two wives.

Help Needed

Member, Pat McCoy, needs transportation from Laguna Woods to our meetings. If you are able to offer assistance please call Pat at (949) 454-9718.

“He that hath no fools, knaves, or beggars in his family
Must have been begot by a flash of lightning!” 

~Thomas Fuller, 1608-61

Newsletter Submissions

~Gary Schwarz - Editor

I wish to thank members who have submitted articles to be published in the newsletter. Please continue to submit your articles of genealogical interest. Short, one or two paragraphs, or long, two or more pages are welcome.

Submissions must be received by the Wednesday after the monthly meeting to have a chance of making it into the next month’s newsletter. The articles should be a text or MS Word attachment, emailed to the editor and have a Subject line: SOCCGS Newsletter Article – article title or description. I would prefer articles be kept under 800 words, but longer ones can be accommodated. All articles may be edited by the editor, but the preference is not to alter articles. If you wish to review your edited article prior to publication, say that in your email. All articles will be spell checked and grammar checked with MS Word.

News from the Mission Viejo Library

~Bunny Smith – SOCCGS Librarian

The Mission Viejo Library is back open after the carpet upgrades. We have new chairs just waiting for you to try out. Our computers have been updated with the latest genealogy programs and docents are ready to help you.

Our Library collection is complete. We have every book on CD that everyone could want. Or, is there a book that you would like to research that is not on our online list? Is there a state, county, or country that you are interested in that is not represented? Well now is your chance to let us know. We would like to expand our books on CD's. Please email Bunny Smith, with the name of the CD's you would like to add to our collection. Thank you. I am waiting to hear from you.

New CD's

SOCCGS has recently purchased the following books on CD: The Emigration from Germany to Russia in the Years 1763-1862 by Karl Stumpp, and From Catherine to Khrushchev: The Story of Russia’s Germans by A. Geissinger.

Genealogy Software

The “New” Version of the FamilySearch Website
~Barbara Renick’s lecture (adapted for this article by David Flint)

As you know, FamilySearch has made significant changes to the look and functioning of its well-used genealogy website located at Some of our members have reported having difficulty navigating the “new” version of FamilySearch or frustration in finding things they were used to using on the “old” site. Barbara Renick lectured in May at the Orange Family History Fair about new tools at Barbara recommended a guide that is available on the FamilySearch website called “Adjusting to the New Version of (8 December 2010)”. This is a 24-page PDF document that is worth the paper and printer ink, if you really want to learn, how the new website is organized, where to find things in the “new” version that were in the “old” site, and tips on how to do some common tasks using the new site.

To download this document:
  1. Go to and click on the brown What’s New? box under Changes at in the top right corner of the page.
  2. In the shaded area on the right side of the page under Archives, click on 2010.
  3. You are now in the Blog Archive for 2010. Go down to the bottom of the page and click on the box for page 3.
  4. On page 3, near the bottom of that page, is an article titled Website Changes - Updated (posted on 13 December 2010). Click on the title line of the article, which will take you to the full story version of that blog article.
  5. When you get to the full story page, scroll down to the What’s New? section in the middle of the page. Click on What’s New View/Print Guide (pdf) to see the full 24-page document. You can either save the PDF file in your computer for later reference and/or print it out from the file you are now viewing.

HP Smart Web Printing

~Jack Naylor suggestion

A tool that can be downloaded from:, as an accessory to Internet Explorer. Smart Webprinting has a selection tool which allows clipping the image of an area which has selected on a webpage. A number of clips can be retained by the program and later, edited and printed. A handy tool for the web genealogy researcher.

Software Comparisons Site

~David Flint suggestion This site compares: free or not free, features, languages, and operating systems on which software will work.

New On

U.S. World War II Navy Muster Rolls, 1938-1949
Utah, Military Records, 1861-1970
California, World War I Death Announcements, 1918-1921 - Free Index
California, World War I Soldier Citations, 1918-1921 - Free Index
U.S., Naval Intelligence Personnel Duty Locations and China Muster Rolls, 1942-1945
U.S. Navy Cruise Books Index, 1918-2009
California Voter Registrations, 1900-1968 - Updated
U.S. Marine Corps Muster Rolls, 1798-1940 - Updated

2011 Genealogy Events

June 10-1242nd Annual Genealogy Jamboree presented by Southern California Genealogical Society at the Los Angeles Burbank Airport Marriott Hotel and Convention Center,

Jun. 25 & 26San Diego Scottish Highland Games & Gathering of Clans, Vista, CA,

July 20-24The 41st Annual Germans from Russia Heritage Society International Convention is being held in Spokane, Washington,

August 1-72011 AHSGR Convention presented by The American Historical Society of Germans from Russia in Salt Lake City, Utah,

October 15South Orange County California Genealogical Society presents its annual seminar in Mission Viejo, CA, this year featuring Curt B. Witcher, a manager of the Allen County Library, Fort Wayne, Indiana.

October 22Clark County Nevada Genealogical Society presents its CCNGS Fall Family History Seminar in Las Vegas, Nevada, “Gardening Your Roots, A Genealogy Series”,


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

SOCCGS Website @

Mail List:

SOCCGS Research Center, Mission Viejo Library;

Marguerite Parkway at LaPaz, (949) 470-8498

SOCCGS E-mail:

Use this form to send with your dues payment

South Orange County California Genealogical Society Membership/Renewal Application

 ( ) New   ( ) Renewal      ( ) Individual, $20/yr.      ( ) Joint Members, same address, $25/yr.
 City_____________________________________ State_______ Zip _____________ Phone__________________
 Email address:__________________________________________________________________________________
 Make check payable to: SOCCGS
 Mail with application to: SOCCGS, P.O. Box 4513, Mission Viejo, CA 92690

South Orange County
California Genealogical Society

Mission Viejo, California


A Family History Seminar
Saturday, October 15, 2011 - 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.)

“An Ancestor’s Life – Pulling It All Together”

Curt B. Witcher
Renowned Lecturer & Manager of the Allen Co. Library Genealogy Dept. - Ft. Wayne, Indiana


“Doing the History Eliminates the Mystery”
“Fingerprinting Our Families – Using Ancestral Origins as a Research Key”
“An Ancestor’s Death – A Time for Reaping”
“The Road Not Taken - Mega Internet Sites Off the Beaten Path”


Refreshments - Door Prizes - Drawing for Handmade Quilt
Sales Tables and Displays

Pre-registration must be received by October 12 / Tickets at the door $25.00, no lunch.
(Seminar information & registration form are also available on SOCCGS website.)

SOCCGS ‘2011’ Seminar Registration

 Name(s) ___________________________________________________________ Registration: ______ @$20.00
 ___________________________________________________________________ Box Lunch:    ______ @ $9.00
 Address: __________________________________________________________ Total:   $__________

 City & Zip: _______________________________________________________
 Telephone: _________________________ E-mail:____________________________________________________
 Mail to: SOCCGS, P.O. Box 4513                               Information: (949) 492-9408 or
          Mission Viejo, CA 92690-4513      

Top of Page

Soccgs Home Page