Saddleback Valley Trails

South Orange County California Genealogical Society

Vol. 18 No. 11

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

November 2011

Editor: Gary Schwarz

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.
“1/1/12” means dues are payable in January.


General Meeting 19 November 2011

Nancy Huebotter
“World War II Records: What is Available,
What is Not, How to Find Them, What they Reveal”

Rumor has it that World War II military records were lost when the St. Louis military Records Center was destroyed by fire. In this lecture learn what is available and how to access the information. In addition, discover what websites are available for the researcher interested in military history and military ancestors.

About the Speaker: Nancy Huebotter began her family research in the Fall of 1980. She is a nationally recognized genealogical speaker, has conducted numerous genealogy classes and seminars, and has contributed to genealogical journals. Nancy's own family research resulted in the publication of Ancestors and Descendants of Thomas Carroll and Ellis Miller, a 395-year history of her mother's lines. She is currently writing her father's biography, especially highlighting his military service and subsequent imprisonment in a German POW camp during World War II. By profession, Nancy is a 35-year employee of Raytheon Company, where she is a Principle Technical Writer, Editor, and Instructor.


Safari News

There are no safaris scheduled during November and December. On January 25, 2012, the safari destination will be the Los Angeles Public Library.

Meeting Location

Until further notice the SOCCGS monthly meetings will be held in the main building at the Mission Viejo Family History Center at the corner of Hillcrest Drive and Marguerite Parkway.

“If you haven't found it yet, keep looking. Don't settle. As with all matters of the heart, you'll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on.”
~Steve Jobs (1955-2011)

-Thoughts to be applied by genealogists

President's Message

~Bill Bluett

It has been two years since I gave my presentation titled “Digital Genealogy” in November of 2009. Today, there are many more websites on the internet that are adding database images with information that can assist the avid researcher in discovering more about their ancestors. I revisited a couple of websites that I mentioned in 2009 just to refresh my memory as to what they had to offer to the average researcher.

The first website is titled “250+ Killer Digital Libraries and Archives”. There are a total of 152 State websites listed (except Rhode Island) and many are surname searchable. Much of their focus is on certain cities, counties, or regions within a given State ( There are some websites that have birth, marriage, and death certificates on line. Actually, this website has a total of 270 listed links which include local and regional history as well as maps. There are a number of other miscellaneous topics listed that might be of interest to any one of you. The most recent documents that I have found were in Arizona. My wife had two cousins that died at birth. One was in 1953 and the other was in 1960. I was able to print out a nice copy of each of their death certificates. Also, I have had some good finds in the State of Washington with images of marriage certificates for a great aunt and my great grandmother. I did not know that my great grandmother, Martha Bluett, had a third marriage after being widowed and then divorced from her second husband. The marriage certificate itself was interesting. But, the second image, the “Marriage Return” form, was the “big” find. It listed the County and State where she was born and the names of her parents – including her mother’s maiden name! This was information I had been trying to find for many years because Martha’s maiden name was Jones! This was a huge “brick wall” that I was able to break down. So, check out some of these websites and see what you can find!

Another website that I like to check out each year is the online version of the “family tree magazine”. The December, 2011, edition includes their annual list of the “Best State Websites” for genealogy research ( This year, they list all 50 states as having at least one website link. A number of state record repositories have digitized all or part of their holdings. You may not have to send a request to a distant office or travel across the country to access great-grandma’s birth certificate. Many of the 75 sites on the list have indexes so that you can find and access an image you may be looking for as well as printing a copy. There are 5 states that have newspaper archives – California, Colorado, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming. I have found an ancestor’s newspaper article on each of these websites except for Wyoming. But, I’ll keep looking! A number of states have included printable digital images of birth, death, and marriage documents. So, be sure to browse through the website that may be of interest to you. Also, there is another interesting feature at the end of the state listings. Scroll down to Wyoming. Just below this state is a MORE ONLINE listing of links to interesting charts and articles. The “State-by state vital records chart” download and the “Best and worst states for genealogy” article are worth checking out. But, check out all the listings. You might find something of value that may aid you in your research.

Another technique you might explore is going to “Google” and type in the phrase “state digital collections”. There will be 121,000 results that come up. You may want to refine your search and put in the name of a state and include the words “digital collections”. You may find something listed that is not included in the above mentioned websites. That is how I found “250+ Killer Digital Libraries and Archives” and the “Best State Websites” listing on Family Tree Magazine ( One other website you might try is Their database gives visitors a listing of genealogy sites in 27 different search categories for each of the 50 states plus Washington, DC. All those links could lead to a “gold mine” of information. So, give Google a try and see what else you can find. Share your finds with our members and our newsletter editor. We all need as much help as we can get to locate those “illusive ancestors”.


New Members:

Diane & Mike Clayton, Mission Viejo, CA,
Mary L. Goforth Manning, Rancho Santa Margarita,
Christianne Rottenberg of Mission Viejo reinstated her membership, – searching for ‘OFF’ in 1802 in Struempfelbach Germany (Weinstat)

October Seminar

~Bill Bluitt, Seminar Chairman

Our Tenth Annual Family History Seminar was a rousing success! There were 116 folks present at this most informative event. We had registered guests travel from as far north as the Pasadena/Altadena area and from as far south as Chula Vista. Our guest speaker, Curt B. Witcher, presented four excellent topics that were packed with valuable information. He has such a commanding knowledge of so many areas of genealogy research. All those in attendance went away with a wonderful list of resources and ideas for refining their own research techniques. Lucky tickets were drawn for fifty-one door prizes. Congratulations go out to all the lucky winners. The food and refreshments were excellent and very nicely displayed. Our “Corner Bakery” lunches were superb as they always have been in past years. There was always a buzz of activity around the vendor tables. I would like to thank the “Association of Professional Genealogists” (Jean Wilcox-Hibben and Alice Volkert) for having an informational table. We had Claire Santos-Daigle in costume at her “Photos Made Perfect” table. And, our own Jackie Hanson, author of many wonderful books (Matilda’s Story, Susan’s Quest, etc) had a sales table with all her works. The SOCCGS book sales totaled $76.10. The jewelry table was very successful. They collected $214.45. And, the SOCCGS genealogy table had sales of $27.50. The raffle of the beautiful quilt made by Joanne Florence and won by Mary Lou Brascia netted $200. Finally, I must say that all our volunteers did a superb job in setting up and hosting this event. You probably noticed that things were arranged a little differently than in the past. But, the new layout worked out perfectly. Now, I would like to give a big “THANK YOU” to everyone who assisted in putting the seminar together. Each of you did an excellent job! Our seminar just wouldn’t happen if we didn’t have such a great group of volunteers. With that said, let’s do it again next year!

“Well, Hello Dolly”

~Jim & Bonnie Thordahl

It’s so nice to have you around for a holiday treat from the kitchen. I always thought Hello Dolly Squares were a treat that came from America’s famous hostess, Dolley Madison, wife of the fourth President of the United States, James Madison Jr. There are a few reasons that Hello Dolly Bars came along over a hundred years later.

To find the ingredients in her time would have been difficult. Milk chocolate was about 80 years into the future (1875). For me, comparing home churned butter from my earliest days (1940) to the sweetened creamery product we get at the market today suggests that the butter available to Dolley Madison would not produce cookies good enough to be called “Dollies.” Coconut probably hitched a ride to the Colonies when trade for tea and exotic Asian spices first flourished. The preferred nuts, English walnuts go back to ancient times. Their production in America exploded nearer to 1900. Substitutes for some basic ingredients are always possible. However, I can not imagine how Dolley could have boosted milk to the delicious richness of sweetened condensed milk which was not successfully canned until 1885.

As for the name: it most likely arose from a popular song from a hit Broadway show in the mid 1960’s. Before then this treat was and still today is called by various names: seven layer bars for its seven ingredients and other descriptive titles such as ooey-gooey bars. Now that ought to tell you why you should try them. So here’s a recipe that we use, with a hint. In the tattered slip of paper from a 12/71 Family Circle magazine these cookies are named “Magic Cookie Bars.” To add to the magic we now use graham cracker crumbs in place of corn flakes. Here’s a hint: Use a sturdy metal spatula to cut the bars. Carefully press the end of the blade straight down and repeat as you walk the cutter across the pan. This keeps the ooey gooey top from being dragged along with a knife blade or stick to a pizza cutter.

Genealogy Software

Installing Genealogy Programs on a Flash Drive

It can be very convenient to install a genealogy program on a flash drive along with a copy of your genealogy database, photos and document images. Doing this will allow you to have instant access to your family history on any PC wherever you go – in a library, at the home of a friend or family member, or at work, if allowed. It only takes a few minutes to do.

How to install the PAF program on your flash drive (

Step 0:

Make sure your backups are current.

Step 1:

Using the Microsoft Explorer program, copy the PAF installation program onto your flash drive. The program is downloadable free from The program is called PAF5EnglishSetup.exe, and if you have already installed PAF on your PC it may already be saved on your hard drive.

Step 2:

Plug your flash drive into a PC that does not have PAF already installed. If your PC already has PAF installed, you will need to uninstall the program and then reinstall it after you have installed the program on your flash drive. This process will not affect your personal PAF database. Using the Microsoft Explorer program, navigate to the directory of your flash drive. It will typically be named something like Removable Disk(E:). Double click on the PAF installation program to start it running. It will unload some modules and then ask you to Choose the Setup Language. Select the language of your choice and click OK. The InstallShield Wizard popup window will appear. If PAF has not been installed on the PC, it will welcome you to the Installation process and wait for you to click on Next. If this is the case, click on Next and go to step Three. If PAF is already installed, the window will offer you three choices: Modify, Repair, and Remove. Select Remove and click OK. Click Yes when it asks if you want to remove all components of the program. After removing the PAF program, it will indicate that the removal is complete. Click on Finish. Again using the Microsoft Explorer program, navigate back to the directory of your flash drive and double click on the PAF installation program to start it running again. Click OK on the language request and Next at the welcome message.

Step 3:

Click Yes to accept the license agreement. The Choose Destination Location popup box will appear. This is where you must specify that the program should be installed on the flash drive. Click on the Browse button in the Destination Folder box. In the Choose Folder popup box, select the flash drive, and click OK. The drive letter for the flash drive will be set in the Destination Folder box. After the drive letter, enter FamilySearch and then click Next. Click Next again at the Select Program Folder box to create a FamilySearch folder on the flash drive where the PAF program will be installed. Next, check the startup boxes you wish to set and click Next. PAF will now be installed on your flash drive. When complete, click Finish to end the process.

Step 4:

For convenience, it will be nice to create a shortcut on the flash drive to make it easier to start the PAF program. Using Microsoft Explorer, navigate to the flash drive and open the FamilySearch folder on the drive. Place your mouse pointer on the file named pstart.exe and right-click. In the popup box, click on Create Shortcut. Then right- click on the newly created Shortcut to pstart.exe and move your mouse pointer to the Send To option. In the list of send-to options, click on the entry for the flash drive. This will add a shortcut to the flash drive that you can use to start PAF each time you plug it in.

Installing Roots Magic on a Flash Drive

When you download and install the “Full Version” of RootsMagic program it will also install a separate utility program - RootsMagic To-Go. The RootsMagic To-Go program will let you install the RootsMagic program on your flash-drive, and help you move your RootsMagic data back and forth between your main computer and the flash drive.

  1. To run RootsMagic To-Go double-click on the icon which was installed on your desktop.
  2. RootsMagic To-Go will display a list of removable drives connected to your computer. If there are none, RootsMagic will ask you to insert one.
  3. Select the removable drive that you want to use RootsMagic on. If RootsMagic To-Go doesn't find your flash drive for some reason, you may need to click the "refresh" button (the white button to the right of the removable drive list).
  4. Click on "Install RootsMagic to Removable Disk" button to open the Install RootsMagic dialog box.
  5. RootsMagic To-Go will display details about your removable drive, and will display an "Install" button that you can click to install RootsMagic on your drive. But if you want to customize the install, click the little round "Show Options" button to see options you can change for the install.
  6. Enter your Registration Key to run RootsMagic
  7. When you have finished using RootsMagic To-Go, click the red (circular) button beside the drive field to safely remove your removable drive.

Note: After you have installed RootsMagic on your flash-drive you will need to "Reinstall" if there has been an update to the RootsMagic program.

Family Tree Maker and Legacy

Unfortunately, at this time Family Tree Maker and Legacy cannot be executed from a flash drive on on more than one computer. They can use data stored on a flash drive though.

News from the Mission Viejo Library

~Bunny Smith
The Great Migration Begins and The Great Migration

If you have early New England ancestry, you should recognize the name Robert Charles Anderson. The information in this 10 volume set may greatly simplify your family tree searches as well as increase the accuracy of information you may have already found.

The Great Migration Begins: Immigrants To New England, 1620-33. This monumental reference now includes nearly one thousand sketches, each dedicated to a single immigrant or an immigrant family, arriving in New England between 1620 and 1633. Each sketch contains information on the immigrant’s migration dates and patterns, on various biographical matters (including occupation, church membership, education, offices, and land holding), and on genealogical details (birth, death, marriage, children and other associations by blood or marriage), along with detailed comments and discussion, and bibliographic information on the family.

The goal of the Great Migration Study Project is to create comprehensive biographical and genealogical accounts of all immigrants to New England from 1620 to 1643, from the arrival of the Mayflower to the decline of immigration resulting from the beginning of the Civil War in England. The Project was conceived by Robert Charles Anderson and was proposed to the New England Historic Genealogical Society early in 1988. Anderson and the Society quickly reached an agreement and the Project officially began on 15 November 1988.

For each immigrant to New England, whether an unattached individual or a family group, our approach is to survey the most important compiled accounts of the immigrant, whether in the survey sources noted above, in separate monographs or in the periodical literature. These accounts are then checked against a wide range of original source material, including vital records, church records, deeds, probate records, court records, and a variety of other types of documents. All of this material is then examined and cross-correlated, with special attention to discrepancies between sources, whether primary or secondary. The final goal is a comprehensive account of the individual which synthesizes what is known at the date of publication and will serve as a solid foundation for future research.

The entire time period of the Great Migration has been divided into smaller chronological chunks, within which range of years the sketches are published in alphabetic order. The first series of volumes covered the immigrants who arrived in the years from 1620 through 1633. The three volumes of this first series, The Great Migration Begins: Immigrants to New England, 1620-1633, published in 1995, contained more than nine hundred sketches. (Although these three volumes cover two-thirds of the time period under investigation, they only contain about one-sixth of the total number of immigrants. Beginning in 1634 and running until the end of that decade the annual rate of migration became much higher.)

The second series of seven volumes covers those who arrived in 1634 and 1635 and bears the title, The Great Migration: Immigrants to New England, 1634-1635. For the first two of these seven volumes: A and B (1999); C through F (2001), Anderson was joined as author by George F. Sanborn Jr. and Melinde Lutz Sanborn. Anderson added the last volumes: G and H (2003); and I through L (2005); M through P (2007); R and S (2009); and T through Y (2011) to complete this series. We have all 10 Volumes at the Mission Viejo Library just waiting for you.

Curt B. Witcher – Seminar Guest Speaker

~Bill Bluett – Seminar Chairman

What would the Allen County Library (in Ft. Wayne, Indiana) be without Curt B. Witcher. What would our seminar have been without Curt B. Witcher. If you were unable to attend this year’s seminar, you missed out on one of the best programs we have ever had during the past 10 years. We received many compliments from folks during and after the seminar regarding our guest speaker. To listen to Mr. Witcher is like having a one-on-one conversation with him. I can attest to that because I had the opportunity to transport him to and from the airport and have lunch and a couple of dinners with him. He is such a knowledgeable and personable individual when it comes to discussing genealogy (actually any topic) and he has a strong passion to help and encourage folks on how to organize their research. He absolutely loves his work at the Allen County Library and I doubt that he will ever retire - if he were to have the option. He even complimented our Society on the topics that we selected and the order in which they were to be presented. Having our guest speaker give us such a compliment made us feel like maybe we had a clue as to what we were doing.

There were two words Curt Witcher used quite often in his presentations: History and Bibliography. He emphasized the importance of connecting your ancestors to historical events and happenings and strongly recommended developing a Timeline for each ancestor. History can answer the - who, what, why, when, and where of an ancestor’s life pattern. And, it was obvious that Mr. Witcher loves to see a good bibliography that cites a listing of excellent sources for research. That is why it is important for ourselves to cite all sources when performing our ancestral research. Also, Curt gave us some excellent tips in his final presentation regarding some “Mega Internet Sites” that have large collections of digitized documents and manuscripts. Those sites should definitely be explored. He points out that there is so much more digitized information available on the internet that we can imagine. If you were unable to attend the seminar, you may purchase a syllabus at the library for $2.00 – while they last! All four of his presentations are included. Lastly, Curt really enjoyed our comments and questions (some humorous) during his presentations. He believed that we had a very savvy and knowledgeable group attending our seminar. Well, our hats are off to Mr. Witcher for his fine presentations and we only hope that we may be fortunate enough to have him return in the future.

Surname List

Members, please check your information on the SOCCGS Surname Website. If corrections and/or additions are necessary notify Herb at or (949-581-6292). New and old members are encouraged to add information by sending an email to Herb listing surnames, locations and years being researched.

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, and he will have one ready at the next meeting.

SOCCGS Favorite Webpage at the Library

~Herb Abrams

Vital Search icon has been replaced by Vitalchek on our computers in the library.  Vital Search is great for finding early California birth and death records (1905-2000) and marriage records (1949-1986) which are not available on Ancestry or World Vital Records.  It also has birth records for Massachusetts (1841-1910) which are not on Ancestry or World Vital Records.

“Everything in life is luck”
~Donald Trump

-No wonder I haven’t great great grandpa’s birthday, yet!

2011 Genealogy Events

February 25: 29th Annual Whittier Area Genealogy Society All Day Seminar presents George Morgan – Whitter, California

March 10: North Orange County Genealogical Society All Day Seminar – presenting John Coletta – Yorba Linda, California

July 18-22: 42nd Annual Germans from Russia Heritage Society International Convention, Bismarck, North Dakota

June 14-17: 2012 American Historical Society of Germans from Russia Annual Convention, Portland, Oregon

Ralphs Community Contribution Program

Jim Thordahl – Ways & Means Chairman

Thanks to supporters of this generous program, your SOCCGS’ treasury garnered $204.71 for the last quarter. The 46 households who participated were: Abrams, Barry, Cramer, Crowley, D. (initial only), Dill, Domenick, Dunk, Elster, Flint, Frankel, Gahran, Harley, Irey, Keyser, Larsen, Laventure, Lobo, Luckman, Mauzey, Mc Queen, McGuigan, Merchant, Merritt, Murtha, Nash, Naylor, Nolen, Penland, Petrime, Poff, Reilly, Reinhold, Roy, Ryu, Schwarz, Sheean, Smith, Taylor, Thordahl, Weeks, White, Wilgus, Witte and two others for whom information was incomplete.

If you have questions, call or e-mail: ph: (949) 492-5334.



President, Seminar & Safari
Chairman_______________________________ Bill Bluett___________________
Vice President / Program Chairman _____ David Flint___________________
Recording Secretary____________________ Sandy Crowley_________________
Corresponding Secretary________________ Pat Weeks_____________________
Treasurer______________________________ Mary Jo McQueen_______________
Historian______________________________ Barbara Wilgus________________
Hospitality____________________________ Barbara Heebner_______________
Hospitality____________________________ Sharon Keener_________________
Librarian______________________________ Bunny Smith___________________
Membership_____________________________ Jack Naylor___________________
Newsletter Editor______________________ Gary Schwarz__________________
Parliamentarian________________________ Marilyn Kowalski______________
Publicity / Webmaster__________________ Herb Abrams___________________
Ways & Means___________________________ Jim Thordahl__________________ 

SOCCGS Website @
Mail List:
SOCCGS Research Center, Mission Viejo Library;
Marguerite Parkway at LaPaz, (949) 470-8498
SOCCGS E-mail:

Use this form to send with your dues payment

South Orange County California Genealogical Society Membership/Renewal Application

 ( ) New   ( ) Renewal      ( ) Individual, $20/yr.      ( ) Joint Members, same address, $25/yr.
 City_____________________________________ State_______ Zip _____________ Phone__________________
 Email address:__________________________________________________________________________________
 Make check payable to: SOCCGS
 Mail with application to: SOCCGS, P.O. Box 4513, Mission Viejo, CA 92690


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