Saddleback Valley Trails
South Orange County California Genealogical Society

Vol. 11 No. 12 Editor: Mary Jo McQueen December 2004

 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 wishing to join. Yearly membership fees are $20 per calendar year for individuals, $25 for joint membership. SOCCGS is not affiliated with the LDS Family History Center.

Please find the renewal form on the last page of the newsletter.

10:30 a.m.

We had so much fun at our December Holiday Party last year that we are doing it again. SOCCGS will provide lunch and board members will provide the door prizes. The 2005 officers will be installed and a special Holiday Program will be presented by Judy Deeter. There will be lots of time to talk genealogy, and perhaps to meet a new cousin!

Please note for this meeting only we will be starting at 10:30 a.m.


To date, the following programs are scheduled:

January 15 --- Ann Browning - The Story Of The Orphan Train.
February 19 -- June Hanson - English Records Research.
March 19 ---- Wendy Elliott - Finding Wives’ Names.
April 16 ------ Barbara Renick - Jump Start Your Family Tree Online.
October 22 --- Seminar featuring Lloyd Bockstruck
December ---- Holiday Party


There will be no safari in December. Tentative plans are to visit the Los Angeles Public Library in January.


Leon Smith, Ways and Means Chairman announces that we netted $180.67 from the candy sale. Thanks to all who participated.


Use this link to join the SOCCGS Mailing List, if you haven’t already done so. No junk mail, just notifications of happenings! And you can send queries to the list or use it to pass along genealogy information to the group.


Introducing the newly elected officers: President, Mary Jo McQueen; Vice President, Bill Bluett, Recording Secretary, Sandy Crowley; Corresponding Secretary, Patricia Weeks and Treasurer, Mary Jo Nuttall.

"They couldn't hit an elephant at this dist...." the last words of General John Sedgwick, Union Commander, killed in battle during the US Civil War, 1864.


If you attended the November meeting, then, you are aware that SOCCGS has subscribed to Heritage Quest. This service is available on three of our genealogy computers. This is an inhouse subscription, meaning that we are unable to access the site from our home computers. The new wireless internet access provided by the Mission Viejo Library allows for speedy access.
Genealogy information found on HQ includes: Complete Federal Censuses (1790-1930): Indexes & full digitized images, PERSI (Periodical Source Index): Indexes 6,500+ local history & genealogy periodicals written since 1700, ProQuest Genealogy & Local History Collection: 25,000+ full-text/searchable family & local history books, Revolutionary War Pension Bounty & Land Warrant Application Files and coming soon, Freedman’s Bank Records.
Patrons may print or download (to floppy disk) any records, images, or citations. Citations can also be emailed.

Another great reason for visiting our library, and perhaps becoming a docent.!


Do you want to learn how easy and painless it is to become a Docent? Or, do you need assistance in using the CD’s or Heritage Quest? Beginning in January you may come in to the Genealogy Department of the MVL on Saturday mornings, 10 to 1 (except for our meeting day) and “Instructor Herb Abrams” will be there to assist you. Other days and hours are being set up and will be posted on our web site, and will also appear in the January newsletter. In the meantime, if you have any questions please call, or email, Herb.

Please consider volunteering. Also, substitutes are urgently needed!

Docents are currently needed for the following hours on a weekly, bimonthly or monthly basis:
Sunday: (2nd, 3rd & 4th) 3 to 5
Monday: 12:30 to 2:30 and 7 to 8:30
Tuesday: 5:15 to 7 (2nd only) and 7 to 8:30

Thursday: 3 to 5:30 and 5:30 to 8:30 (1st and 3rd)

Friday: 1 to 4 (1st)


We have one new member this month. Gary Slade, Fullerton. Welcome, Gary! Joanne Feldman was a guest at the November meeting. We hope she will consider becoming a member.

(Ancestry Daily News,
From the Adams Centinel (Gettysburg, Pa.), 10 November 1824, page 3:

Something new in Pennsylvania.--

A woman by the name of Nancy James, was indicted at Philadelphia, for being a common scold, tried and found guilty, and has been sentenced to be placed in a Ducking Stool, and plunged into the water. The sentence was to be executed on Wednesday last. This punishment for scolding women is rare in our state; but, as it is getting into fashion, we would advise those of the "gentler sex" who have a propensity to "wars of words," to be cautious, lest they go beyond the latitude allowed to "females in the Kitchen."
Since the above was in type, we learn, that an appeal has been made to the Supreme Court, to decide upon the constitutionality of the sentence.--There is no doubt it is sanctioned by a law of the land; but whether it may not clash with a provision in the Constitution, that "cruel punishments shall not be inflicted," is the question now to be determined.

From the Adams Centinel (Gettysburg, Pa.), 29 November 1820, page 2:

An old Italian, on his deathbed, left little to his widow except a fine horse and a favourite cat; desiring however that the horse might be sold, and the price employed in masses for his soul. The widow sends the horse and the cat to market, with an injunction to sell the horse for a crown, but not except the purchaser also bought the cat, valued at four hundred crowns. In this way she honestly got the money for her own use.


For those researchers with relatives in the St. Louis area, both on the Missouri and Illinois side of the Mississippi River, the St. Louis Library can be a very helpful resource.
On the above web site, go to "Specialized Collections and Indexes." There you will find the category for Obituaries (and burial notices) for the city newspapers; the St. Louis Post Dispatch and the Argus. Select one and it takes you to the indexes for 1880-1922, 1942-1945 and 1992-2003. In addition, there are indexes of casualty lists, missing-in-action and reburials for World War I and World War II.
To obtain copies, the email address of WebRef is listed, to click on to make your request. The library will bill you ($.25/page plus $1.00 for handling and shipping) when they mail your copies.
I have had wonderful results with this resource and am delighted pass it on to SOCCGS members.
Ruth Heidel Duncan
Member, SOCCGS


“The Online Books Page” has e-texts about a multitude of subjects, and includes both books and periodicals. The collection includes the newest and the oldest books available, with many rare and unusual local and regional histories, memoirs, letters, and diaries that were published but are now out of print. I like to click the “New Listings” link, at the bottom of the page and scroll through the offerings – it’s like roaming an antiquarian bookstore! Some of the books are plain-vanilla “Gutenberg” Texts, which are transcriptions in typewriter-like print. Other books reside at various libraries or sites that have scanned the page images. Each “hit” will tell you in parenthesis where the book images actually reside.
The “Search” page allows one to search by author’s name or a word in the title. This works if your state or surname happens to be in a title! For example; searching for “Missouri” brings up 23 results, including everything from 1904 bulletins on the conditions of County Jails and Almshouses, to reports on Lewis & Clark and fur-trading expeditions, with later overland travel guides, and even the titles “A History of the Pioneer Families of Missouri” and “Switzler’s Illustrated History of Missouri.”
For a more comprehensive search, click on the link for “Subjects”, which are listed in Library of Congress catalog order on this site. For items of particular interest to family historians, try clicking on these:
CS: Genealogy - This section includes the full text of Val Greenwood’s “Researcher’s Guide to American Genealogy” (2000) and several works on specific surnames.
CT: Biography - One potential source among others here: “The Biographical Review of Prominent Men and Women of the Day” (1888)
D: History outside the Americas - At this writing, 173 books about Great Britain & Ireland, 68 about France, 22 about Germany including Prussia, etc.
E: History - United States (General) - Here are an abundance of topics! Over 1,000 books on subjects like: Native Americans, slavery (including narratives), Founding Fathers, Revolutionary War, Civil War, shipwrecks, western exploration, and many more.
F: History - United States (Regional) - Over 1,200 books starting with “A Genealogical Dictionary of the First Settlers of New England, Showing Three Generations of Those who Came Before May, 1692”, and the list perambulates geographically around the country (including Canada). Just a very few titles of the many intriguing ones: “Reminiscences of New York by an Octogenarian (1816 – 1860), “School History of North Carolina, from 1584 to the Present Time [1882]”, “Reminiscences of a Pioneer Missionary”, “Northern Wisconsin, a Handbook for the Homeseeker”, “Ohio State Gazetteer and Business Directory for 1860-61”, “Journal of a Trip to Michigan in 1841”, “History and Stories of Nebraska (1913)”, “Pioneer Days in Kansas”, and “Sixty Years in California, 1853 – 1913”.
G: Geography - The main Geography section contains voyages & explorations, and within this section, GT: Manners & Customs includes books on period costume, courtship, even a history of umbrellas, and GV: Recreation & Leisure covers pastimes, from canoe trips in 1897 to ballroom dancing through the ages.
In addition to the books, numerous periodicals of interest are accessible at this site. From the main page, click “Serials” to find “Harper’s Magazine” (1850-1899), “The Overland Monthly”, “Scribner’s Monthly Magazine,” “The Century Magazine,” and on-line journals like “The Early America Review.”
Spend some time exploring “The Online Books Page” – a digital library and you are bound to find some gems from days long-gone, when our ancestors were young. You will also discover books describing what life was like in the places they lived and explored.
Francie Kennedy
Member, SOCCGS


by Herb Abrams

This is the story of a very old photo album that was brought to the November meeting:

A neighbor of Ruth Sheean’s was about to throw out an old photo album she had picked up at a garage sale about 30 years ago. Ruth thought she might be able to find the owner so she brought it to the SOCCGS genealogy library. Shirley Fraser suggested to her that “maybe Herb Abrams could find a home for it, since he was a pretty good genealogy detective” - so that is how I got involved.
It is a beautifully bound album with an ornate cover and hinged metal fasteners. Inside were photographs, some of which were labeled with names, mostly of a Bell family. On the inside of the front and back covers were obituaries of family members.
One of them read: "Died, at Big Pine, Inyo County, Cal., June 7, 1879, Thomas E. Bell, aged 57 years. The circumstances of Mr. Bell's death were peculiarly sad. That morning he had gone to his work plowing among his vines and trees, apparently in his usual health. About 9 o'clock he came to the house for some purpose, and in his talk with his wife and children, seemed unusually bouyant and happy. Less than an hour after he had returned to the plow, his young son saw that the team was standing still in the field and wonderingly went to see what was the cause; the child found his father lying motionless on the ground near the plow. Running to the house, some three hundred yards distant, with the dreadful news. Mrs. Bell called some Indians at work in the garden "to come!" and ran to where her husband was lying. With the help of the Indians and the children she carried him to the shade of a tree close at hand, and did everything in her power to bring him back to life, but all in vain. No doubt is entertained but something like heart disease was the cause of death.
“The deceased was a native of the state of North Carolina but has passed the greater part of his life in this State, landing in San Francisco in June 1850, just twenty-nine years prior to the day of his death. For thirteen years he has been a resident of this valley. Besides a wife and 5 small children, for whom he lived to love and cherish in unbounded affection, deceased leaves two brothers, of which he was the youngest, to mourn his loss. These brothers, James and Andrew N. Bell, are prominent and much respected citizens of Tuolomne and Inyo counties respectively.
“Thomas E. Bell, the deceased, though by nature perfectly unobtrusive upon public attention, was widely known; and by all acknowledged to be a man absolutely above reproach. No man has ever questioned his perfect integrity in his dealings between man and man. His highly moral and temperate habits and domestic taste, won for him the respect of all who knew him. He was industrious and enterprising almost to a fault.
“So passes away the loved and loving husband, father, brother, friend; another of California's Argonauts; another of that brave band of Owens Valley pioneers; another from among our noblest men! So closes the earthly labor of a man whose strong heart never tired in doing the work of a good man. "While yet in love with life, and rapture with the world, he passed to silence and pathetic dust." He had reached the stone in life's highway which marks the highest point, when his name is read from the Grand Roll, and he is called to lay his burden down. Though the night of death crept upon him without scarce a moment's warning, we can but believe so good a man met it without dread of its darkness, or a pang of regret, save for the sorrows of the loved ones left behind."
This nice obituary provided a lot of information. I was able to find the Thomas E. Bell family in the 1870 census of Bishop Creek, Inyo Co., California. It listed his wife Sarah and children Andrew J. age 2 years, and 2 month old Henry. In the 1910 census of Bishop Township, Inyo Co., California, I found Henry J. Bell, age 39 with wife Henrietta, age 35 and children Rollin O., age 14; Marvin A., age 4 and Henry R., 11 months old. In the 1930 census of Burlingame, San Mateo, California, I found Rollin Bell, age 34 with wife Gwendolyn, age 28 and child Bruce, age 3 years 11 months.
Now, I thought, maybe Bruce was still alive - so I checked the phone listings at for a Bruce Bell in California. I found 23 of them and one of them lived in Bishop, Inyo Co., California. I called him and he told me that his father was Rollin Bell, his grandfather was Henry Bell and his great grandfather was Thomas E. Bell. Bingo! He assured me that he would love to have the photo album and I promised to send it to him. The album has found its way home! Case closed - a fun search and a happy ending.

"Every man's life is a fairy-tale written by God's fingers."
~Hans Christian Andersen

~George C. Morgan

When we research our ancestors, we usually get information in pieces. Seldom does a large chunk of information land in our laps. As you collect these biographical snippets, you begin to get an idea of what your ancestor's life must have been all about.
This week in "Along Those Lines ...", I want to talk about how you can employ a relatively simple methodology to your research to help you better understand your ancestor. I'm talking about building a profile of your ancestor.
Collecting, Analyzing, Organizing and Filing Data - We all have our own system for organizing information. I gather records, read them carefully, make notes, and compare them with other information and records I've collected in the past. I seek to corroborate previous information (if any) and form, verify or discredit my hypotheses. Once I'm finished with this process, I enter information into my genealogical computer database. I then file the records, notes, and other materials in binders by surname—and then alphabetically by first name and chronologically within each person. Later, when I need to compare new records with these, everything is in a logically organized sequence.
Creating a Profile - Although I organize and file materials in a binder, I never take the binder with me when I'm off to do research. There is too much risk that something may happen to my hard-won materials. That's where an ancestor profile comes in.
An ancestor profile is a chronological list of all the information you know about an ancestor. You start with his or her birth. You then prepare an outline of the person's entire life—from the parents' home, through church and school records, to marriage, through childbearing years and parenthood, careers, and land and property ownership, all the way to death, burial and probate of the will. Include research reference information. The following is an example of a portion of my great-grandmother's profile:
Lydia Lenora PATTERSON (1833 - 1914)
1833 - Born 13 November 1833 in NC.
1840 - Mecklenburg County, NC (Member of household of William PATTERSON and his wife, nee Elizabeth McCuen Caroline POTTS.) Microfilm publication M704, Roll 365, Page 319.
1850 - Mecklenburg County, NC (Member of household of William PATTERSON and wife.) Microfilm publication M432, Roll 637, Pages 33-34, Dwelling # 545, Family # 548.
1851-53 - Attended Salem Female Academy - Receipt for advance fee and for 1852-53 school year in my possession.
1856 - Married to Joseph McKnitt WILSON, 8 April 1856, Mecklenburg Co., NC. Marriage license on file at the NC State Archives.
1856 - Accompanied husband in a move to Charleston, SC, where he attended medical school.
1857 - Husband graduated from medical school in Charleston, SC. Returned to Mecklenburg County, NC.; 1857 - Ida Elizabeth WILSON born on 4 March 1857.
1859 - Isaac Lawrence WILSON born on 8 December 1859.
1859 - Ida Elizabeth WILSON died on 12 January 1859.
1860 - Mecklenburg County, NC (Member of household of Joseph McKnitt WILSON.) Microfilm publication M653, Roll 906, Page 152, Dwelling # 531, Family # 580. Record shows age as 26.
1861 - Mary Martha (Mamie) WILSON born on 12 December 1861.
1864 - William Elmore WILSON born 27 April 1864.
1865 - Emory Lee WILSON born on 12 July 1865.
1867 - Harriett Idella WILSON born on 7 January 1867.
1868 - Joseph Patterson WILSON born 1 March 1868.
1870 - Mecklenburg County, NC (Member of household of Joseph McKnitt WILSON.) Microfilm publication M593, Roll 1148;
1870 - John McKamie WILSON born on 9 August 1870.
1873 - Daughter born: Laura Augusta (Minnie) WILSON on 24 January 1873.
1880 - Mecklenburg County, NC (Member of household of Joseph McKnitt WILSON.) Microfilm publication T9, Rolls 971/972.
1886 - Father, WIlliam PATTERSON, died on 3 December 1886.
1890 - Mecklenburg County, NC (Member of household of Joseph McKnitt WILSON.) No census records available.
1898 - Husband retired from medical practice.

Cont’d. next page.

George Morgan, Cont’d.
- Mecklenburg County, NC (Member of household of Joseph McKnitt WILSON.)
Need census information:_______________________
1902 - Isaac Lawrence WILSON died on 20 February 1902 in Spartanburg, SC.
1910 - Mecklenburg County, NC (Member of household of Joseph McKnitt WILSON.)
Need census information:_______________________
1910 - Husband died on 26 July 1910 and was buried at Davidson Presbyterian Church in Davidson (Mecklenburg) NC.
1912 - Interviewed by Charlotte Observer regarding family history.
1914 - Died 28 August 1914 in Davidson (Mecklenburg) NC. Buried at Davidson Presbyterian Church in Davidson (Mecklenburg) NC. Need information about will if any:_______________________
At this point, I have an orderly, chronological outline of Lydia Lenora PATTERSON's life. I can take a printed copy of this to a library or on a genealogical research trip. If there are gaps I'd like to research and fill in, I can insert blank lines or notes to myself indicating what records I want or need to locate.
Based on the information above, I know where she was at all times throughout her life. I know when and where she was married, and about the births of each of her nine children, including the death of her first child. I have a record for all the Federal censuses except 1890, which was destroyed by fire, and 1900 and 1910, which I still would need to research.
With Pen in Hand ... Perhaps you think my great-grandmother's life was not an extraordinary one. Some of the other information I have about her, not included in the profile above, indicates that she was quite a hostess for her husband and loved to entertain. In addition, she was an able nurse, helping her husband with his practice until he retired in 1898. She also was a family historian, as evidenced by a newspaper clipping from the Charlotte Observer dated 1912 in which she described her ancestry in detail. With these and other facts I may obtain in future, it becomes possible to write a strikingly detailed biographical sketch of my great-grandmother.
The point of the exercise is to fill in the blanks between raw records. Learn all you can. Piece together the family stories, the written accounts, the Bibles and other records. Refer to the information about your ancestor's parents, siblings, neighbors and others. Rebuild your ancestor's life facts. Get to really know your ancestor. In other words, bring 'em back to life!
Happy hunting! George
"Along Those Lines" Copyright 1998, George G. Morgan, All Rights reserved.
Ancestry Daily News, 9/4/1998,


RMS LUSITANIA. This British passenger liner, carrying a number of Americans, was torpedoed off the Irish coast during World War I by the German submarine U-20. The websites provide passenger and crew lists, facts, figures, and firsts about the ship, history, and a media gallery.

POLES. Learn about the oldest permanent Polish settlement in America.

GERMAN ROOTS? Ortsfamilienbücher are German community historical and genealogical books and many are now online, arranged by locality.

It is important to cite the sources in your genealogy research. For guidance, check out these sites:
For tips on citing electronic sources study "A Cite for Sore Eyes: Quality Citations for Electronic Genealogy Sources," by Mark Howells at:
"Skillbuilding: Citing Your Sources"
"Creating Worthwhile Genealogies for our Families and Descendants"
"Citing Sources" (many links):

"Common sense and a sense of humor are the same thing, moving at different speeds. A sense of humor is just common sense, dancing."
~Lyn Karol


January 8

San Diego Genealogical Society will host Dr. George Schweitzer.
There is information and a registration form at or email

February 12

The Czechoslovak Genealogy Society Winter Symposium
will be held at the Orange Family History Center. For further information go to:

February 26

Family History Seminar featuring Dr. Gary Shumway, Whittier Area Genealogical Society.
Flyers are available at the SOCCGS docent desk. For information contact:

March 5

Genealogical Society of North Orange County California is hosting a Family History Seminar featuring Karen Clifford, Caroline B. Rober and Norma Storrs Keating. Information is available at the SOCCGS library docent desk or go to:

May 13 & 14

Southern California 36th Annual Jamboree in Burbank.
Scheduled speakers are: Jana Sloan Broglin, Tom Kemp, Bill Dollarhide, Leland Meitzler, Andy Pomeroy, Tom Underhill, Elaine Alexander and John Shupe.
DR. SCHWEITZER is coming to Hemet in 2005! We hope to have more information soon.

The Universe is made of stories, not of atoms.
~ Muriel Rukeyser, 1913–1980 June 14

Start Your Story Today!



South Orange County California Genealogical Society Membership/Renewal Application

( ) New ( ) Renewal ( ) Individual, $20/yr. ( ) Jt... Members, same address $25/yr.

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City _____________________________ State_____Zip ____________Phone ______________________

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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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