Saddleback Valley Trails

 South Orange County California Genealogical Society

Vol. 15 No. 9                               P.O. Box 4513, Mission Viejo, CA. 92690                             September 2008

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.


Next General Meeting

September 20, 2008


“Creating Free and Easily Managed Websites For Sharing Your Genealogy Research”

Presented by

Michael Kratzer


          Having a presence on the World Wide Web is no longer the exclusive realm of computer programmers, software engineers, or technology geeks.

          If you have a high-speed Internet connection, email address, and a wish to share your genealogy research in a more timesaving and economical way, now you can easily create your own website. Displaying research on a personal Website is much less daunting than trying to write that all-encompassing Family History book, for which your relatives have been clamoring.

          At this meeting, Mr. Kratzer will show how to create and manage personal Internet Websites utilizing free and commonly available programs. There is no need to fear not being a graphic artist; having the writing talent of a best selling author; or the technology skills of a computer science major. All you need is a desire, an idea, and a willingness to devote a little time learning the basic concepts of establishing your very own Web presence.

          Please visit or, in order to familiarize yourself with some of the ideas and concepts that will be discussed during the course of this presentation.

          Michael Kratzer has been performing Family History research since the late 1980’s, and has been confused and bewildered about computers and technology since his first computer programming class in 1973. He has been adding to his personal family history for over fifteen years. He is a graduate of Orange Coast College and holds a certificate from the University of California at Irvine. Michael volunteers his time assisting genealogy researchers at the Huntington Beach Family History Center.


Safari News – Burbank in September

          Plans are in the works for a safari on September 24 to the Southern California Genealogy Society’s Library in Burbank. This is one of the premier research facilities in California. Plan your day by perusing the Library Catalogue at The group will leave the LDS parking lot at 9:00 a.m. Since, this will be an all-day excursion we will eat dinner on the way home. Plan to bring lunch. Remember to bring $$ for the driver. Contact Bill Bluett (949-492-9408) to make a reservation.


"Commit yourself to lifelong learning. The most valuable

Asset you'll ever have is your mind and what you put into it.”

~Brian Tracy


President’s Message

~Bill Bluett

          While my sightseeing/genealogy vacation is still fresh in my mind, I want to share a few more of our experiences. The first weekend of travel (June 13th to 15th) was spent in Sonora, California, which is about 50 miles northeast of Modesto. It is located on Highway 49 in a region that produced many gold mining operations from 1850 into the 1900’s. Helen and I were attending the California Cornish Cousins Conference that weekend. We had some free time on that Saturday afternoon; so, I chose to walk to the Tuolumne County Historical Museum and Research Center. I was there for about an hour and a half until they closed. The record research docent on duty began looking up information on the Bluett surname. By closing time, she had located at least 16 pieces of data, ranging from burial documentation to newspaper articles, regarding several Bluett families. Needless to say, I was excited!

          After we arrived home from our trip in mid July, I started to dig into the information, which I had received. What I discovered was that there were four Bluett brothers from Cornwall, England, who settled in the Sonora area as early as the 1860’s. They were my great grandfather, James W. Bluett’s, cousins: John F. Bluett, William Bluett, Joseph Bluett, and Thomas Henry Bluett. All were involved in gold mining. From what I found in the records, they were all fairly successful. Over a period of time, they were involved in the partnerships of several different mining operations in the Sonora region. When John F. Bluett died in 1916, his will was outlined in the local newspaper. He owned 8625 shares of the Jasper Gold Mining Company, 33,919 shares of the Pyranul Gold Mining Company, and 55,000 shares of the New Providence Gold Mining Company. The mining shares must have been valued at pennies per share because the entire value of the estate was not much over $2,000. John’s brother, William Bluett, did even better. After he died in 1918 his will was in an Oakland newspaper. His estate was valued at $70,000 and included mining shares and a home and other properties in an exclusive neighborhood in Oakland overlooking the bay. His estate would be worth well over a million dollars today. So, I would say that he did very well.

          I haven’t found much on the other two brothers yet. But, I’ll keep on searching. It looks as though there were a few Bluetts who did relatively well in the mining industry. I would like to go back to Sonora to do some additional research on these families and to see a little more of the surrounding region. The Tuolumne County archives in Sonora are very well indexed and organized for doing extensive research.

          The other experience, which I had on our trip, wasn’t necessarily a genealogy moment but it was very meaningful to me personally. We were visiting Mt. Rushmore and, after spending several hours at the Visitor Center and viewing the monument, we spent the remainder of the afternoon driving through the Custer State Park region. Later that evening, we returned to the Mt. Rushmore amphitheater for an evening program and lighting ceremony. At the end of the presentation, all former and current military personnel were asked to come down onto the stage for the retiring of the flag. Since I served in the U.S. Army Reserves for six years back in the 1960’s, I went down front with about 30 or 40 other military personnel where we lined up across the stage. The Park Ranger in charge of the program came down the line and asked each one of us to introduce ourselves and indicate the branch of service in which we served. Then, the flag was lowered, folded, and passed down the line to each man. As we received the flag and passed it on, the Park Ranger shook our hand and thanked each of us individually for serving our country. It was a very emotional moment for me. It was an honor to stand with the other men and women from all branches of service. I’ll never forget that night at Mt. Rushmore standing on that stage with the lights shining on the monument high above.

          Now, back to reality. After listening to Nancy Huebotter’s August presentation, I guess I’d better get off the computer and start sorting my genealogy files, including what I’ve brought back from our trip. I am going to start “bringing order out of all the chaos” that is surrounding me. I’m sure that I’m the only one in SOCCGS that has this problem?


A peculiarity of dinner in the early days was that the pudding

Was served first, usually made of Indian meal, molasses, etc.

One adhered to the times and never came late:

Hence, the admonition, “Come in pudding time.”



August Meeting

          Nancy Huebotter gave us ideas and inspiration to “tame the wild beast.” Better known as the “genealogy stuff” we all have stored in various areas of our abodes. She recommended many blank forms for use in genealogy research, most of which are obtainable on the Internet. Copies are available at the SOCCGS Library and will also be on the genealogy table at the Seminar. Again, this month, over 80 members & guests were in attendance. Several shared tidbits of information: Francie Kennedy has a new portable hard drive. She recommends it as a quick and easy way to save that important information in case of computer failure. Donna Hobbs shared her involvement in a “One Name Study” where she has found valuable information. She will follow up searching more lines and suggested that we might all benefit this approach. Bill Bluett and Bob McQueen received Ancestry DNA Test Kits as birthday gifts from their wives. We look forward to finding out their results. Sherry Penland has participated in the same project. John Hill brought us up to date on his “book online” project. He invites us to check it out at

          Members shared stories while enjoying a pictorial display of ancestors who were involved in sports. Next month, hospitality chairman, Trish Leard will set up an exhibit depicting modes of transportation. Please bring pictures of ancestors with old cars, boats, trains, planes, etc. Members signed a card for Beverly Long who recently underwent surgery. Get Well Soon, Beverly. Refreshments were served outside on a table aptly decorated in an Olympic theme. Barbara Heebner, Sandy Crowley and Bob McQueen provided the treats. Thank You!




          New members are : Diana and Barbara Wahrman, San Clemente. They are both searching ROBERTS & LANTZ in Pennsylvania.  Cheryl Lyman Abi-Loutfi, San Clemente.  Cheryl is searching for information regarding Ada Jane GARHAM b. 1/15/1871; John GARHAM, Ada's father; Amenda, Ada's mother; John Wesley ADAY b. 3/2/1876 and Boze ADAY, John's father.


Ordering U.K. Birth-Marriage-Death Certificates

~ David Flint

          At the August meeting, I spoke about receiving an 1855 birth certificate from England for one of my ancestors, and offered to provide information on ordering certificates online. A birth, marriage or death certificate from the U.K. General Register Office (GRO) may be ordered online at To complete the order you first need to obtain the index information for your certificate. Go to and click on “Search”. This website is free to search and download index information.

          If you know the approximate year of the birth, marriage or death and the county in the U.K. you will need to enter it for your search. The online search template asks for a name, a year range and county. It will also ask for the quarter of the year, if you know it, or you can search all quarters. It is important to understand that this is not the quarter for the date of the birth, marriage or death, but the quarter of the year when it was registered. The quarters run as follows: January-February-March is in the March quarter; April-May-June is in the June quarter; July-August-September  is in the September quarter; and October-November-December is the December quarter. If the quarter of the registration is not known, you can search all of the quarters in the year selected.

          The registration quarter is important, and it may differ from the quarter for the date of the event. In my case, I was searching for the birth of Martha Ann Flint born 17 June 1855 in Bushey, Hertfordshire. I searched the March through December quarters in 1855 in Hertfordshire. The search returned the following information: Births Jun 1855; Flint, Martha Ann; Watford 3a 270. This tells me that the birth of Martha Ann Flint was registered in the June quarter 1855, and appears in the index for the Watford Registration District, Volume 3a, Page 270. This is the key information needed to order the birth certificate from the GRO website.

          The search also indicated that a scan of the index page was available to view. I viewed and downloaded a copy of the index page to save in my files for future reference. Depending on the index that was scanned, the image may show a neat, typewritten page or it may have hand-written entries. Names are listed in the index page alphabetically by surname. Note also that these are index lists, and not scanned copies of the certificates.

          Go to the GRO website at to order a certificate. Provide the required information for the name, type of certificate requested (birth, marriage or death), the year and quarter, registration district, volume and page number. Remember that most of the information you need for the order is what you found in your search on The cost of the certificate is £7.00 (about $14.00 US) and includes postage. This is the official GRO price for a certificate. Be aware there are other websites that will provide a copy of a certificate and charge more, however there is no reason to pay more than £7.00 for a certified copy of a U.K. certificate. One final tip – don’t search for any certificates before 1837. Since civil registration in England began in 1837, that is the earliest year you will find. Good luck!


A Journey To Ireland

           SOCCGS members, Brian and Gay Poff, have recently returned from a vacation and family research trip to Ireland. Here, they share some of their experiences.

“A week before we left for Ireland, we received an email from a new-found cousin from New Zealand, Sister Marie Poff. She suggested we look up the Peter Poff's family in Kenmare, County Kerry. After greeting us at the door, Peter invited us into their living room and I was shown a photograph of a relative unknown to him. It was of my grandfather, James Edward Poff! It turns out that Peter's grandfather, Peter Poff, and my grandfather were brothers who emigrated to New York in 1902 after their mother, Norah Meehan died. Peter Poff's grandfather worked on the Brooklyn docks and returned to County Kerry in 1919. His family still lives on the same Kenmare farm today. Thus, I found a cousin whom I never knew existed.

          Next, we went to Gowerhass, County Clare to look for my grandmother, Mary Poff's [nee Meehan] relatives. When I shared my intent with the owner of the Fortfield Farm Bed & Breakfast, she put us in touch with her neighbor who took us to Breaffa Cemetery where we found the Meehan family grave, which was very well kept up by volunteers. Buried in the crypt were my great grandmother, Norah Meehan [nee Tubridy], plus several of her children, who would be my great aunts and uncles. My grandmother, Mary Meehan, was not in that grave since she died in New York City. The last to die, Nora Meehan, unmarried daughter of Norah, was laid to rest in 1980. She was born C1894 and died 26 March 1980.

          These kind people then showed me the family farmhouse, which was what the locals called “being in derelict condition.” The next door neighbor had returned from the United States to retire in the family home and he shared some of his memories, including the fact that the Meehan's had the first radio in the village and in the evenings people would come from all over to listen.

We found everyone, without exception, eager to assist us in finding information about the Poff family. A typical example is when we went to the Ballymacelligot Post Office, my grandfather's birthplace. Besides giving us directions to the Poff family, the store owner/postmaster let us use the bathroom in his house, which was attached to the store, since there were no public restrooms for many miles.

          We found Stella Lennihan [nee Poff] at her farmhouse, where she was outside with several grandchildren. We talked briefly with her over the fence. She did not know anything about the rest of the family ancestors other than there were many buried in unmarked graves in the local cemetery. However, she suggested we look up Peter Poff in Kenmare. Later, we found that she was the caretaker of her husband who had been hit by a car in front of their house and is permanently paralyzed. This was a sad end to our family quest in Ireland.

          Of course we found time to see the sights and had a great time, but even four weeks wasn't enough time to see and do everything. We can't wait to visit again!”


Nominating Committee

          President Bill Bluett has appointed Diane Hearne, Herb Abrams, Jack Naylor and Mary Jo McQueen to the nominating committee. Nominees for 2009 will be announced at the October 20th Seminar Meeting when nominations will also be accepted from the floor. The committee will welcome suggestions, which may be emailed to any committee member. Diane Hearne; other email addresses listed below. These should be sent before September 18.


City Directories at

Chiicago IL 109,453 images from 1843 to 1909 (not every year)

Boston MA 141,986 images from 1789 to 1926 (not every year)

Philadelphia PA 92,410 images from1785 to 1909 (not every year)

New York NY 141,742 images from 1786 to 1915 (not every year)

Washington DC 52,915 images from 1822 to 1923 (not every year)


A Gandmother was surprised by her 7 year-old grandson one morning. He had made her coffee. She drank what was the worst cup of coffee in her life. When she got to the bottom, there were three of those little green Army men in the cup. She said "Honey, what are these army men doing in my coffee?" Her grandson said, "Grandma, it says on TV, "The best part of waking up is soldiers in your cup!"


"Your Story & Mine, Picture It!"

~Patricia Ann (Dean) Christiansen

          The thought of writing one’s life story can be daunting. Consider this, the world wasn’t created in one sitting; it took the powers that be seven periods of time to reach their goal. With that formula in mind, I have undertaken the writing of my life story in fragments. Sometimes it will be something someone says or a grandchild will ask about the “old days.” Most of the time, however, an old photograph will trigger a memory.

          It was a photograph that got me started this time, one of my mother, Rebecca Irene Shultz Dean, sitting at a drafting table during World War II at Williams Air Force Base in Phoenix, Arizona. An airman in 1944 who was trying a double-exposure technique on his new camera, before being sent to the South Pacific, photographed her.

          On Monday, December 8, 1941, the school principal and teachers wept as they announced the start of World War II. Many of them had been involved personally, in some way or another, with World War I only two decades before. World War II affected everyone in my family. Before leaving Columbus, Ohio, in October 1943, we had already involved ourselves in many activities to further the war effort.

     * A Victory Garden in which we grew our own vegetables. The memory of the taste of tomatoes that grew on the back fence still makes my mouth water. Cabbage, lettuce, carrots and sweet potatoes were plentiful, too. Corn that was so sweet it could be eaten it uncooked. Sometimes I had to remove the corn worms first.

     * Fervent patriotism enveloped us all. Small military flags hung in front windows letting passersby know that a member of that household was serving in some branch of the service.

     * Then, a prayer, the Pledge of Allegiance and the Star Spangled Banner started each day in our classrooms.

     * Putting on benefit shows in our back yard with the proceeds going to a veteran’s hospital in Columbus. I sang my first solo song in public, “I threw a kiss to the ocean, I threw a kiss to the sea, in hopes that my sweetheart would come home safely to me.” I was 10 years old and what did I know about “sweethearts?”

     * All food required a ration stamp except liver, heart, tongue, chicken giblets and horsemeat. We ate all of the un-rationed items, but I only had horsemeat once. It is an acquired taste, sort of mind over matter.

      * Buying savings stamps with our allowance instead of comic books or candy.

     * Working along side Mother to prepare hygiene kits for hospitalized veterans.

     * Gathering with our neighbors to pack medical supplies for shipment to war zones overseas.

     * Developing a pen pal relationship with someone overseas in the military. I did receive a couple of letters from soldiers in return.

     * Collecting old newspapers, scrap metal, rubber, and aluminum foil for recycling (cigarette packs had an inner wrap of foil). My sisters and I did so well that our neighbor loaned us his moving van to take everything to the playground of Ohio Avenue School for delivery. Not only did the students in the school support the collecting 100%, the event was well publicized and covered by a local radio station in Columbus. When my younger sister was interviewed about her contribution to our truckload of donations, she readily admitted that she had done all the work. Only 5 years old, she also said that her father was a traveling salesman when the reporter asked what her father did. Perhaps the reporter was hoping he was serving in the military somewhere. Being a clear channel station, the broadcast was heard two states away in Illinois by our grandmother, who remarked, “That’s something one of Rebecca’s [children] would say.”

          Our father was not a traveling salesman. He worked for Standard Oil of Ohio (SOHIO Oil) as a petroleum engineer and because of the classification of his occupation with the oil company he was deferred from military service. Shortly after Mother’s father died in May 1942, her two brothers were inducted into the Army; they reported for duty within a week of their dad’s funeral. When the war ended in 1945, both returned home safely.

          One photograph brought all these memories rushing back to the forefront of my mind. It can do the same for you. First, find your own photograph and secondly, write down what you remember.




"Three grand essentials to happiness in this life are something to do,

Something to love, and something to hope for."

 ~ Joseph Addison


New At The Library

White County, Tennessee History and Biographies, donated by Cindy Dean.

Glimpses of Saybrook, Massachusetts by H. C. Chesebrough, donated by Nancy Kingston.

Donations from Oscar Frickr:

Early Settlers of Colrain, Massachusetts by Charles H. McClellen.

New Jersey Family Index by D. A. Sinclair.

German Immigrants: Passengers Bound from Bremen to New York, 1847-1854 Zimmerman & Wolfert.

The Formation of North Carolina Counties 1663-1943 by D. L. Corbitt.


Church Records of Westbrook, Connecticut 1725-1899 by J. Rumsey.

Cemetery Records of New London County, CT, Vols. I & II by E. P. Ellsberry.

Index of North Carolina Ancestors by NCGS

Wills and Estate Records of Beaufort County, North Carolina; Beaufort Orphans Bk A 1808-1828, Camin. Guide to the Processed Manuscripts of the Tennessee Historical Society by H. C. Owsley.

North Carolina Research Genealogy and Local History by NCGS.

The Groome Family and Connections: A Pedigree by H. C. Groome.

Derthicks and Related Derricks-Family History by Spencer and Goodpasture.

A Record of the Pynchon Family in England and America by Dr. J. C. Pynchon (In Manuscript File).


Library Ways & Means Project

          It is that time of year! Tickets are now on sale for a beautiful quilt to be raffled at the seminar. Funds raised by this project are used entirely for the purchase of books & CD’s for the SOCCGS Genealogy Library. Be sure to buy one, or six, and don’t forget to let your friends in on this opportunity. Tickets are $1.00 each, or six for $5.00. A picture of the quilt and a seminar registration form may be found on the SOCCGS website at


“Some Websites of Interest to Genealogists” - USCIS Establishes Genealogy Program - August 13, 2008 - Customers can now turn to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) for help in researching their family’s immigration history through the agency’s new Genealogy Program - Public Records of the Colony of Connecticut 1636-1776 - San Francisco Genealogy home page - State Historical Societies & State Archives Directory - Bureau of Land Management - If you know the Township, Range, and Section of a homestead, which is available through a search tool with the BLM website, you can go to this link to find the latitude and longitude coordinates. This tool from Montana State University also provides a listing of the nearest landmarks. - New information from the US Citizenship and Immigration Service about new forms, costs, etc. - Missouri Death Certificates on-line years 1911 -1957, View and print out. - Illinois Ancestors Tombstone Project. It is in its infancy, but is a beautiful cemetery site. It is broken down into counties.

(Websites submitted by Kathie Mauzey, Donna Hobbs, Pat Nostrome & Herb Abrams)


"Success usually comes to those who are too busy to be looking for it."

~ Henry David Thoreau


Seminar Briefing

         Bob & Cindy Reilly (949-830-9488) and Eileen Merchant (949-831-1441) are collecting items for the Book Sale Table. Please bring genealogy related books and magazines, fiction, non-fiction & cookbooks you wish to donate to the September 20 meeting, or call to arrange drop off. Books may be either soft or hardback and paperbacks are welcome. Barbara Wilgus is the “Jewelry Lady” again this year! Please bring your unused costume jewelry to the September meeting.  Sandy Crowley will accept donations for the Door Prize Table. These may be new or very gently used items, or perhaps you know of a business in the area that will donate a gift certificate.

          This Seminar will afford a great opportunity for us to hone our genealogy research skills. George Morgan is an excellent speaker with a vast knowledge to share. SIGN UP NOT.





Bill Bluett


Vice President…………………..

Nellie Domenick


Recording Secretary………….

Sandy Crowley


Corresponding Secretary.....

Pat Weeks



Mary Jo McQueen



Jack Naylor



Herb Abrams



Bunny Smith



Shirley Fraser



Trish Leard



Barbara Wilgus


Newsletter Editor................

Mary Jo McQueen



SOCCGS Website @

Mail List:

SOCCGS Library within the Mission Viejo Library;

Marguerite Parkway at LaPaz, (949) 470-8498

 SOCCGS E-mail:





Countdown To The Seminar -  Are You Registered?


George G. Morgan's Topics

“25 Places Where Family Facts May Hide”

“Bring’em Back to Life: Developing An Ancestor Profile”

“The U.S. Naturalization Process & Documents: 1790 to 1954”

“Colonial & Early American Land Records: The Process & Evidence”



SOCCGS ‘2008’ Seminar Registration


Name(s) __________________________________________Registration: ____ @ $20.00 _________________________________________________ Box Lunch: _____@ $7.50

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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