Saddleback Valley Trails

Vol 4 No 6 Editor: Pat Weeks June 1997

South Orange County California Genealogical Society

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


Monthly meetings are scheduled for the third Saturday of each month and are held from 10:00 AM to Noon at 27978 Marguerite Parkway (situated between Medical Center Drive and Hillcrest Drive.)

21 June 1997 "Interviewing Techniques For Family and Friends" is the topic to be addressed at this meeting by Maureen Halpert. Our speaker has worked in conjunction with Stephen Spielberg interviewing holocaust victims.

19 July 1997 To be announced.

16 August 1997 To be announced

20 September 1997 Harry Drewry will speak on "Cemetery and Mortuary Records" and their effective use in research.

Other Local Events

19-21 July 1997 The Genealogical Society of Hispanic America, Southern CA chapter, hosts the 9th annual conference at Seaport Marina Hotel in Long Beach. Friday's reception at the Latin American Museum in Long Beach. The two day program offers speakers, networking events and workshops followed by a banquet on Saturday evening.

13-14 September 1997 San Diego Genealogical Society will hold their second annual "Genealogical and Family History Fair" at the Scottish Rite Center. 1895 Camino Del Rio South, Mission Valley, San Diego. For further information call (619)588-0065


At the Family History Center

Be advised that our local Family History Center in Mission Viejo will be closed August 18 through September 1. Due to many family vacations and activities through the summer months it is advisable to call first to be sure that the center is open that day. They can be reached at 364-2742.

Proposed Budget

In this newsletter you will find the proposed budget for this year which has been accepted by the Executive Board, and now will be presented for acceptance to the general membership at the June meeting.

Please scan and be ready to vote on this budget at our next meeting.


We welcome the following new members:

Barbara C. Raylman
Robert & Mary Jo McQueen
Kathy Kirby & K. Poland

Guests at our May meeting were Jack Hackney, Bruce Jewett, Barbara Rasmussen, Nell Fischer, Charles Fischer, Shirley Hupp, Arleigh Hupp, Ethel Nielsen, Robert Sanchez, Ruth Budgor, Myrtle Furtado, Pat and Bill Lockwood, and Kathleen Costillo.


Mary Ellen Lytle wants to remind everyone that she still has mylar available for purchase. Please contact her with your order.


When we organized this society, we pledged to donate $1 from each membership fee each year to our local National Archives. In April, SOCCGS presented the Pacific Southwest Region National Archives with a donation of $150 for purchase of additional microfilm and CD Roms for the research room.


From time to time we receive queries from people who have visited our web page at <>. To illustrate how wide a reach the Internet has, Herb Abrams has written this summary of his good deed for the society:

Last month SOCCGS got a request from Moscow, Russia, from a gentleman who was looking for the obituary of his grandfather who died in 1994 in Riverside County CA. Herb obliged by first finding his last known residence in the Social Security Records at the FHC which showed he last lived in Palm Desert, CA. A call to the Palm Desert operator told him the nearest newspaper was the "Desert Sun" in Palm Springs. They in turn referred him to the Palm Springs Library, which had the obituary on microfilm. All it cost was $1 and a self-addressed envelope. Herb e-mailed the information to the Russian. Hope he appreciated it, for we haven't heard from him since.


Maybe this is the answer.

Seems that this poor couple didn't have much and the husband was not very nice to his wife of 40 years. One day he up and died, so she went through the regular routine, had his funeral and buried him. About three weeks later the clerk in the grocery store said, "Wow, What a diamond on that finger! How big is that stone? Your husband must have left you well off."

"Not really," she replied.

"Well, where did you get the money for it?" asked the clerk.

"Well," she said, "I was going through his things right after he died and I found an envelope containing some money and a note. The note said, `Here's enough money to bury me when I die, plus an extra $5,000 for a nice stone.'" (Lycoming Lineage, LCGS, Lycoming Co PA, May/June 1997)


Robert Young Clay of the Virginia State archives wrote in 1980: "Prior to 1786 a will in Virginia did not have to name the wife or the eldest son. Their inheritances of real estate was set by law, the widow receiving her one-third dower and the eldest son receiving the remaining two-thirds unless otherwise specified in the father's will. The eldest son also received his mother's share when she died. If the eldest son had died, the heir-at-large became the eldest grandson of the whole blood, not the second son. If a man was unmarried, his heir-at-large was his eldest brother, never his father or uncle. "In New England, however, the eldest son did receive a double portion of the estate, but definitely not as much as in Virginia. This was called his birthright. Thus, if you find a person conveyed a one-seventh interest in the father's estate, one may conclude there were six surviving children, each of whom received one-seventh, except for the eldest son who received two-sevenths." (From Ky Bluegrass Roots, winter 1987 via Questing Heirs, April 1997)


In the January 1997 Reader's Digest there is an article titled Johnson's List, by Malcolm McConnell that tells of a POW named Wayne "Johnnie" Johnson who during the Korean War kept a list of the POWs who died during their imprisonment in North Korea.

This list of 496 soldiers was turned over to the U.S. Government when the POWs were released in 1953 but got buried in bureaucratic paperwork and was finally brought to life more than 35 years after the Korean conflict ended through the efforts of Mr Johnson and others.This list is now available on the Internet through Reader's Digest Interactive, at Families with inquiries or information can write Defense POW/MIA Office, 2400 Defense Pentagon, Washington D.C. 20301-2400.(from Paths to the Past No San Diego GS, May 1997)

What do the letters "AET" mean when used with a cemetery reading? Well, it is an abbreviation of actatis, which is Latin for "of the age", and sometimes seen as aetat. When you see "John Doe, died 1 Dec 1890, aet 74" it means he died in his 74th year. You've probably noticed that numerous old tombstones give the age of the deceased in years, months and days. (CSGA Newsletter, Apr 1997)


The State of Illinois Historical Library will look up and copy obituaries for 25 cents each. Send a SASE along with the deceased person's name, date of death, and county where lived or buried, to:

Illinois State Historical Library,. Old Capitol, Springfield IL, 62706. (Gen Soc of N.Orange Co Newsletter, Feb 1997)

Did you know:

"There seems to be a cure for everything but heredity."

"Nothing creates a firmer belief in heredity than having a good-looking child."


Doberman Pinscher Dog

This article is reprinted with the permission of the authors, Mirl and Sarah Orebaugh. It appeared in the Desert Diggings newsletter, April 1997, Hi Desert Genealogical Society, and proves it pays to search every possible angle.

Mirl Raymond Orebaugh had traced his lineage back to Ohio where he lost track. He knew that his Great Grandfather Peter Orebaugh had lived and died in Ohio, but did not know where he was born. The answers to this puzzle came to Mirl in a most strange and interesting way.

In April of 1975, Mirl and Sarah were visiting friends in Pahrump Nevada. As it neared time to begin preparing dinner, the two ladies, Kitty and Sarah, went to the kitchen to get the meal started. Mirl didn't exactly know what to do so he began to look around the house at all the interesting things hanging on the walls. He made his way into the den area and that is where this story takes a strange twist. He looked for a few minutes and then went to the kitchen where he spoke to his hostess. "Kitty, I am related to your dog." Both ladies gave him their full attention upon hearing that very odd statement. They went to the den to examine the Pedigree for the Doberman Pinscher and there was the name of Orebaugh on the chart.

The next move was to look in the Pedigree Directory and there they found the name of Joseph William Orebaugh of La Puente, CA and Veterinarian Dr C. J. Mersch of Yucca Valley. These two gentlemen had been registered owners of some of the dogs on the Pedigree. Mirl contacted Joe Orebaugh of La Puente and was told that Dr Mersch had just died in an airplane crash that same weekend that Sarah and Mirl were visiting in Pahrump. Our couple realized that they had driven right past that very airplane accident on their travels.

Joe Orebaugh invited Mirl and Sarah to visit him in September of 1975. He told Mirl that he had been researching in the wrong area. It was not Ohio that he should be looking in but rather the Shenandoah Valley in VA. Just three short months later, on 30 Dec 1975, Joe Orebaugh suddenly died and was buried at Rose Hills Cemetery, Whittier. Had Mirl and Sarah delayed their visit to see Joe, they most likely would not have found out any of the data that he told them. In this case, timing was everything. Being in Nevada at the right time put them in the direction to locate Mirl's ancestors.

In June and July 1976 Mirl and Sarah went to Virginia and did a great deal of research. They discovered all sorts of data as well as living relatives. The Orebaugh Organization and family reunions are a direct result of that trip. More than ever they think that the Pedigree of Wilo's Baron von Odin belongs in the Orebaugh Family History.


1. Wilo's Baron von Odin

Parents of #1
2a Wilo's Baron von Dante
2b Leading Lady

Parents of #2
3a Cottonwood's Witching Hour
3b Carlson's Jennifer Penny

Parents of #3
4a Eklund's Herr Peter
4b Welchardt's Adonis Kismet

Parents of #4a
5a Hasson von Furstenfeld
5b Miss von Frolic

Parents of #5b
6a Orebaugh's Ranus
6b Suzy von Hoff

Parents of #6a
7a Ch. Orebuagh's Cree
7b Orebaugh's Raven


Why did I start researching my family tree? I was taking bagpipe lessons and there was a rumor that my great-grandmother (Wheatly) was either Scottish or half-Scottish. Before investing in a kilt I thought I should find out if I belonged to a clan. Here it is over six months later and I have yet to find a Scot. I have found Germans, Germans, and more Germans (with a select few relatives from Luxembourg and Holland), but no Scots.

I use the Family Tree Maker program, so to me, anybody who shows up on the kinship report is family. I have about 3500 people in my database, but only about a third of them show up on my report. Until I find my elusive Scot, my only really interesting relatives are Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt (both 4th cousins, 6 times removed as well as spouse of...) And Theodore Roosevelt (5th cousin, 5 times removed). And thanks to the Internet, I have met lots of distant kinfolk and I look forward to receiving some information about an early Roosevelt ancestor who, in the mid-1600s, was held captive for a few months by Indians after her village was attacked and burned to the ground and to learn more about a gg-uncle who marched with Buell and was shot on the second day of the Battle of Shiloh. I have also found numerous relatives who have served our nation since before the Revolutionary War until today.

I really admire all of you who did your research B.C. (Before Computers) as I would be completely lost without mine!


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