Saddleback Valley Trails
South Orange County California Genealogical Society
Vol. 14 No. 12                                                      Editor: Mary Jo McQueen                                                      December 2007
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.


You Are Cordially Invited To SOCCGS' Holiday Party
December 15, 2007
10:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
Lunch will be served.
(Regular meeting location.)

Wow! Another year is almost gone and it is time for our annual Holiday Gathering. This is an opportunity to talk genealogy and share experiences of Christmases Past. There will be lots of good food and good cheer, fun for all. 2008 officers will be installed in a short ceremony conducted by historian, Donna Hobbs. Two short presentations by Bill Bluett and Mary Jo McQueen will follow. Bill will speak on Christmas 1907 and Mary Jo on the “Great Migration.”

This is a catered luncheon, except for dessert, so, if you would like to share a small amount of a favorite holiday dessert, it will be most welcome.

Don't miss this annual event!

2008 Calendar
January 19 - Penny Fieke, “Vital Records”
February 16 - Barbara Renick, “Creative Census Research”
March 15 - Penny Fieke, “Immigration”
April 19 - Mary Jo McQueen, “Scottish Research”
May 17 - To be announced.
June 21 - Leland Pound, “Compiling & Publishing a Family History”
July 19 - Connie Moretti, “Newspapers: A Gold Mine of Information”
August 16 - Nancy Huebotter, “Order Out of Chaos”
September 20 - To be announced.
October 18 - Seminar
Nov 15 - Bill Bluett
December 20 - Holiday Luncheon


There is no Safari planned for December. On January 23 we will journey to the Los Angeles Public Library. New library cards are now required to access the online databases available from this library. The cards are free and may be obtained only from LAPL or one of the city's branch libraries. Since we make this trip just once a year, you might want to mark your calendar now. It is likely we will need more than Bill's car.


Thanks to Bunny & Leon Smith our ways and means account is richer by $161.55. We appreciate their time and efforts in taking orders and delivering the candy. Thank you to all who participated.

November Meeting

Seventy-four members and guests attended the meeting to hear the Irish presentation by Nancy Carlberg. She enlightened the audience with hints on being prepared for library research. One of her suggestions was to take family group sheets, including timelines on research trips.

Parliamentarian, Donna Hobbs, announced the 2008 slate of officers: Bill Bluett, president; Nellie Domenick, vice-president; Sandy Crowley, recording secretary; Patricia Weeks, corresponding secretary and Mary Jo McQueen, treasurer. Along with Donna, Bunny Smith and Diane Hearne were members of the nominating committee.

~Bill Bluett

Since Christmas is just around the corner, I'm sure many of you are putting up decorations, making plans for gatherings with family and friends, and finishing up your Christmas shopping. Well, maybe not quite. I know that each year Helen and I have a tendency to do a fair amount of last minute shopping. But, by the first of December, our decorations are usually up and the calendar is nearly filled with commitments for the Holidays. Knowing that the holiday rush would soon be upon us, I “accidentally” did a little Christmas shopping the first weekend in November - for myself! But, maybe I'd better explain.

That particular weekend, Helen and I visited my cousin and her family in Palm Springs. Sylvia and Dick have been retired for a number of years. Dick is a former science teacher as well as serving 4 years as an Air Force pilot. Because of his interest in aviation, he has been a docent at the Palm Springs Air Museum for the past 6 or 7 years. After we arrived, he asked if I would like to drive out to the museum. It had been a few years since I had been there. Upon arriving, we browsed around for an hour or so and then went into the museum gift shop. This is where I chanced upon (discovered) an item that relates to my grandparents, Ralph and Mollie Bluett. To me, this was a genealogy moment.

Ralph and Mollie were the proud owners of a Mobilgas service station during the 1940's and 1950's. It was located in the Los Angeles area. My Uncle Bud assisted them financially in setting up this business when World War II broke out. Bud was about to be drafted and wanted them to have a dependable income during the war. Grandpa and grandma were now well over 50 years of age. And, no one really knew how long the war might last. The future was uncertain. I have a number of photographs taken at the station with my grandparents and my aunt. Some were taken in front of the gas pumps and others in the enclosure where the cash register and saleable items were located. Also, I have collected several Mobilgas memorabilia items over the past few years. And, I've been thinking about putting together a “shadowbox” with the photos and memorabilia.

Now, let's switch back to the Palm Springs Air Museum gift shop, where low and behold, sitting on top of one of the tall display shelves at the back of the shop was a hand crafted, 20” tall, red Mobilgas pump. It was about 5” square with a nozzle on one side and a crank on the other. The front face even looked like a gas pump. What sold me on the purchase was the fact that the front panel swings open and there are three shelves on the inside---the perfect place for photos and memorabilia! In other words, the perfect “shadowbox”. How could I have come up with a better idea? What is the chance of finding something like this in an air museum gift shop? I even received a 10% discount on the price, thanks to my cousin Dick. So, now I have an early Christmas gift---which I purchased for myself. I may bring my bright red gas pump to our meeting this month to share with you.

If you have a special memory, photo or item related to the holiday season, we will have time for sharing at the December 15th meeting.

As 2007 comes to a close, I would personally like to thank each of you for your enthusiasm and participation. Be sure to join us in 2008 for great programs and activities.

I wish each of you a joyous Christmas and a very Happy New Year!

News From The Los Angeles Public Library

Selected years of the Los Angeles City Directories and Los Angeles Street Address Directories are now available on the Los Angeles Public Library's web site. The digitization project was completed with a generous grant from the John Randolph Haynes and Dora Haynes Foundation. The database can be found by going to the library's home page at: Once there, click on Library Resources at the top of the left hand column. Then click on Regional History Resources. Here under the section labeled The Databases, you will find the words Los Angeles City and Street Directories. Click on the hypertext link to get to the database. Alternatively, you can get to Regional History Resources directly at: When you first go to the database, be sure to click on and read the section labeled Information on the Directories. Some of the street address directories are arranged by Telephone Exchange Service Areas, which is explained in this information section.

The city directories included are 1929, 1936, 1938, 1939 and 1942. 1942 was the last city directory published for Los Angeles. The street address directories cover, May 1956, March 1960, October 1961, July 1962, July 1963, April 1964, April 1965, July 1965, April 1967, April 1968, January 1969, July 1973 and July 1987.
Michael Kirley
Genealogy Librarian, Los Angeles Public Library

"Blessed is the season which engages the whole world in a conspiracy of love."
~Hamilton Wright Mabie


New member, David Flint, ( is searching Flint, Bedford, Fear, Hawkins, Morecroft and Northend in the mid to early 1800's in England.

We welcome two new members who joined at the November meeting: Wilber W. Wright, Laguna Niguel Karen Dill, Lake Forest. She is researching Smyth, Kowalk in Michigan and Dill and McDonald in Canada.

Leo Hagell from Mission Viejo has joined since the November meeting. Welcome Leo. We are looking forward to meeting you. Perhaps at the December party?

Guests at the meeting were Richard E. Basch, Long Beach, Jim & Marlene Kazen, Mary Heimann, Tom Pike, Brad Stemm all of Mission Viejo and Doug McKee. We hope they will decide to join our group at a later date.


Herb Abrams will update your information on the SOCCGS Surname Website Listing as needed. Please check your information, and if corrections and/or additions are necessary notify Herb or (949) 581-6292). New members are especially encouraged to add their Surnames to this list. Send an email to Herb listing your surnames, locations and years you are researching.

Newspaper Clipping
Emmetsburg Democrat; Emmetsburg, Iowa; Wednesday, January 25, 1905
State Superintendent Riggs is urging strongly the adoption of the central schoolhouse plan throughout the state. In fact it is doubtful if he is not a little imprudent in his zeal for a change which as yet lacks the approval of widespread experience. In a report recently published he speaks of the Terril School as follows:

"In Lloyd township, Dickinson County, the consolidated school was established in 1901, and opened in October with a fine modern school building costing $4000 in place of the eight old cross roads schools. The new building is fitted with every necessary convenience, while the old structures were deficient in every way. On the day that Mr. Riggs visited the school, 124 children were in attendance, while the enrollment is somewhat larger; the aggregate attendance is far above the aggregate attendance of the eight old sub district schools.

"Four teachers are maintained in this school, all of them as well fitted for their work as teachers of the average town school. The principal receives $80 per month and the grade teachers $45 each. The instruction in the highest room covers the ninth and 10th years' work usually done in the city high school and goes far beyond the instruction ever possible in the old sub district schools.

"Seven covered wagons are employed in carrying the children to school in the morning and home again in the evening. They travel routes ranging from 5 1/2 miles to 8 1/2 miles in length, and the drivers are paid an average salary of $36.28 per month. In snow, rain or sunshine the pupils are safely and comfortably transported, while in the old days they took their own risk in walking through cold and wet. Now they are delivered at the school on time and tardy marks are a rare exception. The children regularly reach home between four and 5:30 o'clock in the afternoon."

Irish Family History Foundation Website

“The Irish Family History Foundation is the coordinating body for a network of county based genealogical research centres on the island of Ireland. These centres have computerized millions of Irish genealogical records, including church records, census returns and gravestone inscriptions. You will find information here about the Irish Family History Foundation centre in each member county. Through them you can have research carried out on your family history from the millions of records, which they have gathered over the years.

Click to go to the online research system. Centres are now making their records available via an online research system (ORS) that will allow you to do a free search of an index of records and pay to view a record. More centres will come online in the coming months. A single database of the records of all counties that are participating will also be available in the coming months.”

South County Branch - Orange County Clerk-Recorder's Office
24031 El Toro Road, Suite 150, Laguna Hills (714) 834-2500

Random Acts of Genealogical Kindness

"Write in your heart that every day is the best day of the year."
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Schumaker Family Christmas Tradition
~Karyn Schumaker (a.k.a. Gracye's Mom)

As a genealogist, one thing I really like are traditions, and information on how those traditions began. My family has a Christmas tradition that started out of my greed about 20-25 years ago. Looking for a way to get more goodies, I did a little familial research into old world traditions from the different countries. I came up with St. Nicholas Day! I explained to my mother that we should celebrate it as our ancestors probably celebrated it! It worked for quite a while. But then one year, my mom took my sister and I out and gave us $100 each… not for us to keep, but to buy toys to donate to Toys for Tots. We were surprised, but had a great time and didn't even think about us not getting anything. After that year, we looked forward to going shopping and we spent hours scouring ads to see where we could get the best deals. This tradition has evolved over the years into our family adopting another family. We decided that there is nothing we really need (although I would LIKE a Lamborghini), so we would give token gifts to one another, but spend the bulk of our budget on a less fortunate family. We make a day out of it. We get together as a family and do our shopping and then go out for lunch. It has become a favorite holiday tradition.

Why am I bringing this up? Because, this year in addition to the Share Our Selves family we adopted, we also adopted the family of a Camp Pendleton Marine currently serving in Iraq. The 1/11 Marine battalion was adopted earlier this year by San Juan Capistrano. Gracye and I even went to the ceremony. (She was fine with the brass band and the bagpipes, she even did well with all the marching men, but when those Howitzers went off..................!) The dad of the family we were assigned is in Iraq for the third time in four years, and I believe his tour this time has just been extended. And no matter what additional pay he may receive it is still hard on his family and we are going to try and do what we can to make their Christmas something special.

In addition to adopting a family, Homefront America is collecting toys for kids in families that don't get adopted this year. This is where members of SOCCGS may help. We would like to have a toy drive at our December meeting. If you would like to participate, please bring an unwrapped toy, and Gracye and I will make sure that it gets delivered to Homefront America for distribution. Any toy or item for a child will be appreciated. And, don't forget the teenagers! A gift card from Target or Wal-Mart or? Would be a welcome gift for older children.
PS: For those who don't know, Gracye is my dachshund!

Interesting Website
Info and Analysis on U.S. Cities --

Website Worth Visiting: The National Gazetteer of Wales

If your research leads you to Wales, you may want to check out this website with the national gazetteer of Wales. It contains a map showing the thirteen counties of Wales with the main towns and cities, as well as special places of interest. It has a place name index of more than 6,000 locations in Wales--in both Welsh and English/Anglicized versions. And it has a guide to the administrative bodies and areas of Wales.

New Maps Online at the National Library of Scotland

The National Library of Scotland recently added more than 100 maps to its online collection--one of the ten largest library map collections in the world.

Want to see how your, or an ancestor's life fits into world history? Submit up to ten personal events and this site will generate a personalized timeline with historical events, people, inventions, etc. You can also use the Peer Search to locate famous individuals born in any given year. “Click Here” is located at the bottom of the first page.

Family Search Indexing
In 30 minutes you can help people find their ancestors!

Volunteers extract family history information from digital images of historical documents to create searchable indexes that assist everyone in finding their ancestors. When the information indexed by volunteers is ready for publication, it will be made available FREE OF CHARGE through

This would be a worthwhile project for 2008. Some of our members are already involved. More of us need to sign up! Go to

Brick Wall Solution

Follow the census one generation at a time. Consider taking your generations back one generation at a time. When possible, broaden your search by checking a variety of records before moving back another generation. Build a checklist for each generation, it could include census, military, military pension, vital records, all forms of court records, land records and newspapers. Simply following a family from one census to another can lead you to a family that may not be yours. For example in some communities Jr. and Sr. were used only to distinguish between two men with the same name even if they were not related. When the older Sr. died the use of Jr. was discontinued for the younger man. If a younger man with the same name then appeared in the community, related or not, the previous Jr. became Sr. and the new younger man became Jr. (Source: "Brick Wall" by Ralph Komives, You might like to check out this website.

Living Proof That the Scottish Are The Master Race
(A little humor probably from a Scottish person.)

After having dug to a depth of 1000 metres last year in a field in County Cork, Irish scientists found traces of copper wire dating back 1000 years and came to the conclusion that their ancestors already had a telephone network more than 1000 years ago.

Not to be outdone by the Irish, in the weeks that followed, English scientists dug to a depth of 2000 metres in Essex, and shortly thereafter headlines in the English newspapers read, "English archaeologists have found traces of 2000 year old fibre-optic cable and have concluded that their ancestors already had an advanced high-tech digital communications network a thousand years earlier than the Irish".

One week later, Scottish newspapers reported the following: "After digging as deep as 5000 metres in a peat bog on Rannoch Moor, Scottish scientists have found absolutely nothing. They, therefore, have concluded that 5000 years ago, Scotland's inhabitants were already using wireless technology."

Please check your address label. If the date is 2008, your membership is up for renewal.

Google Docs

Want to have your documents available when you're away from your home computer--say, doing research at a library computer?

Google Docs is a Google application that lets you create and save text documents, spreadsheets, and presentations online. You can access them from anywhere you can access the Internet.

I've read about Google Doc in several genealogical publications and decided to try it out this week. I found it a nice way to store my documents in an accessible place; you can also choose to share your documents with others and they can add comments or make corrections.

If I create my documents there in the first place, I don't have to worry about backing up. Or, I can use it as backup instead of an external hard drive, disk, etc.

To try it out just go to and click on "More"< "Documents." You'll be asked to open an account (they're free) if you don't already have one.
(Article from Rootsweb Review, 03 October 2007, Vol.10, No. 40)

A Delightful Website For The Holidays!

Merry Christmas, 1776

Trenton, New Jersey, 26 December 1776. General Washington here matched surprise and endurance against the superior numbers and training of the British, and the Continental Army won its first victory in long months of painful striving. Trenton eliminated 1,000 Hessians and drove the British from their salient in New Jersey. It saved the flagging American cause and put new heart into Washington's men. Alexander Hamilton's Company of New York Artillery opened the fight at dawn, blasting the bewildered Hessians as they tried to form ranks in the streets.

"On Christmas day in Seventy-six,
Our gallant troops with bayonets fixed,
To Trenton marched away."
~Anne Hollingsworth Wharton

New At The SOCCGS Library
(These books were purchased, mostly, with the proceeds of the Quilt Raffle)

New England: The Great Migration, Immigrants to New England (1634-1635) Vol. IV I-L, and Vol. V M-P. We now have in the library all of the Great Migration books that have been printed to date. Beginning in 1620, these books contain information on each individual or family including their port or country of origin, if known; the date and ship on which they arrived in New England, if known; the earliest known record of the individual or family; their first residence and subsequent residences, when known; return trips to their country of origin, whether temporary or permanent; and marriages, births, deaths, and other important family relationships. This project reflects immense scholarly resourcefulness and will be as tremendous source of helpful information for all those researching early New England families. The years 1634 and 1635 were watershed years for New England immigration. The influx of immigrants represents twenty percent or more of the entire Great Migration period. Like The Great Migation Begins, these books continue to identify and document early New England families.

Germany: Map Guide to German Parish Registers: Wuertemberg II-Neckarkries, Wuertemberg III-Schwarzwaldkreis, Wuertemberg IV-Donakries, Hessen-Nassau I, Hessen-Nassau II, Rhineland I, Rhineland II, Rhineland III, Bavaria I-Unterfranken, Bavaria II-Oberfranken.
Each volume identifies the parish where an ancestor worshipped based on where they lived and gives the FHL microfilm number for the family's parish records. Identified are nearly every city, town, and place that included residents and visually identifies church parishes for Lutherans and Catholics in each district. Also identified are adjoining parishes in case an ancestor attended an alternate parish. And much more!

Library Docents

Shiryl Boerlin has accepted the Thursday shift from 5:30 to 7:30. Thank you, Shiryl! Please contact Bunny Smith (949-472-8046) if you would like to have your name added to the substitute list.

World Vital Records, Inc.
(Available on SOCCGS Library Computers)

Here are a few examples of the databases launched this past week. In all, 165 databases were added.
Origins in Williamstown: A History
The Old Records of the Town of Fitchburg, Massachusetts, 1764 - 1789
Representative Men and Old Families of Southeastern Massachusetts: Containing Historical Sketches of Prominent and Representative Citizens and Genealogical Records of Many of the Old Families, Volume 1
Vital Records of Weymouth, Massachusetts, to the Year 1850
A Copy of the Records of Births, Marriages, and Deaths, and of Intentions of Marriage of the Town of Hanover, Massachusetts, 1717 - 1787
Records of the Town of Braintree, 1640 - 1793
Early Records of the Town of Beverly, Essex County, Massachusetts: Births, Marriages and Deaths

New At Ancestry

U.S. Passport Applications, 1795-1925
Australian Electoral Rolls, 1901-1936 (5 million records)
Germany Historical Postcards Collection, c. 1893-1963 (Update adding 33,000 images)
Marriage and Death Notices from Raleigh Register and North Carolina State Gazette, 1799-1825
Marriage and Death Notices in Raleigh Register and North Carolina State Gazette, 1826-1845
North Carolina Wills
North Carolina Wills and Inventories
North Carolina Historical and Genealogical Register, Vol. I
North Carolina Historical and Genealogical Register, Vol. II
North Carolina Historical and Genealogical Register, Vol. III
A Genealogical Register of the First Settlers of New England, 1620-1675
Historic U.S. & Canada Atlases, 1591-2000
North Dakota State Census, 1915 & 1925

New England Historic and Genealogical Society

Don't forget that we have a membership in the NEHGS that allows us to search the many databases on their website.


January 12 -
San Diego Genealogical Society, Annual Seminar & Luncheon featuring Arlene Eakle, Ph.D. at the Handlery Hotel. Reservations must be received by January 8. For more information, email Gloria at
February 16 - Hemet-San Jacinto Genealogical Society Seminar, Megan Smolenyak Smolenyak
February 23 - WAGS Annual Seminar (Whittier), Lloyd DeWitt Bockstruck. Contact Judy Poole (909) 985-6657 or (Flyers available at SOCCGS library.)
March 8 - North Orange County Genealogical Society, Annual Seminar, “Finding Kin In Court Records,” at the Brea United Methodist Church.
August 7-9 - The British Isles FHS-USA, Annual Seminar, "Sail Into Your Past Aboard the Queen Mary,” will be held at the Queen Mary Hotel in Long Beach. Flyers are available at SOCCGS Library. For more information, please see our website at (


Please send your literary contributions to the newsletter editor by the Wednesday following the monthly meeting. These may be sent via email or Word attachment. All submissions are subject to editorial approval and may be edited for content or space. Send to:


Please wear your SOCCGS Badge to the monthly meetings. Don't have one? Herb Abrams will provide one if you sign up at the check-in table, or you may send him an email with your name and the surnames (up to six) that you would like included.

The Year Was 1939

The year was 1939 and World War II began in September with the German invasion of Poland. Two days after the invasion, Britain and France declared war on Germany, and other countries would follow, choosing sides in a war that would eventually ravage much of Europe and Asia and kill more than 52 million people.

In Victoria, Australia, 1939 was a year of disaster as on Black Friday, 13 January, wildfires raced across Victoria, killing seventy-one people. Small sawmill villages within the forests suffered the worst of the firestorm that came after weeks of extreme high temperatures.

The U.S. was still in the grips of the Great Depression but in the fall of 1939, rains end the drought that persisted throughout the Dust Bowl years.

In New York City, a World's Fair was held and although the investors lost money on the event, it brought development in Queens. With the theme of the future, industrial giants like General Motors, GE, Eastman Kodak, and AT&T allowed depression-weary visitors to take a glimpse into what might be.

The movie industry gave audiences a glimpse into another time with the release of Gone with the Wind, which won eight Oscars that year. In another landmark film, a young girl from Kansas finds herself in an imaginary land with the Wizard of Oz. (Copyright © 2007, The Generations Network, Inc.)

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 Date Rec'd__________________


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