Saddleback Valley Trails

 South Orange County California Genealogical Society

Vol. 14 No. 7                                                                            Editor: Mary Jo McQueen                                                                                         July 2007

 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 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 – July 21, 2007

British Naming Patterns: Fact or Fiction


Presented by

Ivan C. Johnson


When Mr. Johnson began doing genealogy research, he was not aware of the naming patterns, which existed, or how they could help in the search for his ancestors. During this presentation Ivan will show how he was able to advance his family tree, using these naming patterns, and will relate the details of his search for ancestors in Lincolnshire and Northamptonshire, England.

Ivan was born in rural Lincolnshire, England. He and wife, Gail, have been involved in genealogical research for many years and have lectured in Southern California and New Zealand. Ivan will illustrate his lecture with photographs of areas of their research.  Mr. Johnson is the current president of the British Isles Family History Society–USA.




August 18 – Penny Feike, “Court Records.”

September 15 – Joan Rambo, “Land & Tax Records.”

October 20 – John Colletta, Family History Seminar

November 17 - Nancy Carlberg

December 15 – Holiday Party



There are no safaris scheduled for the summer months of July and August.



Saturday October 20, 2007

Featuring John Colletta, who will present the following lecture topics.

“State Archives: What They Are and How to Use Them”  

“Using Newspapers for Family History Research”

 “Erie Canal Genealogy: The Peopling of Upstate New York and the Midwest”

  “How to Assemble and Write a Genealogical Work that Is Both a Reliable Document and a Readable Story.”

You will find a seminar registration form on page 7 of this newsletter. Seminar flyers, with registration forms, are also available at the SOCCGS Genealogy Library docent desk and on the Web at Flyers will be obtainable at the July 21st meeting.

Please mark your calendar now!



“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.”

~ Maya Angelou



~Bill Bluett

During the first weekend in June, Helen and I traveled to Grass Valley, California, for the 16th Annual Gathering of the “California Cornish Cousins.” About 100 folks gathered together for this event. Two brothers, born in Cornwall, were in attendance. They had come to Grass Valley in 1950 as young boys (with their parents). They said that, because of the Cornish influence and culture in this town, it was like moving down the street in their Cornwall hometown. My own Cornwall ancestors came to this region about 1852 during the gold mining era.

We participated in a sing-along at the Elks Club with the Grass Valley Male Voice Choir Friday evening after enjoying a Cornish PASTY dinner. This choir has been a tradition in Grass Valley for over 150 years

          A pasty (Cornish: Pasti, Hoggan, incorrectly written as pastie) is a type of pie, originally from Cornwall, England. It is baked in a savoury pasty case traditionally filled with diced meat, sliced potato and onion. The ingredients are uncooked before being placed in the unbaked pasty case. They have a semicircular shape (like a large turnover), achieved by folding a circular pasty sheet over the filling. One edge is crimped to form a seal.

Saturday morning, the American and Cornwall flags were raised in a ceremony at City Hall. The mayors of Grass Valley and Nevada City gave greetings to the group. Then came the Pasty Olympics! The mayors had a pasty hurling contest against one another for accuracy. The Grass Valley mayor won. Then, just for fun, other folks tested their skill. A lunch was provided on the grounds of the Empire Mine State Park, after which, all were invited to tour the facility. The mine was in operation from 1850 to 1956 and has a tunneling network that exceeds 367 miles in length. The deepest part of the mine is nearly one mile below the surface. Most of the miners were of Cornish decent. This gold mine was the largest and richest in California.

That evening, after a banquet at the Elks Club, the President of the Idaho-Maryland Mining Company gave an interesting “power point” presentation about a mine in Grass Valley that is going to re-open. In this day and age, mining operations can utilize most of the rock that is removed. The gold is extracted and the waste tailings are then used to develop ceramics, such as, tile for flooring and roof tiles. The ceramics plant will be located on the mining operation property. This mine could create as many as 400 new jobs.

Most of the “Cornish Cousins” attended Sunday church services in Nevada City. The Methodist Church in this community dates back to the early 1850’s. This is where my ancestors attended from the mid to late 1800’s. In 2003, I had an opportunity to look through the old church records and make a few copies. I did find my ancestors listed on numerous pages.

Being a member of a Special Interest Group can be a lot of fun, and, there is the opportunity to network with fellow members. Some suggestions: a state genealogical society, or groups, such as Scottish, British Isles, German, DAR, etc. Seek out a society or organization that suits your interest and join. You just may find a cousin or distant relative!



          “Baker’s Dozen,” websites, not donuts, was the program expertly presented by Alan Jones. The handout lists websites, tips and search engine guidelines. A crossword puzzle is included on the back. Extra copies are available at the docent desk in the SOCCGS genealogy library. Ruby Netzley, Dana Point and Judy Davin, Mission Viejo were guests. Bob and Cindie Reilly and Pat McCoy provided treats for sixty members and guests. Thank You!

          Norma Keating gave inside information on working the genealogy booth at the Orange County Fair. This was the last opportunity to sign on for a shift. Anyone still wishing to work may call Norma at (714) 319-5994 or email,

          Marcia Roy told about Irish microfilm she ordered through the Family History Center. To search she went to Library Catalogue Keyword Search, and put in “Workhouse, Ireland” and “Workhouse Registers, Ireland.” She also told of her success with the Poor Law Records from the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland. There are comprehensive sets of records covering the 27 poor law unions that were established in the counties of Northern Ireland. The extent to which the records survive for each of these unions varies from place to place. The minute books, the admission and discharge registers, the registers of births and deaths and the outdoor relief registers are all valuable source material for anyone interested in tracing their family tree. Go to




"Every man is his own ancestor, and every man his own heir.

He devises his own future, and he inherits his own past."

~H. F. Hedge




We extend a special welcome to new members Peter and Jane Lehmann-Shafron, Mission Viejo, We encourage them to list their surnames on the SOCCGS website (see below).



          Herb Abrams will update your information on the SOCCGS Surname Website Listing as needed. Please check your information, and if corrections and/or additions are necessary notify Herb or (949) 581-6292). New members are especially encouraged to add their Surnames to this list.  Send an email to Herb listing your surnames, locations and years you are researching.



This column will appear each month to note happenings in the lives of SOCCGS members. Please notify the president or Trails editor if you have an item of interest, or know of someone who needs a special card or phone call.

Get Well Soon

Iris Graham has been ill and is confined to her home. We miss her and wish her a speedy recovery. Email: or (949) 770-5685.



        Don’t forget to send your literary contributions to the newsletter editor by the Wednesday following the monthly meeting. These may be sent via email or Word attachment. All submissions are subject to editorial approval and may be edited. Send to:


The Curse of the Search

Some branches are broken, others snarled and bent.

Still many are missing, where could they have went?

But the trunk is still firm, the roots are down deep.

They hold many truths that still lay there asleep.


I'm searching the limbs for the secrets they hold.

For lost tales and stories that's never been told.

I'm looking for family that was lost in the ramble,

For truths about them for me to unscramble.


I may find a scoundrel and a wild renegade or two.

You'll find them in all families, that's really not new.

That fact that I found them, that's all that counts.

I feel I have gained something, my curiosity mounts.


I've got the taste of blood, there's no stopping me now.

I'll not rest nor will I laggard till I solve this somehow.

It may take some doing and a lot more of my time.

But I promise before I'm done it will all turn out fine.


When it all gets together and my rigorous quest is through,

I'll go back to my notes in hopes of finding something new.

The search bug has bit me, leaving me still in that frame,

For that thrill of the search is still embed in my brain.

~Fred Shanahan Shannon








~Diane Walters Hearne

The year is 1800 and Dinah Robbins Garrison, age 28, carefully places a bed warmer between the rough homespun sheets as she and her sister-in-law prepare to climb in. Dinah’s husband, James, had to travel to Kingwood, in the next county, to pick up some cows and would be gone overnight. Even though the Indians in these parts are friendly, Dinah feels nervous so she asked Mary to spend the night. They tucked the children into their beds in the one other bedroom, and then washed the dishes in the big kettle. It’s beginning to get dark so it must be about 7:00. Dinah hid the few coins in her possession under a floorboard. If something should happen, she has no way to get in touch with James, or neighbors, or the nearest town. 

She unbuttons her homemade light blue cotton dress, hangs it on a peg to air out for tomorrow, brushes her hair 100 strokes, and ladles water from the bucket into her mouth to rinse.  She quickly washes her face in the freezing water with soap she made herself.  The young women take turns using the chamber pot before climbing onto the ropes, which support the thin hay-filled mattress.  They light a candle and proceed to read together from the old Bible with family births, marriages and deaths inscribed on the front pages.  Yesterday, the stagecoach delivered a letter from one of their relatives who moved to Indiana six months ago.  These well-worn pages are studied again and read aloud by Mary as Dinah never learned to read. Mary falters in the fading light; her eyes are not what they used to be.  If they want to write a return letter, they’ll have to ask someone in town to do it for them.

After blowing out the candle, the discussion focuses on the many children each have and the ups and downs experienced by their extended family. They turn their thoughts to their parents as they search their memories for likenesses. They worry together over the future of the crops and talk about planning a picnic by the Delaware River when the weather turns fine. Morning will come soon enough when it will be time to pump the well for water, milk the cows, gather eggs, rekindle the fire, heat water in the kettle, and make breakfast for all of them.


Journal of Diane’s 2006 Ancestral Quest to Ohio, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

September 26 - I arose much earlier this morning in order to catch my flight to Columbus via Atlanta.  My brother, Garry met me and soon we were eating dinner prepared by his wife, Noelle. Trying to adjust to the three-hour time difference, I went to bed and pondered our upcoming trip to New Jersey. Were we crazy to plan to meet people we didn’t know even if they might be distantly related?  After all, you do hear some strange stories about people meeting on the Internet.

          September 28 - Drifting to sleep that night, I recalled one of the emails from a Garrison relative which mentioned three Garrison brothers from France, who traveled to Holland in the 1600s, marrying three Dutch princesses and then sailing to America.  Family stories seem to have become fairy tales – goodness!

          September 29 – With friends, Kay and Jim, I went to Marietta, Ohio where my ancestor, Zadock West, applied for a land grant around 1826. We ate lunch, enjoyed the view of the confluence of the Ohio and Muskingum Rivers and visited the museum. I thought about Zadock and family making the long journey from Connecticut to Ohio in 1820 via covered wagons and longboats on the rivers. I went to sleep wondering if “cousin” Jeanne, whom we’re meeting for breakfast on Tuesday in New Jersey, will be a complete bore who might be difficult to get rid of.

          October 1 – This morning Noelle and I drove off at 8:00. I reminded her to pack the spray bottle she kept talking about. We arrived near New Hope, Pennsylvania in time to enjoy a pleasant dinner.

          October 2 - We drove across the Delaware River to Flemington, New Jersey arriving at the Hunterdon County Historical Society at 9:30.  The society is housed in a charming old residence, which fits in with the other homes on the three or four blocks in this historic section of town.

Roxanne, with whom I had corresponded, opened up for us. As she showed us around, she said, “That’s not a pen I see in your hand, is it, Diane?”  Before I could reply, Noelle said, “I have an extra pencil I’ll loan her.”  I’ve been doing genealogy for six years but didn’t know about keeping pens away from books in case someone lets loose and marks up the pages. We spent about three hours doing research.

“I promise it won’t happen again,” Noelle said once from across the table after she strayed from looking for her husband’s (my brother’s) family, the intended purpose of this trip. She couldn’t resist when she saw some books about northern New Jersey where her own family settled.

- Kay, Jim and I took off for Marietta, Ohio. What if the male cousin hits us over the head in the cemetery and takes off with our purses, cameras and the spray bottle?  How would the headlines read?

          October 3 - We met my distant cousin, Jeanne, with whom we have corresponded about the Welch and Tinsman families.  She is, thankfully, very nice and we enjoyed getting to know her over breakfast. “Don’t forget to fill the spray bottle in the restroom,” I called out as we headed to the parking lot.

We followed Jeanne to St. James’s Church cemetery. Noelle had been here before, but couldn’t quite remember where my ancestors Christopher (1885) and Louisa (1902) Welch were buried.  Less than thrilled, I squished through sopping wet eight-inch high grass, swatting at the gnats around my head. We snapped many pictures when we finally found the tombstones with the aid of the friendly caretaker.

Next, we drove to the Finesville Cemetery, which is much older and smaller, but also hosts swirling gnats.  Jeanne couldn’t quite remember where Abner and Catherine Welch have been resting since 1855 and 1869, so we walked quickly among the stones and found them in a corner where we repeated the picture taking routine.  This time, finally, Noelle used her spray bottle in an attempt to show up the engraved letters on the weathered surfaces of the tombstones. This technique is, apparently, better than making a rubbing. Rubbing is “out” because it can cause the stone to erode.

We went on to Phillipsburg to see the house where my grandmother was born in 1885.  It’s looking a little run down, but one can tell that it was nicer looking over a hundred years ago.

Back in Flemington, which now seems like home, we pulled up in front of the Union Hotel to find my other distant cousin, Marshall, waiting for us. The three of us had lunch on the porch of the old hotel Soon we followed cousin Marshall out of town for the “short” trip to our third cemetery of the day. “Short must have a different meaning in New Jersey,” I commented to Noelle as I resisted the urge to write down Marshall’s license plate number during the half hour drive.

  The Garrison-Tharp cemetery is smack in the middle of a McMansion housing development. One lucky home has our white picket fenced-in cemetery right next door in a pretty, woodsy area flush with the street.  Apparently, the developer wanted to do away with these unsightly graves, but the law stated that if one descendant could be found to protest, the area would be protected.  Marshall was the one.  I would have agreed too if anyone had asked me.

Apparently, a group of Boy Scouts had cleaned up the cemetery a few years ago, but it’s all grown back. This time, we not only had the gnats to deal with, but what looked ominously like poison ivy. We divided up the area as, for the third time, I found myself with someone who had been there before, but couldn’t remember a location.  We stumbled over knee-high weeds until Noelle waved us over to see the tombstones of James and Dinah Garrison who died in 1825 and 1857 and John and Martha Garrison, laid to rest in 1851 and 1866. John and Martha are my grandparents many times removed and James and Dinah were John’s parents. “Grab your pruning shears and let’s get out of here,” I said, after we repeated the picture taking routine.

          Marshall went on his way and we returned to the Orphan’s Court for more perusal of old wills and inventories.  I can’t say I’d be overjoyed today to be the recipient of the sack of feathers, ½ barrel of cider, five geese, a hog and two cows detailed in Dinah Garrison’s inventory, but I’m sure you had to be there in time and place. 


The year is 2006 and Diane Hearne and her sister-in-law, Noelle Van Pulis are getting ready for bed at Noelle’s house in Powell, Ohio. The central heating is on and, if it were winter, Diane would surely turn on the electric blanket provided. The queen-sized bed with its thick mattress and box springs looks inviting.  Even if the Van Pulis’ three children still lived at home, there would be a separate bedroom for everyone. The dishwasher washes the dinner dishes in the kitchen. It’s about 7:00 so Diane turns on the lights.  She sets the electric alarm clock in order to be on time for tomorrow’s airplane trip to California.  She then plugs in her cell phone, knowing that, in an emergency, she can dial 911 from it or a land phone, although the house has an alarm system.  On the nightstand she places a novel and a book about the history of the Quakers in the United States.

Diane unzips her jacket, ordered on the Internet, and hangs it and her other clothes on hangers in the closet. Donning her robe with its Velcro closing, she crosses the hall to the bathroom where she uses the flush toilet, brushes her teeth with running water and washes with hot water. She takes out the blue tinted contacts. The shampoos, conditioners, scented soaps, shaving gels, air fresheners and nail accoutrements stand like a pastel army on the countertop. She’ll take a shower in the morning and fix her hair with an electric hair dryer and curling iron.

Setting her purse with its credit cards cash on a bench, Diane joins Noelle downstairs in her study where the women pore over email letters from genealogy correspondents whom they’ve never met. Photographs of ancestors decorate the walls. They work on the computer looking for genealogy websites and information how to organize their extensive family trees electronically.  Emails from their children fill the screen.

Tomorrow Noelle will make coffee in her electric coffeemaker. They’ll toast some store bought sliced bread in the electric toaster, retrieve yogurt, milk and eggs from the electric refrigerator. As Noelle puts the spray bottle back in the laundry room they wonder if Dinah’s ghost was watching curiously as they tramped around her grave taking pictures, pruning and spraying.


“Sound not heard is silenced, history not recorded is lost.”

~Sandra Gorin



WORLD VITAL RECORDS, now available on SOCCGS computers, is a growing collection of birth, death, military, census and parish records. They now have thousands of databases online and will be adding over 10,000 new databases in the next few months. - "The UK’s no.1 ancestry research website, with over 40,000,000 records, and growing" Free to search, need $$ to contact other researchers and obtain information. - Find Penny Post Cards from your state, county and town. - Library of Congress Catalog. Find a book, go to to find a library that holds the title, and then use inter-library loan to obtain the book. - ISTG is a group of volunteers dedicated to helping you find your ancestors. From the links below, you can view our transcribed passenger lists, including the names of the Captains. They have 8 completed Volumes, each containing 1,000 passenger lists; they are working on Volume 9.



~Alan Jones

1.            In your messages always CAPITALIZE SURNAMES.

2.            Always give concise and complete known facts when asking for help. Include years, places, etc. People prefer a form or chart rather than rambling paragraphs.

3.            Make sure your postings and emails have concise and defined subject lines.

4.            Do not ask others to do research that you can do yourself.

5.            Be patient if you get no responses for months, sometimes it takes years.

6.            Always ask how you can confirm the information you receive.

7.            Always give people your name to call you by, even a nickname will do.

8.            Always give people a reliable way to contact you, such as a permanent email address.

9.            Give to others so that you might receive.

10.          Don’t criticize (flame) others.

11.          When asking for help, don’t ask for too much at one time.

12.          Most things are not on the Internet. Use the Family History Centers, National Archives, churches, libraries and other resources.

13.          Stay focused and on track where you have researched.



Questions? Or to volunteer now, please contact Norma Keating: or 714-319-5994



(Indexers Are Needed, Have you signed up?)

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is in the process of digitizing 5 billion genealogical records stored in the Granite Mountain Vaults near Salt Lake City. These records will be connected to, the Church's website and one of the preeminent genealogy sites on the Web. Tens of thousands of volunteers are at work helping to index the collection and more are needed. To volunteer for the project, visit the following website:



July 13–August 5 – Orange County Fair (Genealogy Booth)

October 21 - SOCCGS Family History Seminar, featuring John Colletta



“Chasing Your Ancestors ‘Round the U. K. & Ireland.”

Dr. Eakle will present four lectures at the seminar on August 25 at the Veterans Memorial Complex, 4117 Overland Avenue, Culver City. Advance registration is required and none accepted after August 10. For information: Lydia Jeffrey (626) 359-1729; email Annie Lloyd;

South Orange County

California Genealogical Society

Mission Viejo, California




A Family History Seminar

Saturday, October 20, 2007 - 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.)


“Searching for Ancestors - A Journey of Self-discovery”


John Colletta

Renowned Genealogy Author & Lecturer




“State Archives: What They Are and How to Use Them”  

“Using Newspapers for Family History Research”

 “Erie Canal Genealogy: The Peopling of Upstate New York and the Midwest”

  “How to Assemble and Write a Genealogical Work

That Is Both a Reliable Document and a Readable Story.”




Refreshments - Door Prizes - Drawing for Handmade Quilt

Sales Tables and Displays


Pre-registration must be received by October 18 / Tickets at the door $25.00, no lunch.

(Seminar information & registration form also available on SOCCGS website.)


SOCCGS ‘2007’ Seminar Registration


Name(s) ____________________________________________   Registration: _____@ $20.00              ___________________________________________________       Box Lunch: _____@ $7.50

Address: ____________________________________________

City & Zip: ___________________________________________          Total:       $__________   Telephone: __________________________________________


Mail to:

SOCCGS, P.O. Box 4513                                                   Information: (949) 581-0690 or

   Mission Viejo, CA 92690-4513              




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