Saddleback Valley Trails

South Orange County California Genealogical Society

Vol. 17 No. 11

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

November 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.

Please check your newsletter address label.
“1/1/11” means dues are payable in January.

Next General Meeting
November 20, 2010

“Preparing for the 1940 Census”
Presented By
Joel Weintraub

The 1940 US Census introduced sampling, organized publicity, and had an emphasis on economic questions. Some standard questions were dropped, while new ones were added. The changes were not without controversy. This census is being digitized by the National Archives and will be available online. It is unlikely there will be a name index available on opening day, April 2nd, 2012. Therefore, a geographical means for finding people will be necessary. Mr. Weintraub will explain the 1940 enumeration and its questions, and will give a brief history of the 72-year rule. He will report on the online 1940 geographical tools that will be provided on the “Morse One Step” website for searching the census on opening day. Examples of 1940 census documents will be shown to the audience.

Joel is an emeritus biology professor at California State University, Fullerton, and has won awards for his science teaching. He became interested in genealogy over 12 years ago and regularly volunteered at NARA in Laguna Niguel prior to their relocation. He, along with Stephen Morse, has produced a number of online census searching utilities for both the Federal and New York State censuses. He has lectured and given computer workshops on census searching to numerous societies around the United States.

Safari News

There are no safaris scheduled during November and December. On January 26 the safari destination will be the Los Angeles Public Library.

Google Workshops

Francie Kennedy is scheduled to conduct Google Workshops at 10 a.m. on October 22 and November 19. Signups were taken at the September meeting and may be full. However, you may contact Francie to add your name to the waiting list. 949-487-4304 or The workshops will be held in the SOCCGS Research Center in the Mission Viejo Library.

Seminar Wrap-Up

~Bill Bluett - Seminar Chairman

The 2010 genealogical seminar was a complete success! We had 129 folks in attendance for three interesting and informative presentations by Dr. George K. Schweitzer, which were followed by questions and answers. We so enjoyed Dr. Schweitzer being dressed in period costume along with his wit, humor, and extensive knowledge of each topic. His syllabus was filled with an abundance of valuable information and resources. All those in attendance went away with a long list of helpful resources and ideas for refining their own research. There was a buzz of activity around each of the vendor and SOCCGS tables throughout the day. To the delight of those present, numbers were drawn for dozens of door prizes. Congratulations to all the winners! The food and refreshments were excellent and very nicely displayed. Finally, I must say that all volunteers did a superb job in setting up and hosting our event. Many “thanks” to everyone who assisted in putting our seminar together!

President's Message

~Sandy Crowley

The October Seminar featuring Dr. George Schweitzer was a home run! We had a record number of attendees this year. It was the best seminar I have attended, hands down. Many folks told us how great the day was. Dr. Schweitzer has blessed so many genealogists by sharing his vast knowledge. I have no ancestors from Germany, but I was surprised that Dr. Schweitzer provided information in his German presentation that explained about happenings in Germany that affected how records in the British Isles began being recorded. This was a good reminder that, in our genealogical research, we need to look outside the box for best results. The day was made even better by the number of vendors we had available, and the good snacks and lunches provided. Thanks to seminar chairman Bill Bluett, who did most of the planning and heavy lifting. Thanks also to the many SOCCGS members who helped out both before and during the seminar. It is clearly the participation of so many people that makes SOCCGS such an enjoyable group. If you have a little or a lot of time, and wish to participate, please see one of the board members. There is always an opportunity to contribute your time and talent.

There are still a couple of openings for Francie Kennedy’s GOOGLE class on November 19. Contact one of the board members to sign up. This will be the last class for this year. Francie will continue to offer her class next year. If you haven’t attended a class, I can tell you it is very helpful. I wanted to go home after her class and isolate myself for a while just to try out all the pointers I picked up. Like many, I was so sure I knew how to GOOGLE something. Not! There are many wonderful layers to this program.

I hope to see you in November, when our speaker will be Joel Weintraub who will bring us up to date on the 1940 Census.

More Seminar News

The Seminar Ways & Means Projects proved to be extremely successful. Proceeds are as follows: Quilt – $399.00, Jewelry - $218.15, Books – $347.35.


There were no new members this month. It is time to start thinking about renewing your membership. Please check your address label. “1/1/11” means your membership is up for renewal in January.

2010 - 2011 Programs
November 20 – Joel Weintraub, “1940 Census”
December 18 – “Holiday Gathering”
January - Bill Bluett, "Connecting Your Ancestors With Historical Events"
February - Beth McCarty, "Researching Church of England Records"
March - Francie Kennedy: "GOOGLE 2"

"Veterans Medallion Benefit"

The Department of Veterans Affairs provides a medallion, by request; to be affixed to an existing privately purchased headstone or marker to signify the deceased's status as a Veteran. This new product is furnished in lieu of a traditional Government headstone or marker for those Veterans whose death occurred on or after Nov. 1, 1990, and whose grave in a private cemetery is marked with a privately purchased headstone or marker.

Complete information and a picture of the medallion are available at

Some of Family Chronicle’s Top Genealogy Websites

Cyndi's List of Genealogy Sites on the Internet: This is probably the most popular genealogy index on the web. Cyndi's site features over 16,800 links, categorized and cross-referenced, in over 60 categories, and is updated with impressive frequency.

US GenWeb: This site serves as the entrance to the massive US GenWeb project, wherein volunteers across the US maintain linked websites about their states and counties. This page contains information about the project and links to state-level GenWeb sites.

RAND Genealogy Club: This site supports the Roots Location List, Roots Surname List and a Soundex converter, as well as many links organized either by type or by regional, ethnic or religious groupings.

Helm's Genealogy Toolbox: An attractive site with links to several tools of use to genealogists, including various guides and indexes, area-specific information and data on associations of interest to genealogists.

Family Tree Maker Online: The only commercial site to make it into our top ten, the FTM site offers an extensive "how-to" guide, a genealogy mall, the 115-million-name Family Finder index, message boards, a biography assistant and more.

GENDEX: In spite of its rather plain appearance, many genealogists love Gene Stark’s Index of Names for all Gen Web Sites. Data on over two million individuals, collected from hundreds of web pages, can be viewed on this single site.

Genealogy Is My Hobby: A great site to visit when you're doing genealogy late at night and in danger of falling asleep. Lots of bright colors, lots of enthusiasm and lots of webmaster Pam Middleton-Lee's favorite links.

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 such items to the newsletter editor by the fourth Wednesday of the month for inclusion in the next newsletter. Articles are best at 900 words or less, however exceptions may be allowed. Articles are best at 900 words or less, however exceptions are allowed. Please note: leave only one space after punctuation at the end of a sentence. Please send as a word document. Mary Jo McQueen –

Carlsbad Library

Footnote is now available remotely to anyone with a Carlsbad City Library card. Go to the library website and click on the Research tab. You will be asked to enter your library card number and select Footnote. Newspaper Archives is no longer available as a remote access site. You may still use this website at the SOCCGS Research Center.

Cemetery Database, Dickinson County, Iowa

Spirit Lake, located in northern Iowa, is the seat of Dickinson County. The Spirit Lake Public Library has made sixteen separate cemetery records databases available on its website. First click on the Cemetery Records tab to open the database page. To view an alphabetical by surname list of the individuals buried in them, click on the cemetery name. The data fields include cemetery abbreviation, lot number, last name, first name, date of birth (month and day), year of birth, date of death (month and day), and other. Maps of all but two of the cemeteries have been provided. In addition, a ‘cover page’ with photographs of the entrance to the cemetery and the address of the cemetery has been provided. You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to view the map and cover page.

Researching My Germans From Russian Heritage

~Gary Schwarz

This past summer I took a driving genealogical safari. The plan was to attend two “Germans from Russia” conventions, one in Bismarck, North Dakota and the other in Lincoln, Nebraska. I decided to expand the convention trip and visit friends and relatives along the way, which brought the trip up to 7600 miles. These conventions promote Germans from Russia genealogy, and aim to pass on and preserve this heritage.

Who are Germans from Russia? In the mid 1700’s through the first part of the 1800’s the German states were in a constant state of war. The population was being heavily taxed and the young men were being conscripted into the military by the German States as well as by Napoleon when his armies fought through Germany. Russia at this time had various alliances with western European countries and was also waging war with the Turkish Empire. Catherine II the Great, a German noblewoman, usurped control from her husband Peter III, the Tsar of Russia. Her armies had been victorious over the Turks and had gained control over the areas west and north of the Black Sea, the Crimean Peninsula and the Caucuses.

Catherine II having won this vast amount of land wanted to develop it, and proclaimed in her manifesto of 1763 conditions which gave many Germans an opportunity to get away from the less than desirable positions in Germany. The manifesto provided for free travel, free land, and money to build houses and start farming, freedom from paying taxes for 30 years, autonomy in local government, and freedom of religion. Russian agents (foreign ministers in the courts of the German states) helped many Germans begin the trip to Russia.

Most of the Germans traveled overland. The first groups settled along the Volga River. Later groups settled in what is termed the Black Sea Region, an area between the Dneister and Dneiper Rivers north of the Black Sea, in what is now the Ukraine. Another route that was tried for a while, and then abandoned, was to travel by boat down the Danube River. The Danube route was abandoned because of the high casualty rates from disease. This doesn’t mean that disease and hardship did not take its toll on the overland routes as well.

Upon arrival in Russia the hardship of travel was just one milestone that had been accomplished. Starting from scratch created new hardships to overcome, which included building homes, schools and churches, while tilling their fields. The German settlers also had to survive the natural hardships of drought, grasshoppers, and disease. The Germans were settled in colonies - each colony had a village where they had their homes. The fields surrounded the each village. They had to travel out to their fields from the village each day to work their crops, although during harvest they might stay in wagons at the fields.

As time progressed, many prospered and purchased sizable amounts of land outside the colonies for estates. To manage the estates they employed native Russians and other Germans to work the land. As we know, good times don’t last forever. Catherine’s grandson was about to change the “Germans from Russia” status. The first announcement in 1872 was that their exclusion from conscription into the Russian military would end in two years. Also, on the horizon, was that schools would use the Russian language and the Russian government would administer the local governments. Many Germans at this time began planning to leave Russia.

Ministers and priests of churches in Russia had attended seminaries in the United States. The ministers told of land similar to that of the steppes of Russia in the Americas. The Homestead Act, which began in the 1860’s, had made much land available. Large groups of families packed up their belongings, took the railroad to Hamburg, Germany from where they sailed to New York, and then crossed the eastern states on the railroad to the plains.

Most of the Germans from Russia settled in the Dakotas, but many also settled in Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas and down into Texas and over into Colorado. Once again they started from scratch. Droughts, grasshoppers, floods, hard winters, and disease were once again obstacles to overcome. Some of them also immigrated to Canada and South America.

The Germans from Russia took and preserved many customs from Germany and developed many more while in Russia. Their language mutated somewhat along with their food menus. There are two international societies here in the US that were established to preserve the Germans from Russia heritage: The Germans from Russia Heritage Society (GRHS) and The American Historical Society of Germans from Russia (AHSGR).

These societies also provide genealogical information and work with Russian, Ukrainian, and former Russian State’s archives and resources to obtain documents to further research on German Russians. Due to recent elections in the Ukraine, cooperative efforts between the societies, the archives and the government has changed. It is too soon to tell what effects these changes will have on future research.

Not all members of families left Russia. In my case, out of eight brothers, four Schwarz brothers including my great grandfather, Peter Schwarz and great grandmother Magdalena Ochsner and their immediate families left in 1874 and ended up settling in Sutton, Nebraska. Four other brothers stayed in Russia. I haven’t found out what happened to them…yet! The youngest brother had three sons with families who left in 1929 and settled in Winnipeg, Canada. They were able to leave because they had maintained their German passports. Other cousins were not allowed to leave Russia. The communist officials intimidated them by placing pistols on top of their Russian passports on the table.

In 1873 my grandmother’s father, Karl Hofmann, left with his uncle’s family. Katharina Griess, whom he would marry in Sutton, Nebraska, also left Russia in 1873 with her family. The rest of Karl Hofmann’s immediate family (father, mother, brothers and unmarried sisters) remained in Russia. I don’t know what happened to them…yet!

Those who remained after the 1919 communist take over suffered during the revolution, and after. Collectivization caused years of government-induced famine for German Russian colonists. When Germany invaded Russia during World War II, Stalin immediately exiled the Volga River German Russians to Siberia. The Nazis occupied the Black Sea area until the Russians were able to push them back. Most of the Black Sea German Russians were evacuated back to Poland with the retreating German troops. In Poland, the Nazis determined which Germans were of “pure ancestry” and could be sent on to Germany. Others of not so pure ancestry were sent back to Russia. Most of the German Russians who remained in Russia towards the end of the war were exiled to slave labor camps, mainly in Siberia. Many perished in the camps but remarkably many survived.

There are some older inhabitants; of what were German Russian villages and estates, who still remember times when the German Russians lived there. Nikita Khrushchev was the first Russian leader to recognize the plight of the exiled German Russians. Even though over the years since World War II, the severity of their exile had eased somewhat, these people were still not allowed to leave their exile locations. Khrushchev initiated a process that would eventually allow the German Russians to leave their exile. Many left and went to Germany, but some remained.

If you think your German ancestors emigrated directly from Germany because they spoke German and had German names, it may not be so. They may have lived in Russia for a few generations.

My circuitous safari route took me up through Oregon and Washington, across through Idaho, Montana, North Dakota, and Minnesota, down through Michigan, Illinois, and Indiana, and back through Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas, Colorado, Utah, and Nevada to California. Illinois, Indiana, and Nebraska were my secondary points of interest. The majority of research can be done on the Internet, by mail, and telephone, but actually going to locations can produce some extra benefits.

While visiting The Little Blue River Baptist Cemetery near Shelbyville, Indiana, I met my third cousin once removed. He owned the farm across the road from the cemetery. We had a long conversation there by the cemetery and church. He told me that our great great grandfathers were founding members of the Little Blue River Baptist Church and had held services in their homes until they were able to build a log church. The log church remained at the corner of the cemetery until 1922 when a brick church was built across the road. The only evidence of its existence is the lack of tombstones in that corner of the cemetery.

Taking a road trip can help you meet non-genealogist people of interest whom you might never have met otherwise. I gathered so much new information on this trip, that I couldn’t process it while traveling, and am still working at incorporating it into my genealogy

(Gary is a member of SOCCGS and a Tuesday docent at the SOCCGS Research Center.)

Officers for 2011

Historian and nominating Committee Chairman, Chuck Nostrome, has announced nominations for the upcoming year. Election of new officers will take place at the November general meeting. Nominations will be accepted from the floor with the written consent of the nominee. The following have been nominated: president, Bill Bluett; vice president, David Flint; recording secretary, Sandy Crowley; recording secretary, Patricia Weeks; treasurer, Mary Jo McQueen.

Annual Marine Toy Drive

Karyn Schumaker has organized the toy drive again this year. Since the December meeting is quite close to Christmas, unwrapped toys will be collected at the November meeting. The donated items will go to the 1/11 Marine families at Camp Pendleton.

The toys are put in a room at the 1/11 headquarters, and the parents are allowed to “shop” for their children. Volunteers then wrap the gifts, which are taken home by the parents.

Although items for any age are welcome, those 0-2 years old and teens seem to not receive as many gifts. Gift cards are very popular, especially for the teenagers.

If you bring items to the December 18 meeting they will be taken to a local fire station for “Sparks of Love.”

The 1/11 is currently serving in Afghanistan. They are expected home before Christmas. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers.

Questions? Call Karyn at 949-248-0662.

Ralph's Community Program

~David Flint - Ways & Means Chairman

Don’t forget to sign up. Everyone who participates must renew his or her membership after September 1 each year. See David Flint at the November meeting if you need a copy of the scanbar letter, which is the easiest way to sign up.

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.

Pending Changes to FamilySearch
~Courtesy of Marcia Roy

  1. Records from Record Search (much of this data is from Indexing) are being transferred to the Historical Records area of the FamilySearch Beta ( The data transfer should be completed by the end of September.
  2. Historical Records from the current will be transferred after that.
  3. All new collections (including indexing records) will go directly to the familysearch Beta website.
  4. Ancestor discussions were recently added to the The length of discussions will so increase from the current limitation of 500 characters.
  5. The Family History Library Catalog search on Familysearch beta has been improved.
  6. Disputes can no longer be added to the FamilySearch Tree. Soon, all the disputes on an ancestor will be moved into a discussion called “Legacy Disputes” and deleted from the details section.
  7. The NewFamilySearch Asia rollout is set for December.
  8. will replace the current by the end of the year.
  9. The general public can begin preparing for access to the new familysearch Tree now, for an account on the familysearch beta.
  10. Some time after this year the new FamilySearch Tree will become “Family Tree” on the new website.

The National Library of Scotland

The National Library of Scotland is an information treasure trove of Scotland's knowledge, history and culture, with millions of books, manuscripts, newspapers and maps covering every subject. Hint: Put National Library of Scotland into Google and click on desired link, for example “maps.”

Upcoming 2010 & 2011 Genealogy Events

January 29 – The Whittier Area Genealogical Society presents Lisa Louise Cooke at the 28th Annual Seminar. Ms. Cooke will present four topics: “Google Search Strategies,” “Google Earth & Maps for Genealogy,” “Genealogy Gems: Google Books & Google Toolbar,” and “Google Tools: iGoogle, Gmail, Google Alerts. For further information and registration contact Roger Mount (562) 693-2674, or visit the WAGS web site at

Did You Know?
Thomas Jefferson worried that the Courts would overstep their authority
And, instead of interpreting the law, would begin making law an oligarchy. The rule of few over many.

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 Research Center, 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

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