Saddleback Valley Trails

South Orange County California Genealogical Society

Vol. 17 No. 9

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

September 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 September 18, 2010


Presented By
Joan E. Rambo

In this presentation, Ms. Rambo will be covering Public, University, and State libraries and archives. She will also discuss the differences in cataloging, such as, the Dewey Decimal and Library of Congress systems. Other important items to be covered: how to find and obtain information from these sources and methods of asking for assistance. Some of the library staff may not be big fans of genealogy. So, handle them gently! Are you planning a trip? Tips on what you want to do before leaving home will be discussed.

Joan is President of the Orange County California Genealogical Society. She has researched her own family lines for several decades and does research for companies looking for missing heirs. She is in charge of genealogy volunteers at the Huntington Beach Library, and co-chair for the annual one-week trip to Salt lake City each spring.

"2010 Seminar"
Dr. George Schweitzer will be here in just six weeks!

SOCCGS members last had the pleasure of hearing Dr. Schweitzer in 2006. It is an extraordinary genealogical experience to attend one of his lectures. The scope of his historical knowledge is incredible. Just one presentation is worth the $20.00, let alone three, with the added opportunity to ask questions. This is guaranteed to be a fun-filled day for genealogists.

There is a Reservation Form below. A flyer and registration form can be found on the SOCCGS Website.

"Needed: Door Prizes, Books and Jewelry!"

Please bring items to the library or to the September meeting.

Do you know of a business that might be willing to contribute a door prize? Or, do you have a new item that someone might feel lucky to win?

The Jewelry Table will be up and running again this year. Donations of costume jewelry in good repair will be appreciated.

Genealogy related books and materials are being sought for the Book Sale Table. You may also donate hardback fiction books. No paperbacks.

President's Message

~Sandy Crowley

The August meeting was a well attended despite it being the month of many vacations. Liz Stookesberry Myers gave great suggestions in her presentation, entitled “Places You May Not Have Thought To Look.” Along these same lines, Joan Rambo will speak to us at September’s meeting about “Getting The Most Out Of Non-genealogical Libraries.” Thanks to the following who donated snacks for the break: Kathy Mauzey, Mary Lou Brascia, Mary Jo McQueen, Mary Jo Nuttall, and Joy Allen. We welcomed the following guests: Marjory Cumberworth, Jim and Marlene Kazen, Sandy Matheny and Brad Stem. Also, we are glad to have new member. Bonnie Benton.

I’m looking forward to the October Seminar with speaker, Dr. Schweitzer. Hope to see you there!

I am appreciative that so many of our members participate in making our club so enjoyable. This makes it possible for our group to have many activities, such as the annual Seminar, research Safaris, the Genealogy section at the Mission Viejo Library, monthly speakers, snacks at break time, the sharing of research tips, and help breaking through brick walls.

SOCCGS members, you are a great bunch of fellow genealogists!

Brick Walls & Genealogy Research Suggestions

As usual, SOCCGS members were willing to share: so that we all might learn:

Myrna Hamid asked for suggestions in how to persuade reluctant people to share their data.

Sandy Crowley mentioned that former member, Rich Faber, now deceased, tried to get past this reluctance was to stay in contact by sending a short, pleasant note every few months. He enclosed an item of interest, i.e., a copy of a picture. Rich ended by reminding the person that he would enjoy receiving data they may have on this family line. He had slow but good results.

Joyce Van Schaack found an ancestor/cousin in the “Alaska Men” magazine. This person had appeared on the Oprah Winfrey show. Joyce will share data.

Eunice Murai has joined the local Historical Societies in the counties where she does research. She then receives newsletters. She received helpful correspondence from the Polk County Historical Society.

Melbournea Pittman has communicated with the granddaughter of her mother’s brother with good results.

Tom Corning’s great-great grandmother went from Scotland to Quebec in 1842. He has kept up ongoing correspondence with descendants in this family tree. Tom was in Salem, Oregon recently, and while visiting cousin Angus Graham, he was given the Bible belonging to Jacob Albright, dated 1848.

Barbara Wilgus read an L.A. Times article in the 6/12/10 issue titled “Baby Books Find A Home At UCLA.” Baby books may be donated to the collection if there is no one in the family who can keep them.

Dean Duet found a 1954 police lineup photo of an ancestor when looking through old New Orleans Times Picayune newspaper issues.


We are pleased to welcome new member, Bonnie Benton. Lake Forest She is researching Hanson (emigrated from Sweden in 1863) and Okery (England & Delaware). Bonne may be reached at Bbenton955@aol.comShiryl Boerlin, Lake Forest has reinstated her membership. Welcome back Shiryl,

Please note there was an error in last month’s newsletter. Herb Abrams email still remains:


Bill McCoy has passed away. We send our sympathy and best wishes to his wife, Pat, who is a founding member of SOCCGS. Pat, we look forward having you back, hopefully, at the September meeting.

Newsletter Submissions

Do you have a query, research tip, website, or a special ancestor, who’s story you would be willing to share? Please submit to the newsletter editor by the fourth Wednesday of the month for inclusion in the next newsletter. Mary Jo McQueen –

Safari News

The next safari will be September 22!

The genealogy safari is a great “perk’ received with a membership in SOCCGS. Ten months of the year a group of members journey to a different research facility. Bill Bluett, safari chairman drives one car and, if needed, another member volunteers his/her car. This is a great opportunity to begin, or jump-start, your research in the company of fellow researchers. Their eyes won’t “glaze over” when you talk about “dead people!”

The Huntington Beach Library is the destination for the September safari. The Library houses a collection of over 18,000 genealogical books.

We will leave the LDS parking at 9:30 a.m. You may bring a lunch or buy at the library. Since this is a short trip, there are no plans for dinner on the way home. Please remember $$ for your driver. Contact Bill by phone or email to reserve your spot. He will also take signups at the September meeting.

Please consider joining a safari trip – you won’t be disappointed!

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.

NEHGS Launches New “” Website

“We are pleased to announce the launch of, the new home of NEHGS’ growing online regional and national genealogical resources. This new site provides access to some of the most important research tools and resources available.

The site features a new image viewer, faster navigation and search results time, and more unique content. The expanded scope allows greater opportunity for NEHGS to bring unique content to its members and the public while establishing new and beneficial collaborations with likeminded non-profit organizations and important commercial entities. It brings together our well-established New England and New York content, along with new resources that are national in scope.

This site is available to you, free of charge, at the SOCCGS Research Center, Mission Viejo Library.
Click the NEHGS tab on the computer home page.
This subscription is paid by SOCCGS.

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.

Ten-Minute Family History Projects

~Juliana Smith

Lately I’ve been hard-pressed to squeeze in time for my family history. Seems like every weekend is taken up by some event, and those that aren’t booked are filled home improvement tasks that have been begging my attention. Are you in the same boat? Here are ten projects that can be knocked out quickly and give us a quick family history fix.
  1. Create a Military Page - You can create a page in less than ten minutes through your online tree.  Here’s how:
    • Go to that person in your online tree.
    • Click on the link for that person to “View Profile.” (If you hover over that person, you should see a box pop up with that link.)
    • Click on the link for “More Options.” That will open a menu that includes a link to “Create military page.”
    • Add photos, stories, audio, and edit details you’ve learned about their military service. Share the page with your family easily using the links to Facebook, Twitter, or e-mail.

  2. Back Up Your Data
    • When was the last time you backed up your family history files? If it's been a while, take a few minutes to do it now. If something happens to your computer files down the road, it may well be the best-spent ten minutes of your genealogical life.

  3. Record Heirloom Origins
    • As the family historian, you may have been fortunate enough to have inherited heirlooms from all branches of your family. Will your family members know where all those precious items came from and the stories behind them? Not if you don't record the history of the items now. Take a digital photograph of the item and insert it into an electronic document and record the history that way. Once you get started, it's really kind of fun and can lead to memories that can help you in your research.

  4. Build up Some Genealogical Karma
    • We have all accumulated records that may be helpful to other researchers who are working on the same or similar family lines. Why not throw out a couple of posts on the message boards and mailing lists with some of these records. You may make some other researcher(s) very happy, and as a reward, you may inspire them to post some of the records for your ancestor that you've been seeking.

(Copyright 2010,, The Weekly Discovery, 27 May 2010)

Newspaper Clippings of the Day

Decatur Review, (Decatur, Illinois), 31 January 1879
“Starvation in England”

“A wail of dire distress comes over the broad Atlantic from the shores of England, and it is said that if relief is not soon afforded that English statesmen and English soldiers will find plenty of employment at home.

The dullest mind can understand the meaning of such stories as these: A short time since a woman dropped dead in Birdcage walk, a fashionable promenade in St. James Park, and within pistol shot distance of the royal palace--starved to death. Her son had been out of work for five months, and there were cold and hungry children at home to receive the corpse.

In Wolverhampton a mechanic, 35 years old, tried to cut his throat. His wife had just brought him a baby. He had no work, no money, no food. In another town a man was arrested for stealing a bit of cheese. He told the judge who tried him that he had been idle for six weeks, had applied for aid at the work house and been refused; and even asked a policeman to lock him up that he might get a night's lodging. He was sent to prison for fourteen days.

In the Berwick country the people attack butchers' wagons and bread carts and rob them because they cannot buy. In Burnley the workhouse is full to overflowing and the applications for relief have increased 50 percent. In another place the applications are two-thirds in excess of ordinary times over 1,500 of an increase in a single week. In London, close to the Langham Hotel and the splendid mansions of the aristocracy, a boy died suddenly. The doctor at the inquest said it was starvation. The father testified that he could not earn bread for his son.”

More Ten-Minute Projects

~Juliana Smith

For the family history addict (present company included) there is never enough time for chasing ancestors. So, we created a list of ten-minute projects that allow us to sneak in a family history fix on even the busiest of days.  Done with those? Here are five more.
  1. Read a Newspaper
    • Imagine your ancestor kicking back on a Sunday afternoon, perusing the pages of his newspaper, reading about the events of the day—events that may have had a profound impact on his family. We can peek into newspapers from his day through the Historical Newspaper Collection on  Not sure where to start? Select a date that is significant to your family. What was in the papers on the day your ancestor was born? What was the weather like on his wedding date? Even if the newspaper isn’t yet available for your ancestor’s hometown, look at papers from nearby communities or even from other states. You may even find that news from his community was picked up in papers across the country. You may find an article about a weather event or epidemic in your ancestor’s city in a paper from an entirely different state. Rather than searching for surnames, try entering a town or county name in the keyword field.

  2. Read a Record
    • Technology has given us the ability to quickly locate many records featuring our ancestors and with the click of a mouse attach them to our tree. With the Hints (shaky green leafs) that appear on your Tree, it’s possibly to locate multiple records on your ancestors in just minutes. Within those records lie the clues to our next steps, as well as the stories that allow us to know our ancestors as more than just names and dates on a chart. Take a step back and print out a record you’ve found. Look at each and every piece of information on that record and think about the implications to your family. Did your ancestor’s 1930 Census entry reveal that he was unemployed that year as the U.S. was just beginning to feel the effects of the Great Depression? Did your ancestor arriving at Ellis Island (or some other port during that era) list the name of a relative in the U.S. that he or she was going to join on the passenger list?  Were there other familiar names listed on that same manifest—perhaps relatives or neighbors that traveled with them? Is there a naturalization date listed on your ancestor’s 1920 Census entry? Does your great-grandparents' marriage record include addresses that reveal that they lived only a block away from each other before they were married? You may find that the records you’ve already found include more details than you saw at first glance.

  3. Create a Cheat Sheet of Family Names and Variations
    • Our ancestors--and the folks who created the records they appear in--weren’t always careful about spelling. In some cases your ancestor’s name may have evolved over time to the spelling you’re familiar with. If your ancestors are like mine, you may even have a long list of variants for your ancestor’s surname. Create a kind of “cheat sheet” that lists all the surnames you’ve found for your ancestors, so that when you’re searching for them you don’t miss a spelling – or misspelling.

  4. Write a Letter
    • When's the last time you received a letter? Wasn't it a great feeling? Why not make someone's day and send a letter. Let a family member know what's going on in your life, and possibly slip in a few family history questions. (You know you will!) Then, don't just mail it off, make a copy first and keep it for yourself. It's a snapshot of what’s going on in your life and part of your family history. (OK, if you really must cheat, you can send an email—but make sure you include lots of details!)

  5. Search for a Place
    • Knowing about the places where your ancestor lived is a huge help. Instead of searching for family names, search for the places where they lived. There is a ton of historical information online that make your family story even more interesting. Seek out historical photos, postcards, and maps from the places and time in which your ancestors lived. You can start with some of the rich image collections and maps on Just enter a location in the keyword field.

(Copyright 2010,, The Weekly Discovery, 18 August 2010) 

New Docents at the SOCCGS Research Center (Library)

Thank you to Gay Chisholm-Poff who took the Thursday 10:00 to 12:00 shift, and to Marilyn Kowalski who will sub on any day and any time. Bunny Smith, Librarian

"There is no such thing in anyone's life as an unimportant day."

~Alexander Woollcott

Milestone Reached at South County Clerk-Recorder Branch Office

More than 100,000 people have used the convenient south Orange County branch office of the Orange County Clerk-Recorder Department since it opened four years ago. The patron milestone was reached in April. The branch office is located in the Laguna Hills Civic Center at 24031 El Toro Road.

Previously, customers had to drive to downtown Santa Ana for copies of birth and death certificates, marriage licenses and to record property documents. The convenient Laguna Hills location has saved South County customers about 3.4 million driving miles by offering an alternative to the department’s main office in the Orange County Civic Center.

Providing services closer to home has proved popular. More than 5,000 couples have been married at the South County office, which has issued more than 15,000 marriage licenses and more than 111,000 copies of birth, death and marriage records.

Other services available at the South County office include recording and issuing copies of real property documents, filing environmental impact reports and filing fictitious business name statements.

The office is easy to find, just off the Santa Ana (I-5) Freeway and El Toro Road, across the street from the Laguna Hills Mall. Hours are Monday through Friday from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm. There is ample free parking.

The Orange County Clerk-Recorder provides a variety of public services, including recording documents related to real property transactions, maintaining and issuing copies of birth, death and marriage certificates, issuing marriage licenses and performing civil wedding ceremonies.

The department also files Fictitious Business Names and Notary Public oaths and bonds, and processes passport applications. The department oversees the Orange County Archives, a center for materials, research and education, preserving Orange County history for the public.

For more information, visit the Clerk-Recorder web site at Family Pages lets you create your family's own meeting place on the Internet. Invite your family members to participate, share family photos, post your family tree online and share it with family members, keep track of important family events and more. Creating a family site takes only a few minutes, doesn't require any technical experience and Basic plans are free.

You can create a family Website that is private and secure, or make it public and share it with the rest of the world. You are in complete control. Family photos uploaded to your family site can use our face recognition technology for genealogy. By sharing millions of facial templates among users, it helps you find photos of your ancestors in other users' photo albums, identify mystery people in your photos, and find relatives based on facial similarities.

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” will be held at the Carlsbad City Council Chambers. Topics: Emigration to America: Journeys of Desperation, Hardship and Fragile Hope; The Trail West; Urban Immigrant Experience. Contact: Nina Anderson at or (760) 599-9958.
October 16 – SOCCGS’ Annual Seminar featuring Dr George Schweitzer.
October 23 - The Hemet-San Jacinto Genealogical Society will host Kerry Bartels & Lisa Cooke, speaking on: “The National Archives at Perris, CA”, “What You Must Know to Save Your Research From Destruction”, “Solving Family Tree Mysteries With Google Earth”, “The Many Facets of the National Archives Website”. Information at

National Archives at Riverside

23123 Cajalco Road
Perris, California 92570-7298
Hours: 8:00-4:30 Monday-Friday
And the First Saturday of Each Month (Except Federal Holidays)
(951) 956-2000

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


SOCCGS ‘2010’ Seminar Registration

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

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