Saddleback Valley Trails
South Orange County California Genealogical Society

Vol. 12 No. 12 Editor: Mary Jo McQueen December 2005

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

Monthly meetings are held on the third Saturday of each month from 10:00 a.m. to Noon at the Mission Viejo Family History Center Institute Building, 27978 Marguerite Parkway, Mission Viejo, between Medical Center Drive and Hillcrest Drive. Membership is open to anyone interested in genealogy. Individual membership fees are $20 per calendar year; $25 for joint membership. SOCCGS is not affiliated with the LDS Family History Center.

December 17
Program, Lunch, Door Prizes
We invite you to share special Holiday Stories
and Genealogy Moments.
Don’t miss our social event of the year!

January 21 - Penny Feike, "Using Land Records in Genealogical Research"
February 18 - Colleen Fitzpatrick, "Forensic Genealogy"
March 18 - Kathleen Trevena, "Migration Patterns in America"

There is no safari scheduled in December. Mark your calendar for January 25, 2006.

We need: Mondays 12:30-3 or 3-5, Tuesdays 1-4, Wednesdays 3-5 (1st & 3rd).
Please think about donating two or three hours a month. Or, how about joining the substitute list.
Call Mary Jo McQueen, 581-0690, if you can help.

Ongoing classes for persons considering becoming docents are held on Thursdays (12-3) and Saturdays (10 to 1). These classes are also open to current docents and other members needing help in using the resources available at the library. If this is not convenient, call Mary Jo McQueen, to set up a special time.


In appreciation of her efforts on behalf of the SOCCGS Library, we have awarded Judy Deeter a life membership in the society. Judy was one of those instrumental in securing the space for our library, within the Mission Viejo Library, in 1997. Judy has moved to Ohio. We will miss her greatly.
Judy’s email address is





How will our children know who they are
if they don't know where they come from?

~John Steinbeck


Thousands of family histories are written every year. A written family history or genealogy is, hopefully, the end product of any research project. Many of these histories are available in libraries throughout
the country. Since most libraries will not interlibrary loan family history books, a trip to the owning library is often necessary. This can make it difficult to obtain a desired book.

The Harold B. Lee Library at Brigham Young University, in collaboration with the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, is digitizing family histories and making them available online at To date 4,000 books have been placed online. There is no charge to access and use this site.

A variety of search options, including geographic and full-text, are available to help locate relevant material. The Family History Library Catalog at also has links to family histories that have been digitized.
One of the first steps in starting a family research project is to determine what research has already been done. This step is often called “the survey phase” and consists of a thorough search of the published literature. With most library catalogs now online, compiling a list of books to search is possible to do at home. Locating and examining the books is still a challenge. The online Family History Archives makes that challenge easier.


The Los Angeles Family History Center is now the Los Angeles Regional Family History Center. They have a new web site,, One of the headings on this site is Scottish Research with Censuses and Administration Districts. One can also search for books, film and fiche available in the Center.


The Saskatchewan Homestead Index database contains 360,000 references to men and women that, under the terms of the Dominion Lands Act, took part in the homestead process from 1870-1930. Researchers may access this online index from anywhere in the world.

The database may be searched by name, land location, and the type of the special land grant. The resulting entry contains the name of the applicant, the legal land description, if applicable the type of land grant, and the number of the homestead file number. For some there are additional notations such as the name of the legal representative if the applicant died before the land grant process was completed.

These records were created by the Canadian Federal Department of the Interior and "document the history of the earliest agricultural settlement of Saskatchewan and how the pioneers fared in their first years on the land." The index and records also include those who sold or bought North West Metis or South African scrip or received Soldier Grants following service in the First World War. Quoting further, "The digital index will, for the first time, allow researchers to gain a better understanding of how Metis scrip became a commodity for intense speculation during the settlement period. It will also make it easier for researchers to access the records of women who filed for homesteads in Saskatchewan."

Go to Be sure to visit the Saskatchewan Genealogical Society's website as well (, and the Saskatchewan Archives Board (

(Paula Stuart-Warren, CG Copyright 2005,



The current members of the SOCCGS Executive Board agreed to serve in 2006, and were duly elected at the November meeting. Mary Jo McQueen, president; Bill Bluett, vice president; Sandy Crowley, recording secretary; Pat Weeks, corresponding secretary and Mary Jo Nuttall, treasurer will be installed December 17.

"Remember me in the family tree - My name, my days, my strife:
Then I’ll ride upon the wings of time and live an endless life.”
~Linda Goetsch
(Poem is copyrighted and is used with the author's permission - see her beautiful family trees at

(Ancestry Daily News, 2005,
Alton Telegraph and Democratic Review (Alton, Illinois), 17 November 1848, page 2:

The following is the first and second in a series of reports from Benjamin Cleaver that he sent on his journey on the Oregon Road. - Big Sandy, 30 miles West of the South Pass, Oregon Road, June 30, 1848.


As I expect this is probably the last letter that I shall be able to send you until I reach the vicinity of the Pacific Ocean, I will take a leisure moment to address you a few lines relative to our journey. In regard to our progress, we are getting along finely, with good health, and in fine humor; our wagons and teams do well. As a general thing, the grass in this desert is very indifferent; but we are finding sufficiency on streams of water, for our teams and stock.

There are some things that I omitted in my former letters, which may be of use to other emigrants. One of these is that when grazing in a country of minerals, like the Platte river, and many other places on this road, and especially where the mineral consists principally of saltpetre, as it does here, in places, cattle, from the use of it, frequently sicken and die, if no remedy is applied to the animal. We have had several cases of this kind amongst our cattle, and we never fail to cure them when application is made in due time, by giving them, if a grown cow, one pint of melted lard poured down their throats. Our horses have never been afflicted with this disease. The water in many places is impregnated with various kinds of minerals, and some of them are thought to be unwholesome to the human family. I have been informed, that persons afflicted with this disease, should at once place their bowels in a good condition by taking some mild purgative medicines . . . .

You have no doubt noticed the mention of Big Sandy River at the head of this letter at which place we have encamped until tomorrow about noon, when we shall have to travel 40 miles without water, and not much grass, to Green River. We expect to travel two parts of days and part of the night to perform this portion of the road. There is no place or part of this road from St. Joseph, Mo., to Big Sandy, that exceeded 35 miles without water and grass, and something for fuel, until the one place above mentioned.

Where I am sitting at this time, at one glance of my eyes, I can see a territory of high mountains, sufficiently large for a common sized county, partially covered with snow. Some places are very thickly covered, while others are either thinly covered or clear; and how much farther those mountains extend, the eye cannot discover. The season with us has been very pleasant; neither very hot nor very cold. We have had several frosty nights, and some ice froze one night one-eighth of an inch thick. Yours respectfully, B. Cleaver


I embrace a few moments again to write a few lines relative to our journey. We are (my family) all well, and in excellent spirits, and going forward at a fine rate. Some of the company have been unwell; but they are recovering their health again. We have had reasonable good roads until we came to Little Sandy; and after that we had 30 miles of good road, which we traveled in the night, on account of a 45 miles drive. This was on Greenwood Cut Off, of which I wrote in my last letter. We have now come through this Cut-Off; and of all the bad roads, we found them on that route; but fortunately had no bad luck on it. We saved the traveling of about 100 miles by this Cut-Off; and have again struck the old route, on Bear River, a beautiful stream, seventy-five yards wide, emptying into the great Salt Lake.

Emigrants should be careful not to lead their wagons with any thing that is not needed on the road. We see the fallacy of this course by people throwing away heavy articles, from which they could have realized something of value previous to starting. For several hundred miles back we have been passing fine springs and fertile valleys, covered with fine grass, which endures all winter; and we see many companies of Indians and white, traders, having cattle and horses to trade, both of superior quality. The horses are much better made than the common horses of the States. They are also of good size. These animals keep fat during the winters, in those sheltered valleys, where the snow may always be seen on the mountains at no great distance.

It is hardly worth while to conceal our intemperate notions in regard to good drinks; for it is a fact, we have all got our mouths fixed for the Soda Springs, where we expect to drink of the pure soda water. No doubt but it differs materially from the artificial soda made and sold in the States. This will do for the present on good drinks.-The face of the country west of the mountains has assumed a more fertile appearance than it had east of the mountains; having more clay in the sand; though the country is still very hilly, and find valleys, with excellent grass and water. Be patient a little while, until I arrive at the great sea coast; and then I will write all about that country to my friends. We are nine hundred miles from the great sea [coast] yet; our teams and wagons are all doing well. Since I started, I have placed a new yoke of cattle in each team, making three yoke to the team. Emigrants should be sure to bring loose cattle in order to supply places in teams, if any are needed. Emigrants should bring plenty of tar, black-lead and tallow, to grease their wagons with resin in tallow as well.

Yours respectfully, Benjamin Cleaver


The following is typical enough to be called a naming pattern: First son named after father’s father, second son named after mother’s father and third son named after father. First daughter named after mother’s mother, second daughter named after father’s mother and third daughter named after mother.


Cemetery Records Online - & Cemetery Junction -
Find A Grave -
Virtual Cemetery -
The Tombstone Transcription Project -
Cemeteries and Cemetery Records - http"//


Births, marriages and deaths on the Internet, for North Wales, includes counties of Denbigh, Flint, Montgomery, Merioneth, Anglesey and Caernarfon.


DocumentsOnline allows you access to The National Archives' collection of digitised public records, including both academic and family history sources. Searching the index is free, and costs £3.50 to download an image. A href ="">


Posted by Kathy Cortez on December 14, 2004 on the RootsWeb Association of Profession Genealogist mailing list at <>:

“One of the elderly members of our genealogical society brought her daughter to our Christmas luncheon. The daughter used to accompany her mother on genealogical research trips, and recounted one trip to the Eastern United States. After visiting a local cemetery and easily finding all of the graves for the family in one area it was suggested that they pay a visit to the local “expert” for more information.

As the mother and daughter sat in the woman’s living room, the “expert” recounted that they had only recently completed the renovation of the cemetery. The woman told of the concerted effort to clean up the overgrown cemetery, which included alphabetizing the headstones. Yes, a committee of concerned local citizens moved the headstones from their original locations and placed them alphabetically for easier searching.”

(Excerpted from Questing Heirs Newsletter, February 2005.)


The Salt Lake City Family History Library has been collecting records of families in Taiwan and Southern China since 1970. There is also a family history center in Taipei, Taiwan, which has 9,300 individual files, covering the histories of 192 families.

There are two family history centers in China; Beijing and Shanghai with 100,000 files covering more than 11,700 families. Go to:

(Excerpted from CSGA Newsletter.)


Ancestry Magazine is looking for stories from people who have used pictures and stories to share their family history. Has creating a family story fueled your family history journey? Did creating or writing your family story help you break through a brick wall? Have you been able to get other family members (even children) involved with family history because of a family story you shared?

If you have a story related to the questions above, please send us a brief, 2-sentence synopsis of the story. If Ancestry Magazine can use your story in the article, we will contact you for more details. Please send your responses to:

“If you cannot get rid of the family skeleton,
you may as well make it dance!”

~Michael John Neill
(Ancestry Daily News, 16 June 2004)

Finding the burial place of an ancestor can be one of the great hunts of genealogy. It can also be one of the most frustrating parts of the research process. This week we look at some ways to determine where your ancestor is buried and the additional records that may be available.

Death Certificate - For relatively recent burials, the death certificate should provide the relative's final resting place. Bear in mind that the names of some cemeteries may have changed over the years. Attempts to locate the death certificate should be at the county or state level.

Obituary - Your ancestor's obituary or death notice may provide information on her place of burial. Even the name of the church or the officiating minister may be a clue as to where the internment took place.
Burial Permits - In some areas, records of burial permits were kept. These records may be helpful if you are reasonably certain where your ancestor died but you don't know the place of the burial. These records (if kept) are typically created at the county or city level.

Church Records - Is your ancestor buried next to his church? If so, the church may have additional records on your ancestor, particularly a death or a burial record. If you are not certain of your ancestor's religious persuasion, are there clues in her background that might make memberships in some denomination more likely than others? French-Canadians tend to be Catholic, Germans tend to be Lutheran or Catholic, Swedes tend to be Lutheran, Irish are typically not Lutheran. These are tendencies, not hard and fast rules---there are always exceptions and a lone Lutheran on the frontier may easily attend the local Baptist, Methodist, or other church.

A Proximity Search - Look for your ancestor in cemeteries near where he is last known to have lived. Remember if your ancestor “evaporated” that he might have died where he last is known to have lived, or he might have moved several states away to live with one of his children and died there. Consequently your search for an ancestor's stone should include all those areas where his children lived.
Battlefield Burial - If your ancestor was in the military service and died on the battlefield, he may be buried in a military cemetery or in an unmarked grave. This may be noted in his military service record.

No Burial - Was your ancestor not even buried? I've got one whose body was turned over to the Illinois Demonstrator's Association. This was noted on his death certificate. He has no known final resting place.

Some Finding Aids - The inscriptions of the stones of some cemeteries have already been copied and may have been published. When using any type of transcribed tombstone information, try to determine if the information you are viewing is an actual transcription of the stone or if it is a listing of burials in the cemetery. Keep in mind that some stones might have been difficult, if not impossible, to read, and that other stones might have been buried and overlooked when the transcription was completed. Once you know your ancestor is in a certain cemetery, it still may be a good idea to view the stone yourself or see if you can get a picture.

Published Transcriptions - Published transcriptions can be relatively easy to locate. Card catalogs of the Library of Congress (, the Family History Library (, the Allen County (Indiana) Public Library (, and other libraries may contain references to published transcriptions for the area under study. Searches of the Family History Library Catalog should be for the specific county and state of interest.

Online Transcriptions - Online cemetery transcriptions can frequently be obtained via the County USGenWeb site ( or other geographically based genealogy pages. Searches for "cemeteryname city state" at Google ( may also bring up additional references.

Uupublished Transcriptions - Not all transcriptions have been published; many exist only in manuscript format. Locating these unpublished transcriptions requires a little more work, but may be well worth the effort. The county historical or genealogical society is the place to start this search, but regional and state archives, state historical societies, and public and private libraries within the region may also house these materials.

Sexton's Records - Some cemeteries keep excellent records. Others do not. Generally speaking, one is less likely to find records for small, rural cemeteries. Larger, more urban cemeteries may still not have extant records for the earlier burials and lot owners. Those with family members buried in larger cemeteries currently accepting new interments might find that locating some information is as easy as making a phone call to the cemetery.
Those trying to locate records for a rural cemetery may have more difficulty. In some areas, cemeteries that were once maintained by a church or a private group of individuals may now be under township or other government maintenance, or no maintenance at all. Local historical or genealogical societies may also be able to provide information or at least give the name of a contact person for the cemetery. Keep in mind that for some cemeteries, records of burials and lot owners were never kept.

No Stone - Lastly, your ancestor might not have a tombstone or may never have had a stone at all. This makes it rather difficult to find one! In some cases, you may never find your ancestor's final resting place.

~ George G. Morgan

I spend entirely too much time on the Internet, I suppose, but it is just so fascinating. A dozen years ago, who could have known that there would one day be so much information on every subject imaginable at the tap of a few computer keys? As a genealogical researcher, I am fascinated by history, geography, sociology, politics, and many other topics that help me put my ancestors into context.

In “Along Those Lines . . .” this week, I want to share some Internet sites that may be of help to you. Check them out and add them to your Favorites or Bookmarks in your browser.
One website I visit often is I use it as a reference site for everything related to search engines, directories, and metasearch engines. Danny Sullivan, author of the site, keeps up-to-date on what's happening with these search tools. He reviews and evaluates them, provides comparisons of the features and strengths, announces new features and partnerships, and even provides excellent tutorials such as “Power Searching for Anyone.” If you want to learn more about search tools and how to hone your Internet skills, this site is a great place to start. You can subscribe to a free e-mail newsletter too.
Have you ever wondered if there was a database about some unusual subject you are interested in, or some new or unique, specialized research site to help with your research? Tara Calashain has created a wonderful weekly e-mail newsletter called in which she provides announcements and reviews of terrific Internet research sites that you're sure to find fascinating. She maintains a searchable archive of the past reviews at her website, and a recent rework of the site provides access to popular categories and all categories that you can browse through. (Genealogy is in the Popular Categories list, and that's no surprise.) In addition to the basic e-mail ResearchBuzz newsletter, the ResearchBuzz Extra is a fee-based edition that offers even more information without ads. For the serious researcher--or the serious information junkie--this is a great resource.

Synonyms for Searching
I don't know about you, by my mind draws a blank on many occasions when I'm trying to construct an effective Internet search. When you need to find just the “right” word to elicit the best search results, I find that an online thesaurus at is a great reference tool. My favorite site, also has a dictionary.

Language Translation
I find myself visiting websites at which I need or want to translate from one language to another. Let's say, for example, that I encounter a website in German and want to translate its content to English. There is no online translator on the Internet that will perfectly translate every word because there are idiomatic considerations, slang, and exclamations that just can't be handled well. Nevertheless, one of the best translation sites is provided by The company makes translation software, but their webpage includes the facility to translate both text that you type or paste into a box there or you can enter a Web address and have the entire webpage translated. Searching for webpages in other languages and translating them into your own language can possibly extend your research range.

Locate Libraries and Archives
I've often written about libraries in this column. However, forgive me for repeating the website at If you are planning a research trip or just trying to find out what library holds a certain book, this site provides you with excellent access to libraries and archives online. Please remember that you can have your library initiate an Interlibrary Loan (ILL) request for you. Even though most genealogical books and materials are not loaned from library collections, you can request photocopies of indexes and then, later, request copies of the referenced pages from the books. This substantially expands your research range into libraries and archives in remote locations without having to actually visit in person.

Keep Researching
Curious minds want more and more information. I hope you find these sites helpful and that you'll continue to look for more and more different resources, both online and offline, to expand your knowledge and to place your ancestors in context.

George Morgan is president of the International Society of Family History Writers and Editors.
(ADN, Copyright 2004,

We live as long as we are remembered......Old Russian Proverb


San Diego Genealogical Society Seminar

William Dollarhide and Leland Metzler are the scheduled speakers at the SDGS Annual Luncheon and Seminar on January 14, 2006 at the Handlery Hotel in San Diego. The event will include the THE HERITAGE QUEST BOOKSTORE featuring books, CDs and other materials for sale. There will be a sit down gourmet lunch with garden salad, vegetables choice of entrees, dessert and beverages. Door prizes will include a grand prize of a Premum Hotel Package in Salt Lake City. Registration forms are available on the SDGS website: and at the SOCCGS docent desk in the library.

Orange County California Genealogical Society - Special Interest Group

The OCCGS New England SIG group meets on the first Saturday of each month, after the general meeting and lecture. The meeting place is in Room D at the Huntington Beach Library. For further information contact Marcia Huntley Maloney, or Bob


“Geezers” (slang for an older man) are easy to spot: At sporting events, during the playing of the National Anthem, Old Geezers hold their caps over their hearts and sing without embarrassment. They know the words and believe in them. Old Geezers remember WWI, the Depression, WWII, Pearl Harbor, Guadalcanal, Normandy and Hitler. They remember the Atomic Age, the Korean War, the Cold War, the Jet Age and the Moon Landing, not to mention Vietnam.

If you bump into an Old Geezer on the sidewalk, he will apologize. If you pass an Old Geezer on the street, he will nod or tip his cap to a lady. Old Geezers trust strangers and are courtly to women. Old Geezer’s hold the door for the next person and always, when walking, make certain the lady is on the inside for protection.

Old Geezers get embarrassed if someone curses in front of women and children and they don’t like filth on TV or in movies. Old Geezer’s have moral courage. They seldom brag unless it’s about their grandchildren.
It’s the Old Geezers who know our great country is protected, not by politicians or police, but by the young men and women in the military serving their country.

This country needs Old Geezers with their decent values. We need them now more than ever. Thank God for Old Geezers!

“Treasure your families--
The future of humanity passes by way of the family.”
~Pope John Paul II

2006 SOCCGS Dues are being accepted now.
Pay now, and get ahead of the holiday rush!


South Orange County California Genealogical Society Membership/Renewal Application

( ) New ( ) Renewal ( ) Individual, $20/yr. ( ) Jt. 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


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