Saddleback Valley Trails

South Orange County California Genealogical Society

Vol. 18 No. 12

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

December 2011

Editor: Gary Schwarz

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 address label.
“1/1/12” means dues are payable in January.


It’s time for our annual Holiday Gathering when we celebrate past Christmas memories. Due to our meeting location we will not have a full luncheon this year as we have in previous years. However, your Board of Directors will provide holiday refreshments for the meeting. We will also have time for sharing Christmas memories, so please plan to share your favorite memory of Christmas time -- a story or perhaps a picture or ornament. Take time from your busy holiday schedule to relax and enjoy the refreshments and holiday cheer. If you would like to share something with the group, please contact Bill Bluett in advance by phone at 949-492-9408 or email We hope to see you on December 17.


2012 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-Patricia Weeks, Corresponding Secretary-Marilyn Kowalski, Treasurer-Mary Jo McQueen. They will be installed on December 17.

Safari News

Our next safari will be after Christmas when we travel to the Los Angeles Public Library in January of 2012. Additional details will be in the first newsletter of the “new year”.

I like the Christmas that fulfills my needs ... to be forgiven from greed and selfishness, to fill my empty soul with peace and compassion, for hope and faith and charity, for myself renewed and hope restored in an erring world.

-Robert D. Wigert

May the spirit of Ramadan illuminate the world and show us the way to peace and harmony.


Eight days the light continued on its own: A miracle, they say, but not more so Than ordinary lives of flesh and bone, Consuming wicks burned ashen long ago....

~Nicholas Gordon

Bring New Toys to the December meeting for the Homefront America Toy Drive which supports local military families. Karyn Schumaker will collect the toys at the meeting.

President's Message

~Bill Bluett

Here it is December already and Christmas is nearly upon us. This past month I’ve been thinking about the first Christmas that our ancestors were preparing for after the Civil War broke out in 1861 – 150 years ago. I wonder what it would have been like in all the homes across our country over the next several years while the war raged on. Nearly every household was affected in one way or another during this period of time. For a nation torn by civil war, Christmas in the 1860’s was observed with conflicting emotions. Christmas made the heartache for lost loved ones and many familiar faces were missing from the family dinner table as a result of enlisting in the military. The soldiers now serving used to be the ones that “brought in the tree” and even might have been heard singing Christmas carols in church. Now they were scavenging firewood and singing drinking songs around the soldier’s campfires. The holiday celebration most associated with family and home was now a contradiction. It was a joyful-sad, religious-boisterous, subdued event. Many folks were filled with anxiety because their families were struggling emotionally and financially.

But, let’s back up a bit. Traditions that were in place prior to the civil war included Christmas cards, caroling in public places as well as church, and the sight of greenery festooned nearly all communities in the North and the South. Christmas trees stood in places of honor in many homes and a mirthful poem about the jolly old elf (yes – an elf during this time period) who delivered toys to well-behaved children. All these traditions captivated Americans on both sides of the Mason-Dixon Line. A Christmas tree might be decorated with dried and sugared fruit, popcorn, ribbon, spun glass ornaments, and silver foil. In December of 1853, Robert E. Lee’s daughter recorded in her diary that her father – then superintendent at West Point – possessed an evergreen tree decorated with the previously mentioned items. Maybe word got around and it became a tradition for many other families. Speaking of silver foil (or tinsel), I hated putting “that stuff” on the tree as a kid. It took so long to do! That tradition went away very quickly when I became an adult with my own household. I don’t think my kids missed doing the tinsel routine at all.

To some degree, the North and the South were divided on the issue of Christmas as well as slavery. Many Northerners saw sin in the celebration and felt that Thanksgiving was a more appropriate time to celebrate. In the South, Christmas was an important part of the social season. The first three states to designate Christmas a legal holiday was Alabama (1836), and Louisiana and Arkansas (1838). The hardship on children was more profound in the South during the war because so many families made such a meager living. A young child living in the Shenandoah Valley was quoted as saying he was “tired of the war” because Santa Claus had forgotten to come to his home. Other Southern children were told that “Santa was a Yankee” and that Confederate pickets would not let him through. In 1863, Illustrator Thomas Nast began creating images of Santa for the Christmas editions of Harper’s Magazine. This continued through the 1890’s. It is interesting to note that President Abraham Lincoln asked Nast to create drawings of Santa with some Union soldiers (for Harper’s Magazine) during the war. This image of Santa supporting the enemy had a demoralizing influence on the Confederate army and the Southern residents. This may have been an early example of psychological warfare.

The final Christmas of the war (December, 1864) was an interesting one. General Sherman had reached Savannah during his “March to the Sea”. Sherman telegraphed President Lincoln either on or near Christmas day with this message: “I beg to present you with a Christmas gift the City of Savannah, with 150 guns and plenty of ammunition, also about 25,000 bales of cotton”. The South had been crushed by Sherman’s March and the war would be over within 4 months.

I’m sure that there must have been a lengthy time of recovery for many Americans following the Civil War Conflict. Families became even more thankful for a special season to celebrate and come together. Since that time, materialism, media, advertising, and mass marketing has made much of the Christmas season what it is today. Hopefully, we can get past all that hype and celebrate Christmas for what it is for – a time to bring families together. After all, as genealogists, we understand that the traditions that we enjoy today were brought about by the blending together of customs from many different counties into what is considered by nearly all as a special national holiday. SO, MERRY CHRISTMAS TO EACH AND EVERY ONE OF YOU! AND, HAVE A VERY HAPPY NEW YEAR! We’ll be looking forward to seeing you in 2012.

"People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."
~Andy Rooney (1919-2011)

-Genealogists also require a primary source.

November Meeting

Nancy Huebotter’s topic on World War II Records gave us some clues and guidance on how and where to access records that still exist today. Not all hope was lost in the St. Louis Military Records fire of 1973. Nancy’s presentation even included websites that are available for additional research regarding military history and military ancestors. One guest introduced at the meeting was: Patty McNamee. Members providing refreshments were: Ann Hagerty, Joyce and Jim Van Schaack, and Gary Schwarz.

Brick Walls & Genealogy Research Suggestions

Bill Bluett is finding information in Cornwall, England, that puts his ancestors and his friend’s (Jim Hancock) ancestors in the village of Tywardreath (population: approx. 3000) at the same time during the early to mid 1800’s. Bluett, Hancock & Husband family members worked together in copper mines and worshiped together at St. Andrew’s Church. Many were married by the same Vicar: Rev. Charles Lyme.
Mary Jo McQueen has discovered that has put the “Iowa Birth & Christenings Index” online.
Jack Naylor gave us a tip. On occasion, he has had a problem with census images not fully loading. If this happens, hit the “back” arrow which takes you to the previous image. Then hit the “forward” arrow to go back to the image you were trying to load. It should then come up fully downloaded. Also, you can hit the “reload current page” arrow (refresh button) on the right hand side of the tool bar.
Pat Weeks announced that she wanted to meet during the break with any folks that are doing French Canadian research.
Barbara Harley wanted to know if she can put her great grandfather’s diaries from 1928-1936 on
Joyce Van Schaak asked about adding her family tree (on FTM) onto
Tom Corning and Mary Jo McQueen gave advice and information to Barbara and Joyce on how to download family tree files onto (or any other genealogy website). But, each of the ladies was reminded that a subscription would be required for
Pat Russell indicated that there is a link on Family Tree Maker 2012 to
Barbara Taylor said that she and others have had problems with the FTM 2012 program.
Gary Schwarz warned that newly digitized images available online at Family Search require new contracts with sources and that online access may be withdrawn without notice. Do not procrastinate in saving you want because what is available today may not be tomorrow.

Ralphs Community Contribution Program

Jim Thordahl – Ways & Means Chairman

Thanks to all who are enrolled in this generous fundraising program. If you are a new SOCCGS member or have not yet enrolled, it’s easy. Get a Ralphs rewards Card, if you don’t have one. Present a copy of the “Scanbar letter” which contains our code at checkout the next time you shop at Ralphs. Please see me at the next meeting for a “Scanbar letter.” You may also enroll on-line at Your participation in this program does not affect other Ralphs benefits you receive, such as “Ralphs Rewards Points.” Questions? e-mail: or telephone: (949) 492-5334.

New on

NEHGS has added The Essex Genealogist Vol. 1 – 10 (1981-1990) to its extensive online database. This quarterly journal is the leading publication for genealogical research in Essex County, Massachusetts, and has been published since 1981 by the Essex Society of Genealogists (founded in 1975).You will find cemetery transcriptions, Bible records, and vital and church records relating to families from Essex County, including numerous member ahnentafels (ancestor tables), and transcriptions of lectures. The database is searchable by first and last name; volume and page; and article title and subject. Visit at the SOCCGS Research Center for more information!

New on Ancestry - Iowa Births, Baptisms & Christenings (1857-1947).

1928 - 1936 Diaries of My Great Grandfather
Albert A. Bolinger - b. 10 Jan 1860, d. 22 Jun 1936

~Barbara Harley

I retrieved these little diaries (3" x 5") from my Aunt in Ft. Scott, Kansas when we were back there in June, 2011. My great grandpa, Albert A. Bolinger, began his first diary (that I know of) beginning January 1928 as he turned age 68. His wife, Laura Jane Green Bolinger (b. 1862), had died the previous spring, May 1927. They had a farm in Clearwater, Kansas (west of Wichita, Kansas). Albert was one of 11 children, 7 still living in 1930. His wife was one of 10 children, 4 still living when she died at age 64. Also in 1927, William Isaac Whiteside (b. 1881-d. 1927), the husband of my grandmother, Mable Bolinger Whiteside (Albert's daughter), had died in the fall. Albert's daughter, Mable lived in Ft. Scott, Kansas and had 9 children, ages 2 to 22 when her husband died. Her husband had been the proprietor of a grocery store which the older children took over with the assistance of older relatives. Albert also had 2 sons, one in Kansas City, Missouri and one in Shreveport, Louisiana.

In January 1928 he took a motor trip with his older brother, Sanford H. [b. 1/5/1855, d. 12/17/1952]. Sanford's wife was the sister of Albert's wife, Florence Green Bolinger (b. 1869), and she died a month after her sister. Sanford lived in Shreveport, Louisiana and was in timber and lumber milling businesses.

The Florida Trip - 1928 is the title of the first diary. I will pull out some of the more interesting excerpts that gave me some insight into him, his world, and the time he lived. I used his spelling, etc., although I corrected some to make it easier to read. I have not been in this part of the country, nor was I a student of history, so I've used Google for maps, historical facts, etc., while transcribing. Albert & his brother, 'S. H.' left Shreveport on Wed. Jan. 4, 1928 by car for Houston, and Galveston, Texas.

"Galveston. Played golf, 9 holes before lunch and 9 after lunch. Had fresh fish (called sea trout) very fine. And drove over the city, was my first sight of the sea and also of Ocean-going vessels. Weather warmer but had froze even this far south.

Lake Charles, Louisiana. Drove through Beaumont to Lake Charles. Took lunch at 2 o'clock. Played golf in afternoon. The country is level as a floor and looks like it is no good. "

"In Pensacola Fla. Drove 70 miles today in fornoon to Pensacola Florida over some very interesting country. Mostly marshland, several bridges, 2 were toll bridges. This afternoon we drove out to Barrancas Fort, a navy and Sea Plane Port. Also was at Gulf Beach nearby. Very interesting to me."

They returned to Shreveport on Jan. 22, took care of some business, then left again, on Feb. 2, 1928

"Cloudy mostly. Started from Shreveport 7 o'clock. Took lunch at Bunkie, LA. We drove 285 miles today. Ferried across Chafilai River. Ferried the Mississippi River just before we got in Baton Rouse. We are stopping at the Heidelberg Hotel. Can see across the river from our room."

THURSDAY FEB. 8, 1928 - Miami, Florida- Hotel Columbus

We see most any kind of vessels from our window. We drove around quite a bit and played golf this afternoon. And saw hundreds in Batheing. After lunch we heard Edward A Guest a noted humorist writer. [Poet-1881-1959] It was a great treat for me.

FRIDAY, 10 - went to the coast along Miami Beach where many were in bathing and S. H. and I went in for our first swim or wade principally, a very fine beach.

SATURDAY 11 - Was driving in fornoon over very interesting in the city. Many beautiful homes and large business enterprises. Many unoccupied after effect of boom days. Also we thru Coconut Grove, Wm. J. Bryan's former winter home. [Nebraska politician 1860-1925-presidential candidate] Was on Miami Beach in p.m. Batheing with many others on the sand, a very good exercise way given for all who wished.

SUNDAY 12 - heard a very interesting address to a men's class in the Olympia Theater by Dr. Everest Smith, originally organized and taught by Wm. J. Bryan. At 11 o'clock heard a very able sermon by a Moody Bible Institute of Chicago speaker.

Spending a little time in Key West. Saw many kinds of fish and turtles 2 ft. across. The U.S. has a navy yard and airport. Principal things fishing and cigar making.

MONDAY 13 - On train for Isle of Key West. A wonderful sight of water and islands and long bridges, so long can see nothing but water and seem to be traveling on water.

In Cuba, Havanah

TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 14, 1928 On our way from Key West to Havanah Cuba by steamer Northland. About 590 people. A great site for me. Was out of sight land for my first time. Looked over Havanah after arriving at 4 o'clock. A fierce jam getting off the boat. And saw a great scramble among the natives mostly to relieve us of our cash.

They returned to Shreveport on March 1, 1928. After a week there, Albert visited a younger brother in Oklahoma, before returning to Ft. Scott, Kansas by train. He stayed about a month with his daughter, Mable, helping out at the grocery store and building a garage for Mable to house their new Whippet, Sedan.

MONDAY, APRIL 23, 1928

Leaving Fort Scott by motor with trailer attached. Arrived safely at 5 p.m. Found everything as I had left it. Not anything disturbed but the house sure needed a cleaning.

Out at the farm, Clearwater, KS


Cleaning house.


Still cleaning house. & went into Clearwater.


Moved 80 rods fence between wheat and pasture.


Went to Wichita Bot a Columbia ($39.00) Graphaphone & 7 record $8.25=$41.25


Moving fence in a.m. To Clearwater in PM


To Sunday school at Christian. At night M.E. a sacred song service.”

He spent a month at the farm, breaking sod and taking care of other tasks at the farm. He returned to Ft. Scott before Memorial Day to decorate the graves & attend a service at the cemetery. After a week, he returned to the farm in Clearwater. By the end of June the wheat was ripening, but rain was preventing cutting the wheat. By mid-July, the harvesting was complete. He sold 2180 bushels of wheat at $.90 a bushel; he had hoped to get $1.05. Then began the tasks of 'listing', plowing, discing, and harrowing the fields. He took the first week in September off, visiting his daughter and sister near Ft. Scott, and then a couple days in Kansas City at his son and family's home. He returned to the farm to finish readying the land for sowing ('drilling') the wheat. He finished sowing the wheat by Sept. 28. It was "very dry and (wheat) can't come up until it rains.” He took the train from Wichita to Kansas City to visit his son, Lyman. His brother, Sanford, from Shreveport was in Kansas City and they played golf and visited other family in the area. Sanford & Albert drove to Ft. Scott. "S.H. & I were out to Let's & Emma's.” (Sister & brother-in-law) “Had quite a ramble finding our old school ground and the Rockford graveyard." He returned to the farm; doing some burning of brush, ditching, repairing of tractor, car, repairing and painting the barn. He drove into Wichita to get a radio repaired, and went the movie, Wings, and also saw Hoover in a newsreel. Wings, was a silent film about WW I fighter pilots, with Clara Bow, Buddy Rogers, Gary Cooper, Hedda Hopper. His diary entry on Tues. Nov. 6, 1928 reads, "Election day and Hoover & Curtis were elected to High office with a big lot. I hauled 33 bu. of wheat away. Got $.94 cts Amount+$32.00. On Sat. Nov. 24, Getting ready to leave for the winter to Ft. Scott, K. City & Olathe. Paid Lumber Co. for oil & paint $12.25. Got $200 in traveler checks.”

He spent Thanksgiving in Kansas City & Olathe, with his son & family, & visited his sis, niece & family in Olathe. After 2 weeks he traveled back to Ft. Scott, to his daughter's home & her 9 kids for Christmas and the end of the year.

Reading the daily entries of a great grandfather who died before I was born made me wish I had known him. My mother gave me no idea of the man he was, although she was mentioned numerous times in his diaries. She was 14 years old when he began writing his diaries and 22 years old when he died. She did tell me that she drove his car on a camping trip to Colorado that she and her mother took with him in 1931. He must have been a gregarious man, visiting many of his large group of relatives and friends, picnicking in the parks, going to movies, traveling, and most of all, so hard working right up to his last days at 76 years old.

I don't see any difference in sex drive from the time I was twenty until now. A man ordinarily can have sex anytime. Ain't that right?
~Joe Frazier (1944-2011)

-Genealogists know an ancestor could have fathered a child at eighty.

Soka University of America - Student Visit

~Jack Naylor - Coordinator

SOCCGS welcomed Professor Monika Calef and her students from Soka University of America for a second visit to our library site. Professor Calef is an Assistant Professor of Physical Geography and one of her student assignments is for them to do a genealogy search for their ancestors. This assignment teaches search techniques.

This year we had students searching records for Chinese, Iranian, Japanese, Korean, Malaysian, Russian and Taiwanese relatives. We had some successes. Bunny worked with Nicolas Spector who had done his home work, had his three generation pedigree chart filled out and was ready to research his family. The first day we worked on his father's side. We were able to prove to the fifth generation, where and when they immigrated to the US and where they came from and who with. The second visit we worked on his mother's side. We were able to prove to the seventh generation. This family stayed in the same area in Ohio for several generations. We proved they came from Hamburg Germany in the early 1800's.

We had little luck the first week with the Japanese students, Herb Abrams called his friend and former SOCCGS member Sun Ha Kim and he graciously agreed to assist at the second meeting. He told the students how they could find information about their ancestors in the Japanese Family Registry and he impressed upon them the importance of recording their family information and saving it for future generations.

The students this year were Lorene J Chung, Yoshiyuki Hara, Nashaw Jafari, Sophia N Kawada, Elizavete Kuznetsova, Denise Lee, Maya T Miscione, Kenichi Shimizu, Nicholas Spector, Kristina Stapehuk, Alex Y Taniguchi and Natsumi Ueda.

The volunteers from SOCCGS also benefited from this experience. They expanded their knowledge in researching genealogy of other cultures around the world. Volunteers also learned some about other cultures of today through their interaction with the students. All researchers were able to hone their search skills by participating in this project.

SOCCGS members helping were Herb Abrams, Jack Naylor, Barbara Harley, Gary Schwarz, Bunny Smith and Pat Weeks. Professor Calef said that she would be back next year so if you would like to try your hand at a unique experience please see Jack Naylor to secure a place.

Fluvanna County, Virginia

~Barbara Taylor

I have a copy of a book on Fluvanna County, Virginia, gravestone inscriptions - a survey of all public and church cemeteries in the county, updated in 1994.  If any other members have relatives who may be buried in that county, I'd be happy to check for them.  It's listed as:  PUB-2:  Gravestone Inscriptions – Church and Public Cemeteries in Fluvanna County, Virginia; Edited by Ellen Miyagawa; 1994, The Seven Islands Company for the Fluvanna County Historical Society and the Point of Fork Chapter, Daughters of the American Revolution. The historical society's website is at: If anyone wants me to check it for them, they can call me at 949-599-4701 or send email to I've found quite a few relatives listed there so far.



DECEMBER 7, 2011
11:00 A.M.
Program will be held “Rain or Shine”
For information call: (949) 951-8244

SOCCGS Free Websites Link

To access SOCCGS Free Websites link just Google the SOCCGS website and scroll down to "SOCCGS Free Websites".  One of the sites is called "Free Census Sites" and has the LDS census records from 1850 to 1930.  It is searchable and accepts the * wildcard after the first three letters of a name or location.  Census years 1850, 1870 and 1900 even allow you to view the original image.

Library of Congress Historical American Newspapers

The Library of Congress – Chronicling America website has free access to over 4 million pages of American newspapers. You can access it at

2011 Genealogy Events

February 25: 29th Annual Whittier Area Genealogy Society All Day Seminar presents George Morgan – Whitter, California

March 10: North Orange County Genealogical Society All Day Seminar – presenting John Coletta – Yorba Linda, California

July 18-22: 42nd Annual Germans from Russia Heritage Society International Convention, Bismarck, North Dakota

June 14-17: 2012 American Historical Society of Germans from Russia Annual Convention, Portland, Oregon



President, Seminar & Safari
Chairman_______________________________ Bill Bluett___________________
Vice President / Program Chairman _____ David Flint___________________
Recording Secretary____________________ Sandy Crowley_________________
Corresponding Secretary________________ Pat Weeks_____________________
Treasurer______________________________ Mary Jo McQueen_______________
Historian______________________________ Barbara Wilgus________________
Hospitality____________________________ Barbara Heebner_______________
Hospitality____________________________ Sharon Keener_________________
Librarian______________________________ Bunny Smith___________________
Membership_____________________________ Jack Naylor___________________
Newsletter Editor______________________ Gary Schwarz__________________
Parliamentarian________________________ Marilyn Kowalski______________
Publicity / Webmaster__________________ Herb Abrams___________________
Ways & Means___________________________ Jim Thordahl__________________ 

SOCCGS Website @
Mail List:
SOCCGS Research Center, Mission Viejo Library;
Marguerite Parkway at LaPaz, (949) 470-8498
SOCCGS E-mail:

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South Orange County California Genealogical Society Membership/Renewal Application

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