Saddleback Valley Trails

South Orange County California Genealogical Society

Vol. 15 No. 11

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

November 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.

General Meeting - November 15, 2008

"Ancestors I Wish I Knew"
Presented By
Bill Bluett

          Surely, everyone has at least one ancestor with whom they would have enjoyed having a conversation. Bill will introduce several of his own ancestors in this presentation. He will then give an account of a situation or circumstance in each of their lives. Also, Bill will explain the sources he used for finding information about each ancestor. He will put forth questions he would liked to have asked if an opportunity for an interview would have been possible.
          Bill is a native Southern Californian and has lived in San Clemente for over 31 years. His interest in genealogy began just prior to his retirement in 2001. He has been a member of SOCCGS since 1999 and has served as vice-president, president, safari chairman and library docent. He was recently honored by the Mission Viejo City Council for serving 1000 volunteer hours. He is also on the board of the San Clemente Historical Society.

Please bring pictures of tombstones and/or epitaphs to share.

Seminar Wrap-up

          SOCCGS’ Seventh Annual Family History Seminar was a rousing success! There were 117 folks present at this interesting and informative event. George G. Morgan’s presentations were excellent and packed with valuable information. It was a pleasure having him present the selected topics in such a thorough manner. He has such a commanding knowledge in so many areas of genealogy research. All those in attendance went away with a shopping list of resources and ideas for refining their own research techniques. Lucky tickets were drawn for thirty-nine door prizes. Congratulations go out to all the lucky winners. The food and refreshments were excellent and very nicely displayed. There was always a buzz of activity around the vendor tables. Even the SOCCGS ways and means projects were busy. The Book Sales, Genealogy Information and Jewelry tables were very successful and netted $96.50, $112 and $36.85 respectively. Finally, I must say that the volunteers did a superb job in setting up and hosting this event. Thank you to everyone who assisted in putting the seminar together. Good job! Let’s do it again next year! Bill Bluett, Seminar Chairman

The Quilt

Barbara Wilgus & Ginny Jenkins sold tickets and conducted the drawing for the beautiful hand made quilt, which was displayed at the seminar. Tickets sales during the day totaled $240, making a grand total of $556. Thelma Hoffman, a member of the Palmia Genealogy Club in Mission Viejo, held the winning ticket. Thelma was not in attendance at the seminar so Barbara delivered the quilt to her. Thanks to all of those who supported this project. All proceeds will go toward funding the SOCCGS Genealogy Library.

"You are the only one who can use your ability. It is an awesome responsibility"

~Zig Ziglar

President's Message

~Bill Bluett

          I have been looking over George G. Morgan’s seminar syllabus on the topic of “Bring’em Back to Life: Developing an Ancestor Profile.” One thing that stands out in my mind, as I prepare for my presentation in November, is the second statement to which George alludes. He writes, “As you collect these snippets (of your ancestor’s life), you begin to get ideas. You begin to learn more and more about your ancestor. Unfortunately, since these many pieces present themselves out of sequence, it’s easy to lose sight of the big picture of your ancestor’s life.” Now, I can clearly see how correct he is. I have a number of “snippets” from the lives of many of my ancestors. I know that I need to get organized and gather all these pieces of information I and put them together in an orderly sequence. The very next thing George states is that “Organization is the key.” I realize the importance of that statement. I just need to do it! Actually, I might be surprised how much information I currently have on any given ancestor. When I put all these “snippets” of their lives together in a chronological sequence it might be easier for me to see the gaps in my research and focus on the timelines in which I have little or no information.ation.
          As I develop the stories of each of my ancestors, I have come to appreciate another technique that Mr. Morgan points out in his syllabus. He says, “You should know enough about Local, State and National history to understand how historical events may have influenced your ancestor.” That is exactly what I’ve been doing. The Internet and historical books have been excellent resources for finding much of the information I need. Even photos, maps, and artist’s renderings can be found when I search on GOOGLE and click on “Images” and as well as websites. Having historical information collected helps me to put myself into their situation and have a little better understanding of what may have influenced their decision-making process.
          Let me give you one example of a circumstance that I found interesting to explore. One ancestor who will be included in my presentation is Thomas Fallon, my great-grandmother’s brother. As a young adult, he relocated from Iowa to the “Gold Rush” region of Gilpin County, Colorado. After a few years, other family members followed. Three years after marrying, he and his wife decided to relocate to (of all places) Deadwood, South Dakota. It was in the spring of 1877 and Western South Dakota was still a relatively unsettled territory. Now, this was less than a year after General Custer met his match at Little Big Horn. Traveling in this region was dangerous. Why would they go? How would they get there? What would living conditions be like once they arrived? These are some of the questions that prompted my interest. I have found a number of potential answers to these questions while doing my research and will share some of them in my presentation.
          It is fun exploring the reasons for many of our ancestor’s decisions and actions. I am looking forward to giving you just a “snippet” of a few that I have, in the hope of encouraging you to dig a little deeper into your own family stories. After all, while working on your own genealogy, haven’t you occasionally said to yourself, “Now there’s an ancestor I wish I knew.”

George G. Morgan

          Following is an excerpt from a message Bill received from Mr. Morgan following his return to Florida: “Dear Bill, Thank you so very much for a wonderful experience with the SOCCGS. I truly enjoyed meeting so many members and attendees on Friday and Saturday. You have a tremendous group of members, and it was very obvious that they (and you) love what you are doing. The setup and breakdown of the facility was absolute clockwork! Everyone’s enthusiasm was very contagious. I got some new ideas from what your society is “doing right” and am pleased to have met so many great people. You all made me feel so welcome and part of the group. I can’t say how great that made me feel.
          Please do me a favor and convey to your society’s membership and board how very much I enjoyed my time with everyone. You all made my visit with you very special indeed. I’ll have lots of great things to say about the experience on next week’s podcast and to all of the genealogists that I know.”

Listen to “The Genealogy Guys Podcast” each week at
for entertaining and informative genealogical information.

"Yesterday our ancestors laid the foundation to our very existence.
Today we search for their identity.”


Sees Candy

          Bunny Smith will take Sees Candy orders at the November meeting. She will have order forms available for those wishing to do a little early Christmas shopping. Purchasers receive a special price and the society makes a few $$. Payment is required at the time of the order.

Nominations for 2009

          Chairman of the nominating committee, Diane Hearne, gave a nominating committee report at the seminar meeting. Nominees for the executive board are: Sandy Crowley, president; Bill Bluett, vice president; Cindie Reilly, recording secretary; Pat Weeks, corresponding secretary and Mary Jo McQueen, treasurer. Nominations will be accepted from the floor at the November meeting, after which elections will be held. Please have a person’s permission before placing his or her name on the ballot. Members of the nominating committee are Diane Hearne, Herb Abrams, Jack Naylor and Mary Jo McQueen.


Please welcome our newest members:
Patti Bartlett Russell, Laguna Niguel, In joining SOCCGS, Patti is hoping to find more information on her BARTLETT, PRICE, BAKER, OGLE, MORECRAFT, PITTS & TRUEBLOOD lines, as well as her husband's RUSSELL line.
Karen Rowell, Ladera Ranch,, is researching ANDERSON & BORTON.
Lisa Baker, San Juan Capistrano
Kate Robertson, Fullerton,
Jean Jacobs, San Clemente,, Jean is from the BRADFORD line.

Need Help with Sources? Try the New Legacy Family Tree Version 7.0.

~David Flint

          Thanks to those who stopped by the Legacy table at the October Seminar. During the breaks I was able to share the newly released 7.0 version of Legacy Family Tree. My favorite feature of this version of Legacy is a built-in feature called SourceWriterTM that provides a whole new solution to doing good source documentation.
          The Legacy Company worked with Elizabeth Shown Mills to pattern the Legacy source formats from her new book, Evidence Explained. Using the Legacy SourceWriter system in the Deluxe Edition you can select from many hundreds of pre-formatted source templates to automatically produce correct citations. You simply select the appropriate template based on the type of record or item you are documenting, and fill in the blanks following the prompts on the screen. As you fill in the blanks the actual source entry is displayed on your computer screen to the right of the template so that you can see how the source citation will look when it is listed in a report or book. It shows you, all at the same time, the footnote/endnote citation, subsequent citation, and bibliography for your source.
          The new SourceWriter is a convenient and comprehensive aid that makes entering sources very easy. In fact, with the fill-in-the-blanks prompts on the computer screen I have been doing my sources “on the fly” as I add new information to my Legacy files. For example, when I recently found the passenger list for my family it was easy to enter the correct source documentation. There is a source template for passenger lists so I simply filled in the blanks with the pertinent information in order to have a properly documented source citation.
          I have only had the new version of Legacy since the end of June and in that short time I have found it to be very easy to use. I will be happy to share my knowledge of this genealogy software.

Safari News
There are no safaris scheduled during November and December.
Mark your calendars now! January 28, 2009 – trip to LA Public Library.


          The “Genealogy Handbook” and “Ancestral Tablet,” which were for sale at the seminar are now available at the SOCCGS library. Anyone needing assistance or further information regarding the Ancestral Tablet may contact Herb Abrams.

Grandfather Married Well

~Patricia Ann (Dean) Christiansen

          Samuel Earl Shultz, my grandfather, married well. The object of his affection for over 45 years was my grandmother, Hannah “Essie” Potter Shultz. Her substantial dowry complimented grandfather’s acumen for business, farming and animal husbandry. The parents of four children, he and Hannah established homes first in Illinois and Oho; and then, when the children were grown and gone, back to Illinois to retire.
          His accomplishments were numerous, some more successful than others. Through Ohio State University he was responsible for several projects. One was to plant experimental fields of what was to become “kernel-less” popcorn. Also, through the University, there was the inoculation of several dozen hogs that unfortunately developed cholera (swine fever) and had to be destroyed. The duration of immunizations against the fever had not yet been established and he lost the bulk of his herd. However, one of his healthy sows gave birth to 13 piglets. This outcome offset the loss of the diseased swine and helped provide a new start.
          Samuel had a fondness for horses and raised several breeds, working strains as well as show. The need for draft horses began to decline after World War I and continued into the 1930s as farming became more and more mechanized. Not to be denied, grandfather bought an interest in a White Truck Dealership, which offset his draft horse losses.
          As their holdings grew, he and Essie built a fine home in Jeffersonville, Fayette County, Ohio. The house had indoor plumbing, electricity, hot and cold running water, and they acquired a touring car for transportation. Samuel served as County Commissioner and Hannah joined the Women’s Christian Temperance Union.
          Never idle, Grandfather was able to eat pork chops, eggs, country potatoes, and pie for breakfast with no detriment to his health. This was washed down with a huge mug of coffee laced generously with thick cream. He had a habit of keeping his stirring spoon in his cup. Grandmother swore he would poke out his eye that way. Their cheerful banter made me enjoy them all the more; he with his handlebar mustache and lean physique and she with her gentle smile and prematurely white hair by age thirty.
          As each of my siblings was born, I was sent to stay with my grandparents. I found, during one visit, that grandfather had turned his hand to carpentry … building custom outhouses for his neighbors. His was a complete service. Whether they ordered one or more “holes” in the privy, they also got a couple of men to come and dig out the pit to go with it.
          Delivering outhouses with my grandfather in his truck was quite an adventure. Driving through town raised hoots and hollers from bystanders. In the back were the pit diggers holding the privy steady, yelling and throwing corncobs at their hecklers. One delivery ended with a bump on my noggin when I stood up on the seat to see what was going on, lost my balance, and my head hit the windshield. Three quarters of a century later there is still a slight lump on the right side of my forehead from the impact.
          When the Jeffersonville house was built, grandfather became fascinated with the textured concrete blocks with which the house was constructed. His interest in the potential of concrete manifested itself when he decided to build watering troughs for his livestock. A new enterprise evolved; smaller styles were built at his farm and delivered to buyers; larger versions were cast on site.
          Again, his was a complete service. His crew hooked water up to the troughs and rigged pipes to facilitate drainage. His largest trough was roughly four or five feet in diameter, about three and a half feet deep, and held several hundred gallons of water.
          Grandmother was no slouch either; besides keeping up the house, she had a vegetable garden, fruit trees, chickens, a cow, cooked three meals a day (as well as feeding farm hands during harvest), canned, hung her wash on clotheslines to dry, and took care of grandchildren, when needed. Ever resourceful, she utilized pig snouts with their steely-like bristles to scrub pots and pans and used the milky residue from the butter she churned to shine up the linoleum on the kitchen floor.
          As a card-carrying member of their posterity, I extend my gratitude to my grandparents, Samuel and Hannah, who both married well.

Bill Dollarhide’s Genealogy Rule #4

“The cemetery where your ancestor was buried does not have perpetual care, has no office, is accessible only by
a muddy road, has snakes, tall grass, and lots of bugs--and many of the old gravestones are in broken pieces,
stacked in a corner under a pile of dirt.”


          We extend our sincere sympathy to Mary Lou Brascia on the passing of her husband of almost 50 years. Vincent Frank Brascia was born April 17, 1929 and passed away on October 10, 2008. He was born in Brooklyn, New York and lived in California since he was two years old. Vince graduated from Colton High School in 1947. He served in the Korean War as a sergeant major. Internment was at the Riverside National Cemetery. Vince's parents both came from Italy. His father, Gaetano (Tommy) Brascia, was seventeen when he immigrated from Bitonto, Bari, Italy on the ship, Adriatic Sea. His mother, Catherine {Katie} Naplitano, came to America from Naples, Italy. They met and married in New York.

Recording County Names

~George G. Morgan

          When recording information about the locations where births, deaths, marriages, divorces, land and property transactions, wills, and other events occurred, it is essential to include the name of the county, parish, province, shire, state, or other geopolitical jurisdiction at the time the event was recorded. Inclusion of a county name, for example, points other researchers to the right place when they want to verify your research and access the records for themselves. Most genealogical software programs will also prompt you to repeat this practice as you record future sources. Along with entering correct source citations, this diligence in recording precise geopolitical jurisdiction information is the mark of a scholarly researcher.

Create Your Genealogy "Business" Card

          “I have run into people at conferences and local society meetings who share my surname interests. For these occasions, I have created genealogy “business cards” that include my contact information, surname interests, and the geographical areas where my search is focused. I’ve also added a link to my tree on Ancestry, so that people I meet can check for themselves to see if there is a connection between our families. Office supply stores carry paper that you can use to print the cards.”
Natasha Gold - From Ancestry Quick Tips Ancestry Weekly Journal 22 September 2008

The Year Was 1853

          Railroads were connecting the country and making it easier to move westward. Southerners hoped for a transcontinental railroad that would take a southern route and at the end of 1853, the Gadsden Purchase was signed defining the U.S./Mexican border west of El Paso, Texas. While the transcontinental railroad took a more northerly route, the purchase for the sum of $10 million dollars did add more than 29,000 square miles in what is now southern New Mexico and Arizona.
          In Cincinnati, Ohio, progress was being made in the field of firefighting. Prior to April of 1853, firefighting crews mainly consisted of volunteers. As they began receiving payments from insurance companies and private parties, competition heightened. That changed on 1 April, when the Cincinnati Fire Department became the first full-time professional fire department in the country.
          In New Orleans, Louisiana, that year "Yellow Jack," or yellow fever, wreaked havoc killing more than 7,800 people. If you have an ancestor that you believe may have died in New Orleans that year, check out the Louisiana USGenWeb Project, Orleans Parish Archive, which includes an index to the burials in New Orleans that summer--"The Epidemic Summer, A Review of the Yellow Fever, Its Causes, etc., and An Interesting and Useful Abstract of Mortuary Statistics, Published by the Proprietor of the True Delta, 1853."
          In other parts of the world, tension over holy sites in Palestine erupted into the Crimean War. By the end of 1853, France, Britain, and Turkey had formed an alliance that pitted them against the Russians in a war that would last until the Treaty of Paris in 1856.
          Around the world in China, a bloody civil war was raging. At the heart of the rebellion was Hung Hsiu-ch'uan, a Cantonese student who had visions in which he believed he was visited by God the Father and his son, Jesus Christ. He began a movement that turned into a full- blown rebellion when the government began targeting them. By that time, the movement had a large army and had built up a treasury. The Taiping Rebellion is largely considered to have been one of the bloodiest conflicts in history with casualties estimated at around 20 million.
          To end on a lighter note (if you don't count the calories), 1853 also marks the birth of the potato chip. They were the brainchild of George Crum, an American Indian working at a resort in Saratoga Springs, New York, after a guest rejected his french fries for being too thick. French fries had been introduced to America by Thomas Jefferson, who served them to rave reviews at Monticello.
(Ancestry Daily News, 11/3/2006,

"Some Websites of Interest to Genealogist - “As many of you know, Footnote has a unique relationship with the National Archives, resulting in the release of some very exciting content. We continually ask our users what additional content they would like to see on Footnote. One of the most frequent content requests is the Civil War Widows' Pension Files. People have been anxiously awaiting the day when these never-before-microfilmed paper records would become available on the Internet.

Footnote is excited to announce the first digital output of our ongoing project to digitize and index Civil War Widows' Pension Files and put them on the Internet for the first time ever. In cooperation with the National Archives and FamilySearch, the first batch of records has already been released on Footnote.”

To view these records go to the SOCCGS computers
In the Genealogy Department of the Mission Viejo Library.
  Genealogy instruction, reference articles, and some unique data collections.
  A site consisting of collected genealogy links.
  A website that includes references to helpful articles, especially for Native
  An interactive directory of free genealogy websites and data.
  An online archive of genealogy records and images of historical documents.
  Share genealogy research, community pages, family photos & records more. Free.
  Rootsweb is a major data site, with free instruction and reference help.
  A database of cemetery inscriptions and photos.
  Transcribed and indexed cemetery inscriptions.
  A large free queries website.
  Website focused upon Italian research, with instruction, information and more.
  Czechoslovak Area Genealogy Club
  CzechFolks is a new blog that connects all Czech and Slovak citizens abroad. It is a bilingual website offering information about Czech culture, language, history, food, events and more. We welcome comments, article suggestions, or even whole articles. You can post your personal ads and connect with other Czech and Slovak citizens.
  WorldVitalRecords is also known as Family Link, and represents a major data website.

The Elusive Ancestor

~Merrell Kenworthy

I went searching for an ancestor, I cannot find him still.
He moved around from place to place and did not leave a will.
He married where a courthouse burned, he mended all his fences.
He avoided any man who came to take the U.S. Census.

He always kept his luggage packed, this man who had no fame.
And every 20 years or so, this rascal changed his name.
His parents came from Europe. They should be on some list,
But somehow they got missed.

And no one else is searching for this man.
So, I play geneasolitaire to find him if I can.
I’m told he’s buried in a plot, with tombstone he was blessed;
But the weather took engraving, and some vandals took the rest.

He died before the county clerks decided to keep records.
No family Bible has emerged, in spite of all my efforts.
To top it off, this ancestor, who caused me many groans,
Just to give me one more pain, betrothed a girl named JONES!

Genealogy Coming Attractions


November 8 – Whittier Area Family History Fair, LDS Church, 15265 Mulberry Drive, Whittier. 10:00 am – 2:00 pm. Featuring Tom Underhill, Nancy Ellen Carlberg and Beth Harrison McCarty. The event is Free of Charge. Complimentary lunch. Jointly sponsored by Whittier Stake and Whittier Area Genealogical Society.
November 11 – 11:00 a.m., Veterans Day Program at El Toro Memorial Park, 25751 Trabuco Rd., Lake Forest. Information: (949) 951-9102


February 28 - Whittier Area Genealogical Society annual seminar. Keynote speaker will be Curt Witcher, head of the Genealogy Department of the Allen County Public Library in Indiana. Mr. Witcher is a nationally known genealogy authority. Contact Judy Poole, (909) 985-6657, or Christine Johns, (310) 995-8852,

SOCCGS  Holiday Luncheon - December 20, 2008


Bill Dollarhide’s Genealogy Rule #11
“With any luck, some of the people in your family could read and write,
And may have left something written about themselves.”


President................................ Bill Bluett.................................
Vice President……..................... Nellie Domenick........................
Recording Secretary…............... Sandy Crowley.........................
Corresponding Secretary............ Pat Weeks..............................
Treasurer............................... Mary Jo McQueen....................
Membership............................ Jack Naylor.............................
Publicity/Webmaster................. Herb Abrams...........................
Librarian................................. Bunny Smith............................
Parliamentarian........................ Shirley Fraser...........................
Hospitality............................... Trish Leard.............................  
Historian................................. Barbara Wilgus.........................
Newsletter Editor...................... Mary Jo McQueen....................

SOCCGS Website @

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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.  

Renewal Membership Number(s) ________________        ________________

Name(s)  ________________________________________________________________________________

Address _________________________________________________________________________________

City _____________________________ State_____ Zip ____________ Phone _________________________

Email address: ____________________________________________________________________________

Make check payable to: SOCCGS (South Orange County CA Genealogical Society) Check No. ___________________

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

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