Saddleback Valley Trails
South Orange County California Genealogical Society
Vol. 14 No. 10                                                     Editor: Mary Jo McQueen                                               October 2007
P.O. Box 4513, Mission Viejo, CA. 92690

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.


Here is some of what you can expect at the SOCCGS Sixth Annual Seminar.

There will be four presentations from one of the country's best genealogists, Dr. John P. Colletta. Dr. Colletta is a wonderful, entertaining speaker. You will have an opportunity to ask questions.

All registered attendees will receive a syllabus containing lecture notes and handouts for all four topics. In it you will also find bibliographies and Web sites, which can prove to be wonderful resources in your genealogy research.

Nowhere else will you find such a nice group of people who share your love of genealogy as at our seminars. As a group we are friendly and outgoing, welcoming all who attend our meetings and functions. I'm sure you have discovered by now that genealogists are some of the nicest, friendliest people in the world.

Refreshments will be served at no charge, and everyone will receive a free door prize ticket. You will have an opportunity to buy raffle tickets for a handmade quilt. (Six tickets for $5.00.) The drawing will be held at the close of the seminar.

See you October 20!
Mary Jo McQueen, Seminar Chairman

Ten Reasons For Me To Attend The Family History Seminar
~Herb Abrams

                                                            1. To hear and learn from a nationally known speaker.
                                                             2. To support my genealogy society.
                                                            3. To help me find a long lost ancestor.
                                                            4. To meet with people who share a same interest.
                                                            5. To put my raffle tickets in the box for the quilt drawing.
                                                            6. To ask Dr. Colletta a question on a subject on which he is an expert.
                                                            7. To make new friends in the genealogy community.
                                                            8. To have a tasty box lunch.
                                                            9. To get out of Saturday chores.
                                                            10. Because if I don't go Mary Jo will be grouchy with me!


Order forms for Sees Candy will be available at the Seminar, and again at the November 17th meeting. This is an annual ways and means project chaired by Bunny and Leon Smith. The candy is offered at a special price for this short time. Forms will be at the DAR/SAR table.

~Bill Bluett

This month I would like to share an interesting story that comes down through my mother's side of the family. It concerns my great-grandfather, Thomas Collins, and his brother-in-law, Bailey Youngson. You will find more about Mr. Youngson later in the story. But first, a little background on my great-grandfather. As a young man, “Tom” (as he was known) moved from Iowa to the Colorado Territory early in the 1860s during the “Gold Mining Boom” in what is now Gilpin County, just prior to the Civil War. The rest of his family came to the same region by 1870. When the “Boom” began to fade by the mid 1870's Tom decided to move on to Leadville where silver was fast becoming “King”.

By 1877, more people were moving back into the mining region. It must have been about this time that Tom met my great-grandmother, Mary Eliza Fallon. At the time, he was working as a brick mason and probably found work plentiful in a town that swelled to over 30,000 inhabitants by the early 1880's. Many famous and well-known people lived or frequented this fast growing town. Horace Tabor became one of the richest men in the world of mining. Molly Brown and her husband, J. J. Brown, who was mining engineer whose methods led to the largest strike of gold up to that time. He was awarded a one-eighth interest in the mine known as the “Little Jonny”. Also, “Doc” Holliday, Calamity Jane, Frank and Jesse James, Tom Horn, Bat Masterson and Wyatt Earp were there during this time period. One hundred and fifty saloons and dance halls existed at Leadville's peak. The town was incorporated in January of 1878. At an elevation of 10,200 feet, it became the highest incorporated city in the United States. It still holds that distinction today. The town was getting wild and crazy. When the First Avenue Presbyterian Church was being built, it had to be surrounded by armed guards to protect the property from claim jumpers. Shoot-outs and killings, over mining claims and gambling disputes, were a common occurrence.

Tom Collins and Mary Fallon were married in Leadville on September 20th, 1878, at the residence of the bridegroom. Now, Tom's brother-in-law comes into the picture. On the same day, at the same location, Mary's sister, Maggie Fallon was married to Bailey Youngson. Maggie's new husband was a painter of buildings and signage for local businesses. Both couples continued living in Leadville after their marriages. Then, about 1883, my great-grandparents decided to move to Utah and eventually on to California. I will cover their migration in next month's newsletter. The story I would like to relate to you now is about Bailey, the brother-in-law.

Some time after Tom and Mary Collins had departed Leadville Bailey Youngson became the proprietor of the Texas House Saloon. In 1888, he had a run-in with “Mart” Duggan, the local marshal in town. “Mart” was a hard-drinking Indian fighter, saloon bouncer, and legendary marshal. He was a 5 feet 5 inch tall Irishman and a tough battler who took over for Leadville's murdered marshal at the behest of silver baron and current Mayor Horace Tabor. He boasted of having killed seven men. With quick fists and a quicker gun, Duggan hunted down the worst of Leadville's ruffians, as the city was trying to curtail much of the gambling that had been taking place in town for so many years. On the night of April 9th, 1888, Youngson and Duggan got into an argument at the Texas House Saloon. It was late at night when Duggan walked out of the saloon when someone walked up from behind and shot him at close range behind the ear. He died at eleven the next morning - ten years to the day after he took over as marshal. Bailey Youngson was arrested, and went to trial. However, he was acquitted of that crime. As it turned out, Bailey was involved in one or two other disputes that resulted in shoot-outs. However, he survived them and lived a long life. Bailey died in Utah in 1924. I don't know what kind of a life he lived after these incidents. Or, the impact it all had on his wife, Maggie. Through further research, I hope to find some of the answers.
       To be continued……..

Genealogy Workshop

SOCCGS is hosting an all-day genealogy workshop on Saturday October 27, 10 to 4. Come any time, stay as long as you like. Instruction will be given on computer usage, including the use of CDs as well as the Internet. We will also have general genealogy research guidance available.

"When I was a young man, I wanted to change the world. I found it was difficult to change the world, so I tried to change my nation. When I found I couldn't change the nation, I began to focus on my town. I couldn't change the town and as an older man, I tried to change my family. Now, as an old man, I realize the only thing I can change is myself, and suddenly I realize that if long ago I had changed myself, I could have made an impact on my family. My family and I could have made an impact on our town. Their impact could have changed the nation and I could indeed have changed the world."       ~Author Unknown

October 20 - John Colletta, Ph.D. - Family History Seminar
November 17 - Nancy Carlberg, “Irish Research”
December 15 - Holiday Party


Due to the Genealogy Workshop on October 27 there will be no safari in October. Tentative plans are being made to research at the Southern California Genealogy Society library in Burbank on November 28. Look for information in the November newsletter.


Welcome! Ruth Relin, who was a guest at the August meeting, recently become a member, and has also registered for the Seminar. She lives in San Clemente. Email:
Guests at the September meeting included David and Cler Allen, Irvine; Joann Beale, Huntington Beach; Karen Dill, Lake Forest; Susan Fortune, Mission Viejo and Barbara McKinley, Mission Viejo. We hope they will decide to join the society.

Herb Abrams will update your information on the SOCCGS Surname Website Listing as needed. Please check your information, and if corrections and/or additions are necessary notify Herb or (949) 581-6292). New members are especially encouraged to add their Surnames to this list. Send an email to Herb listing your surnames, locations and years you are researching.


Please wear your Name Badge to the monthly meetings. Don't have one? Herb Abrams will provide one if you sign up at the check-in table, or you may send him an email with your name and the surnames (up to six) that you would like included.

Ten Things Genealogists Should Do
~ Cyndi Howells

1. Learn the ins and outs of the options and features in your e-mail and web browser software program(s). What aren't you using that might help speed up your progress online?
2. Pre-write your genealogical queries and questions about your brick walls. Have them ready to fire off when opportunity comes calling.
3. Learn how mailing lists work - what they are about, how to subscribe, how to post messages, how to unsubscribe.
4. Actively participate in an online project or mailing list. Find one small area where your personal expertise can help, then reach out and give that help to others.
5. Give full source citations, complete references (names, titles, publication dates, e-mail addresses, web addresses, physical addresses, etc.) and as many details as possible.
6. Remember that this isn't just a surname hunt. Names, dates, places and other specific details are all necessary to help track down your ancestors.
7. Maintain a research workbook and keep track of all resources that you use during your research. Make note of the date, the name of the resource, where you found that resource and what conclusions you reached after using that particular resource.
8. Organize your e-mail, your address book, your bookmarks/favorites and your computer files for genealogy into folders on your computer.
9. Don't believe everything you find online. Don't believe everything you find in books or on CDs. Don't believe everything sent to you by a friend or long-lost cousin. Do the research yourself and look at the original source records yourself.
10. Educate yourself. Attend genealogy conferences and seminars. Take online courses. Read through online tutorials and how-to articles. It is never to late to learn something new. You can never know too much about any one topic.


Anne Hagerty
is looking for members of the Gosnell Family. She is putting together a book and would like to additional names and information. You may contact her at

Hereford, England - 12 Miles from the Welch Border
~Ruby White

On May 28 a friend and I were on a flight headed for the British Isles. I have long planned for and dreamed about this journey to the land of my ancestors. The story of the trip probably won't “knock you out” as it nearly did me, but more about that later in the story.
A few months before BI Day, in preparation for some genealogy research, I randomly selected a name from the Herefordshire Family History Society Journal and sent an e-mail to a Jane Cox. I couldn't have made a better choice - she turned out to be an angel! I gave her the names of three parish churches I wanted to visit, and asked if she could send me the names and mailing addresses of the respective Reverends. She e-mailed them in just a few days.

After contacting two local post offices and four people I thought might know how to obtain the correct UK postage for the return envelopes, to no avail, Jane mailed the proper postage to me, together with extra stamps. Later, a large envelope arrived in the mail from England. She had copied beautiful watercolor renditions of each parish church and their respective descriptions from a library book.

Jane continued to look after my interests. She talked to the Vicars of the churches and discovered they would be attending a conference during the time of our visit, so they collectively arranged to have Church Wardens present at two of the churches and to leave the third church unlocked for us.

The morning following our arrival in Hereford, Jane and her husband, John, picked us up at the hotel and took us to the first church. The Church Warden greeted us warmly with cups of hot coffee. When he discovered my interest in the church was because my great grandfather, William Lewis, had been baptized there in 1822, he said, “Well, this is the baptismal font that would have been used, it's been here since c.1180.” What a thrill!

After seeing every nook and cranny, and learning the history involved, we were about to leave when I missed a small step and fell, hitting my forehead on a pew. Jane and the Church Warden bandaged my head, took me to the car in a wheelchair, and Jane and John whisked us off to the nearest emergency room. Angela, a lovely young local doctor, cleaned the wound and decorated my forehead with stitches and a sizeable bandage. Someone had the audacity to suggest that perhaps I should return to the hotel and rest. “No way,” I retorted; “Seeing the churches is the reason for this trip and that's what I'm going to do!”

The second church sits in a picturesque setting on the River Lugg. Again, the Church Warden was very pleasant and helpful, and graciously explained the history of the area and the church. We located the grave of the husband of an ancestor, but it began to rain before we could locate ancestor Lucy Dyer's grave. This is a ready-made excuse for returning to the area, right?

The altar at the third church is where William Lewis married Elizabeth Williams in 1848. Wonderful! Even though we didn't have a guide here, we explored the church and grounds thoroughly. All of these churches are extremely old but kept in good repair, and church services are held in all of them every week. I felt very much at home in the area. Many pictures were taken in and around all three churches.

I spent the last day in Hereford at the Herefordshire Record Office where I found several pieces of information to fill in some Lewis research gaps.

I should mention that this was a three-week tour beginning in Scotland, southwest into England, across the north end of Wales, south and east through central Wales, south and east across England and north into London. We left the tour in London and went 135 miles by coach to Hereford, which obviously was the trip's highlight for me. The currency exchange rate was terrible, but the weather was mostly nice, the people were friendly and helpful, the amount of history in the area boggles the mind, the cathedrals and museums are fascinating, and I'd love to do it all over again - except for the “fall”.

Library Docents

Thank you to Cindie Reilly who is the new docent on Monday from 5:30 to 7. A docent is needed for the Thursday shift from 5:30 to 7. Please contact Bunny Smith if you are available.

Who Gets Grandma's Yellow Pie Plate?

Everything you want to know about passing on personal belongings, from making decisions to recording family history to resolving disagreements. The University of Minnesota created this site. It provides some free information, and some materials you can buy, about passing on your personal belongings.

~Mary Harrell-Sesniak, RootsWeb Review columnist

Ah, the old shaving cream technique. A recent article of mine suggested applying wetted, non-toxic, colored sand to illegible headstones. Many readers reacted strongly and responded with their own ideas, so I wasn't a bit surprised to read that shaving cream was among the suggestions. Transcribers use it to read those elusive weathered epitaphs, and it works. They slather it on, and use either their hand or squeegee to remove the excess. The crevices then transform into readable text.

I thank them for their input, but personally I don't support the shaving cream technique. It does wonders for tombstones; that is, if you don't mind leaving a sticky, gooey substance that sometimes causes permanent damage. Better to use a natural method. But don't take my word for it. The Association for Gravestone Studies says this about it:

"Our professional conservators tell us it is definitely not a good idea to use shaving cream on porous gravestones because there are chemicals, greasy emollients, in shaving cream that are sticky and very difficult to remove from the stone with a simple washing. Indeed, even with vigorous scrubbing and lots of rinsing, the cream fills in the pores of a porous stone and cannot all be removed. The result of leaving it there is that in time it may discolor or damage the stone."

So do your part in saving cemetery stones. Try the Association's idea of shining light on the text with a mirror. This is a non-invasive way of getting otherwise illegible lettering to appear. Here is a site I came across that shows some pictures of how well a mirror can work to bring out the lettering on a headstone:

Obviously, there are varying opinions, and even the experts haven't arrived at a consensus. So start with non-invasive techniques, including using digital software to enhance images. After that, consult the cemetery staff and local boards, as local laws and rules determine which techniques are allowed. Ask them to put on workshops and organize groups to transcribe and photograph as many cemeteries as possible. But since some stones will still be illegible, get involved in making a local policy.

I believe that a gravestone is a historical artifact first, and a piece of art second. It needs to be cleaned, conserved, and preserved for future generations, and that is the responsibility of the cemeteries and families. So if an epitaph has arrived at the point where it is illegible, take efforts to document the text before it is too late. But if you aren't a lineal descendant, a member of a cemetery staff, or a conservator, find someone who is to help you.

When I find a family grave, I like to think my ancestor is grateful that someone came to pay respects and even happier if an effort was made to tend to the plot.

My cousin is careful when she uses the sand technique, and pun intended, I do consider her to be an expert in the field. Not only has she uncovered long-ago forgotten and submerged stones; she has trimmed the weeds, cleaned the stones, and re-erected them amongst the ancestors. And I do the same whenever I can. We're off again soon on another ancestral hunt, and I imagine we'll visit a cemetery or two.

So let your conscience rule. If someone stumbled upon your time-weathered stone and couldn't decipher it, what would you want them to do? Personally, I give my lineal descendants permission to take further measures if they think it needs to be done. Better to have visitors know who's who than to be lost to the elements.

(RootsWeb Review. 22 August 2007, Vol. 10, No. 34 (c) 1998-2007, Inc.

Economic History: How Much Is That?

So you just found your ancestor on the 1860 census, and you see the value of his personal estate listed as $500. "That's great," you think, "but how much is that today?" A site called Economic History can help you figure that out. Use their calculators and other resources to get an idea of whether your ancestor was a prince or a pauper.


Joan Rambo gave an excellent presentation on how to find Land and Tax Records of our ancestors. She listed three websites that are especially helpful in this research: Family History 101 for states east of the Mississippi River, plus Missouri, Arkansas, Louisiana and Texas. ( Bureau of Land Management for federal land states. ( GenWeb for state and county websites that may have maps and early land records. ( Joan lists many books on her hand out (copies available at the library) and gifted our library with one of them: Building an American Pedigree, A Study In Genealogy by Norman Edgar Wright. We were saddened to learn of the death of long-time member Ruth Loustanou who passed away on August 22. Donna Hobbs announced that the slate of officers for 2008 would be read at the seminar meeting. Thank you to Beverly Long and Marilyn Kowalski for providing goodies.

New At The SOCCGS Library

Are you missing out on some of what our library has to offer? There is much more there than just the Internet! Over 2000 books and 250 CDs are available to help in your genealogy research. If you take into account the number of books included on most of the CDs there are easily hundreds more. Don't miss out on these valuable recourses! Following is information about two Pennsylvania Archives Series CDs recently purchased with “Money Basket Funds.”

Pennsylvania Tax Lists; Third Series, Volumes XI - XXII - “Were your ancestors born in Pennsylvania, but you do not have a clue where? This 12-volume collection of Tax Lists from the Third Series of the published Pennsylvania Archives may hold a clue as to which county & township your ancestor resided in during the 1760s to the early 1790s. These tax lists were transcribed and compiled from original tax lists by the Commonwealth for their permanent preservation in the late 1800s. The years and type of tax vary from county to county. Taxpayers are listed by township and often the lists include the number of acres, horses, and cattle owned, along with a count of servants and African-Americans per taxed household. Of special interest is the Land Return Tax of 1783 for Westmoreland and of 1784 for Bucks and Bedford counties, along with the List of Inhabitants for York County in 1783. These lists itemize the acres per taxable, along with the number of white and black inhabitants. As a result these lists gives a compete census for the four counties. (10021 pp, including maps)”

Revolutionary War; Fifth Series, Volume I - VIII and Sixth Series, Volume I & II -The Fifth Series and the first two volumes of the Sixth Series are dedicated almost exclusively to the officers and soldiers of the Revolutionary War. Many of the muster rolls published in volumes 2, 10, 11, 13, 14 and 15 of the Second Series and volume 23 of the Third Series of the Pennsylvania Archives were found to be riddled with errors and omissions when compared with original documents. As a result the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania decided to republish the muster rolls with the corrections and additions in the Fifth Series and volumes 1 and 2 of the Sixth Series. Sources for this effort included the Historical Society of Pennsylvania, Division of Public Records, Pennsylvania State Library, Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography and the National Archives. This CD contains all 8 volumes of the Fifth Series and the first two volumes of the Sixth Series of the Pennsylvania Archives. These volumes represent a unique record of Pennsylvanians who served in the Revolutionary War. Included are the muster and general rolls of the officers and soldiers who served from Pennsylvania along with brief regimental histories and officers' correspondence. Oftentimes the muster rolls include the date of enlistment, discharge and sometimes the soldier's age, birthplace and residence. Also included within these volumes are the muster rolls for the officers and soldiers who served the Province of Pennsylvania from 1744-65 in the French and Indian War, Pennsylvania Navy rolls 1776-79, Letters of Marques 1778-82, a list of soldiers who received Depreciation Pay, and abstracts of Pension Applications on file in the Division of Public Records, Pennsylvania State Library.”

An Old Farmer's Advice
(Via Verl Nash)
Your fences need to be horse-high, pig-tight and bull-strong.
Keep skunks and bankers and lawyers at a distance.
Life is simpler when you plow around the stump.
A bumblebee is considerably faster than a John Deere tractor.
Words that soak into your ears are whispered...not yelled.
Meanness don't jes' happen overnight.
Forgive your enemies. It messes up their heads.
Do not corner something that you know is meaner than you.
It don't take a very big person to carry a grudge.
You cannot unsay a cruel word.
Every path has a few puddles.
When you wallow with pigs, expect to get dirty.
The best sermons are lived, not preached.
Most of the stuff people worry about ain't never gonna happen anyway.
Don't judge folks by their relatives.
Remember that silence is sometimes the best answer.
Live a good, honorable life. Then when you get older and think back, you'll enjoy it a second time.
Don't interfere with somethin' that ain't botherin' you none.
Timing has a lot to do with the outcome of a rain dance.
If you find yourself in a hole, the first thing to do is stop diggin'.
Sometimes you get, and sometimes you get got.
The biggest troublemaker you'll probably ever have to deal with, watches you from the mirror every mornin'.
Always drink upstream from the herd.
Good judgment comes from experience, and a lotta that comes from bad judgment.
Lettin' the cat outta the bag is a whole lot easier than puttin' it back in.
If you get to thinkin' you're a person of some influence, try orderin' somebody else's dog around.
Live simply. Love generously. Care deeply. Speak kindly. Leave the rest to God.


October 27 - SOCCGS All-Day Genealogy Workshop & Mission Viejo Library Tenth Anniversary Celebration.
December 2 - "Celtic Christmas Faire" at Soka University, Aliso Viejo
February 16 -
Hemet-San Jacinto Genealogical Society, Megan Smolenyak Smolenyak
February 23 - Whittier Area Genealogical Society Annual Seminar, Lloyd DeWitt Bockstruck
March 8 - Genealogical Society of North Orange County California Annual Seminar (More info later.)


Don't forget to send your literary contributions to the newsletter editor by the Wednesday following the monthly meeting. These may be sent via email or Word attachment. All submissions are subject to editorial approval and may be edited for content or space. Send to:


SOCCGS' Family History Seminar
Saturday, October 20, 2007
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.)

“Searching for Ancestors - A Journey of Self-discovery”
Featuring Renowned Genealogy Author & Lecturer
John Phillip Colletta, Ph.D.

“State Archives: What They Are and How to Use Them”
“Using Newspapers for Family History Research”
“Erie Canal Genealogy: The Peopling of Upstate New York and the Midwest”
“How to Assemble and Write a Genealogical Work
That Is Both a Reliable Document and a Readable Story.”

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

Pre-registration must be received by October 18 / Tickets at the door $25.00, no lunch.
(Seminar information & registration form also available on SOCCGS website.)


SOCCGS '2007' Seminar Registration

Name(s) __________________________________________ Registration: _____@ $20.00 _______________________________________ Box Lunch: _____@ $7.50
Address: ____________________________________________
City & Zip: ___________________________________________ Total: $_________
Telephone: __________________________________________

Mail to:
SOCCGS, P.O. Box 4513 Information: (949) 581-0690 or
Mission Viejo, CA 92690-4513


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