Saddleback Valley Trails

South Orange County California Genealogical Society

Vol. 18 No. 7

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

July 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 16 July 2011

“Adding Timelines To Your Genealogy Tool Kit”
Presented by
Nancy Huebotter

The purpose of developing a timeline for an individual family member, or a family line in its entirety, is to place them in history, track their movements, and look at various historical events that may have had an impact on their situations. Timelines are particularly useful when setting a person or family in history. By graphically laying out an individual's life, it is easy to see the "holes" in one's research, and point out where additional research should be focused.

About the Speaker: Nancy Huebotter began her family research in the fall of 1980. She is a nationally recognized genealogical speaker, has conducted numerous genealogy classes and seminars, and has contributed to genealogical journals. Nancy's own family research resulted in the publication of Ancestors and Descendants of Thomas Carroll and Ellis Miller, a 395-year history of her mother's lines. She is currently writing her father's biography, especially highlighting his military service and subsequent imprisonment in a German POW camp during World War II. By profession, Nancy is a 35-year employee of Raytheon Company, where she is a Principle Technical Writer, Editor, and Instructor. Nancy is one of our favorite speakers. Don't miss this opportunity to hear her again.

Safari News

There are no safaris scheduled during July and August. The regular schedule will resume in September

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

Olographic Will – A will that is handwritten and signed by the individual to which it belongs.

President's Message

~Bill Bluett

This past month, I attended the California Cornish Cousins annual conference from June 3rd – 5th. Each year, this event is held somewhere along old US Highway 49 – in the “Gold Rush Country”. This year, Helen and I traveled to Placerville located at the crossroads of Hwy 49 and Hwy 50 – about 40 miles east of Sacramento.

The history of Placerville began with the "rush for gold" to California in the late 1840’s. The highly publicized discovery of gold in the tailrace section at Sutter’s Mill in Coloma (only 10 miles from Placerville) in 1848 resulted in the migration of thousands of fortune-seekers to Northern California in the mid 1800’s. The town was named after the placer deposits found in the riverbed between Spanish Ravine and the town plaza. During the gold rush, Placerville became an important supply center for the surrounding mining camps. Today, there remains a historic downtown area including several structures that are on the Historic National Register. The population today is approximately 9,600 folks. Placerville has served as the El Dorado County Seat since 1857. When it was first incorporated in 1854, it was the third largest city in California.

My Bluett ancestors were scattered throughout this region from the Nevada City/Grass Valley area east of Yuba City to the Sonora region east of Modesto. Many Cornish immigrants had occupations related to “working the mines” as did the generations before them in Cornwall, England. My direct line ancestors were located mostly in the Nevada City/Grass Valley area. They worked hard in the gold mines and dabbled in “mining claims” on their own. I do not believe any of them became super-wealthy in the process. There were thousand’s of “Cousin Jack’s” that settled in many of the other mining regions located along Highway 49 and made their living the same way. Four of my great grandfather’s cousins settled in the small town of Soulsbyville near Sonora. As it turned out, they were very successful during their lifetime. Some of them bought land and built second homes in an exclusive area of Oakland around the turn of the century. I suppose they were planning for their future retirement and a life of leisure. I was unaware of this particular Bluett group until 2008. In June of that year, I attended a California Cornish Cousins Conference in Sonora. On Saturday afternoon of that weekend, I set time aside to go to the Tuolumne County Museum and History Center located in town. When I gave the docent on duty the family name, she said there was quite a bit of information available. I was there for about 2 hours while she found and copied about 16-18 pages of documents and newspaper articles regarding these families. There was John, Thomas, William, and Joseph Bluett all born in Cornwall, England. It was pleasing to learn that there was at least one branch of the family that turned out to be relatively successful.

While in Placerville last month, I visited the El Dorado County Historical Museum. I called a few weeks ahead and talked with one of the docents about doing a little research on the Saturday afternoon of that weekend. The woman I talked to said she would do some preliminary research prior to my arrival. As it turned out, one of my grandfather’s brothers, Francis Gordon Bluett, married a woman who grew up in Placerville. Her father, George W. Kimble, had been involved in “gold mining” for a number of years and later became superintendent of the local water district. The docent I meet with could not find any other information on Bluett’s except Emma (Kimble) Bluett (the wife of Francis). She is buried in the Placerville Union Cemetery with her parents. I did receive a copy of a photograph of Emma’s parents, George and Louisa Kimble.

It’s always a fun experience to be able to do research in a location where ancestors resided. You never know what “gems” might be pulled out of the local records and documents. I hope that many of you have had that opportunity at least once in your lifetime while doing your family genealogy research. I will continue to share with you any “nuggets” I might find in the “Gold Rush Country” in the coming years. In the meantime, I wish you all “happy hunting”!

Jinx Cochrell

On May 31, 2011 Jinx Cochrell passed away in Mission Viejo. She was a SOCCGS Founding Member. In fact she was the second person to join when the group was formed in 1994.

Jinx was born in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania on 14 December 1922 to Ada Emma Kepple and Thomas Wilbur Cole. She was married to Dean David Cochrell in 1946. They had since divorced.

Jinx served as a Wave during WWII. She joined the military 1n 1943 at Philadelphia and was discharged in 1946 at Memphis, Tennessee. She was buried in the Veteran’s Cemetery in Boulder City, Nevada.

She leaves three children: Kerry Nathan, Sandra Lynn and Mark David.

June Meeting

Linda Serna’s presentation on Ethnic Groups gave us detailed information regarding why these groups immigrated to America, where they settled, and how many relocated. The groups discussed were: Polish, German, French, Walloons, Irish, Italian, and Dutch.

One guest introduced at the meeting was: Denise Neilsen. Members providing refreshments were: Mary Jo Nuttall, Pat Weeks, Jean Johnson, and Jean Pettigrew. Members that provided refreshments in the month of May were: Karyn Schumaker, Jessie Ellison, Linda Dibble, and Pat Christiansen.


We have two new members: Brenda Hardiman, Aliso Viejo, and Beth Marcus , Mission Viejo, Beth is looking for: Fried, Marcus, Mann and DeYoung. Ruth Sheean’s new email address:

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

A Trip to the Salt Lake City Family History Library

~Bunny Smith – SOCCGS Librarian

The Salt Lake City Family History Library is the largest and best known genealogical library in the world. What a great place to spend your vacation! It is open six days of the week and the resources they have there are unbelievable. Five floors of books, microfilm, fiche and docents just waiting to help you answer your questions. For the first time visitor, there is even a short video that walks you through the facility and a docent ready to help you get started.

The library is located in the downtown Temple Square area of Salt Lake City. There are several hotels within walking distance of the library and most have “Genealogist Specials”. The Plaza Hotel is right next to the library. Whether you fly or drive, you will not need a car. but you will have to be ready for your library trip. You don't want to waste any time while you are there, you want to get straight to their books and films. You will have to do some homework first.

Take the time now to look carefully at your family group sheets. Decide what information is still needed. Think about what kind of record you might use to find that specific information. When you have decided, make a detailed list to guide your research and write them on a Research Log. For example: if you need a death date of someone who died after 1830 and you have located a census record for them. You have a place to start your search. Your next step will be the online Card Catalog for possible sources in that county. Go to Place Search, type the county name. There you will all find library records for that county. You may want to look at Taxation to see if your person had property, write that call number on your Research Sheet. Next, look for wills, probate, estates and other court records that may have a will. Write those call numbers on the Research Sheet. If you don't find a will, and that person owned land, you may want to look at the Grantor/Grantee indexes. A land deed may have their death date and distribution of their land between children. Lastly, check the cemeteries.

You may end up with ten or more Call numbers on your Research Sheet for that person. Make another Research Sheet for every person you still need to prove information for. The process will be the same for death date and place, as it is for birth date and place, or marriage date, place and spouse. Now when you get to the library, you already know what you are going to do. Be sure to update the sheets every time you check a source either positive or negative and keep the Resource Sheet with the Family group. You don't want to repeat what you have already searched.

Have a great summer vacation, see you at the Library.

Genealogy Software

The Orange Regional Family History Center hosts a RootsMagic SIG on the 4th Saturday each month between 2:00 and 4:00 pm. Contact Joan Rambo at for more information.

2011 Genealogy Events

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”,

Ralph's Community Contribution Program

~Jim Thordahl – Ways & Means Chairman

Thanks to all who are enrolled in this generous fundraising program. If you are a new SOCCGS member or have not yet enrolled, it’s as easy as 1, 2, 3:

1) Get a Ralphs rewards Card, if you don’t have one.
2) Get a copy of our “Scanbar Letter” from our website or from me. Copies are also available at our docent desk in the Mission Viejo Library.
3) Present the “Scanbar Letter” at checkout the next time you shop at Ralphs.

There, you’re enrolled until September. You may also enroll on-line at A copy of the on-line enrollment procedure is available on our website. The procedure was recently revised. It’s “user friendly.” If you have a question call or e-mail:; ph: (949) 492-5334.

Brick Walls & Genealogy Research Suggestions

Karyn Shumaker shared with us the flag and proclamation she received from the 1st Marine Battalion, 111th Infantry Regiment, for her work helping to support them. Our society provides toys and gift cards for this group each Christmas as well.
Mary Jo McQueen suggested using the website when searching for photos of ancestors. She found an ancestor in her search on this website.
Beth Marcus is a new member asking about old photos she has in a leather-bound hard cover book with ancestors that are not identified. How can she get help?
Cindie Reilly’s suggestion to Beth was to utilize FACEBOOK by adding the pictures and contacting as many relatives (or distant relatives) as you possibly can. Cindie had success doing this regarding her husband’s French descendants in France.
Sandy Crowley made a suggestion to Beth about family reunions that may be taking place with any of the surnames she is researching.
Kevin Gross shared a 15 year “brick wall” that he overcame on June 4th of this year as a result of uploading his Family Tree Maker program onto A young man from Chicago has provided Kevin with much of the information he needed.

“Sometimes I see my father in me”           
~Peter Falk (1927 – 2011)

“Just one more thing”                   What the genealogist said two hours before leaving the library.
~Peter Falk as Columbo

Newsletter Submissions

~Gary Schwarz - Editor

I wish to thank members who have submitted articles for publication in the newsletter. Please continue to submit your articles of genealogical interest. Submissions should be submitted by the Wednesday after the monthly meeting. 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”.

The two most powerful warriors are patience and time.                   A genealogist’s motto!
~Leo Tolstoy

A Trip to Ukraine (Part I)

~Gary Schwarz

I recently returned from a trip to Ukraine to see the lands of my great grand parents: Peter Schwarz of Worms (Vinogradnye, Ukraine), Magdalena Ochsner of Worms, Karl Hofmann of Rohrbach (Novosvetlivka, Ukraine), and Katherina Griess of Rohrbach. The trip was organized by Robert Schneider of German Russian heritage and resident of Spearfish, South Dakota (North and South Dakota being areas of where a large percentage of German Russians settled in the USA) for twelve people, seven of which were interested in walking on the soil where their ancestors walked. I provided Bob with locations determined from a map by Dr. Karl Stumpp (1896-1982) and published in 1940 of the Odessa Oblast (an oblast being the equivalent of a state in the USA) which included German Russian villages and Russian towns. I used this map in conjunction with Google Maps and Soviet Military maps of 1930 and 1940 to locate villages and chutors (a chutor being the equivalent of a large estate) which I wanted to visit.

Bob Schneider has been organizing trips to Ukraine for twenty years. He works out a route for each trip to include the places of interest to his small group of travelers. He hires a van with a Ukrainian driver; a Ukrainian guide to fine tune the routes and schedule, hotel stays, stays in people’s homes, museum tours, tours of palaces, and other historical Ukrainian places; and a Ukrainian interpreter. I and my fellow travelers were interested in places in the southern half of Ukraine. Four of the people on the trip: Cleon Ochsner of Colorado Springs, Colorado; Fred Ochsner of Lincoln, Nebraska; Steve Ochsner of Omaha, Nebraska; and Jim Griess of Lincoln, Nebraska, were my third and fourth cousins. Cleon Ochsner translates many documents originally written in German, to English, for publication by German Russian organizations in the USA. Jim Griess has written a book, The German Russians: Those Who Came to Sutton which in its newest edition has a broader scope of German Russian heritage than just those settling in Sutton. Our Ukrainian/Russian interpreter was Inna Stryukova of Mikolaiv, Ukraine. Inna is a professor of English in Mikolaiv who has helped Bob as his Ukrainian/Russian interpreter for years and has accumulated detailed knowledge of places Bob’s groups have visited. With the combined knowledge of Bob, Cleon, Jim, and Inna, I was able to get a tremendous amount of information on the historical and present day: peoples, places, geography, and politics of Ukraine/South Russia.

In preparing for the trip, I provided Bob with coordinates for places I wanted to visit, but places which he had never visited before: several Schwarz chutors, several Ochsner chutors, and Chutor Kapitanovka which I believe may have been a Schwarz chutor. I did this by using Dr. Stumpp’s Odessa Oblast map. Dr. Stumpp was born in the Alexenderhilf, South Russia (Ukraine), but immigrated to Germany after World War I. He did a massive amount of research and documentation of Germans in Russia from Russian and German-Russian documents when Germany occupied Ukraine during World War II. I compared village and chutor locations on his map to Russian military maps. I was able to locate many Russian towns, plus rivers and roads on his map which were also on the military maps. I then compared the location of German named villages and chutors to the Russian towns, rivers and roads on both Dr. Stumpp’s map and the military maps. Most of the German named village locations on Dr. Stumpp’s map had Russian names on the military maps. Since the Russian military maps were from 1930 and 1940, I compared them to maps generated on Google Maps. I was able to get coordinates of the places I wanted to see by verifying that the locations matched on all of the maps. Dr. Stumpp’s map was in German, the military maps were in Russian which uses the Cyrillic alphabet, and Google was in English. Our driver Alex was able to navigate to some of my locations by putting my coordinates into his GPS. He had to drive the sixteen passenger van along dirt tracks between fields to get to some of the locations. Good thing it only rained lightly once, those dirt tracks would have been slippery bogs.

Chutor Kapitanovka (Kapitanka on Google) was the first location on my list that we visited. It was that first place that provided a look at how life may have appeared when my great grand parents lived there. It was a cluster of houses located near pastures. Several men and women were herding cattle in nearby pastures towards a “Beam Well”. The beam well consists of a tall tripod (fifteen or twenty feet high) with a beam balanced horizontally on the top. A bucket is attached to one end of the beam with a long rope. The other end of the beam has a counter weight. The rope is pulled down lowering the bucket into the well. The counter weight on the beam helps to lift the full bucket up out of the well. The water is then poured into a trough to water the cattle, dairy cows in this case. This type of well was used for villagers as well as livestock when my ancestors lived there. Inna approached a women (Rosa) working in her flower garden and we were able to find that there in Kapitanka they were dairy farmers and still milked their cows by hand. A truck came everyday to collect the milk. Rosa also said that the young people left this area because there is not enough work to keep them in Kapitanka. This migration from rural areas to cities is prevalent there in Ukraine just as it is here in the USA. There were no persons of German heritage that lived in the community. Rosa was of Polish heritage. She appeared content with her life in the small chutor. Georg Schwarz who was born in Kapitanovka was my great grandfather’s nephew. Georg Schwarz, his family, and his mother Katharina (Ochsner) Schwarz, left the USSR in 1929, immigrating to Winnipeg, Canada. (To Be Continued)

A Bit of Serendipity

~Judy Deeter

I have always enjoyed things that have a connection to serendipity. In fact, just saying the word “serendipity” can make one smile. Serendipity means to find something valuable or interesting just by chance or in an unexpected way.

Pictured here is a portrait of Maude Hartman and Frank Kaufman, my maternal grandmother’s sister and brother-in-law, taken on their wedding day in 1909. The story of how I obtained this photograph is quite interesting. Neither my grandmother nor any member of her family gave it to me. In fact, I do not know some details about how the photograph and I “found” each other. Though I know where I got the picture, I have no idea how it came to be at the place I discovered it.

One day in late summer or autumn of 2009, a family member asked me if I would like to go to Lebanon, Ohio to walk through the antique stores there. My relative was looking for a particular item; I went along just for the ride. It was mid-afternoon when we arrived in Lebanon and I realized that I probably wouldn’t have a lot of time to linger over items. The walk through the shops would have to be quick.

Because I have a love of old books, postcards and photographs, I looked for those items first. As I recall, as the closing time of 5 p.m. drew near, we had visited all the stores except one. We had just a few minutes to browse in the one remaining shop.

Upon entering the last store, an old box of photographs caught my attention. I enjoy reading the names on old photographs, checking where they were taken, and gazing on long ago faces that are captured in black and white or sepia tones. I stood by the little box for several minutes flipping through the photographs. Suddenly, I recognized a face in a photograph. I was stunned, to say the least. There in my hand was a photograph of my grandmother’s older sister Maude and her husband Frank Kaufman. I couldn’t believe my eyes. “Impossible!” I kept saying to myself. Aunt Maude had always lived in northern Darke County and I knew of no family members in the Lebanon area. Nevertheless, I turned the photograph over, and sure enough, there written in ink were the names “Frank--Maude.” Even as I headed to the cashier to pay for the photograph, I doubted the picture was that of my Great Aunt and Uncle. It wasn’t until I arrived home and I pulled out a picture of Maude as a young woman, which had only recently been given to me by her daughter, that I truly believed I had found their photograph. Months later, their granddaughter confirmed to me that the photograph was her grandparent’s wedding portrait and that a large print of it had once hung in the dining room of their farmhouse. I would have seen it when I had visited them as a young girl.

In the time since I purchased the photograph, I have often thought how amazing it is that I have the picture. It was only by chance that I went shopping that day in Lebanon, that we had walked through the stores quickly enough that I had time to look in the last store, that I happened to go to the booth where the box of photographs was located, and that just prior to the shopping trip I had been given a photograph of Maude as a young woman. I would never have recognized her if I hadn’t previously seen another picture of her as a young woman. The face of the Maude I knew was much different. Time had put many creases in her skin by the time I met her.

There is one more thing that amazes me. I have come to believe that the day I found the picture was very near the date or perhaps the exact date of their 100th wedding anniversary. That’s serendipity!!

(Judy is a longtime member of SOCCGS who currently resides in Troy, Ohio.)

"2011 Seminar"
Curt B. Witcher is coming October 15!

We are beginning to receive reservations for our 10th Annual Seminar. So, it is not too early to send yours in. We expect a full house for Mr. Witcher's first visit to Mission Viejo. Members, please note that reservations are processed on a first come basis, and the capacity of our venue is 125 persons. You will find a flyer with a Reservation Form on the last page of this newsletter. Tell your friends! Information is also on the SOCCGS Website.


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.)

Use this form to register for seminar. Send with your check for payment.

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      

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