Saddleback Valley Trails

Vol 9 No 7 ...Editor: Gail Gilbert ...July 2002

South Orange County California Genealogical Society

 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 wishing to join. Yearly membership fees are $20 per calendar year for individuals, $25 for joint membership. SOCCGS is not affiliated with the LDS Family History Center.


Plans are going forward for our Family History Seminar to be held on November 2. This should prove to be a fun and informative day for local genealogists. We will meet in the Saddleback Room at the new Mission Viejo City Hall. There will be room outside for various tables so that interested groups may display their materials. Also, we will have the opportunity to sell our surplus books at this time.

Hank Jones, a nationally known speaker from San Diego, will present four hour-long presentations during the day: "When the Sources Are Wrong", "Family Tradition: How to Separate Fact from Fiction in Genealogical Research", "Tracing the Origins of Early 18th Century Palatine Emigrants", and "How Psychic Roots Became an Unsolved Mystery". More information on these topics will be forthcoming.

Now is the time to hear from the membership as to ideas and/or suggestions for this event. We will be asking for specific help during the next couple of monthly meetings.

Following is a cookie recipe several members have asked for:

Chocolate Chip-Oatmeal Cookies

3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) margarine
1 cup brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups oatmeal
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup chocolate chips

*Beat together the margarine and brown and granulated sugars until creamy. Beat in the egg. Add the vanilla.
*In another bowl, combine the oatmeal, flour, salt, baking soda and chocolate chips. Add to the margarine mixture in batches until blended. Cover the dough and refrigerate 1 hour.
*Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a baking sheet.
*Drop by teaspoonfuls onto the baking sheet about 2 inches apart. Bake the cookies until golden and the centers are set. About 10 minutes. Remove to wire rack to cool.


Mary Jo McQueen


20 July 2002 Our speaker for this meeting will be Kathleen Trevena who will speak on "Ancestral Dollars and Cents: Occupations, Money and Consumer Spending in Early America." This should be a very interesting meeting with a most unusual topic.


14 Sept 2002 SOCCGS Garage Sale!

2 Nov 2002 SOCCGS Seminar featuring Hank Jones.


18-20 July 2002 The British Isles Family History Society- U.S.A. presents the 15th Annual Seminar on England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, "Celebrate Your Ancestors", aboard the Queen Mary, berthed in Long Beach, CA. A detailed schedule of speakers and information will be at our library or inquire from Linda Egan Flynn (310)539-9409 or <>.

7-10 August 2002 The 2002 Federation of Genealogical Societies Conference will be hosted next summer by the CA State Genealogical Alliance at the Ontario Convention Center. Details will be posted on the FGS Website at You can also write FGS, PO Box 200940, Austin, TX 78720-0940.


New member: Chet Winebright and Gwen Barry

Guests: Phillip & Joanne Copeland


Start clearing your homes and garages of all the clutter that has accumulated over the past year. The SOCCGS can use that clutter at our next garage sale scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 14, 2002. Starting Sept. 1, you can bring those unwanted items to Mary Jo McQueen's or Leon and Bunny Smith's homes. Better yet, give Leon and Bunny a call and they will be happy to pick up those unwanted items for the sale. The Smiths can be reached at (949) 472-8046.


Classes held at 674 S. Yorba St., Orange, CA. To register call (714) 998-3408.

Wed July 03 10-N Personal History Writing - Workshop Linda Newsom

Wed July 10 10-N Personal History Writing - Workshop Linda Newsom

Thr July 11 10-N Research Basics - Locality Survey Linda Newsom

Fri July 12 10-11 Why & How to Have Family Reunions Celia Christenson

Tue July 16 10-N Scottish Research Kathleen Kane

Wed July 17 10-N Moving & Storage of Genealogical Info Barbara Renick

Wed July 17 10-N Personal History Writing - Workshop Linda Newsom

Thr July 19 10-N Research Basics - Sources Linda Newsom

Sat July 20 10-N Hungarian Group Vera Broyles

New additions to the SOCCGS Library Collection:

From Sherry Donaldson:

The Journal of Scotch-Irish Studies

Familia: Ulster Genealogical Review 1994, 1996, 1999, 2001

The Famine in Ulster

Directory of Irish Family History Research #22, 23, 24

A computer monitor

From Helen Swanson

The Puritan Village Evolves

The History of Wayland, Massachusetts

Puritan Village

From Eugenia Gannon

Virginia Gleanings in England

Bound volumes of the Massachusetts Historical Society Proceedings, 1941-44, 1950-53.

From Janet Franks

Connecticut Nutmeggar, 1986-2002

From Florence Wittenburg

2001 Mayflower Quarterlies

From Norma Wilson

Pennsylvania Genealogical Magazine, Vol. 42, #1 & 2

Pennsylvania Magazine of History & Biography CXXV, # 1 & 4

From Mary Jo McQueen

Palo Alto County, Iowa: Births 1880-1908, Marriages 1889-1898, Deaths 1897-1904

From Albert Rego

A computer monitor


Bailie=Bailiff Baxter=Baker Boniface=InnKeeper Brewster=Beer mfg.

Chandler=Retailer Clark=Clerk Cohen=Priest Collier=Coalminer

Crocker=Potter Crowner=Coroner Cooper=Barrel maker Duffer=Peddler

Farrier=Blacksmith Gaoler=Jailer Hayward=Fence keeper Sawyer=Carpenter

Hind=farm laborer Hacker=Hoemaker Leech=Physician Shrieve=Sheriff

Porter=door keeper Roper=rope maker Wagoner=Teamster Vulcan=Blacksmith

Maybe our speaker at the July meeting will expand on these names that come from occupations.


The following introduces our member husband & wife team, Leon and Bunny Smith. Bunny is currently our Historian and Leon heads up Ways & Means.

Genealogy has been a love of Leon's for all of his adult life. His interest has expanded from a want of knowledge of his maternal grandfather's family to a good understanding of all branches of both of his parents families.

Leon was born in Kansas City, Missouri in 1949. In 1951 his family followed Route 66 from Missouri to Los Angeles, California. The following year his family moved to Torrance and stayed there for the next 25 years. Leon received his education in the South Bay area. He received his AA degree from El Camino Jr. College and a BA in political science from CSUDH. He followed in his father's footsteps and joined the LAPD in 1970. Leon worked in different areas of Los Angeles from Westwood to Watts. He retired as a police detective supervisor in 1997.

His interest in genealogy started in high school when he became friends with some LDS members. He was exposed to their interest in family history. Leon began his own quest into family history as a young adult. In the intervening years he has been to many locations where his forebears lived and met many relatives that he never knew existed. Without an interest in genealogy he would have never known how his ancestors fit into American history.

Through his research, Leon discovered his relationship to the Stapp family. Leon read a book about Wyatt Earp and learned that Wyatt's father had been a soldier in the Mexican American War. The book explained that Wyatt's father served under a commanding officer whom he admired. The commanding officer's name was Wyatt Stapp and that was how Wyatt Stapp Earp got his name. Leon checked his (Leon's) ancestral chart on his Stapp family and found Wyatt Stapp to be the same person who was the commanding officer of Wyatt Earp's father. It is stories like this that really makes genealogy interesting and one's family a part of American history.

Leon, along with his wife, Bunny, joined this society to enhance their knowledge of genealogy and to share in experiences with other members their quest of family history.

* * * * * * * * *

Bunny Camden Smith was born in Jefferson City, Missouri to James Camden and Ethel Wisecarver. When she was still a baby, her parents moved to Torrance, California to start a new life. She grew up and attended schools in the Torrance area. She married first the boy down the street. They had one daughter and divorced a few years later. She met Leon Smith at her 15th High School Reunion, married him and moved to Mission Viejo where she has been the past 20 years. She worked for Pacific Bell as a communications technician and retired with 32 years service.

It was her husband, Leon who got her interested in genealogy when they went to his Grandmother's 75th birthday reunion in Missouri. At the time, her grandparents were

still alive, so she started talking to them about their lives and family. But none of them were interested or even wanted to talk about the past. so with the help of her husband she started her research with what little information she knew. Once she found some family members in the census and in County History books did they become interested. They wanted to know more and finally started talking about their families. It's funny that some people don't want to talk about their family or past.

After 15 years researching her family, she found that her family had been in America from it's beginning. Most came in the early 1700's to Virginia, North Carolina or Connecticut. The earliest so far, is Timen Stiddem, a barber surgeon for the New Sweden Company. He crossed the Atlantic seven times before finally settling at Fort Trinity (New Castle), America in 1654. Another is Charles Springer, born in Stockholm in 1658. As a young man, Charles was sent to London to learn English and mathematics. About to return home, he was kidnapped and carried aboard an English vessel to Virginia, where he was sold like a farm animal and held in slavery for five years. Having served his time, he went 400 miles to join the Swedes on the Delaware. He married in New Castle County about two years later in 1685. Little stories like this make researching your family history fun and exciting.

Leon and Bunny joined the SOCCGS last year to get more active in genealogy. Bunny is also a member of the Mission Viejo Chapter DAR.


Classes held at 674 S. Yorba St., Orange, CA. To register call (714) 998-3408.

Wed July 03 10-N Personal History Writing - Workshop Linda Newsom

Wed July 10 10-N Personal History Writing - Workshop Linda Newsom

Thr July 11 10-N Research Basics - Locality Survey Linda Newsom

Fri July 12 10-11 Why & How to Have Family Reunions Celia Christenson

Tue July 16 10-N Scottish Research Kathleen Kane

Wed July 17 10-N Moving & Storage of Genealogical Info Barbara Renick

Wed July 17 10-N Personal History Writing - Workshop Linda Newsom

Thr July 19 10-N Research Basics - Sources Linda Newsom

Sat July 20 10-N Hungarian Group Vera Broyles


Visiting The Cemetery (Part I) by Nancy Giles
Reprinted with the authors permission from WAGS Newsletter Vol. 21, June 2001.

Now that summer is here, you may be heading out on vacation and possibly thinking of checking at the local cemetery of your ancestors. I'd like to make a few suggestions that could make your trek easier.

First of all consult your obits and birth and death certificates. Information on these may be helpful in narrowing down the location of the grave(s) you wish to visit. You'd be surprised how many people assume that because their ancestor died in a particular location they would be buried in that same location. Sometimes people became ill on visits out of town, even out of state, passed away and the body was returned to the home site. Perhaps the ancestor, especially after losing their spouse, would move away to live with a child in another location, and at the time of death, the body was sent back to the home site to be buried next to the spouse. In some cases the deceased was sent to the cemetery where the family plot was retained, especially if the deceased was a young married woman, and was buried with her own family. In this case, you need to know the maiden name of the woman.

Obits almost always give the place of burial/interment. If the "arrangements are pending" or there are other indications that the information was not readily available when the obit was placed, be sure to see if the "final arrangements" were placed in the newspaper a day or two later. Other clues in obits may be name changes (which may be the name the person making the arrangements may have given, instead of the spelling the person has used in his/her lifetime). You may want to see if the funeral home in charge of the burial is still in existence and if they have records available to you. If not, you may want to inquire at the local library if the funeral records have been made available.

You may want to check with the cemetery office to see if a plat map is available, which would show all the persons bearing the surnames you are researching. Do not assume that all members of the family were buried in a "family plot." In one instance in my own line, it wasn't until we saw a copy of a page in the plat book that showed the burial site of an aunt, that we found out where my stillborn brother was buried. Because my parents could not afford the burial, my grandfather had made the arrangements and the child was buried at the base of the grave of my great aunt. His name did not show on the tombstone at the grave site and not having seen it on the plat map, I would have left the cemetery without knowing this information. Check with the cemetery office to see if the cemetery was at any time relocated and if so, ask if all the bodies were moved?

If you are visiting a small town or village with more than one cemetery, check them all. Again, a wife may have been buried with her own family members, or with her husband's family members; the deceased may have changed his/her religion at the time of marriage (or become members of another religion if the church they belonged to was too far away.) Even in the most rural areas, there were usually two or three cemeteries.

Remember that prior to 1850, particularly in rural areas, people were often buried in small, privately owned cemeteries, many located on the family farm or in cemeteries associated with the church they attended. The local city hall should be able to give you some information on these private land cemeteries, but many were abandoned, unintentionally, as the stones deteriorated and became lost and the property changed hands from the family.

Here I go again, choosing a subject dear to my heart and requiring far more space than I have here. Next month I will discuss physical preparation required to visit the cemetery, what to wear, what to take with you, etc. (We will reprint Part II in our August SOCCGS Newsletter.)


A roster of all the current courses is maintained at our library. Be sure to check at the desk for details.

1. Continuous classes are offered at the Mission Viejo Family History Center at 27976 Marguerite Parkway. For a current schedule or to register call (949) 364-2742.

2. For information on classes held at the Orange FHC, 674 S. Yorba St., Orange, call Beth McCarty at (714) 998-3408.

3. Classes for beginners and intermediates in Computer-assisted Genealogy are offered each month by the Orange County CA Genealogy Society in the General Meeting Room of the Huntington Beach Central Library, 7111 Talbert Ave., Huntington Beach, CA for a fee of $4 for non-members, payable at the door. See for schedule.

4. The schedule for NARA workshops is available by calling (949) 360-2641.

5. The British Isles Family History Society (BIFHS) holds classes monthly at the LA FHC of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 10741 Santa Monica Blvd., W. LA. Classes and parking are free. For information contact Dorothy Losee at (310) 838-6085,

6. Classes are offered monthly by the LA Family History Center, 10741 Santa Monica Blvd. Los Angeles which offer a wide variety of topics. To see the schedule for the current month, go to their website at or call (310) 474-9990.

7. Brigham Young University's Department of Independent Studies offers two free online genealogy courses, Finding Your Ancestors and Providing Temple Ordinances for Your Ancestors. See for details.

8. Community College genealogy courses can be found listed at the website: Many of these are also free online.



South Orange County California Genealogical Society

Membership/Renewal Application

( ) New 1 Year ( ) Individual, $20 ( ) Jt. Members, same address $25

( ) Renewal Membership Number(s) _______________ ___________________

Name(s) ________________________________________________________________

Address _________________________________________________________________

City ____________________________ State_____Zip__________Phone ___________________

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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