Saddleback Valley Trails
South Orange County California Genealogical Society

Vol. 11 No. 7 Editor: Mary Jo McQueen July 2004

 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.

presented by
Connie Moretti

The pre-1850 censuses, with the rows of numbers, can be confusing to use, yet they contain a wealth of information. Using a special chart, family members can be identified and important dates can be more closely approximated. As a group, we will complete the chart together, and each attendee will have a blank copy to take home. You won’t want to miss this program!
A Torrance native and third-generation Californian, Connie Moretti claims to have done genealogy all her life due to a story-telling grandmother who enrolled her in the Covered Wagon Club at Knott's Berry Farm in the 1940's. Retired from 30 years as an educator, Connie is past editor of the South Bay Cities Genealogical Society Newsletter; teaches beginning internet and computer genealogy classes for South Bay Adult School, is a member of the Association of Professional Genealogists, Daughters of the American Revolution, Daughters of 1812, and is California Division immediate past Historian and past President of the United Daughters of the Confederacy.


August 21.............Joan Rambo, “Getting the Most Out of Family History Centers”
September 11.......Garage Sale
September 18.......Nancy Huebotter, “Bringing Order Out of Chaos”
October 16.......... Seminar - Bill Dollarhide and Leland Meitzler
November 20.......Elaine Alexander, “How to Locate Naturalization Records”


There is no safari scheduled for the month of August. The next trip will be September 22. Please see the August newsletter for more information.

GARAGE SALE , September 11, 2004

OUR ANNUAL SALE IS ONLY TWO MONTHS AWAY! Leon Smith, Ways and Means Chairman reminds us that the date for our annual garage sale is fast approaching. It is not too early to start cleaning out and saving your salable goodies. As in the past, Leon will accept and/or pick up items before the day of the sale. August 28 is the first day items will be accepted.

A complete genealogy just can't be... there's always more.


Mark those October calendars now! SOCCGS is hosting its third annual seminar at the Saddleback Room, Mission Viejo Civic Center. Plans are underway to provide you with another fun and informative genealogy experience. A flyer, with registration and lecture information, is included in this newsletter. Following is a bit of information about our seminar speakers:

Mr. Meitzler began publishing local histories in 1982 and is a graduate of the 1982 National Institute on Genealogical Research. He founded Heritage Quest Magazine in 1985. Mr. Meitzler opened the Genealogical Resource Center in Salt Lake City in March of 1991. He has continued to work as an editor of Heritage Quest Magazine. The company was sold to ProQuest in 2001. In January of 2003, the Meitzlers bought back the magazine as well as much of Heritage Quest's retail operations, and now work under the business name of Heritage Creations. In March of 2003, Mr. Meitzler began the publication of Genealogy Bulletin (edited by William Dollarhide), which had not been published in paper form for three years. As a highly regarded speaker, he has given over 2000 lectures on genealogical subjects to national, state and local genealogical groups.

William Dollarhide is a member of the Heritage Quest staff. A genealogist since 1971, he started the Dollarhide Systems for Genealogical Records and founded the Genealogy Bulletin, a Heritage Quest publication since 1994. In addition to his Bulletin articles, he writes features for Heritage Quest Magazine.
Mr. Dollarhide is a compelling speaker and has been recognized for his genealogical merits by numerous organizations. He is the author of seven best-selling books: Managing a Genealogical Project, Genealogy Starter Kit, Map Guide to the U.S. Federal Censuses, 1790-1920 co-authored with William Thorndale, Map Guide to American Migration Routes 1735-1815, British Origins of American Colonists 1629-1775, America's Best Genealogy Resource Centers co-authored with Ronald Bremer, The Census Book: A Genealogist's Guide to Federal Census Facts, Schedules and Indexes.


We welcome three new members this month: Sandra Callaway, Thomas and Krista Perdue.
Sandra ( is searching for LEWIS & BRIGHT in Missouri & Iowa; CALLAWAY in Germany, Iowa & California; RIPPY in North Carolina & Missouri; WIATT in Missouri, Ohio Kentucky & Illinois; NEEDHAM in New York, Pennsylvania, Kentucky, Ohio, Illinois & Missouri and EDSON in Missouri, Ohio, Illinois, Kentucky, Pennsylvania & New York.
Thomas & Krista ( are searching for PERDUE.


Thank you to Catherine Mikolajczak who gave an interesting presentation entitled “The Irish In The American Revolution.” Guests at the meeting were: Dixsia Ohs and Mary Louise (Shriner) Wilcox. Dixsia is a former SOCCGS member. We invite them both to join our group.


Southern California Genealogical Society announces its 5th Annual Family History Writing Contest. Go to for complete information. Entries must be received between November 1 and December 31, 2004.

Did You Know?
Each king in a deck of playing cards represents a great king from history.
Spades - King David, Clubs - Alexander the Great, Hearts - Charlemagne
and Diamonds - Julius Caesar.


A few people inherit great wealth from their parents. However, we all inherit much more: we inherit our looks, our health, our intelligence, and our very beings.
Our immediate inheritance is from our parents: 50 percent of genes come from the mother, the same from the father. Of course, parents merely pass on to their children a proportion of what they themselves have inherited. So another way of looking at it is that every person can be "quartered" in terms of their four grandparents, with each grandparent contributing 25 percent. Going back further, we share around 940 genes with each of our great-great-great grandparents.
Want to know where you got your hair color or the protruding jaw? You might be able to blame your great-great-great grandfather!
The sharing of genes occurs horizontally across family trees as well as vertically. Identical twins share all their genes. On average, we share 50 percent of our genes with full siblings; 25 percent with half siblings. While there may be little to unite us with our first cousins, we generally have one-eighth of our genes in common.
Geneticists will caution, however, that these numbers are averages. In fact, any one person may inherit more than 50 percent of his genes from one parent with less coming from the other. Genetic inheritance is random in the sense that it is impossible to predict precisely which genes will make up the contributions from each parent. Because of this, it is theoretically possible, though extremely unlikely, for full siblings to have no overlapping genes and, therefore, to show virtually no genetic similarity. In some cases, says Bryan Sykes, professor of human genetics at Oxford University and an expert on the applications of genetics to genealogy, it is as if a person has inherited almost all their looks from one parent.
There is a famous precedent for the inheritance of a facial feature: the Hapsburg jaw. The distinctive, protruding jaw — mandibular prognathism syndrome — afflicted 34 generations of European nobility, particularly the Austro-Hungarian monarchy. The gene conferring this feature was dominant: if a child inherited the associated gene from one parent and a normal gene from the other, he or she would be guaranteed to develop the condition. It comes as no surprise to find that few portraits of these wealthy aristocrats survive. We can presume that most of these people did not care to have accurate portraits made of their unattractive faces.
Because the rules of genetic inheritance are oblivious to social standing, Sykes points out that the upper classes are no more likely to look like their ancestors than any other sector: "The difference is that most of us don’t have paintings of our forebears to look at."
Still, the noble people are more likely to be the beautiful people. Sexual selection — the search for appropriate partners with whom to procreate — means that wealthy, male aristocrats can attract the most comely companions. "I would say that aristocrats tend to be better-looking," Sykes admits. "That’s because of the allure of status and wealth. You only have to go to Harrods to see beautiful women accompanying men whose only attraction is their wallet."
(Eastman's Online Genealogy Newsletter Vol. 9 No. 10 – March 8, 2004)


A very old bible was recently brought to the docent desk in hopes that the family could be located. Herb has been doing some searching on the Internet but, so far, the bible has gone unclaimed. The first entry reads:

George Smith & Elizabeth W. Wilson
May 13, 1837 by John Law, Esq. of Philadelphia

From the Ohio Repository (Canton, Ohio), 26 May 1852, page 2, Chicago, May 22.

The first train ran over the Michigan Central railroad from Detroit, and arrived yesterday with 500 first class and 300 emigrant passengers.

Great works are performed not by strength but by perseverance.
~ Samuel Johnson


~ Juliana Smith

For those of us who tend to be, shall we say, a bit “overzealous” in our pursuit of ancestors, locating a new relative is an exhilarating experience beyond compare. Armed with a new name or a new avenue to pursue, we move into the “gathering mode.” We begin digging for every record we can find of that person, exploring new times and places—hungry for yet another taste of victory.
As we begin collecting records on our newfound ancestor, the pages begin to accumulate. And while we're looking for him or her, we should probably have one more look for the records of other family members who are in the area. That's just common sense. After all, we're on a roll. We're collecting ancestors. We're multitasking. We're amazing genealogical machines!
And then it happens. Suddenly our “Needs to be Filed” pile has ballooned from a few stray pages into this towering monstrosity that threatens to obliterate life as we know it . . . OK, maybe it's not that big, but it's big enough to trash a small office and bring even the most well-oiled genealogical machine to a grinding halt.
Those of you who have read my column for any length of time know that I can be a bit organizationally challenged. (That's a gentle way to say that I live in a perpetual state of chaos.) It's not that I don't have a system, I just don't always have time to implement it.
I've just gone through one of those gathering modes and yes, the big pile awaits. So as I take some time off of researching and analyzing to regroup, I thought I'd share some ways I've found to allow for a little organized chaos while allowing for a pathway through my office.
Time Allotment - The first thing I do is schedule some time to lock myself in my office with the monster. I treat it like any other appointment or obligation. Sometimes it can be difficult. I am tempted by important distractions like cleaning my keyboard with a cotton swab. While this does need to be done occasionally, I find that I tend to do it when I am putting off some task. (Between procrastinating my filing and avoiding blank pages that need to be turned into columns, my keyboard is typically spotless.)
The good news is, it doesn't even have to be done in one night. Just a half hour before bed a few nights a week can make a big difference. So get out your calendar and find a night where there's nothing compelling on TV and get started.
Do We Have A Place for Everything? - So now that we've set aside some time, the next obstacle is where to put things. The first step is to break the pile down. We've had several tips in recent weeks from people who use vertical files or expandable folders in which to file their ancestral finds as they go along. Then when time allows them to get their things organized, they enter these finds into their computer programs and put them into their filing systems. I employ a similar system using a plastic box with manila folders. Unfortunately, some of the files inevitably creep out of their folders when I'm not looking and begin forming that all-too-familiar behemoth pile on top of the box.
Hence, my first step is to sort the pile into the appropriate folders. For each surname, I have folders for the following:

Record Processing - While I may play it loose with my filing, I do make sure that when I print off or photocopy a document, I record the pertinent source information on it. This is particularly important when it comes to processing. If this step isn't taken, you will find yourself doing a lot of backtracking. Trust me, I learned this one the hard way.
For particularly valuable records, I am also diligent enough to insert it into a plastic sleeve before it hits the dreaded pile. (Tip: I used to keep the sleeves in my supply cabinet on the bottom shelf, neatly in their box. The box would get covered or pushed to the back and was hard to reach. I moved them to the tray where I keep paper for my printer which is handy on my desk and have found that this highly increases the chance that important papers are put in protective covers as soon as I get them.)
Choosing a “Known ancestor” folder, I begin the process. Records first need to be entered into my family history database with sources. If you missed recording the source, this is a good time to look it up to ensure that you keep your database file current and complete for future research.
In my case, I also enter the record into the timelines I keep on each family. Though this takes an extra step, it's much easier to do it at this stage than to backtrack and do it later. The timelines are very helpful in planning future research strategies as they help me to pin down exactly where an ancestor was at a particular place in time.

Time to File
- There are several ways to file. Some people prefer folders in file cabinets, but I like the fact that binders can get a good grip on the pages. I think long and hard before opening that clip to remove a page from a binder because I know I risk it getting eaten by a pile. Typically these records that have been through the process stay in the binder and if they are removed, it is to make a quick copy and then they are replaced right away.
I started using a binder for each surname, but as they began to fill up, I have split some off into family groups. Now some binders may have more than one related family, and some may contain only one.
Within each binder, or family within the binder, I have a printout from my database with the family group sheet and timeline at the fore. Behind that, records are set up in roughly the following order:

There are many filing systems available out there, and this is just one I have found that works for me. I use this one because it allows me to flip page-by-page through the lives and see the “big picture.”
Other Stuff - Obviously, I can't bring all my binders with me when I go on research trips, so I have a “to-go binder” that contains printouts on all the families. Each branch of the family has a numbered pedigree chart and for each direct ancestor, in that same numerical order, I include a family group sheet and individual pages behind it for each individual in that family that contain all the vital dates and any notes I have included in my database.
I also maintain several “locality binders,” in which I keep information on record repositories, maps, years that vital records were kept for that area, library catalog entries, bibliographic information, and just about anything of a geographical or historical nature that pertains to that area. They are my custom-made reference books for the places in which my ancestors lived.
(Juliana Smith is the editor of the Ancestry Daily News and author of the Ancestry Family Historian's Address Book. Copyright 2004, 3/29/2004 - Archive)

Colonial Communication--Newspapers, Broadsides, and the Post
~ Patricia Law Hatcher, CG, FASG

In the early colonial period, communication was very different than it was following the Revolution. The majority of America was ruled by England and the residents considered themselves Englishmen, not Americans. Most communication was personal--and usually verbal, via the grapevine. Letters were often transported by friends who were traveling.
Printing presses, which we take for granted as mechanical devices, were considered by the crown to be dangerous. The early colonists probably considered them irrelevant to their primary purpose of survival in a new world. When the first printing press was allowed in 1638, it was overseen by Harvard College and produced broadsides, religious works, and useful books such as almanacs and law books.
Broadsides--printing on one side of a single sheet of paper--were used to convey "news" such as proclamations and ballads that related interesting events. The content was closely watched by the authorities.
The first regular newspaper in the colonies did not exist until nearly a century after the first permanent American settlement. (Ancestry Daily News March 22, 2004

A mother was telling her little girl what her own childhood was like: "We used to skate outside on a pond. I had a swing made from a tire; it hung from a tree in our front yard. We rode our pony. We picked wild raspberries in the woods." The little girl was wide-eyed, taking this in. At last she said, "I sure wish I'd gotten to know you sooner!"


LINKPENDIUM: Karen Isaacson and Brian Leverich were the founders of the extremely popular RootsWeb genealogical community site. At the time of its merger with in June 2000, RootsWeb had about 600,000 registered users, was serving about 100,000,000 Web page views monthly, and was delivering about 160,000,000 pieces of email monthly to the subscribers of its 18,000 mailing lists. The company had more than 40 employees and operated its own 7,000 square foot network operations center in Bakersfield, CA.

Karen and Brian took some time off after the acquisition, but now their friends will be pleased to hear that they have reentered the online genealogy world once again. This week I received the following message from Dr. Brian Leverich:
“We certainly aren't out to build RootsWeb again, but we do think there are things we can do that will make genealogical research go faster and be more fun. The first thing we're doing is building a directory of everything relevant to genealogy on the Web. Folks can use that directory now as it grows by visiting:
About 146,000 pages are now categorized. I would guess that the directory will cover 300 - 500,000 pages as it matures over the next year or so. Folks are welcome to submit their Web pages for inclusion, if they don't want to wait for us to find them using our automated tools. The plan is that we'll be using this directory as a basis for new research tools for everybody to use. I expect we'll be opening some of the tools up for public use within the next year. Because this directory is a stepping stone to other things, it has a different focus than CyndisList. That doesn't make it more or less useful than Cyndi's work -- just different.”
(Eastman's Online Genealogy Newsletter Vol. 9 No. 10 – March 8, 2004)
Note: Member Herb Abrams has visited this site and has informed me that he has added a link to his personal genealogy website.

According to Rootsweb the following websites have recently come online. They are searchable but not browseable.

POW/MIA Records: Korean War Data File of American Prisoners of War, AA-K; 49 records; Janette Pannell

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA. Washington. District Bar Association; new lawyers, 1916; 189 records; Paula Lucy Delosh

MONTANA. Silver Bow County. Butte. Basin Creek Cemetery; 15 records; Linda Albright

NEW YORK. Genesee County. Batavia. "Batavia Daily News" index (1921-1924); 13,037 records; Leilani Spring for Genesee County History Department

VERMONT. Caledonia County. Danville. Vermont burials; 5,290 records; Louise Lessard for the Town of Danville

"Wales on the Web." This is an access point for a great deal of Wales-related information:

Were some of your Welsh ancestors mariners? Search this online index of 20,000 Welsh merchant masters, mates and engineers who were active from 1800 to 1945.

For links to many other Welsh genealogical resources try:

How Much is That Worth Today?(US) by Economic History Services
This interactive site, "compares the purchasing power of money in the Unites States (or colonies) from 1665 to 2003." Many of the records we uncover and use as genealogists refer to monetary prices for items such as rent, property value, wages, pensions, taxes, revenue, and endowments. Being able to calculate what amount in today's economy provides the same purchasing power gives us better insight into the economic conditions under which our ancestors lived.

You can find Ronald Reagan's ancestry at:

Patience and perseverance have a magical effect
before which difficulties disappear and obstacles vanish.
~ John Quincy Adams


October 16 - SOCCGS Annual Seminar featuring Leland Metzler and Bill Dollarhide


OCCGS is starting a New England SIG on the first Saturday of each month, after the general meeting and lecture. This group will meet in Room D at the Huntington Beach Library. Plans for include having each attendee discuss his or her ancestral background, names, dates, areas they are currently researching, and their own area of expertise. Persons interested in research in any of the six New England States - Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island - are welcome. Persons attending are encouraged to bring their five-generation charts. For further information contact Marcia Huntley Maloney, or Bob

Orange County Fair Genealogy Booth

The award winning and very popular genealogy booth will be back again this year at the Orange County Fair in Costa Mesa from July 9th to July 31st. Fairgoers who are interested in learning more about their "roots" receive information about how and where to attend genealogy meetings, find resources and libraries in the area, and get assistance from knowledgeable researchers. The booth is so popular that people have actually returned the next day....yes, paid to enter the fair again!...just to talk to the staff at the booth about their family research.
Sponsors of the booth are asking for volunteers from the major genealogy groups in Orange County to assist in staffing the booth during the run of the fair. A general knowledge of genealogy is all that is needed, since most of the people who stop at the booth are looking for very basic information. Staff is there essentially to handout resource materials and answer general questions, not to act as a genealogy tutor or assist people in their research. The reward is being able to see others get excited about something we all already acknowledge as a passion!
Volunteers work a four or five hour shift and have the rest of the day to enjoy the fair. Free parking and fair entry are provided for each day a volunteer works at the booth. A free shuttle is provided between the Arlington Street parking lot and the fairgrounds. The fair is open from 9:45 am to 11:00 pm on Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Tuesday, and from 11:45 am to 11:00 pm on Wednesday and Thursday.
Each participating genealogy society will have the opportunity for free advertising by displaying a banner at the booth and/or providing handout materials about their group's meetings and activities. This is a great opportunity to reach thousands of people with little cost to each society.

Questions? Or to volunteer now, please contact Norma Keating
norma@yourfamilyconnection or 714-970-7040

If it's green, it's biology. If it stinks, it's chemistry.
If it has numbers, it's math. If it doesn't work, it's technology.


South Orange County California Genealogical Society
Membership/Renewal Application

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

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Make check payable to: SOCCGS Check No. __________________
Mail with application to: SOCCGS, P.O. Box 4513, Mission Viejo, CA 92690-4513


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