South Orange County California Genealogical Society
P.O. Box 4513, Mission Viejo,
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 wishing to join. Yearly
membership fees are $20 per calendar year for
individuals, $25 for joint membership. SOCCGS is not
affiliated with the LDS Family History Center.
ITS 2004! HAVE
YOU RENEWED YOUR MEMBERSHIP?
Please find the renewal form on the last page of the newsletter.
GENERAL MEETING JANUARY 17, 2004
Andrew Pomeroy will present his topic,
Finding Anything Online: Intermediate Internet
Research Skills. In September Mr. Pomeroys
lecture on Mastering Search Engines on the
Internet was well received, and this program
promises to further improve our genealogy researching
TENTH ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION
The Tenth Anniversary party/luncheon was a
great success. Entertainment featured Judy Deeter who
gave several readings. The founding members in
attendance received special recognition and each was
presented with a certificate of appreciation. Thank
you to John Gothard for making the special
certificates for the founding board members. (A
complete list of current members who were founders can
be found on page 2.)
Ruby White was presented a life membership in
appreciation for her ten successive years of service
as SOCCGS treasurer. Ruby has decided to retire from
this position. We certainly thank her for the
outstanding job she has done on the Executive
Happy New Year! I hope everyone is anticipating a
new year of guest speakers, research safaris, new
discoveries and meeting more SOCCGS members. Who will
topple the first brick wall of 2004?
Thanks to all who have provided us with freshly baked goodies for our meetings. They certainly enhanced our get-togethers. I know many of you are creative you have to be to find some of your more elusive ancestors! Ill bet you can be just as creative in your kitchens. Please contact me if you can bake up your specialty to serve at one of our meetings this year.
I wish you all successes in your searches!
(Researching Venable, Woodall, Vest, Tannahill, McGee, Reynolds, Moorman, and Davis through the southern states)
SURNAME SEARCHING THROUGH SOCCGS
Web Master Herb Abrams is preparing to put the
SOCCGS Surname Listing on our web site. The plan is to
list the email address of the person submitting the
surname. This will allow a researcher to send an email
directly to you to gain or give information. If you do
not want your email address listed please contact Herb
at firstname.lastname@example.org>. We will discuss this
at the general meetings in January and February. The
target date for finalizing the surname list is
Wednesday, January 28 we will journey to the
Carlsbad Library. The car pool will leave the LDS
parking lot at 9:30 a.m. Please make a reservation by
January 26 so we can assure adequate transportation.
Call Janet (496-8428) or Mary Jo (581-0690).
We are purchasing books
and cds. Please let us know if there is an item you
would like to see added to our collection. Call Janet
or Mary Jo. Members are encouraged to sign up as a
docent or substitute. Hours will be tailored to fit
your schedule. As little as one shift per week will
help keep our library open for researchers.
ONLINE GENEALOGY CLASS
Mark your calendars for April 25, 2004,
1 p.m. Colleen Robledo, a Mission Viejo Library
Assistant in the Tech. Center, has asked for my help
with a genealogy computer class. Complete information
will appear in the February newsletter.
The Iraqi Genealogy Authority
has deleted the name of Saddam Hussein from the list
of noble offspring whose lineage stretches back to the
Prophet Muhammad. It seems that Saddam had forced a
number of genealogists to create a family tree for him
to claim that he had a noble pedigree. The descent
from Muhammad was published, even though proof seemed
to be lacking. With Saddam now safely removed as a
threat, the genealogists are now rejecting the
genealogies published when the dictator was in power.
(From Richard Eastmans Online Newsletter 12-21-03, Vol 8 No. 51)
Following are the names of SOCCGS
Founding Members who are currently on the membership
roster. Founding members are those who joined through
June 30, 1994. Mary Ellen Lytle*, Jinx Cochrell*,
Goldie Gay*, Ruth Sheean, Barbara Smith, Iris Graham,
Pat McCoy*, Paula Roberts, Beverly Long, Margaret
Auxland, Evelyn Shopp, Donald Dary, Darlene Dary,
Sherrie King, Mary King, Judy Deeter*, Janet Franks,
Shirley Fraser, Mel Kinnee*, Eugenia Gannon, Ellen
LaLonde, Robert La LaLonde, Ruth Loustaunau, Kathleen
Mausey, Eleanor McInnis*, Diane Miller, Virginia
Akers, Patricia Stalcup, Patricia Weeks*, Norma
Wilson, Ruby White*, Grace Clark, Georgiana Emery,
Patricia Stafford*, Laura Lee Mitchell, Sherry
Donaldson, Bob Weatherly, Arlene Schreder, Norris
Roberts, Doris Roberts, Sylvia Sligar, Bea Norred,
Alice Catalyne, Louise Supple and George Supple. *
Denotes Founding Board Member.
BURIAL RECORDS IN ENGLAND BEFORE
Sherry Irvine, CGRS, FSA (Scot)
Up to the 1700s, most of our English ancestors
were buried on the south side of the parish church in
an unmarked grave, wrapped in a shroud (after 1678 it
had to be wool). If a coffin was used for the service
it was probably the parish coffin, because most people
could not afford their own. The great and the wealthy
were buried inside the church and had memorials
suitable to their station in life.
Churchyards were not big enough to allot a fresh space of ground for everyone; bodies were buried on top of others already interred. The level of the churchyard rose, or the bones of those long dead might have been removed to a charnel house (also known as an ossuary); sometimes the crypt under the church served this purpose. A charnel house is more likely to be found associated with a town or city church.
Not everyone wanted to be buried in the parish churchyard; Puritans, Catholics, Quakers, and other nonconformists looked for their own locations. The earliest burial grounds for those not within the Church of England were opened in the 1600s. Bunhill Fields in London, first referred to as a dissenters' burial ground in 1665, may be the best known; others were opened after passage of the Toleration Act in 1689. Few Roman Catholic churches had their own burial grounds before 1800.
Population growth and the migration of people into towns and cities led to a space crisis in the 1800s. This was also a health crisis, and local government officials became aware of the dangers of overcrowded burial grounds in the midst of densely populated streets. Beginning in the 1820s, privately operated and city/town-operated cemeteries opened in many urban areas.
Church of England Records - A few Church of England registers date from 1538, but many more begin in the 1560s or 1590s. Not every deceased person was recorded; those left out included suicides, executed criminals, and nonbaptized children. Catholics and nonconformists, although entitled to burial in the parish churchyard, may have been buried elsewhere and would not have had the burial service read.
Sometimes the burial of a dissenter was noted in the register; mention may also be found in the presentments (reports) of the churchwardens to the court of the local archdeacon or bishop; these records are usually in county record offices in England.
Register entries were brief, perhaps just the name and the date. Some registers give the age of the deceased and place of abode; if the deceased was a child or unmarried daughter, then the father's name may have been recorded. >From 1813 there was a set format for a burial entry: name of the deceased, place of residence, age, date of burial, and name of officiating minister.
If registers have not survived, check for contemporary copies known as the Bishop's Transcripts (BT). Each year, around Easter, local parishes were required to submit copies of all entries recorded in the parish register to the office of the bishop. This practice did not happen everywhere (e.g., not for London churches) but was widespread enough that the existence of BTs should be ascertained (For locating BTs, I recommend Bishops' Transcripts, by J.S.W. Gibson, Federation of Family History Societies (FFHS), 5th ed; (http://www.ffhs.co.uk).
Microfilm copies of a significant percentage of Church of England registers and/or BTs can be viewed through the facilities of the Family History Library and the network of Family History Centers.
Public Burial Grounds - The Rosary Cemetery, opened in 1825 in Norwich, was the first urban burial ground available to all who paid the fees. Others soon followed in Manchester, Liverpool, and London. (There, Kensal Green was the first in 1832.) If your ancestor died in a large city after 1830, check into new cemeteries and some of the history. In London, Brookwood and other cemeteries competed for the contracts to bury the poor of several London boroughs, not necessarily close by. The wealthy had their preferred burial grounds too. Most people were buried; cremation was not legal before 1884 and the use of this alternative grew very slowly.
Some of these records have been published, some are in local libraries and archives, while others remain with the cemetery. Check online through GENUKI and in the Family History Library Catalog according to the place for resources; regional archives and libraries will also have information, and perhaps the records of the new cemeteries. For London there is a guide, Greater London Cemeteries and Crematoria, published by the Society of Genealogists.
Research Hints - Before beginning a search for burial records consider the date range, the religion of the family, and the size of the community. Directories and topographical dictionaries or detailed gazetteers should list large burial grounds. Once you know if you are searching only in Church of England churchyards, or more widely, then you can check for records and how to access them.
Keep several other facts to the fore. What was the ancestor's home parish? What was his approximate age at death? Where did the ancestor die? (Death may not have occurred at home.) Is the date of death definitely before the start of civil registration, 1 July 1837?
Sherry Irvine, CGRS, FSA (Scot), is an author, teacher, and lecturer specializing in English and Scottish family history. She is the author of Your English Ancestry (2nd ed, 1998) and Your Scottish Ancestry (1997) and she is a regular contributor to several journals including Genealogical Computing. Since 1996, she has been a study tour leader, course coordinator, and instructor for the Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research at Samford University. She teaches online for the family history program of Vermont College and has lectured at conferences in Canada, the United States, and Australia. She is the president of the Association of Professional Genealogists. Ancestry Daily News, 18 November 2003 * Copyright 2003, MyFamily.com.
Ten Top Reasons Family Historians Catch the Bug*
Megan Smolenyak Smolenyak - Ancestry Vol. 21, No. 5, Fall 2003
21% School assignment LIBRARY ADDITIONS - DECEMBER 2003
20% Death of a family member
15% Gave or received a family gift (software, heritage scrapbook, compiled family history, etc.)
11% Other** (See below)
8% Family Stories
7% Desire to share heritage with children
5% Co-workers or family sharing enthusiasm
5% Homeland or cemetery visits
4% Adoptees/orphans seeking answers
4% DAR membership/scholarships
* Statistics taken from random poll of seventy-five family historians.
** Other: taking an adult education class; seeing errors of family data online; receiving a challenge from a church leader; researching why a family name was changed; reading a newspaper notice; etc.
LIBRARY ADDITIONS - DECEMBER 2003
Monroe County, Wisconsin History
Compendium of Mohawk Valley Families Vol. 1; Maryly B. Penrose
Compendium of Mohawk Valley Families Vol. 2; Maryly B. Penrose
Cavaliers & Pioneers, Abstracts of Virginia
Land Patents and Grants, Vol. I 1623-1666, Vol. III
1695-1732 by Nell Nugent & Vol. VI, 1749-1762,
Vol. VII, 1762-1776 by Dennis Ray Hudgins (We now
own the complete set of these books.)
CDs - Scottish Parish Records (4 CDs)
Records from Scotland in general, the North of
Scotland, the South of Scotland, West Lothian and
Midlothian. These records span the period 1538-1855
and contain a mixture of wills, tombstone
inscriptions, marriage records, and apprenticeship
records. These are copies of original records. (Note:
These cds have been ordered and should be in our
library by January 15.
SUBJECT: EARLY AMERICA
(Truth or Imagination?)
In George Washington's days, there were no
cameras. One's image was either sculpted or painted.
Some paintings of George Washington showed him
standing behind a desk with one arm behind his back
while others showed both legs and both arms. Prices
charged by painters were not based on how many people
were to be painted, but by how many limbs were to be
painted. Arms and legs are "limbs;"
therefore, painting them would cost the buyer more.
Hence, the expression, "Okay, but it'll cost you
an arm and a leg."
As incredible as it sounds, men and women took
baths only twice a year! (May & October) Women
always kept their hair covered while men shaved their
heads (because of lice and bugs) and wore wigs.
Wealthy men could afford good wigs. The wigs couldn't
be washed so to clean them, they could carve out a
loaf of bread, put the wig in the shell and bake it
for 30 minutes. The heat would make the wig big and
fluffy, hence the term "big wig." Today we
often use the expression "Here comes the Big
Wig" because someone appears to be or is powerful
Needless to say, personal hygiene left much room
for improvement. As a result, many women and men had
developed acne scars by adulthood. The women would
spread bee's wax over their facial skin to smooth out
their complexions. When they were speaking to each
other, if a woman began to stare at another woman's
face she was told "mind your own bee's wax."
Should the woman smile, the wax would crack, hence the
term "crack a smile." Also, when they sat
too close to the fire, the wax would melt, and
therefore, the expression "losing face."
Ladies wore corsets which would lace up in the
front. A tightly tied lace was worn by a proper and
dignified lady as in "straight laced".
Common entertainment included playing cards.
However, there was a tax levied when purchasing
playing cards but only applicable to the "ace of
spades." To avoid paying the tax, people would
purchase 51 cards instead. Yet, since most games
require 52 cards, these people were thought to be
stupid or dumb because they weren't "playing with
a full deck."
At local taverns, pubs and bars, people drank from
pint and quart-sized containers. A bar maid's job was
to keep an eye on the customers and keep the drinks
coming. She had to pay close attention and remember
who was drinking in "pints" and who was
drinking in "quarts." Hence, the term
"minding your "'P's and Q's."
Early politicians required feedback from the public
to determine what was considered important to the
people. Since there were no telephones, TV's or
radios, the politicians sent their assistants to local
taverns, pubs and bars to "go sip some ale"
and listen to people's conversations and political
concerns. Many assistants were dispatched at different
times. "You go sip here" and "You go
sip there." The two words "go sip" were
eventually combined when referring to the local
opinion and thus, we have the term "gossip.
Learn more about Daguerreotype in "Historical
Photography. Identification and Preservation," by
Diane VanSkiver Gagel
"A Focus on Family Photographs," By George G. Morgan
"Caring for Your Family's 35mm Slide Collection" by George G. Morgan:
If it is your Scottish ancestors you want to pursue in the banks and braes, the Scottish locality list index pages are located here: http://lists.rootsweb.com/index/intl/SCT/
To find a locality message board of interest, start here:
See also RootsWeb's Guide to Tracing Family Trees for Scottish, Scots-Irish and Irish ancestors at: http://rwguide.rootsweb.com/lesson21.htm
http://proni.nics.gov.uk.The PRONI (Public Records Office of Northern Ireland) has recently added two new data sources.
1) Freeholders (voters) lists for the periods 1785 to 1831. Searchable by name and place.
2) Ulster Covenant with a half million names for 1912
The Freeholders list was especially valuable for Donaghadee and Bangor Parish information in County Down.
You can find numerous pictures of tombstones on the Web, including at:
http://photoweb.lodestone.org/folder/719/en (click on the images to see a larger version)
Researchers in every county of England and Scotland provide a low-cost NO-FIND NO-FEE research service. Get a free e-mail assessment from BRITISH ANCESTORS at: http://www.britishancestors.com/rwr/
Valley Forge Legacy: Continental Army Info and Muster Roll http://valleyforgemusterroll.org
(I found my Elisha Sheldon here!)
To Bathe or Not to Bathe: Coming Clean in Colonial America by Edwards Park. I dont have permission to reprint this article in the newsletter, however it is worth reading. Please check it out at:
http://www.genealogy.com/university.html I just checked this site that has 85 free online lessons that are divided into four catagories; Beginning Genealogy, Internet Genealogy, Tracing Immigrant Origins and Researching with Genealogy.com. At least the first three topics seem to be worthwhile. This site is sponsored by Genealogy.com.
believe in it until their children act like
GENEALOGICAL EVENT CALENDAR
Write Your Life Story: Free classes at Santiago Canyon College, 541
North Lemon, Orange. Begins January 14, 2004. Call
714-628-5900 for more information or to
register. You may also register at the first class.
Learn more about the classes at
Dr. Schweitzer Returns to Hemet February 7, 2004! (I dont have any further info at this time. If interested, contact H-SJGS, P.O. Box 2516, Hemet, CA 92546)
ONLINE ROMAN NUMERAL & DATE CONVERTER
This is another online converter that may be of
use to genealogists: the Roman numeral and date
converter. We frequently encounter Roman numerals in
the copyright date of older histories and genealogies
and are sometimes at a loss to immediately
translate them into Arabic numerals.
A web page entitled, "Roman Numeral and Date Conversion with Roman Calculator" allows users to convert between Arabic and Roman numerals as well as between Julian and Gregorian dates. Users can also determine the day of the week for any Gregorian or Julian date. This can be a handy feature if you would like to discover on what day of the week a particular event occurred in your ancestor's life. By entering in an ancestral birthday of September 23, 1867, for instance, you will discover that date fell on a Saturday.
To use the Roman Numeral and Date Conversion website, please visit
ORANGE COUNTY ARCHIVES OPEN
The O. C. Archives are located in the Old Orange County Courthouse, Room 101, 211 W. Santa Ana Blvd., Santa Ana. (This is on the corner of North Broadway and Civic Center Drive.) (714) 834-2636, Hours 1-4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.
According to an October 2003 article in the Orange County Register the records had been unavailable since the O. C. bankruptcy eight years ago.
Some of the records you will find include Great Register of Voters, 1890-1968; Marriages 1889-1953; County directories, 1920-present; deeds & mortgages 1889-1926.
UNUSUAL GIVEN NAME HAS ANCIENT
By Carl Hommel email@example.com
I have noted on some mailing lists mention of the given name of Benoni. This is an unusual name, and some people think that it is an Italian family name and the child is named after his or her mothers family and then indicate that they have been unable to find a family with that surname.
Actually Benoni is a Biblical name that means "son of my sorrow." It was the original name given to the younger son of the patriarch Jacob. Rachel, his mother, in her dying agony named the child Benoni.
This name was often given in American Colonial times to a child whose mother died in childbirth or whose father died before the child was born. In fact, this is an important clue. When one sees the name Benoni, look to see what sad event might have caused the child to be given that name. It might have been the death of a grandparent, a parent or a sibling.
(From the Davenport Rootsweb List. Submitted by Gail Gilbert)
So many cultural symbols are turned
into clichés, some by people who
claim to have an Indian Princess as their great grandmother.
Well, some ancestor of mine was a lady-in-waiting to some
English queen but it didnt improve my housekeeping
abilities and Im still puzzled by that third fork at good restaurants.
FREE ONLINE GENEALOGY COURSES FROM BYU INDEPENDENT STUDY PROGRAM
Through the BYU Department of Independent Study,
twenty-six, noncredit, family history courses are now
available for free. Anyone at anytime can take these
online courses from any computer with Internet
"Technology has made it possible for us to offer free courses. Our free courses are our regular courses, but we can use the technology to offer those free to an audience that is not requiring credit," said Dwight Laws, Director of Independent Study.
"Last year the department had three family history courses for free, and had 30,000 people finish at least the first lesson. We have no idea what to expect this year where we have many more free courses," mentioned Laws.
The courses cover topics ranging from how to get started to include French, German, Scandinavian and Huguenot research. Each research course is taught by a well-known, accredited genealogist. All course instructional materials are available free online.
There is no time frame required to complete the course. A student could conceivably finish the course in less than twenty-four hours due to a feature called Speedback. Speedback assignments submitted on the course website receive instant feedback.
A person does not need to register for a free course. Anyone can go to the department website at http://elearn.byu.edu and click on Special Offers to access the free courses.
BYU offers free on-line genealogy tutorials as part of their Independent Study Program:
Other genealogy web courses are available at: http://ce.byu.edu/is/site/special_offers/freecourses.dhtm
Rules for the Behavior of Children at the Table Colonial America
1. Never sit down until the blessing has been asked.
2. Never ask for anything at the table.
3. Never speak unless spoken to.
4. Never take salt except with a clean knife.
5. Always break the bread; do not bite into a whole slice.
6. When the children have eaten all the food on their plates,
they must leave the room at once.
Our membership dues enable us
to have funds for our library, programs, newsletters,
insurance and other needs relating to the operation of
our organization. The prompt payment of these dues
will make it possible to book speakers in advance for
2004 and have the budget ready for membership
approval, as the bylaws require.
Mary Jo Nuttall, Treasurer * Iris Graham, Membership Chairman * Mary Jo McQueen, Program Chairman