Saddleback Valley Trails

South Orange County California Genealogical Society

Vol. 17 No. 12

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

December 2010

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.

It’s Time for the Annual Holiday Party!

December 18, 2010
10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Lunch will be served.
(Regular meeting location.)

SOCCGS will celebrate “Christmases Past” at our last meeting of 2010. 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 sharing time will be limited to two minutes ech. Contact Bill Bluett (949-492-9408) if you wish to be called upon to share.

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.

2011 Executive Board Elections

At the November meeting the following members were elected to serve for the coming year: President-Bill Bluett, Vice President-David Flint, Recording Secretary-Sandy Crowley, Corresponding Secretary-Patricia Weeks, Treasurer-Mary Jo McQueen. They will be installed on December 18.

Safari News

There are no safaris scheduled during November and December. On January 26 the safari destination will be the Los Angeles Public Library.

Google Workshops

Francie Kennedy is scheduled to conduct Google Workshops at 10 a.m. on October 22 and November 19. Signups were taken at the September meeting and may be full. However, you may contact Francie to add your name to the waiting list. 949-487-4304 or The workshops will be held in the SOCCGS Research Center in the Mission Viejo Library.

Thought For The Day
Have you had a kindness shown? Pass it on;
'Twas not given for thee alone, Pass it on;
Let it travel down the years, Let it wipe another's tears,
'Till in Heaven the deed appears-- Pass it on.

~Rev. Henry Burton

Please check your newsletter address label.
“1/1/11” means dues are payable in January.

President's Message

~Sandy Crowley

Have you thought about the release of the 1940 Census data yet? It seems like it’s a long way off, but speaker Joel Weintraub has been working on implementing the presentation of this census for some time now. He is very knowledgeable about what’s included in this census. He and two other computer and database pros have come up with a one step site that will provide you quick and dependable access to the 1940 census when it’s released. Steve Morse, Dave Kehs and Joel Weintraub got together and have provided the site, Their work should provide for smooth access to the 1940 Census, unlike the Ellis Island site, which crashed in 2001.

Thanks to our hospitality chairmen Eunice Murai and Barbara Heebner who smoothly transitioned our break-time snacks indoors when we were met with rain and windy weather. Our appreciation to those providing our treats today: Jessie Ellison, Pat Yockey, Pat Christiansen, Mary Lou Brasia and Eunice Murai.

Karyn Schumaker connected with the 1/11 Marines out of Camp Pendleton about providing Christmas gifts for their children. Thanks to all who donated toys today. Karyn is delivering them.

The December meeting will be our traditional Christmas party/luncheon, beginning at 10:30 a.m. See this newsletter for details. See you then!

Brick Walls and Genealogical Information

Eunice Murai mentioned that her great grandfather Able Reeves’ tombstone in Minnesota had a small footstone on the bottom right of the big tombstone with the initials AR. His wife’s initials were also AR. She asked if this small stone was for Able Reeves or someone else?

Kathy Mauzey told us that footstones can be at either end of the gravesite, and were most likely for the person noted on the main tombstone.

Annabelle Farago suggested calling the cemetery to ask about the footstone. We had much discussion today about ashes strewn at sea and what the protocol is in doing this.

Ron Dempsey was above Bishop, in the Sierras, where she saw a small plaque with a person’s death information and noting that the person’s ashes had been distributed at sea.

Myrna Hamid mentioned a soldier who died on the USS Grant. The death data for him gave the longitude and latitude where he died.

Donna Hobbs told us that there a quite a variety of rules for the dissemination of ashes. Also, Donna recommends a visit to the Newbury Research Library in Chicago as a source of many old, one-of-a-kind books. The Evangelical Lutheran Library outside Chicago is another good research site.

Pat Christiansen told us that she inherited her mother’s ashes and has gotten permission to have her mother’s ashes buried with her (Pat.) She has ordered a niche plaque about 8” x 4” with her mother’s data on it.

Myrna Hamid suggests putting an amendment to the death certificate in the county of death stating that the body was cremated and ashes were distributed at sea.

Bob Reinhold’s father died in Ventura and was cremated. His father had wanted his ashes distributed at sea off the shore of another city. He got a permission letter.

Victoria Crane suggested that we post a new message on Ancestry to bring our old message up to date so it can be seen. That old query you posted a few years ago won’t be seen. She got an instant response after doing this. When Kathy Mauzey was in Portland recently, she took a picture for Victoria Crane of Victoria’s grandfather’s grave and tombstone. Thanks, Kathy!

It was also suggested that any of us with contact, or other information, on Rootsweb should re-up that information. Particularly, if it has been several years since you added info or queries.

Belated Seminar News

Member, Barbara Gantor, was the lucky winner of the quilt. Thanks to all who participated by buying tickets for this SOCCGS ways and means project.

“The bitterest tears shed over graves are
For words left unsaid and deeds left undone”

~Harriett Beecher Stowe

Flints of Berkhamstead, Hertfordshire

~David Flint

Recently, my microfilm for the Parish of Great Berkhampstead, Hertforsdshire, England arrived from the Family History Library. Prior research on my father’s line took me to this ancient parish located about 28 miles northwest of London. Berkhamstead (variously spelled Berkhamsted, Berkhamstead, and Berkhampstead) is the place where the Saxons ceded victory to the Normans following the invasion of England by William of Normandy in 1066.

My 2nd great grandfather James Flint (1826-1874), his wife Zilpah Bedford (1824-1900), and James’ mother Sarah Flint (born about 1811) were all born in Berkhamstead. Sarah was baptized in Berkhamstead, and her father, Thomas Flint, was married there. The prior research on my father’s line showed a strong indication that his family had been in the area for some time. Civil registration in the British Isles began in 1837; therefore research before that year inevitably leads you to the parish registers. On a recent research trip to Salt Lake City I found the microfilm for this parish listing lots of Flints. I came home with a commitment to get the film and see if I could piece these Flints together and figure out how they all related.

The Berkhamstead parish records on this film span the years 1538 to 1824. After several trips to the Orange Family History Center (OFHC) to review the film, it seemed from the records of baptisms, marriages and burials that Flints were in Berkhamstead from around mid-1700. A detailed search of the microfilm was hampered by the difficult handwriting styles of the 1500's and 1600's. However, I stumbled on a search methodology that helped me to get through this early period.

Several years ago I purchased a set of the British Isles Vital Records Index (a 16-disc set of CD’s by Family Search). It contains 6.7 million births and christenings and 1.7 million marriages (no burials) in England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales. I had forgotten about this CD collection, and, as luck would have it, one of the three sources used for the Berkhamstead parish records is the same film I have reserved at the OFHC. The full date range for Berkhamstead records in the CD’s is 1538-1899. After learning the search capabilities of this rich CD collection, I was able to do a systematic chronological search of all births, christenings and marriages in the parish for the Flint name starting with the earliest record in the 1500's. Even though I had not yet searched the entire microfilm, the extracted records in the CD’s showed that the earliest Flint in the parish records was in 1726.

When I found a Flint birth or christening, the CD collection search features allowed me to find other children for the same parents. For example, one search returned a three-page list of 17 children with parents named John Flint and wife Jane. These births and christenings range from 1757 to 1790, a period of 33 years. Since it is unlikely that all of these children had the same mother, it suggests that there were at least two sets of parents with the same name. Here is an example where the search technique assisted in identifying the possibility of more Flint parents than may have been apparent otherwise. The lists of children I printed from the CD for each set of parents can be used to review the microfilm at the OFHC and find and copy the actual parish register entries for those records. This CD collection is available in the SOCCGS collection at the Mission Viejo library.

A similar parent-child search can also be done with the IGI database on After a successful IGI search, the website will return the source information – typically a FHL microfilm or fiche number. The source information also includes a Batch Number. You can search the IGI database using the Batch Number to find other children for the same parents after locating one child, without necessarily having to search the entire microfilm. This technique works for both U.S and British FHL microfilms. Go to for information on IGI batches and how to use this search technique.

Go to then scroll down to “Take me to the numbers!!” and click on the geographic area you are searching. You can also Google for other information sources on batch-searching Family Search’s IGI database.

Using a combination of the search techniques outlined above I have been able to add many new unlinked Flint families to my Legacy database, although I am not ready yet to declare them part of my Flint family line. This is still a work in progress, and it will take some time to complete my full review of the Berkhamstead parish film and work out the relationships. However, this parish register search has confirmed that there were Flints in Berkhamstead for a period of 150 years. I am very grateful to them for staying in one place until I could find them!


~Patricia Ann Dean Christiansen

Recent discussions regarding how to deal with the remains of a loved one encourages us to look ahead and contemplate how to “store” or archive their ashes, or, for that matter, our own; should we decide to go that route.  Unless you are a notable (Greta Garbo) or infamous (Adolph Hitler) or of ill repute (John Dillinger), a vested interest in your remains is not likely to carry on to others. 

Often, the “star” of the cremation event has designated just how he or she would like their ashes re-located.  In case they have, all the better, in case they have not it is now the prerogative of the custodian as to what must be done. 

Scattering of ashes is popular and practical.  However, local governments often regulate where and when.  In other municipalities there are no regulations whatsoever.  This is where common sense must prevail.  Example: Scattering ashes in a park where a family is picnicking downwind might not be the right place or time. 

What were the deceased’s hobbies or special activities?  Perhaps knowing that boating, surfing, golf, flying, skiing, hiking or TV viewing was a favorite might help.  All but the last proclivity would bring a specific area to mind for disposal or scattering. 

Ashes and their container could be buried with another individual.  Preparations for this repose would need to be made in advance.  Mortuaries do require a fee to record that the remains are being buried with another person; and the grave would ideally need to be marked some way to give the living a record of what has transpired.  There are plaques (or niches) that can be affixed to the headstone; or, a separate much smaller plaque placed adjacent to the burial plot. 

Next, notify all living relatives in writing what the plan is.  Depending upon who your relatives are, you might want to wait until the deed is done and then notify; keeping in mind that everyone has an opinion.  Remember, you are the custodian and are doing or have done what you felt was best. 

Further, notify the county recorder of the county where the deceased died, as to where the remains have been buried; again, there may be a fee for this, to amend the death record. 

Everyone, no matter how modest his or her budget or how they want to make their final exit (whether cremation or burial) should make plans in advance.  Emotions and finances of the living, after the passing of a loved one, are often tenuous.  There are many decisions to be made in a short amount of time and, often, finances are not readily available. 

Some things to be considered and decisions put in writing:        

Who will dispose of or will be the custodian of the ashes; or, the location of burial (some ashes are interred in cemeteries in wall niches);

  • Casket, plot, vault and headstone preferences decided;
  • Your casket does not need to be purchased from the mortuary handling your arrangements; by law they have to accept a casket that you purchase elsewhere.  (However, some mortuaries require that a family member be present at the time of delivery to check for possible damage to the casket)
  • Funeral or no funeral; perhaps a viewing instead;
  • Obituary (how do you want to be remembered);
  • For accuracy, write your own obituary (let’s be forthright now about our accomplishments, this is not a job résumé);
  • A selection of photographs to enhance the funeral program or newspaper death notification; 
  • Pall bearers and honorary pallbearers;
  • Speakers or special music you like (if that special hymn or song is obscure, obtain a copy of it in advance and place it with your final instruction papers);
  • Does your religion require specific treatment of your remains and burial constraints; if so, stipulate what those instructions are;
  • If your death is caused by suspicious circumstances, or that you died unattended, know that an autopsy will be performed;
  • Are you to be embalmed;
  • Are you to be buried with your wedding ring or other jewelry; (it is recommended that all jewelry be willed to someone rather than buried);
  • If the remains are to be transported out of your county/state, the mortuary needs to know; a permit is required as well as embalming will be done;
  • Who ever contacts the mortuary after your passing should plan to take at least one other person along for not only comfort but for added counsel; mortuaries are a business;
  • Who will dress your body for burial?  The mortuary does that, or, you can have family members accept the responsibility; and lastly,
  • Hopefully, you have set up a family trust so that the living don’t get the “big hit” after you have gone onto that better place where there is no inheritance tax or probate; only honest appraisal. 
While these suggestions are by no means all encompassing, passing should be a timely consideration; it is wonderful if we can live well; we must plan now that we die well. 

Bare Bones

~Heather Stratford

I’ve always believed when there’s a will, there’s a way. And when it comes to genealogy, that way is often controlled by people we have never met and may never see again. At the time I ran into the gardener, I did not fully understand the significance of his presence that day in the cemetery. Now, more than twenty-two years later, I marvel at the simple gift he gave.

One summer, I was visiting my parents in Pennsylvania. One morning at the breakfast table, my father began talking about the relatives he still knew in the area. Having developed a new interest in genealogy, I was curious and followed up each statement he made with a question. After a few minutes, we jumped into his old Buick and drove up the road toward the mountain village of Benton, where his people were from. It bothered Dad that he didn’t know anything about his grandmother–he didn’t even know her real name. He thought it was Rosie Yaple, but no one had ever confirmed or denied even that much information.

When we arrived in Benton, we knocked on the door of an old, wood, turn-of-the-century home. Women in her eighties came to the door and let us in. This was my first introduction to Dad’s aunt Zell. Over the next hour she showed us pictures of her descendants and even brought out a family Bible, but she would not talk of a women named Rosie or my father’s father. The more persistent we were, the stronger she resisted our questions. We left the house, thankful for the information we had copied from the family Bible, but frustrated that she was so resistant in helping us.

We drove farther into town and decided to try our luck at the local town cemetery. Maybe we would find a Yaple family stone or even a specific stone for Rosie. We searched up and down the rows looking for any reference to the Yaple family, but after going over the rows twice, I began to lose hope. Out of the corner of my eye I saw the gardener, dressed in overalls, coming in our direction. I turned from Dad and walked toward the older gentleman.

"Do you know about this cemetery?" I asked. "Who are you looking for?" he replied. "Rosie Yaple," I said. "Oh, Rosie," he said with a smile. "She’s not in this cemetery. She’s in the small church cemetery over on Mountain Drive. But you won’t find her listed under that name. Rosie was her nickname. Her given name was Ellen, and she eventually married. Her stone says Ellen Miller."

"Ellen Miller," my Dad said with surprise. "I’ve never heard that name."

"It’s called the South Dale Cemetery," the gardener continued. "Take a left at the old county store and turn right at the dirt road with the large oak tree, then follow the road to the top of the hill."

The gardener’s directions where very precise, and I remember thinking that his detail was excellent for his age. He continued to describe the location of the church, where the graveyard was located in relation to it, and how to find the specific stone we were looking for. In my enthusiasm I turned to Dad and started talking about how exciting it was to have a real name to research. Suddenly I realized I was being very rude, and I turned to properly thank the gardener for his help.

But he wasn’t there. He wasn’t anywhere. There were no large trees, the church was some distance away, and even the stones nearby were small. I scanned the scene a second time and was amazed, baffled. The gardener had just been talking to us, and now he was gone.

I don’t remember the details of his face, and since we have never found photographs of that generation or further back, I have no idea who the gardener really was. But I believe he came to help us when no one living seemed to care if the information we were seeking was lost forever. When we followed the gardener’s directions, we found the small, flat plaque carved with two simple words, Ellen Miller. No dates, no epigraph, just Ellen Miller–a completely different name then we had been searching for.

Later, we found more information on Ellen through partial church records and community archives, and the answers to our questions began to fall into place. Ellen had been the town judge’s daughter. At a young age and unwed, she became pregnant with Otis Long’s child and, believing they would marry, she named the child Cleon Long (who grew up to become my father’s father). But Otis Long ultimately married someone else and had a family of his own–four children. Zell was one of those children. The scandal haunted the small town for years and Ellen must have felt shunned by the community all her life.

I understand now why Zell didn’t want to talk about her illegitimate stepbrother, or to pass the family secret along. But the gardener, whoever he was, didn’t care about the scandal; he was willing to pass the truth along to the family members who needed to know.

(Ancestry Archives, September 1999, Copy write,

New On Ancestry: Black Sheep Ancestry

Are you ready to search for details that didn’t make it into the family album? Mug shots and records from McNeil Island Penitentiary in Washington, records from Alcatraz and the U.S. Penitentiary at Leavenworth, Kansas have been added to the existing records from the U.S. penitentiary in Atlanta. Might you have a repeat offender in the family? Search the entire U.S. Federal Penitentiary collection—plenty of inmates visited more than one pen in a lifetime!

Allen County Library Web Site

The Allen County Public Library in Fort Wayne, Indiana has launched a new genealogy web site. The aim is to make it easier for people to find out about their family ancestry without actually visiting the library’s Genealogy Center.

The new web site, located at, includes several free databases and portals, including the African American Gateway, Family Bible Records, and Our Military Heritage that have been developed by the Genealogy Center.

The Genealogy Center’s website includes other resources, including full-text books that have been digitized by Internet Archives, the Center’s Pathfinders to various areas of research, and the Community Album, a collection of historical photographs for the surrounding area.

Ralph's Community Program

~David Flint - Ways & Means Chairman

Don’t forget to sign up. Everyone who participates must renew his or her membership after September 1 each year. See David Flint at the December meeting if you need a copy of the scanbar letter, which is the easiest way to sign up.

Ancestry World Archives Project

~David Flint, 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. Please consider helping with this service project.

The Dash

~Linda Ellis

I read of a man who stood to speak at the funeral of a friend
He referred to the dates on her tombstone from the beginning to the end
He noted that first came the date of her birth and spoke the following date with tears,
But he said what mattered most of all was the dash between those years
For that dash represents all the time that she spent alive on earth.
And now only those who loved her know what that little line is worth.
For it matters not how much we own; the cars, the house, the cash,
What matters is how we live and love and how we spend our dash.
So think about this long and hard. Are there things you’d like to change?
For you never know how much time is left, that can still be rearranged.
If we could just slow down enough to consider what’s true and real
And always try to understand the way other people feel.
And be less quick to anger, and show appreciation more
And love the people in our lives like we’ve never loved before.
If we treat each other with respect, and more often wear a smile
Remembering that this special dash might only last a little while.
So, when your eulogy is being read with your life’s actions to rehash
Would you be proud of the things they say about how you spent your dash?

2011 Genealogy Events

January 8San Diego Genealogical Society’s annual seminar featuring Marcia Iannizzi Melnyk. Topics: “Don’t Reinvent the Wheel,” “Investigating the Dash (1942-1929),” “Illustrating Your Family Heritage,” “Immigrant Research Strategies.” Registration forms are at SOCCGS Research Center or
January 29 – The Whittier Area Genealogical Society presents Lisa Louise Cooke at the 28th Annual Seminar. Ms. Cooke will present four topics: “Google Search Strategies,” “Google Earth & Maps for Genealogy,” “Genealogy Gems: Google Books & Google Toolbar,” and “Google Tools: iGoogle, Gmail, Google Alerts. For further information and registration contact Roger Mount (562) 693-2674, or visit the WAGS web site at
February 26Hemet-San Jacinto Genealogy Society will present Curt B. Witcher at a seminar to be held at the Hemet Public Library. Topics: ”Using Church Records,” Mining The Mother Lode,” Roll Call: Military Records & Research,” “Historical Research Methodology”
March 12North Orange County Genealogical Society presents a family history seminar featuring David E. Rencher, Topics: “Find out What’s New & What’s Coming Soon,” “Uncover Hidden Secrets to More Effective Searching,” “Learn New Skills for Using Name Lists,” “Acquire Highly Effective Principles for Focusing on your Research Objectives” 714-777-2379 or

Do you need a name badge?

Wearing a name badge at the monthly meetings is an excellent way to meet new friends and/or possibly a “cousin.” These are provided to all members at no cost. Please contact Herb Abrams at (949) 581-6292 or He will have one ready at the next meeting.


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

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 @

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Marguerite Parkway at LaPaz, (949) 470-8498

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South Orange County California Genealogical Society Membership/Renewal Application

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

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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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