Orange County California Genealogical Society
18 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.
15 January 2011
"Connecting Your Ancestors
With Historical Events"
certainly shaped our ancestors lives and may have even had an influence
on where they settled. Most of our ancestors have an interesting
story that should be told. Bill will talk about selecting an ancestor,
creating a timeline and how and where to look for historical information.
The final item discussed will be how to assemble the information
that has been collected. You just might be amazed at what you uncover
when you dig a little deeper into the details of an ancestor’s life.
Bill is currently President of the South Orange County California
Genealogical Society. His interest in genealogy began about 12 years
ago in preparation for retirement in 2001. Joining the SOCCGS group
in 1999 was the perfect fit for his new hobby of interest. He has
served on the Board since 2005 and has made presentations to SOCCGS,
Palmia Genealogy Club in Mission Viejo, and Dana Point Library.
sure to attend this first meeting of the New Year!
|On January 26th 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 a good
idea 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.
|This morning I am at the computer
in Eden, Utah beginning my final issue of “The Trails” looking at
beautiful snow covered mountains while watching the softly falling
snow. This is a bittersweet time for me as I have derived much enjoyment
from providing you with genealogical and society information for
the past 7 ½ years. That breaks down to 90 newsletters and about
360,000 words. Yikes! I could have written the Great American Novel.
Now, I plan to put that time to use writing family history stories.
I appreciate all of the input and articles from members, which made
my job easier and gave SOCCGS a newsletter that is both interesting
and educational. We can all be proud of The Trails! Also, I am so
thankful for all of your complimentary words and emails. You make
it difficult to be humble.
Now, goodbye, and welcome Gary! Mary Jo McQueen
Please check your newsletter
“1/1/11” means dues are payable in January 2011.
|Following a brief business meeting,
the installation of 2011 board members and the sharing of Christmas
memories, 68 members and guests, Gary and Karan Everson, Mission
Viejo, enjoyed the Annual Christmas party/luncheon.
|Pat Christiansen brought
a photo of herself with her sisters and mother in new holiday outfits
made from her father’s white shirts and suits. The photo was going
to be a gift to their father for Christmas. The girls had their
"tootsie rolls" clutched in their hand except Pat. She dropped hers
on the floor. After the photos were taken one of her sisters picked
it up and jammed it into her mouth along with her own before Pat
could get to it. They could easily tell who had the extra “tootsie
roll” by the drool running down her chin onto her blouse. Pat also
recalled that during the bleak financial times of her childhood,
kids looked in the Sears Catalog Wish Book to choose gifts they
would give to others if they could afford to.
David Flint shared that a woman in England responded to his
online genealogy "message" and was willing to help him with his
mother’s genealogy. She sent him an ornament with his family "Coat
of Arms.” He nearly had an opportunity to meet the woman in England.
He was traveling one direction on a train that passed through the
station where she was waiting to travel in the opposite direction.
Mary Jo McQueen read a story received from Judy Deeter
about singing Christmas carols to a "hillbilly" family that lived
back off the road a bit. The young group she was with walked up
the lane to the circular driveway area in front of the old house.
It had an old bed in the center of the circle with flowers planted
in and around it. They sang but, as it turned out, no one was home.
They laughingly went on their way.
Sandy Crowley reminisced about her ancestors celebrating
Christmas in the late 1890's and putting candles on the tree. As
it turned out, 2 homes of her ancestors burned down. Christmas could
be dangerous in those days.
Bob and Marge Reinhold recalled a family living in Mission
Viejo that decorated their tree with candles. Call the fire department!
Alice Volkert was doing research for a family that had an
ancestor with three daughters. On Christmas day in 1870, all three
daughters were married. It was a matter of convenience. All the
family members were together for Christmas anyway. So, why not have
Jim Thordahl remembers a number of years ago spending 20-40
hours to properly decorate the Christmas tree. (Maybe it was the
tinsel.) Also, Jim talked about the large foldout Christmas cards
that Hallmark used to make. He had one that was a Santa head on
which he would pin a beard.
Jack Naylor was involved with the Berlin Airlift in 1948
and remembers helping to get Christmas packages to folks when Berlin
was under blockade.
Bea Norred remembers Santa arriving at the Goodyear Plant
in Los Angeles (Florence Ave. and Gage) and children receiving a
box on candy. Her father worked for Goodyear.
Bill Bluett remembers going to the same Goodyear Plant at
Christmas in the late 1940’s when he was a kid. Santa arrived by
helicopter in those days.
Thanks to our hospitality chairmen, Barbara Heebner and Sharon Keener
for serving the yummy holiday lunch and to those who brought desert
items to share. I would like to extend a special thank you to Bob
McQueen for preparing and delivering the luncheon items!
I would also like to thank each and every one of you who volunteered
or helped out in some capacity during the year. You have helped
this to be the wonderful genealogical group that it is! I have appreciated
the opportunity to be your President for the last two years. I hope
to see you all in January as we begin a new year of speakers and
Please note: As the church begins to build a larger building on
the current meeting site, we will be meeting in the main church
building, probably beginning in February. Details will appear in
the February newsletter.
I wish you and yours a super New
"When a society
or a civilization perishes, one condition can always be found.
They forgot where they came from."
|Thank you for giving me a second
opportunity to serve as your Society President. Sandy Crowley has
done an outstanding job over the last two years! Thank you, Sandy,
for all your time and dedication to our group.
I will give you a little rundown about myself that I am sure many
of you have heard before. But, for those who haven’t, I am a native
Californian who grew up in the greater Los Angeles area, mainly
south central L.A. and the Lynwood-South Gate area. My Alma Maters
are Lynwood High School, Compton Jr. College and Long Beach State
College (Cal State Long Beach).
In 1962, I met my wife, Helen, in Las Vegas. I still have not told
that story to our group. Maybe I will this year. Helen and two nursing
school classmates were on their way to California to look for work
(I'll continue the story at a later date). In 1965, we were married
in her Iowa hometown of Oxford. We honeymooned from Iowa to Los
Angeles in her/our 1962 Oldsmobile Cutlass. Our first home was in
Diamond Bar, where we began our family. We have a daughter (Heather)
and a son (Matt). In 1976, the Fluor Corporation (my employer at
the time), relocated from Los Angeles to Irvine. At that time, our
family headed south and we settled in San Clemente. This proved
to be a great place in which to raise our kids and an excellent
location for future retirement. I retired in 2001 and have enjoyed
many volunteer opportunities in my church (San Clemente Presbyterian)
and in the local community where I am involved with the Historical
Society. I have been a member of SOCCGS since 1999.
Our travels have taken on a different focus since I joined our society.
Vacations are now for pleasure and research. Ancestral trails have
taken us to many parts of the U.S.A. and “over the pond” to the
British Isles and Europe. We plan to visit Canada one day, since
both Helen and I have ancestors who spent some time in the Ontario
region. My Irish ancestors on my mother's side, (Fallon and Collins),
settled in Iowa not more than 100 miles east and 100 miles west
from where Helen's families settled. Her maternal ancestor’s were
Reynolds (England) and Eimen on her father’s side (Amish/Mennonite
Germans). They all settled in and around the Iowa City area. Our
ancestor's paths may have crossed in Iowa, but we'll probably never
know. I guess it did make sense that I married an Iowa farm girl.
Now, turning to genealogy, we have some great programs lined up
for 2011. Wonderful guest speakers will be sharing their time and
knowledge with us. Please plan to be in attendance for these informative
presentations and enjoy great refreshments. Speaking of refreshments,
our membership always steps up to the plate when it comes to providing
some wonderful goodies. I want to thank all who have provided in
the past. The tradition will continue as an integral part of our
I would like to wish all of you a very Happy New Year. May this
year bring you broken “brick walls” in and hopefully open doors
filled with exciting new information regarding those illusive ancestors.
Ways & Means Report 2010
~David Flint - Chairman
|Hello Fellow Genealogists. I am
writing this on December 23 for the January newsletter. I just finished
making some mince tarts for Christmas (an experiment!) and will
report to you on the success in person at the January meeting.
I want to thank everyone who has participated in the Ralph’s Community
Contribution Program this past year. Thanks to your involvement,
we raised over $800 in 2010 and nearly $1,100 since we started the
program near the end of 2008. This turned out to be an easy success
for us, and a great way to raise money for the organization by simply
buying our groceries at the market. How easy is that? As I move
on to another position, I wanted to thank you all for your support,
and to request that you continue your participation in the program.
Jim Thordall will do a great job in the coming year as our new Ways
and Means Chairman, and I look forward to serving SOCCGS in the
position of Vice President next year.
Best wishes for 2011 and Happy
|At the December meeting the following
officers were installed by Chuck Nostrome 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. We look forward to another great year
"Year End Thanks"
|Pat and I have enjoyed the two
years we spent as Parliamentarians and our tenure on the Board of
Directors. Thank you for the opportunity to serve.
Happy New Year to all our members,
Chuck and Pat Nostrome
|A BIG THANK YOU and HAPPY NEW
YEAR to all the Library Docents and Substitutes. Without
your dedicated support we would not have a successful Genealogical
Section at the Mission Viejo Library.
Who Do You Think
You Are? Returns
|UNIVERSAL CITY, Calif. - December
16, 2010 - Viewers can take an up-close and personal look inside
the family history of some of today's most beloved and iconic celebrities
when NBC's "Who Do You Think You Are?" returns for its second season
on Friday, February 4 (8-9 p.m. ET). The celebrities who star in
the series are Gwyneth Paltrow, Tim McGraw, Rosie O'Donnell, Steve
Buscemi, Kim Cattrall, Lionel Richie, Vanessa Williams and Ashley
From executive producers Lisa Kudrow and Dan Bucatinsky "Who Do
You Think You Are?" is an adaptation of the award-winning hit British
television documentary series that leads celebrities on a journey
of self-discovery as they unearth their family trees that reveal
surprising, inspiring and even tragic stories that often are linked
to crucial events in American history.
From the trenches of the Civil War to the shores of the Caribbean,
and from the valleys of Virginia to the island nations of Australia
and Ireland, "Who Do You Think You Are?" will reveal the fabric
of humanity through everyone's place in history. Each week a different
celebrity takes a journey into their family's past, traveling all
over the world. While giving viewers an in-depth look into their
favorite stars' family tree, each episode will expose surprising
facts and life changing encounters that will unlock people's emotions,
show just how connected everyone is not only to the past, but to
(Note: An earlier announcement gave January 17 as the return date.)
Toys For Marine
|SOCCGS members donated 135 gifts
at the November meeting. Karen Schumaker delivered them to personnel
who then distributed them to 1st Battalion, 11th Marines, Charlie
Battery families at Camp Pendleton. AWESOME!
(A Short, Pointed sentence expressing a wise, clever observation.)
The nicest thing about the future is it always starts tomorrow.
Money will buy a fine dog but only kindness will make him wag his
If you don't have a sense of humor, you probably don't have any
sense at all.
Seat belts are not as confining as wheelchairs.
A good time to keep your mouth shut is before you put your foot
Why is it that, at class reunions, you feel younger than everyone
Scratch a dog and you'll find a permanent job.
There are no new sins; the old ones just get more publicity.
No one ever says 'It's only a game' when their team's winning..
I've reached the age where happy hour is a nap.
After 70 if you don't wake up aching in every joint, you are probably
uncovered some embarrassing ancestors in the not-too-distant past.
Some horse thieves, and some people killed on Saturday nights. One
of my relatives,
Unfortunately, was even in the newspaper business."
Dark Winter Days
|I wonder if it is the short, dark,
gloomy days this time of year that turn my thoughts to cemeteries?
Or, the frustration of people I am looking for who seem to have
disappeared off the earth! Of course, all the people I am researching
are dead! I am a genealogist!
But, I have never been a fan of cemeteries. I prefer researching
census records, church records, birth and marriage records and families’
books and bibles. Those talk about life. It is the life story of
a person I am pursuing. But all lives come to an end, and sometimes
we need to learn about that. Death is an event in the life of a
person. To not seek that information and document it as well would
cheat that person.
It used to be (in those old, long-ago days) when cemetery research
meant putting on your sun hat and sturdy shoes and some bug repellent
and getting out there and tramping up and down the rows. I have
done that! (Does that make me old? Do not answer that!) Sometimes,
we still need to do that. After all, sometimes we just really have
to put our own eyes on something. If we do actually go out and find
that grave marker – we MUST take a camera with us! We can see that
marker; but another person who cares might live in another state,
or even another country! They would appreciate a photo very much.
Just as I would be so very thrilled to receive a photo of the grave
of one of my missing Irish ancestors. (Not happening!)
A website I use as soon as the need for a death or burial appears
is Find-a-Grave. That is such a great site! I have placed a few
photos on there. But the pictures of markers taken and placed by
people simply out of the kindness of their heart amazes me. But
the really tremendous thing is when a picture of a grave marker
has been placed by a descendent and contact information is provided!
Well! That just opens up a whole new line of inquiry and the possibilities
seem endless. Some long-last cousin may have just the information
I so much want! And I have information to share with that person.
Too often the actual gravestone is not there any longer. Sometimes,
the whole cemetery has disappeared! Small family cemeteries on old
family farms have been lost when the farm passes out of ownership
of the family. Old cemeteries connected to a church may no longer
be maintained when the church ceases being used and the members
of the congregation worship elsewhere. These cemeteries later became
– a shopping mall, apartment complex, freeway on/off ramps or other
modern use. We can only hope that the records of the burials have
been kept, somewhere.
Sometimes, those records have been preserved! Some time ago, while
in a small town in Ohio seeking an old graveyard next to an old
church I stopped in the library. I was only hoping to find directions
or some simple information like that. I was amazed to find a binder
on a shelf with information on the cemeteries in the area, including
the one I was seeking, with a diagram of the layout. It had been
a very small cemetery. The librarian told me that the stones had
almost all been removed for re-use; but a few were on the back of
the lot, by the trees. I found the place. It looked like a typical
vacant lot, covered with weeds, a lot of trash, and a rusted out
old car on the corner. There was no sign of the church that had
been next to it. But from the information someone had assembled
in that binder I had what I wanted / needed.
It is scary to think that the little library in that little town
had the only record of that cemetery. Now, almost any of us could
duplicate those pages digitally and make them available to all.
As more and more of those sorts of lists, records, memos, whatever
are found and made available; the dark gloomy days will be over
and we will see the sun shining on our searches.
|Thirty-eight SOCCGS members made
purchases between 09/01/2010 and 11/30/2010, which garnered $213.34
for our treasury. The following are those who participated: Abrams,
Cramer, Crayne, Crowley, Dill, Domenick, Elster, Flint, Frankel,
Harley, Keyser, Lancey, Larsen, LaVenture, Lobo, Luckman, Mauzey,
McQueen, McGuigan, Merchant, Merritt, Murai, Murtha, Naylor, Nolen,
Poff, Reilly, Ryu, Schwarz, Sheean, Thordahl, Weeks, White, Wilgus,
There were three member’s numbers with no names on the list, so
if your name is not listed perhaps one of those belongs to you.
DAR Site On The
Library Genealogy Computers
- You will drop into the Ancestor Search view
- Type in the Ancestor name. Click Search.
- A list will come up. Find the person in your line then hit
See Ancestor Record
- That Ancestor will come up with a list of every DAR who
has an application.
- The list will have the child of the ancestor, find one you
are interested in seeing more, then chick the 'D' to see the
descendancy of that application.
- Repeat until you find the one that is most helpful to your
- You can print screen at this point. But if you want to order
a DAR application:
- You will have to order on line from your home computer.
When you have found the best application, and you click Purchase,
another form will appear for you to fill out using your credit
card, the program verifies your email address and sends you
a PDF file to your home computer.
- If you wish to order a DAR application online from home,
you need to go to dar.org and scroll down the right side to
the bottom and click on Genealogy Research> a new screen will
appear, then click Image to Open GRS.
Now you are back to step #1.
ETHS Goes to
|Myrna Hamid McGuigan sends this
information regarding Dr. Schweitzer and the East Tennessee Historical
From Sunday, June 26, 2011 through Saturday, July 02, 2011 the Ulster
Historical Foundation and the University of Ulster will offer a
Genealogical and Historical Course in Belfast, Northern Ireland.
The course will involve lectures, visits to major genealogical repositories,
and numerous side trips to historic places in Ulster.
The full cost (excluding airfare) will be 900 euros ($1280). Included
are the course, two-in room accommodation at the Premier Inn, 6
breakfasts, 5 lunches, 5 evening meals, and admission charges and
transportation to all visitor attractions. Single accommodations
are available for 150 euros ($215) extra. Not included is transportation
from & return to the US, and the optional excursions June 30-July
Several of us from the East Tennessee Historical Society plan to
make the trip. If you wish to join us:
- Go to and read the details, especially cancellations.
- On the above site, go to Registration Form and fill it out.
Your credit card will be asked for
- Call Jenny Connatser at AAA [865-862-9162] to make your
reservation and get INSURANCE.
|The Family History Library in
Salt Lake City, Utah and other sponsors provides the following online
classes. Learn the basic methods and key resources to start your
family history. Note: The easiest way to find these is to put “FamilySearch
Online Classes” into Google.
* England Beginning
* Germany Research
* Ireland Research
* Italy Research
* New Zealand Research
* Poland Research
* Principios básicos para la investigación genealógica en Hispanoamérica
* Reading Handwritten Records Series New!
* Research Principles and Tools New!
* Russia Research
* U.S. Research New!
"In all of us
there is a hunger, marrow deep, to know our heritage –
To know who we are and where we came from. Without this enriching
There is a hollow yearning. No matter what our attainments in life,
There is still a vacuum, an emptiness, and the most disquieting
~Alex Haley, Roots
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 26 – Hemet-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
March 12 – North Orange County Genealogical Society
presents a family history seminar featuring David E. Rencher, Familysearch.org.
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
|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
firstname.lastname@example.org. He will
have one ready at the next meeting.
Seminar & Safari
Bill Bluett ________________________
|Vice President / Program Chairman
||David Flint _______________________
||Pat Weeks _______________________
||Mary Jo McQueen
||Bunny Smith _____________________
||Jack Naylor ______________________
||Gary Schwarz ____________________
|Publicity / Webmaster
||Herb Abrams _____________________
|Ways & Means
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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