Saddleback Valley Trails

Vol 2 No.9 Editor: Pat Weeks September 1995

South Orange County California Genealogical Society

P.O. Box 4513, Mission Viejo CA, 9269


SOCCGS monthly meetings are scheduled for the third Saturday of each month and are held from 10 a.m. to Noon at The Norman P. Murray Community Center, 24932 Oso Viejo Drive,

Mission Viejo, CA.

16 September 1995. This meeting we will be forming "interest groups" to hopefully help each other in our research endeavors. Nominations for the 1996 Board of Directors will be held.

21 October 1995 Our speaker this month is Karen Langer whom many of you know from her former job at the front desk of the National Archives. Karen will discuss documentation, why it is so vital, and how it can be accomplished as painlessly as possible.After the meeting, John Smith will lead a workshop at the Family History Center on Marguerite Parkway for all interested members.

18 November 1995 Judy Deeter will present an overview of the Orange County Vital Records housed at Santa Ana. At this meeting we will hold the election of Board members.

16 December 1995 Installation of new Board for 1996. End of the year reports from Committee leaders will be presented at this meeting also.


9 September 1995, Nordic Gen Soc of So CA, 1 p.m. meeting at the Temple Library, 10741 Santa Monica Blvd., Persons of Danish, Finnish, Icelandic, Norwegian and Swedish ancestry are invited to attend.

17 September & 15 October 1995, Hispanic Heritage Day celebration at Old San Juan Capistrano Mission, honoring 218 years of Hispanic culture with food, music and dance. SHHAR will be present to help those interested in beginning their family research, and also offer aid in "Reading Spanish Colonial Documents".

21 October 1995 The Immigrant Gen. Society of Burbank presents Trudy Schenk, accredited genealogist and German resource person at Salt Lake City FHC, co-author of Wüerttemberg Emigration Index, from 9 a.m. to 4.p.m., $22 for non-members, which includes lunch. P.O.Box 7369, Burbank CA 91510 for further information.

21-29 January 1996 New England Historical & Genealogical Soc. will present at Long Beach. More to follow.

16-18 February 1996 Conference of California Historical Society to be held in Ontario, San Bernardino County. More to follow.


We welcome the following new members:

James McGuigan & Myra Hamid

1912 Teresita Lane

Newport Beach, CA 92660-4443

Norma Hennessy

HC 76 Box 2898

Pittsburg, MO 65724

Margaret Kerbrat

22801 El Vaquero Circle

Mission Viejo, CA 92691-1906

The following members have renewed their membership for another year: Norris and Doris Roberts; Lynda Hynan


This editor couldn't go on the Safari trip to the SR Library in Glendale and she really regrets it now after hearing about the wonderful time the group had. There were 17 members who descended on the poor librarian that day, they being Herb Abrams, Beverly Long, Pat and Tom Hruska, Shirley Fraser, Ruby White, Mary Jane Roberts, Rhobie Reed-Curtis, Eugenia Gannon, Marge Strachan, Janet Franks, Peg Axlund, Diane Miller, Annabelle Farago and Karen Malone. They found so much they feared for the well-being of the copy machine!

The August safari to Huntington Beach was much smaller, with 6 members attending; Pat McCoy, Ruby White, Shirley Fraser, Alice White, Mary Jane Roberts and Pat Weeks.

Our next planned trip is to the local National Archives. It is a great opportunity to learn census research and what is available at the NARA for we will have ample members there to help newcomers. Bring a lunch, or plan to eat in the cafeteria upstairs. Remember, we depart 9:30 sharp from the Community Center.


Mary Ellen Lytle is passing out name tags to be worn at our meetings and Safari outings. If you haven't given her your order yet, please do so soon. She needs your name, and 6 surnames that you are researching.

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That John Smith has plugged us into World Wide Web , so that means this newsletter is now available on Internet for all to see. It can be called up by:

John reports that all text is read, but the graphics are not included, and if the Editor chooses to do any cut-and-paste, which she frequently does, that portion will not show up either. But, all my typing errors will be there for all to see!!!

John has also entered George McInnis's Index of 1891 census of Antigonish County, Nova Scotia, Canada. A very generous move by George to make this work of his available to anyone. Bravo, George.


At our last Board meeting, Pat Stafford reported that the Library Committee has been hard at work, preparing how they will log in and track the books and quarterlies our members have been donating. It sounds like a massive job to me! They will soon begin acknowledging lists of the books to be included in future newsletters.



The Nominating Committee is again faced with finding willing members who agree to hold office for the upcoming year. They must present to the Board at least one nominee for each office being vacated before the October general meeting. At that time, nominations may be made by the general membership from the floor. Each nominee must be present or have given written consent to serve if elected.

As usual, the problem is that no one wants to raise their hand and volunteer their services. But, this society will fold if members are not willing to share some of the work. It is not really that much work!

And, it is a lot of fun, and most rewarding.



The Southern California Genealogical Society will search for evidence of your ancestor in:

Pension Claims (80,000 filed)

Gen. abstracts of RW Pension Files

War deaths (9,500 men)

Prisoners taken by the British (8,000)

Patriots identified in DAR (100,000)

American Officers (14,000 men)

Records from each of the original 13 colonies,

and provide a full report, including 25 copies. Address your request to SCGS Research Team, SCGS, POBox 4377. Burbank CA 91503. List your ancestor's surname, given name, middle name; vitals; wife if known; place of residence if known. Enclose $12 for each search requested. (SCGS 7/94 via Questing Heirs GS 8/94)


Indentured servants, noted in early records, are frequently assumed to be uneducated or of servile origin, in permanent service to a master. An indenture is simply a contract. So-called "indentured servants" were not akin to slaves, nor were they necessarily cooks, housemaids or lackeys any more than our civil servants of today.

Certain people in England and elsewhere in Europe wished to emigrate but lacked money to pay the fare. Often they agreed with a relative or friend to accompany the family and work for them for a stated time and signed a contract, usually for 5 to 7 years. They came from any vocation or rank, but lacking cash, they worked their way. As a matter of record, many teachers were indentured and came as family tutors. (Natchez Trace, Vol 16, #1 & 2, by Helen J. Kochner, DAR Magazine, via StLGS News 'N'Notes, Aug 1995)

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By Warren Bruns

My genealogical research has, so far, tended to be somewhat more successful in regard to paternal ancestry.

My grandfather, Herman Oeltjenbruns, immigrated to St Louis Missouri via Port of New Orleans from Aschausen Germany in 1845 at the age of twenty. The Industrial Age was in its infancy in Germany, well behind the other West European countries, so economic conditions were poor, repression was prevalent, and the revolution was three years away. Further, both parents had died and not being the oldest son, Herman had not inherited the family farm.

He steamboated on the Mississippi until 1852 when he was naturalized. Then in rapid order he (1) shortened his name from Herman Oeltjenbruns to Herman O. Bruns, (2) married Anna Carstens who had immigrated from Westerstede, nearby to Aschausen, and (3) purchased a farm about thirty miles west of St Louis, part from an existing owner and then some additional adjoining acreage from the U. S. Government..

Research has been complicated by name changes and spelling variations; not that uncommon a problem. The Oeltjenbruns surname came into being when my GGGGG\Grandfather Johann inherited the family farm in 1674 from Brunen Oltjen and Grethe Ficken, and by local custom revised the surname by adding Brunen's given name to it,(sort of).

St. Johannes Kirche, (founded 1124), records show Brunen christened Brunen Oltjen on May 21, 1626, as son of Johann Oltjen. Though not yet documented, it appears that the surname was actually "Olsen" and was misspelled by the German cleric. If confirmed, this opens up an exciting opportunity.

Incidentally, the farm had been in the family of Grethe Ficken since 1397 and in the course of that time the Ficken name had two other spelling variations. In 1938 one of the male descendants who still lives in the area, officially changed his surname back to the original, (a genuine genealogist, no doubt). There are currently many Fickens and Oeltjenbruns in the area.

Last year my wife, Peggy, and I visited the area and had an opportunity to visit with and thank people in the Kircke archives and in the Staatsarchiv for their generous and ever so helpful cooperation with us. We also had a lengthy visit with the great grandson of the purchaser of the farm from its last Oeltjenbruns owner, the brother of my grandfather. Genealogical research can be fun!

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The Questing Heirs Gen Society of Long Beach will NOT be hosting a Heritage Quest Road Show, as announced in our August newsletter.

The Orange County Gen Soc. now meets the first Saturday of each month at the Huntington Beach Central Library, 7111 Talbert Ave., Huntington Beach CA.

The German Gen. Soc. of America meets from 1 to 5 p.m. Wednesday thru Saturday, at 2125 Wright, LaVerne., phone 593-0509


Did you know that, prior to the 1850s, purchasers of US lands in Missouri were exempt from land taxes for the next five years after purchase. If you find your ancestor on a Missouri tax list with livestock, etc, but no land, he may have purchased his land from the US within the five years preceding the tax list. But, if he is paying tax on the land, you know he has been there longer than five years. (Rabbit Tracks, Conejo Valley G.S., via GSNOCC Newsletter July 1995)


The US Horse Calvary Association is recording a short biographical sketch on all Calvary men from the Revolutionary War to the end of the Calvary as a branch of service in our Army. Information will be placed in a data bank open to the public. Write to: US Horse Calvary Assoc., POBox 6253, Fort Bliss, TX 79906

(Rabbit Tracks, CVGS vis GSNOCC newsletter July 1995)

"Just one little word..."

is all it takes. Ask an experienced genealogist about going to a lecture and you will hear them say..."if I learn one little fact, it will have been worthwhile". Why is that? "Just one little word..." worth it's weight in salt, gold, time saved, or what?

Do you see the light in their eye...the intensity with which they begin their tale..they know it might lead to a mystery solved. We can't know it all ...ever. There are so many places to look and more places available everyday. Listening, reading, sharing and going to lectures, and "just one little word" is what keeps the genealogist happy. (Shorashim, OCJGS, Summer 1995)


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