Orange County California Genealogical Society
17 No. 1
Box 4513, Mission Viejo, CA. 92690
Mary Jo McQueen
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.
your newsletter label.
If it reads 2010, your dues are payable in January.
January 16th, 2010
“GOOGLE FOR GENEALOGISTS”
is to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible
and useful. This vast amount of information is likely to contain
something about your ancestors and the places in which they lived.
Our member, Francie Kennedy, will explain how to become a power
user of the “Google” search engine and perhaps uncover genealogical
gems. There are many useful tools for genealogists to be found on
“Google” i.e.; translation, maps, books and e-mail. These are just
a few of the offerings available at this phenomenal site, which
will be explored during this presentation.
Francie is a fourth-generation Californian and has been researching
her family history for eight years. She has discovered unexpected
things about her ancestors using Google. Francie teaches at Santiago
Canyon College and also holds the position of Water Conservation
Coordinator for the City of San Juan Capistrano. She has resided
in San Juan for 25 years and has been active in the preservation
of the Los Rios Historic District.
|On January 27th we will journey
to the Los Angeles Public Library. Since we make this trip just
once a year, you will want to make a special effort to go along.
It is likely we will need more than Bill’s car. In order to prepare
for this fact-finding excursion you can go to the LAPL website and
peruse the genealogy books available. Also, it is always good to
make a list of research goals.
Cars will leave the LDS parking lot promptly at 9 a.m. This will
be an all day and into the evening foray. You may bring lunch; eat
in the library food court or in one of the nearby restaurants. We
will have dinner on the way home. Don’t forget to bring $$ for your
driver. Make your reservation with Bill Bluett.
I Could Be Wrong
About Some Things
"What, sir, would you make a ship sail against the wind and currents
by lighting a bonfire under her deck? I pray you, excuse me, I have
not the time to listen to such nonsense." ~Napoleon Bonaparte, when
told of Robert Fulton's steamboat, 1800's.
|What a wonderful December Christmas
meeting we had! I especially enjoyed chatting with members who enjoy
belonging SOCCGS, and who add so much to our society’s information
and experiences. I hope you all had fun and enjoyed the sharing
of Christmas tales and traditions as well as the yummy hot lunch.
(Thanks, Bob McQueen.) I wish you all an exciting New Year.
This year, I have shared several examples of my fruitful family
research, including the Venables, the Tannahills and the Renicks.
In the New Year I will be focusing on family names I’ve yet to dust
off and research. These include John McGee/Magee and his
ancestors in Northern Ireland prior to the mid 1700s, Judith
Pate Jackson, who married one of my Venables in Virginia and
is possibly connected to Stonewall Jackson’s extended family and
Daniel Anderson - I lost track of his family prior to 1832
in Georgia where he married another of my Venables.
I hope that next year you all will grab a family line or two that
you’ve not yet delved into. The search goes on and takes a number
of turns for most of us. Some riches do grow on trees…Family trees.
Enjoy discovering the rich rewards of exploring your family history.
|Besides the awesome luncheon,
the highlight of the annual holiday meeting was the sharing of member’s
Christmases past. Sandy Crowley showed ancestor photos from
about 1900 and told of Christmas trees with candles, which sometimes
caused fires. Myrna Hamid McGuigan brought her Christmas
stocking made by her grandmother and a hand carved German Santa.
Wilma Boice had a postcard family album that was 90 to 100
years old. Jo Ann Minnig, who lived in Glendale during WWII,
said her dad would bring servicemen home for Christmas from the
Hollywood USO. David Flint, who was born in England, talked
about English Christmas pudding and brought the recipe. He also
brought a Christmas stocking made by his grandfather, an English
tailor. Kathy Mauzey’s Christmas family gatherings include
100+ in attendance. Her grandmother had 15 grandchildren. Mary
Jo McQueen, just a kid from a poor family during WWII, had a
basket left at the door with food and toys for Christmas. Pat
McCoy told of the significance of an orange in Christmas stockings,
a tradition passed on to other generations in the family. Trish
Leard shared a story about her dad's trip to grocery store when
he was a little boy. Their friend, the grocer, gave him a basket
filled beyond his expectations. (This was a very emotional story
for Trish to tell.)
Another part of the meeting we enjoyed was the sharing of brick
walls and genealogy information. From Donna Hobbs we learned
of the Sandi Gorin,
site on "Rootsweb." One interesting item on the site is “Do You
Know What This Means?” which are definitions to help figure out
old terms. Chuck Nostrome advised of the difficulty with
the latest version of "Family Tree Maker"; some information would
not transfer properly or did not transfer at all. Jessie Ellison
contacted the Eastern Regional NARA facility and was told that they
only covered New York. Kathy Mauzey found information from
one of the websites mentioned at the November presentation that
helped her get past a significant "brick wall." On a lighter note,
Verl Nash informed us that male reindeer lose their antlers
each year before Christmas. Does that mean that Rudolph is a girl???
"The War of the
Rebellion: Official Records of the Union"
|This is a collection of battle
records and is easy to search but not really genealogy related.
I did a search on "Hardin County" and found a very interesting account
of the conditions where my father grew up near Savannah, Tennessee.
My great grandfather fought for the Union but his brother fought
for the Confederacy and was killed. My grandmother's father's first
wife was killed by a marauding band of guerrillas at her home near
Savannah. This website was very helpful in explaining the conditions
there that allowed those things to happen.
“A family tree
can wither if nobody tends its roots.”
|One difficulty that researchers
seem to share is the one of 1st, 2nd, 3rd cousin, and how many times
removed that cousin is. The following explains the way to figure
out "# Cousin, # Removed".
Figure out which # (number, i.e., 6 great-) grandparent is the common
ancestor between two individuals. If the number is the same, you've
got it made. Example: if the common ancestor is your 6th great-grandparent
and the other person's 6th great-grandparent, add 1 to the 6. You
are seventh cousins.
If the number is not the same, add 1 to the smaller number giving
the "cousins" portion, then subtract the smaller from the larger
giving the "removed" portion. Example: if the common ancestor is
your 9th great-grandparent and the other person's 7th great-grandparent,
add 1 to the smaller number (7) giving 8, and then subtract 7 from
the larger number (9) giving 2. You are eighth cousins, twice removed.
That is, it takes one person two generations to get to the person
who is an eighth cousin, and that is why he/she is twice removed.
Death Inventory Items Explained
|Caps and pins - may refer to the
caps that women wore and the pins that held them to their hair
Knot dish - a dish to hold fancy ribbons, called knots
Milk trays - used to put milk in and the cream would rise to the
top to be separated - also called "set pans"
Bed rope - preceded the bed slats we know today and was used to
support the mattress. The rope was strung across the bed frame and
the mattress laid on top. The expression "sleep tight" came about
because the bed ropes had to be tightened occasionally and it was
considered a better night's sleep with the ropes taut.
Fletchets (or hetchels) - a hetchel, or hackle (bed of nails) was
a tool used to comb flax to break off the rough straw parts and
to separate the fibers in order to spin it and make linen thread.
Dutch wheel - a type of spinning wheel to make yarn or thread
Stilhards (or stilhands) - a stilyard, or steelyard, is a portable
scale for weighing things ‘
Pillowbeers - Pillowcase
Porringer - a small shallow bowl, probably of pewter
Doulas - a coarse linen clothe made in France
Slice and tongs - the slice is what today would be considered a
spatula - it was used to turn foods in the frying pay and the tongs
to pick it up
Trammel - a shackle for a horse or a device with links or openings
at different heights for hanging a pothook in a fireplace
Law, 18th Century Virginia
|At age 14 for males (age 12
for females), one could: Witness documents, Testify in court,
Select their own guardian, Serve as an apprentice, Be punished for
a crime, Show land to processioners, Sign contracts, Act as executor,
Bequeath property by will.
At age 16 for males, one could: Be listed as hittable, Be
mustered into militia, Take possession of land holdings.
At age 18 for males, one could: Be licensed to practice a
At age 21 for males (age 18 for females), one could: Release
their guardian (or at time of marriage); Be married without parental
(or guardian) consent.
At age 21 for males, one could: Plead/sue in court, Own land,
Devise land by will, Be eligible for most public offices, Serve
on a jury (grand, petit, coroner), Vote.
(Note: The foregoing three articles were found at USGENWEB.ORG/RESEARCH/MISC
and /RESEARCH/OCCUPATIONS. Lots more good stuff there.)
The Cost of Living?
"It's hard to understand how a cemetery can raise its burial cost
And blame it on the cost of living!"
Doc Wylde Recalls Wild Times on the San Juan Creek
|Member, Jane Safron of “Your Story
Here LLC” recently had the privilege of interviewing ‘Doc’ Wylde,
a local man, who spent his early years on San Juan Creek. Following
is the story she wrote about Doc's recollections.
“Most of us traveling the Ortega Highway these days drive pell-mell
just to get across the Santa Ana Mountains and onto the 15 Freeway.
We barely notice the creek or the valleys along the way or, the
history. Not so for Doc Wylde.
Doc Wylde is an impassioned naturalist. Not the airy-fairy tree-hugging
kind, but someone who has hunted and fished and camped nature all
his life. Now 82, and living in San Clemente, he remembers as a
child traveling along Highway 74 in his father’s Model A Ford to
get to the family cabin 13 miles from Capistrano on the San Juan
Creek. As a youngster he hoisted trout out of San Juan’s pools by
hand, moving them from smaller to larger pools so they would survive
the summer dry spell. He collected wild honey from the hills, being
careful to avoid the mountain lions that lived in the clefts of
Sitton Peak. Later, he would give Elynor his Sigma Chi Fraternity
pin during a USC pledge party at the Cabin. (Properly chaperoned
Some of Doc Wylde’s best memories come from San Juan Creek. Like
how he and his buddies (and their girl friends) used to sneak into
the thermal pools along Hwy 74. The pools were part of the old San
Juan Hot Springs Resort, long ago boarded up, but still making a
hot water stream.
Or the time Doc went shooting Quail along the 74 with his shotgun.
Not hitting any birds, he volunteered to use his posterior as a
test target. (“I was wearing jeans,” he protests, to avoid
being thought too bone-headed.) Sure enough, the problem was
not the gun, and Doc was pulling shotgun pellets out of his bottom
An even less pleasant memory of San Juan Creek comes from the war
years (WWII). Doc let friends talk him into breaking into
cabins along the creek. They got in, got out, and Doc became very
popular giving the loot away at school. Then the sheriff arrived
at school. Doc spent two weeks in the Orange County lock-up. “It
sure taught me a lesson,” he says today. “I never broke the law
As well as a naturalist, Doc is a historian. Not the pipe smoking,
tweed jacket wearing kind, but someone who all his life has photographed,
filmed, processed and preserved his own history and that of his
family. He has created an archive of more than 10,000 images
and over 50 hours of film and video footage (including rare 8mm
color footage of a fishing trip to Mexico using home made scuba
Doc the Naturalist and Doc the Historian is an Orange County Original.
He is also part of a growing number of Orange County seniors who
are preserving their life stories with private, personal history
documentaries – known in the industry as “video biographies”. Doc
created his video biography so that future generations would know
his story. "I want them to know something about me and our family
history. This video biography is something that I can leave
“What to do about
the Black Sheep”
The Smith's were proud of their family tradition. Their ancestors
had come to America on the Mayflower. Their line had included Senators
and Wall Street wizards. Now they decided to compile a family history,
a legacy for the children. They hired a fine author. Only one problem
arose -- how to handle that great-uncle who was executed in the
electric chair. The author said he could handle that chapter of
history tactfully. The book appeared. It said, "Great-uncle George
occupied a chair of applied electronics at an important government
institution, he was attached to his position by the strongest of
ties and ... his death came as a real shock."
“If you are lucky enough to be a genealogist, you are lucky enough.”
~Michael J. Lecher
|Local histories are too often
overlooked in conducting genealogical research. Many researchers
do not realize the value of the information contained in them. They
may quickly look for a section on compiled genealogies and move
on if there isn’t such a section or if the book is not indexed.
These books are worth working through, even if it takes a little
longer. In addition to giving you a greater understanding of the
area in which your ancestor lived, they can give you other information
and major clues that will assist you in your search.
For example, in researching the Gibbs family I discovered a number
of individuals of this surname living in the town of Blandford in
western Massachusetts. The vital records of Blandford were not published
as part of the official series of Massachusetts vital records, although
some records were published by NEHGS on the Corbin Collection, Volume
In 1928 Sumner Gilbert Wood published Ulster Scots and Blandford
Scouts. The title would lead one to believe that it only contains
information on a migration of Scots-Irish to the Blandford area.
A review of the table of contents, however, shows that after discussing
this topic in the first half of the book, the remainder contains
a general history of the town, including migrations from the town
Searching for mentions of the Gibbs family revealed numerous references.
Israel Gibbs “was thirty and Mary was twenty-eight at the time of
their emigration from Hopkinton, and their son Israel was the first
Male child born in the new settlement. A family tradition has it
that Israel and his wife spent a night at Brookfield with the Glasgow
Company.” [p. 127]. In addition to the age information and the year
of emigration from Hopkinton, the Brookfield tradition is an interesting
story. The author includes a source citation, observing that he
obtained the information from The Gibbs Family Bulletin, Number
Two. NEHGS has only the fifth issue of this publication, but a quick
check of WorldCat revealed that the New York Public Library has
a full set and a friend is now checking the original publication
The section on Hopkinton reveals a major controversy among the members
of the Congregational church there who were Irish Presbyterians.
The controversy culminated in the excommunication of many members,
including Israel Gibbs and his wife Mary. Most of the excommunicants
ended up migrating to Blandford. Now we have a reason for people
moving from one town to another.
The book also contains lists of holders of pews in the church, original
land grantees, and lists of those giving military service. All of
these records are starting points for other research. The book also
contains drawings of farming tools that belonged to Israel Gibbs,
as well as facsimiles of town documents from 1759 that include the
signatures of Israel Gibbs and his sons John and Israel. At the
end of the book are genealogical tables, vital records extracts,
and a bibliography of the sources consulted in compiling the town
The next time you are researching your family at the library, take
the time to examine the local histories. Even if the title doesn’t
seem appropriate to you at first, a thorough canvassing of all of
the books may provide a goldmine of information and clues that you
would miss entirely.
(From NEHGS eNews Vol. 8, No. 51December
27, 2006, courtesy Mickie Dempsey)
Clipping of the
From the Edinburgh
Advertiser (Edinburgh, Midlothian, Scotland), 19 October 1827, page
|CONVICTS -- There are, on an average,
about 5000 convicts constantly employed by Government at Woolwich
arsenal and the different dock-yards: it is said, that the Lord
High Admiral has recommended that this number should be considerably
reduced, and their places supplied by industrious labourers of good
character, thousands of whom can obtain little or no work. The expense
of transporting men beyond the seas is certainly a serious burden
upon the country; but probably the public money cannot be more advantageously
expended in getting rid of characters who on their being discharged
from the hulks are almost certain to return to dishonest practices,
and who, after another course of crime, again put the country to
the expenses attending their conviction and transportation. There
does not appear to have been any return made of the number of criminals
who have been more than once under the sentence of transportation;
but it is believed that the instances are very numerous. (Note:
So, they came to America.)
|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 Ancestry.com.
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
~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
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 check stand 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 (email@example.com).
Clipping of the
From the Adams Centinel, (Gettysburg, Pennsylvania), 01 February
1826, page 3:
|“A bill is under discussion in
the Legislature of Virginia, for prohibiting widowers from marrying
sisters of their deceased wives. Virginia is daily becoming more
sublimated in morals and politics.”
Clipping of the
From the Adams Centinel
(Gettysburg, Pa.), 21 October 1818, page 1:
|“Emigration --- It is stated that
in a Reading, Pa. paper of the 26th ultimo that from the 17th of
March, 1817, to the last of December, two thousand & one families
passed through Gate No. 2 on the Berks and Dauphin turnpike, all
destined for the land of promise.”
(Note: Definition of “ultimo” -
in or of the month preceding the present one.)
For Genealogy Fever
The inhabitants of this place have been stricken with
GENEALOGY FEVER, a deadly infectious disease.
Notepapers stuffed in pockets and files,
Heart palpitations at the sight of gravestones and old trunks filled
Bloodshot eyes from excessive microfilm exposure;
Erratic speech patterns punctuated with pilgrims and princes;
Cold sweat upon arrival of the mail.
|January 9 – San Diego Genealogical
Society will present Jean Wilcox Hibben at the Crowne Plaza Hotel
& Resort. More information at
March 6 – Genealogical Society of North Orange County California
presents “Family History For Fun and Profit”, featuring Arlene H.
Eakle, Ph.D., at the Brea Methodist Church. Please call 714-777-2379
for more information.
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
March 27 – North San Diego County Genealogical Society’s
Spring Seminar will be held at the Carlsbad Senior Center. “Family
Tree DNA & You” will be presented by Family Tree DNA. For registration
form go to
|Members, please check your information
on the SOCCGS Surname Website. If corrections and/or additions are
necessary notify Herb at firstname.lastname@example.org
or (949) 581-6292). New members may add their information by
sending an email to Herb listing surnames, locations and years being
|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:
South Orange County
California Genealogical Society Membership/Renewal Application
( ) New
( ) Renewal
( ) Individual, $20/yr.
( ) Joint Members, same address $25/yr.
State_____ Zip ____________ Phone _________________________
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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