Saddleback Valley Trails

South Orange County California Genealogical Society

Vol. 16 No. 12

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

December 2009

Editor: Mary Jo McQueen

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

Please check your newsletter label.
If it reads 2010, your dues are payable in January.

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year

Holiday Party - 19 December 2009

“You Are Cordially Invited To SOCCGS’ Annual Holiday Party.”
December 19, 2009
10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Lunch will be served.
(Regular meeting location.)

SOCCGS will celebrate Christmases past at the last meeting of 2009. This will be the perfect occasion to share a favorite Christmas memory, picture or ornament, etc. Take time from your busy holiday schedule to relax and enjoy great food, holiday cheer and “talk” genealogy.

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

Christmas Night, 1776

~Newt Gingrich
On Christmas Day, 1776, nearly all thought the Revolution was lost,
Except for a valiant few who still believed in “The Cause.”
We owe our liberty today to those valiant few.

Led by George Washington, most of his Army, dressed in rags and barefoot, faced a winter gale of rain, sleet, ice and snow. This band of patriots braved a midnight river crossing and a nine-mile march over frozen roads to win a spectacular victory at Trenton, New Jersey, the following morning. Those were indeed times, as Thomas Paine would write, that “try men’s souls.”

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

President's Message

~Sandy Crowley

We are lucky to have so many involved members in SOCCGS. This month I’d like to especially thank Bill Bluett for his talk on Digital Genealogy (I’ll be at the computer a long time using his extensive source lists), and David Flint for bringing us along with the Ralph’s fund-raiser project as well as the Ancestry records project. Thanks also to our Hospitality Chairmen as well as all the hosts and hostesses who have donated refreshments. As we near the end of 2009, please help by signing up on the clipboard for a month in which you can help in 2010 by bringing treats or lemonade and water. The sign-up clipboard will be out during our December meeting/party.

I hope you all had an enjoyable Thanksgiving!

The following history from my maternal side, that of Robert Renick and his wife Elizabeth (Archer), make me especially thankful to be living in today’s world. Robert and Elizabeth had each come from Northern Ireland with various family members in the early 1700s. The families first settled in and near Lancaster County, Pennsylvania after arriving from Ireland. Then about 1740, the Renick brothers located to Augusta County, Virginia (which is now along the WV/VA border near Lewisburg, WV.) Robert and Elizabeth Archer Renick married about 1741.

On July 25, 1757, Elizabeth Renick and their seven children were captured by a band of about 60 Shawnee Indians, and Robert Renick was murdered. Elizabeth was pregnant at the time. After Elizabeth was captured, the Indians went on to a neighboring home where Robert and another man were visiting. They killed and scalped the two men in front of the children.

The Indians then embarked on a long journey to the Miami Indian town in Ohio. Along the way, the incessant crying of the infant, Robert, resulted in an Indian killing the infant by striking him against a tree. The child Elizabeth had been carrying was born in captivity. The children and Mrs. Renick were separated and divided up among their captors. They were in captivity until October 1764, when Col. Henry Bouquet led an expedition, which crippled the tribes and demanded a hostage release. Elizabeth and the female children were released with a total of 88 captives, though it was 1765 before she and her daughters reached Staunton, VA (near their homestead). Her sons followed home within a year. Elizabeth had to contend with children whom did not know her, had adopted Indian ways and who feared leaving the tribes.

The book “The Renicks of Greenbrier” by B.F. Harlow, Jr. gives extensive history and source materials. The website “Notable Women Ancestors” has an article on Elizabeth Archer Renick by William Kincaid which is also interesting.

November Meeting

Parliamentarian, Chuck Nostrome, announced the nominated officers for 1010. They are: President, Sandy Crowley; Vice President, Bill Bluett; Recording Secretary, Cindy Reilly; Corresponding Secretary, Pat Weeks and Treasurer, Mary Jo McQueen. They will be installed at the December 19 event. Members donated 90 toys, 45 stuffed animals and an assortment of gift cards to be delivered to the 1/11 Marines at Camp Pendleton. We welcomed guest Lucie Stella Reschke. Guests Don & Rose Kollmorgen, Sondra Koegler & Eric Savage are now new members. November hostesses were Jessie Ellison, Karyn Schumaker (w/ Grayce) and Bea Norred.

Several members shared their brick walls and research suggestions at the meeting. Mary Jo McQueen suggested calling a regional NARA office to locate Federal prison records. She contacted the Kansas City NARA and the clerk looked up her uncle’s record on the spot. She was told the cost, gave credit card information, and the documents were sent out the next day. Myrna Hamick told us that the New York Public Library would send copies and books re: any U.S. military record. They also provide research service for a fee. Janet Shannon asked that anyone who was familiar with using PAF see her at the break. Brian Poff told us that we can ask for a “long form” birth certificate, which will offer more information than the short documents we are used to receiving. He was asked for the long form when seeking a passport. The state of New York was able to supply this. Give it a try in other states. Rosanna Gahran suggested obtaining a copy of a death certificate for the ancestor you are researching. The information on it can often help you prove or disprove family data. Try to obtain mortuary records, too. There could be lots of valuable data there.

There are no Genealogy Safaris during November & December.
Join us on January 27 for the annual trip to the LA Public Library.


Recent new members are Jean Johnson and Jean Pettigrew who both live in Rancho Santa Margarita. November meeting guests who have joined are: Don and Rose Kollmorgen, Irvine and Sondra Koegler and Eric Savage, Mission Viejo, They are searching for Trudeau, Toft and Savage. Another recent new member, Barbara Ganter,, is searching Towne, McConnell, Cunningham, Bliven, Sisson, Munday, Hubbs, and Ganter.

New At The Library

Adventures of Purse and Persons, Virginia, 1607-1624/5, Vol 1 & Vol 3, by John Frederick Dorman - These volumes document the 'adventurers' who were the approximately 900 stockholders mentioned in the 1st, 2nd and 3rd Charters of the Virginia Colony. The 'adventurers of purse' were individuals "who either came to Virginia in the period 1607-1625 and had descendants, or who did not come to Virginia within that period but whose grandchildren were residents there." The 'adventurers of person' were individuals who were immigrants to Virginia and left descendants there.

“608 Randolph Street” by Carolyn Cummings - Is a Family History of the Cummings family of Bedford, Iowa, the small town with a big heart. Carolyn's story is about her extended family and her parents who lived at 608 Randolph Street for 69 years.

Bill Tosh donated a signed copy of the “August County, Virginia, Earliest Will Index 1745” by Post 1900, Elizabeth Jane Sherman, CG. Fortunately for researchers, the Augusta County Courthouse was never burned. The records begin in 1745 with wills and deeds. Six will index books were used to create this published reference. These indices, along with the Appendix Index created, total 19,679 surname entries.     

Mickie Dempsey donated a signed copy of “Dark Enough to see the Stars in the Jamestown Sky” by Connie Lapallo. Based on the true story of the women and children at Jamestown. "Do not forget us." Haunted by a woman's voice whispering those words from the dusty records, Connie sought to discover why her ten great grandmother, Joan Peirce, brought a daughter and joined the few women and children settling Jamestown. Connie tells their story with compassion and historical accuracy.

New and Free Online Databases From The DAR

~Eric G. Grundset, DAR Library Director

After nearly a decade of scanning, indexing, and other work by DAR members and employees, the Daughters of the American Revolution is pleased to announce the availability of the DAR Genealogical Research System on our public website. Here are the direct links: or (and click on the Library button at the top, then the second tab in the left-hand column). Note from SVT editor: This web address worked best for me

The GRS is a growing collection of databases that provide access to many materials collected by the DAR over the past 119 years. Included in this collection of databases is the GRC National Index, which has been available to researchers for the past few years. When you go to the link above, you will find several tabs that will enable searching in the various databases:

Ancestor – established DAR Revolutionary War Ancestors and basic information about them with listings of the applications submitted by descendants who joined the DAR. [Updated daily]

Member – limited access to information on deceased/former DAR members – not current members.

Descendants – index of generations in applications between the DAR member and the Revolutionary War ancestor. There is much eighteenth and nineteenth-century information here. [Ongoing indexing project]

GRC – every name index to 20,000 typescript volumes (some still being indexed) of genealogical records such as cemeteries, Bibles, etc. This index is not limited to the period of the American Revolution. Each of these has interrelated content, and a description of each is given more fully on the website.

Ancestry magazine issues are digitized on Google Books. It's a fun thing.


~Diane Hearne
(Continued from November '09 SVT)

John, you were a conductor on trains between Cincinnati and Chicago for I believe, The Big Four Railroad. I always thought the conductor was the person who came around to take tickets, but, again, the Internet set me straight:

I’m confident, John, that it wasn’t necessary to write “or her” in your day.

More famous for your survival than something you did, here is the account from one of your obituaries:

“Railroad men to this day never fail to refer to the escape of conductor John G. Schrader, on Sunday, May 1, 1893. He was then conductor of a passenger train. Eastbound on that Sunday, his train was climbing a hill between Cleves and North Bend when, from the east and around a curve thundered a fast freight train into head-on collision with Schrader’s train. Seven persons were killed in that wreck. Schrader was hurled through a car door and between two couches. One of the latter lay upon its side, burning, and between the two Schrader was wedged head downward, and thus he hung for thirty-five minutes, in danger of cremation, while rescuers worked frantically to extricate him. His injuries kept him off duty but a short time and he was back at his job.”

Apparently your love of trains was well known as described in the same obituary:

“Within earshot of the sound of the locomotive whistles and the rumble of the trains he loved so well, John W. Schrader, 79, retired railroad conductor, 6734 Commercial Avenue, Sayler Park, died Wednesday night.”

“The conductor is the railway employee charged with the management of a freight, passenger, or various other types of train and is also the direct supervisor of the train’s ‘Train Crew’ (brakeman, flagman, ticket collector etc.) All train crew members on board the train work under his or her direction.”

I remember visiting the house where you lived and died many years later. My brother, Garry, and I always asked if we could cross the road to wave to the engineers when we heard that lonely whistle. By the time our great aunts or parents got organized enough to shepherd us across the road, the train had usually passed.

You too were known for your devotion to an organization, the Huff Post of the G.A.R. (Grand Army of the Republic):

“his passing leaves behind 6 comrades out of the 150 who first joined this Post. He will be especially missed on Memorial Day as he was always on hand to accompany the members of Huff Post to the graves of departed comrades.”

After the Civil War “groups of men began joining together – first for camaraderie and then for political power. Emerging most powerful among the various organizations was the Grand Army of the Republic Page 4 (GAR), which by 1890 would number 409,489 veterans of the “War of the Rebellion.” Founded in 1866, membership was limited to honorably discharged veterans of the Union Army, Navy, Marine Corps or the Revenue Cutter Service who had served between 1861 and 1865. The community level organization was called a ‘Post.” Each member was voted in using the Masonic system of casting black or white balls (except that more than one black ball was required to reject a candidate for membership.) The GAR founded soldiers’ homes, was active in relief work and in pension legislation. Five members were elected President of the United States and, for a time, it was impossible to be nominated on the Republican ticket without the endorsement of the GAR voting block. With membership limited strictly to ‘veterans of the late unpleasantness,’ the GAR encouraged the formation of Allied Orders to aid them in its various works. Numerous male organizations jousted for the backing of the GAR and the political battles became quite severe until the GAR finally endorsed the Sons of Veterans of the United States of America (later to become the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War) as its heir.” Of course, a similar organization for women followed ‘a bit later.’

I feel your genes seeping down as I count the number of organizations to which I belong. Mine are all small, local groups, however: three book clubs, one writing group, one genealogy group and a small women’s club. You’d be shocked to hear that three are coeducational, something I doubt you experienced in the early 1900s.

Rosey, your obituary says:

"He was as popular locally as he was among his railroad acquaintances and was active in civil, religious and political affairs, but not as a politician. He was a member of the Rotary Club of Lehigh University, and although his education was gained largely in the hard school of railroad experience, he seemed to be entirely at home among the professors of the university.”

John, your write up says:

“Schrader was a staunch Republican all of his life and a member of the Masonic and Odd Fellows’ orders.”

According to the Internet, “The world’s first service club, The Rotary Club of Chicago, was formed on 23 February 1905 by Paul P. Harris, an attorney who wished to capture in a professional club the same friendly spirit he had felt in the small towns of his youth. By 1921, rotary clubs had been formed on six continents. Its motto is Service Above Self.”

(Ancient Free and Accepted Masons) aim to promote brotherhood and to foster morality among its members. The Masons spend millions of dollars annually for hospitals, homes for widows, orphans, the aged, etc.” They don’t sponsor any particular religion and base most of their symbols and rituals on the tools and practices of the building professions ancients, basic Masonic initiation progresses on three earned levels or ‘degrees’ of allegorical lessons imparted in theatrical productions complete with props such as the stonemason’s trowel and the architect’s compass.”

“The Order of Odd Fellows is a benevolent and social society, sometimes classified a friendly benefit society having initiatory rites and ceremonies, gradation or degrees in membership and mystic signs of recognition and communication. While Odd Fellowship is not a religious institution many of its principles are based upon the teachings of the Bible. It is believed that it got its name in England because they were men engaged in various or odd trades for which there existed no larger organization.”

I am bemused and pleased as I read the tributes in your obituaries and memorials. The language seems quaint compared to what we read in newspapers today. Rosey, your friends certainly seemed devastated by your loss as demonstrated by the following quotes from the Proceedings of the Stated Meeting held at the Auditorium Hotel, Chicago, Illinois, March 18, 1918.

“.. our esteemed and beloved Secretary-Treasurer, Charles C. Rosenberg. We use the word “beloved” advisedly for he, “our Rosie,” held the love and affection of all to an extent few of us have had the good fortune to possess.”

“…a friend and companion who was dear to us all, a citizen whose upright and noble life was a standard of emulation to those about him.”

“… our loss is his gain and that the Great Master knew better than we when he had done enough, and has taken him to that sweet rest which we all desire for those we have loved so much here.”

“Mr. Rosenberg was a great-hearted, white-souled man, good enough to live and fit to die.”

“He was never so happy, it seemed to me as when he was extending a courtesy to someone or doing someone a personal favor.”

Great Grandfather, I had to look up this reference:

I assume that the Great Master lives in harmony with the gods on the Isles, but I hope you don’t go near the beaches, Rosey.

You both had three daughters and one son. Rosey, your daughter, Elsie May (1886-1956) became my beloved grandmother and John, your only son; George (1879-1962) became my grandfather. Rosey, sadly, you died at age 62 and John right before your 79th birthday

Greats, fraternal organizations still exist today, but I personally don’t know any males who belong. You will be surprised to know that for a period of time after the two of you passed away, air travel greatly surpassed rail. The majority of Americans consider traveling by train to be old fashioned and expensive. However, we have so increased the number of automobiles on our huge network of highways that governments are looking seriously at reviving the use of trains.

We still mourn the passing of our loved ones in similar ways and many of us look at the pictures, journals and tributes to our ancestors and think about them with fondness. I plan to ride a train from Swarthmore to Philadelphia soon and, as I gaze out the window, I will think of the two of you working on the railroads.

“I was grieved to learn that Mr. Rosenberg had fallen asleep to awake in the Fortunate Isles.” According to Wikipedia, the Fortunate Isles were where heroes and other favored mortals in Greek and Celtic mythology were received by the gods into a blissful sea.”

Ralph's Update

~David Flint - Ways & Means Chairman

This is a reminder to everyone to re-designate SOCCGS as the organization to receive your donation from Ralphs when you shop at your local Ralphs market. We all need to go online at Ralphs and re-designate for the new program year since September 1. Please see the detailed instructions on our SOCCGS website at

There is also now a new and easier method to re-designate for those who already have a Ralphs rewards Card but do not have access to do it online. Ralphs has provided us a special “scanbar” letter for the cashier to use when you go through the checkstand at your Ralphs market. Simply show this “scanbar” letter to the cashier who will scan the bar at the bottom of the letter and it will register SOCCGS as your designated organization to receive the Ralphs donations for your purchases. Instructions for you and the cashier are provided in the letter. If you would like to receive one of these new convenient “scanbar” letters, please contact David Flint at 949-551-6300 (

Ancestry World Archives Project
David Flint – Ways & Means Chairman

Please visit our website at (or type SOCCGS into Google) to learn about our society’s co-sponsorship and participation in the World Archives Project with There are links on our website to connect you with information about the program and how to get started.

The project SOCCGS is sponsoring is "California, U.S. Naturalization Records - Original Documents, 1795-1972". If you decide to participate in the World Archives Project, please be sure to work on that project. Also, when registering, you will be asked, “What made you decide to participate in the World Archives Project?” When you reply, please select, “I learned about it from a genealogical society” and in the free text area type “South Orange County California Genealogical Society” or “SOCCGS” so that Ancestry knows you are associated with our group on this project. Please consider helping with this service project. It’s a great way to give something back to the larger genealogy community.

“Could We Be Related, Dear?”

~Glenn Witte

My wife Maureen and I have known each other since we were children. We grew up in Centerville Township, Manitowoc County, Wisconsin, and were married there in 1952. We came to California in 1959 and, in 1994, began to research our family history.

We determined that Centerville Township was a forest wilderness when the first of our immigrant ancestors arrived, in the mid 1800s. The population then was barely 200 persons. We discovered that four of the families, each with many children, were our ancestors. It seemed appropriate to ask:

“Could We Be Related, Dear?”

Our approach to family history was to identify as many ‘direct-line’ ancestors as far back in time as possible. We did not spend a lot of time identifying all the family members and connections within a given surname. (As an aside, to date we’ve identified 263 ‘direct-line’ ancestors with 107 different surnames. One surname dates back to the 1400s). By the way, we found that all our immigrant ancestors were German-speaking. All but 4 of our 17 immigrant ancestor families came directly to Centerville Township. It seemed appropriate to ask:

“Could We Be Related, Dear?”

About three years ago Maureen and I discovered a common cousin. Her name is Irma. She’s now in her 90s, lives in South Dakota, is computer proficient, and signs her emails to us, “Your CUZ Irma”. We visited CUZ Irma about two years ago, during one of our cross-country trips.

Irma and Maureen are 2nd cousins 1x removed and share a DEHNE ancestor. Irma and I are 3rd cousins 2x removed with a common HERMAN ancestor.

Now the intrigue deepens. Irma and I are both related to an Elisabeth IMIG. I’m also related to Elisabeth’s sister Margaretha IMIG. They were both born in the Rhineprovinz in the mid 1700s.

“Could We Be Related, Dear?”
Not So Far!


February 27 – Whittier Area Genealogical Society Seminar features Paul Stuart Warren. For more information: WAGS website, Call or email: Roger Mount, Seminar Director, at (562) 693-2674,
March 13 – Genealogy Society of North Orange County California presents “Family History for Fun and Profit” featuring Arlene H. Eakle, Ph.D. Brea United Methodist Church. Pre-register by March 6. Information: (714) 777-2379 or

Member Badges

Each member is entitled to a name badge. Lost yours or never had one? Please sign up at a meeting or contact Herb Abrams. New members may also contact Herb at and he will have one ready at the next meeting. Up to six surnames may be included on the badge.

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 members may add their information by sending an email to Herb listing surnames, locations and years being researched.

Newsletter Submissions

Please send queries, ancestor stories, web site information, or items of special interest to the newsletter editor by Wednesday following the monthly meeting. These may be sent via email or Word attachment and must be 800 words or less. All submissions are subject to editorial approval, and may be edited for content or space. Articles should be of genealogical significance. Send to:


President _________________________ Sandy Crowley____________________
Vice President, Seminar
Chairman & Safari Coordinator ________

Bill Bluett ________________________
Recording Secretary ________________ Cindie Reily _______________________
Corresponding Secretary ____________ Pat Weeks _______________________
Treasurer & Newsletter Editor ________ Mary Jo McQueen _________________
Membership ______________________ Jack Naylor ______________________
Publicity/Webmaster _______________ Herb Abrams _____________________
Librarian _________________________ Bunny Smith _____________________
Parliamentarian ___________________ Charles & Patricia Nostrome _________
Hospitality _______________________ Barbara Heebner __________________
Eunice Muari ______________________
Historian  ________________________ Barbara Wilgus ____________________
Ways & Means  __________________ David Flint ________________________

SOCCGS Website @

Mail List:

SOCCGS Library within the Mission Viejo Library;

Marguerite Parkway at LaPaz, (949) 470-8498

SOCCGS E-mail:

South Orange County California Genealogical Society Membership/Renewal Application

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

Name(s)  ________________________________________________________________________________

Address _________________________________________________________________________________

City _____________________________ State_____ Zip ____________ Phone _________________________

Email address: ____________________________________________________________________________

Make check payable to: SOCCGS (South Orange County CA Genealogical Society)

Mail with application to: SOCCGS, P.O. Box 4513, Mission Viejo, CA 92690-4513

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