Saddleback Valley Trails

South Orange County California Genealogical Society

Vol. 17 No. 8

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

August 2010

Editor: Mary Jo McQueen

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 August 21, 2010

"Places You May Not Have Thought To Look
Or, “Know What You Don’t Know."

Presented By
Liz Stookesberry Myers

Have you looked everywhere for that elusive “impossible-to-find” ancestor? Have you been searching for years and still have few solid results? In this presentation Ms. Myers will discuss how to break through those brick walls. She will give suggestions to review and redirect research. Both the experienced researcher and those just beginning will learn ways to fill in the empty spaces in their genealogy research. Those new to family history research will discover how to avoid the frustration of not finding the person for whom they are looking!

Liz Myers came down with “genealogy fever” a number of years ago, following a trip to her father’s Ohio hometown. According to her husband and daughter, she has never been the same since. She is currently President of Questing Heirs Genealogical Society in the Greater Long Beach area. Also, Liz is Legislative Watch Chairman for the California State Genealogical Alliance trying to keep the Public Vital Records open to all of us. She has led workshops, discussion groups and given speeches to many different groups in Southern California and Ohio. She is currently teaching Beginning Genealogy classes at the Elder University of Long beach State University.

"2010 Seminar"
Dr. George Schweitzer is coming October 16!

To date, over 40 reservations have been received for the 7th Annual Seminar. We expect a full house for Dr. Schweitzer’s third 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 Reservation Form on the last page of this newsletter. Tell your friends! Information is also on the SOCCGS Website.


We are sorry to hear of the passing of former member Rich Faber. A Memorial Service is planned for August 14, 2010 at 1:00 p.m. We have received the following from Rich’s family: “Please join with our family to celebrate Rich's life at 1647 Highland Drive. Solana Beach, California 92075. Lunch following.”

President's Message

~Sandy Crowley

I hope you all are enjoying our summer of speakers. Connie Moretti spoke to us this month on Special Census Schedules. At our August meeting Liz Stookesberry Myers will be speaking on "Places You May Not Have Thought To Look." In September Joan Rambo will be delivering the presentation.

Thanks to those who donated treats for this month: Marilyn Kowalski, Tina Murtha, Mary Jo McQueen, Barbara Heebner, and Eunice Murai. I can’t think of another group that has better refreshment breaks than we do. We enjoy the yummy snacks and the chance to chat with our fellow SOCCGS members about genealogy research.

Do think about sending in your registration soon for the annual October seminar on Saturday, October 16 with speaker Dr. George Schweitzer. He is a renowned genealogy lecturer, and his presentations, done in period costume, are very entertaining as well as informative.

Brick Walls & Genealogy Research Suggestions

The July meeting brought a number of suggestions to facilitate our research efforts:

Victoria Crane told us that persons at the military cemetery in San Diego will take pictures of gravesites.

Tricia Leard shared with us that she has in-laws buried in the San Diego Military Cemetery at Point Loma. The cemetery is now closed to new burials, but that it is still open for visitors. New burials will be on the military base at Miramar.

Diane Hearne suggested checking with Ancestry for US Public Records addresses and Mary Jo McQueen referred us to and World Vital Records.

Myrna Hamid recently went to Ireland. She noticed that a group from the New England Historical Society was going to be in Dublin about the same time. They offered to let her send in a list of who/what she was researching. They then shared the data with the other Dublin researchers. Myrna was able to make some connections and receive some valuable data.

Patricia Christiansen reminded us that there might be some family members who won’t talk to each other. This feuding can make it difficult to handle burial decisions. Patricia suggests that one might consider having that lone relative’s ashes buried in their own casket, when the time comes. Mortuaries are able handle this arrangement.

Ed Reardon informed us that Middlesex County, Connecticut lists all their cemeteries online. See Portland, Connecticut has a list of all their Civil War deaths with the genealogy of each in the Union troops.


We have two members. Please welcome Alice Colby Volkert who lives in Lake Forest and Charlene Maezumi (949-330-9521). Charlene is searching for Evans, Fatty, Hatch in Erie & Chautauqua County, New York and Wilson, Reipke in Nicolette County, Minnesota.

New email addresses:
     Sandy Crowley,
     Herb Abrams,

"Changes Have Come To The Library"

The books have been moved! The SOCCGS Research Center is up and running. It is time to get back in the hunt for those evasive, elusory, slippery ancestors who are so hard to pin down. Please visit soon!

Docents and subs who were unable to attend the recent docent workshop, you will be contacted by Bunny Smith to make arrangements for your tutorial.

Do you realize in about 40 years we'll have millions
Of old ladies running around with tattoos?
And rap music will be the Golden Oldies!

Message From Ralph's

~David Flint - Ways & Means Chairman


There is no pre-registration! This means that you cannot register for the new term until September 1, 2010 or after.

All of your members who are currently enrolled in the Ralphs Community Contribution Program will remain active until August 31, 2010.

Participants will be required to register or re-register for the new term at or by using the scanbar letter at the register starting September 1, 2010. The scanbar letter you received last year applies to this year as well.

Even if your participants registered as recently as June or July 2010, they will be required to register again, on or after September 1, 2010.

David Flint will have Scanbar letters available at the August meeting.

Family History Centers

Are you aware that the Orange FHC has a website? ( Click on "Collections" for a list of films and microfiche that are available.

You can also search the Los Angeles Family History Center’s film and microfiche collection at:

Before you order film from our local FHC it will save you time and money to check to see if they are available at either of these Centers.

Ancestry World Archives Project

~David Flint, Chairman

Please visit our website at (or type SOCCGS into Google) to learn about our society’s co-sponsorship and participation in the World Archives Project with There are links on our website to connect you with information about the program and how to get started. Please consider helping with this service project. It’s a great way to give something back to the larger genealogy community.

"Some Websites of Interest to Genealogists"
  Instructions for cleaning gravestones.
  Lots of historical info here.

Safari News

The next safari will be September 22. The destination will be announced in the September newsletter.

Newspaper Clipping

Franklin, Nebraska
November 30, 1900

"There was a spirited scrape in town this week twixt W.H. Ryan and H. Whitmore on one side and Professor Short and J. M. on the other. Mr. Short was victorious. It is said Mr. Ryan's boy got impudent and saucy in school and that Mr. Short used severe corporal punishment. The boy's father had Short arrested before Davis's court, but Short took a change of venue to Greenwood's sanctum. A jury of five declared Mr. Short was justified in using severe measures. Public sentiment sustains the jury."

"The numerous parties in town who think perhaps Professor Short was a little severe in trouncing young Ryan, but yet insist that public policy and good government in school, county, state, and nation demand imperatively that order and discipline must be maintained, else we should have no schools and no government. The modest, retiring, studious, gentlemanly boys never have trouble with their teachers, and they are the boys that make leaders and fill places of honor in manhood's ripened years. Noble boys make noble men."

The Star Spangled Banner

~Isaac Asimov

I have a weakness--I am crazy, absolutely nuts, about our national anthem. The words are difficult and the tune is almost impossible, but frequently when I'm taking a shower I sing it with as much power and emotion as I can. It shakes me up every time.

I was once asked to speak at a luncheon. Taking my life in my hands, I announced I was going to sing our national anthem--all four stanzas. This was greeted with loud groans. One man closed the door to the kitchen, where the noise of dishes and cutlery was loud and distracting. "Thanks, Herb," I said. "That's all right," he said. "It was at the request of the kitchen staff."

I explained the background of the anthem and then sang all four stanzas.  Let me tell you, those people had never heard it before--or had never really listened. I got a standing ovation. But it was not me; it was the anthem.

More recently, while conducting a seminar, I told my students the story of the anthem and sang all four stanzas. Again there was a wild ovation and prolonged applause. And again, it was the anthem and not I.

So now let me tell you how it came to be written.

In 1812, the United States went to war with Great Britain, primarily over freedom of the seas. We were in the right. For two years, we held off the British, even though we were still a rather weak country. Great Britain was in a life and death struggle with Napoleon. In fact, just as the United States declared war, Napoleon marched off to invade Russia. If he won, as everyone expected, he would control Europe, and Great Britain would be isolated. It was no time for her to be involved in an American war.

At first, our seamen proved better than the British. After we won a battle on Lake Erie in 1813, the American commander, Oliver Hazard Perry, sent the message "We have met the enemy and they are ours." However, the weight of the British navy beat down our ships eventually. New England, hard-hit by a tightening blockade, threatened secession.

Meanwhile, Napoleon was beaten in Russia and in 1814 was forced to abdicate. Great Britain now turned its attention to the United States, launching a three-pronged attack. The northern prong was to come down Lake Champlain toward New York and seize parts of New England. The southern prong was to go up the Mississippi, take New Orleans and paralyze the west. The central prong was to head for the Mid-Atlantic States and then attack Baltimore, the greatest port south of New York. If Baltimore was taken, the nation, which still hugged the Atlantic Coast, could be split in two. The fate of the United States, then, rested to a large extent on the success or failure of the central prong.

The British reached the American coast, and on August 24, 1814, took Washington, D. C. Then they moved up the Chesapeake Bay toward Baltimore. On September 12, they arrived and found 1000 men in Fort McHenry, whose guns controlled the harbor. If the British wished to take Baltimore, they would have to take the fort.

On one of the British ships was an aged physician, William Beanes, who had been arrested in Maryland and brought along as a prisoner. Francis Scott Key, a lawyer and friend of the physician, had come to the ship to negotiate his release. The British captain was willing, but the two Americans would have to wait. It was now the night of September 13, and the bombardment of Fort McHenry was about to start. As twilight deepened, Key and Beanes saw the American flag flying over Fort McHenry. Through the night, they heard bombs bursting and saw the red glare of rockets. They knew the fort was resisting and the American flag was still flying. But toward morning the bombardment ceased, and a dread silence fell. Either Fort McHenry had surrendered and the British flag flew above it, or the bombardment had failed and the American flag still flew.

As dawn began to brighten the eastern sky, Key and Beanes stared out at the fort, trying to see which flag flew over it. He and the physician must have asked each other over and over, "Can you see the flag?" After it was all finished, Key wrote a four-stanza poem telling the events of the night. Called "The Defense of Fort McHenry," it was published in newspapers and swept the nation. Someone noted that the words fit an old English tune, a difficult melody with an uncomfortably large vocal range. For obvious reasons, Key's work became known as "The Star Spangled Banner," and in 1931 Congress declared it the official anthem of the United States. Now that you know the story, here are the words. Presumably, the old doctor is speaking. This is what he asks Key……

          Oh! Say, can you see, by the dawn's early light,
          What so proudly we hailed at the twilight's last gleaming?
          Whose broad stripes and bright stars, through the perilous fight,
          O'er the ramparts we watched were so gallantly streaming?
          And the rocket's red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
          Gave proof thro' the night that our flag was still there.
          Oh! say, does that star-spangled banner yet wave,
          O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave?

"Ramparts," in case you don't know, are the protective walls or other elevations that surround a fort. The first stanza asks a question. The second gives an answer

         On the shore, dimly seen thro' the mist of the deep,
         Where the foe's haughty host in dread silence reposes,
         What is that which the breeze, o'er the towering steep.
         As it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses?
         Now it catches the gleam of the morning's first beam,
         In full glory reflected, now shines on the stream
         'Tis the star-spangled banner. Oh! Long may it wave
         O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

"The towering steep" is again, the ramparts. The bombardment has failed, and the British can do nothing more but sail away, their mission a failure. In the third stanza, I feel Key allows himself to gloat over the American triumph. In the aftermath of the bombardment, Key probably was in no mood to act otherwise. During World War II, when the British were our staunchest allies, this third stanza was not sung. However, I know it, so here it is 

         And where is that band who so vauntingly swore
         That the havoc of war and the battle's confusion
         A home and a country should leave us no more?
         Their blood has washed out their foul footstep's pollution.
         No refuge could save the hireling and slave
         From the terror of flight, or the gloom of the grave,
         And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave
         O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

The fourth stanza, a pious hope for the future, should be sung more slowly than the other three and with even deeper feeling. 

         Oh! thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand
         Between their loved homes and the war's desolation,
         Blest with vict'ry and peace, may the Heav'n - rescued land
         Praise the Pow'r that hath made and preserved us a nation.
         Then conquer we must, for our cause is just,
         And this be our motto--"In God is our trust."
         And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave
         O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

I hope you will look at the national anthem with new eyes. Listen to it, the next time you have a chance, with new ears. And don't let them ever take it away.

--Isaac Asimov, March 1991

Freedom has its life in the hearts, the actions, the spirit of men,
And so it must be daily earned and refreshed – else like
A flower cut from its life-giving roots, it will wither and die.

~Dwight D. Eisenhower

An Invitation For Iowa Natives!!

The 110th Annual Iowa State Picnic is being held on Saturday, August 14th from 9:30 to 2:30 at the Long Beach Lawn Bowling Club, 1109 Federation Drive, Long Beach, CA 90804. At about 11:30 the potluck will start. Bring a dish to share, your own beverage, and your own eating utensils. Let us know if you are coming by calling 562/421-0726 or E-mailing:

The Lawn Bowling Club has several picnic tables, is handicapped accessible with plenty of parking. However, extra chairs may be needed. Take East Anaheim Street West, Left on Park Avenue, and left on Federation Drive. Or the 22 Freeway-West turns into 7th Street. Take 7th Street West, and Right on Federation Drive.

2010 Upcoming Genealogy Events

August 14 - British Isles Family History Society - USA, “Come to Your Census” at Pasadena City College. Contact Jessie Tait (310) 670-9611 or
September 25 - NSDCGS Fall Seminar, “The Immigrant Experience: Case Studies” Carlsbad City Council Chambers.
October 16 - SOCCGS’ Annual Seminar featuring Dr George Schweitzer.

Do you need a name badge?

Wearing a name badge at the monthly meetings is an excellent way to meet new friends and/or possibly a “cousin.” These are provided to all members at no cost. Please contact Herb Abrams at (949) 581-6292 or He will have one ready at the next meeting.


President _________________________ Sandy Crowley____________________
Vice President, Seminar & Safari
Chairman _________________________

Bill Bluett ________________________
Recording Secretary ________________ Cindie Reily _______________________
Corresponding Secretary ____________ Pat Weeks _______________________
Treasurer & Newsletter Editor ________ Mary Jo McQueen _________________
Membership ______________________ Jack Naylor ______________________
Publicity/Webmaster _______________ Herb Abrams _____________________
Librarian _________________________ Bunny Smith _____________________
Parliamentarian ___________________ Charles & Patricia Nostrome _________
Hospitality _______________________ Barbara Heebner __________________
Eunice Muari ______________________
Historian  ________________________ Barbara Wilgus ____________________
Ways & Means  __________________ David Flint ________________________

SOCCGS Website @

Mail List:

SOCCGS Library within the Mission Viejo Library;

Marguerite Parkway at LaPaz, (949) 470-8498

SOCCGS E-mail:

South Orange County California Genealogical Society Membership/Renewal Application

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

Name(s)  ________________________________________________________________________________

Address _________________________________________________________________________________

City _____________________________ State_____ Zip ____________ Phone _________________________

Email address: ____________________________________________________________________________

Make check payable to: SOCCGS (South Orange County CA Genealogical Society)

Mail with application to: SOCCGS, P.O. Box 4513, Mission Viejo, CA 92690-4513

South Orange County
California Genealogical Society

Mission Viejo, California


A Family History Seminar
Saturday, October 16, 2009 - 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.)

“Our Patriotic & Adventurous Ancestors”

Dr. George K. Schweitzer
Renowned Genealogy Author & Lecturer - in full costume!


“Revolutionary War Genealogy”
“German Emigration, Immigration, and Migration Patterns”
“Rivers to Trails to Roads to Canals to Trains”
“Questions and Answers”


Refreshments - Door Prizes - Drawing for Handmade Quilt
Sales Tables and Displays

Pre-registration must be received by October 13 / Tickets at the door $25.00, no lunch.
(Seminar information & registration form are also available on SOCCGS website.)

***** Send your registration in as soon as possible. Seating is limited. *****
Refunds will be made when venue capacity is reached.

SOCCGS ‘2010’ Seminar Registration

Name(s)______________________________________________________ Registration:  _______ @ $20.00
 ____________________________________________________________ Box Lunch:  _________ @   $9.00
Address:______________________________________________________ Total:  $  ___________
City & Zip_____________________________________________________  

Top of Page

Soccgs Home Page