Saddleback Valley Trails
South Orange County California Genealogical Society
Vol. 18 No. 3
P.O. Box 4513, Mission Viejo, CA. 92690
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.
Highlighted label means: dues are delinquent and this is last newsletter!!!!
General Meeting 19 March 2011
“Google 2: Tools you may not have tried yet”
Francie Kennedy presents a follow-up to last year’s popular
presentation. Google is best known as a search engine, but there are
many other tools available at this deceptively simple-looking site.
Every genealogist should know how to use these tools which allow you to:
make your own family map; explore historic newspapers; discover the
timeline feature; delve into Google Books; get a free email address for
your genealogy -- and much more. Francie will also share a few recent
updates she has discovered on the “search” side of Google that will make
your searches even more rewarding!
About the Speaker: Francie Kennedy is a fourth-generation Californian
who knew next to nothing about her roots before beginning her genealogy
research about ten years ago. Now she knows slightly more and has a
better idea of what she needs to research next. Francie teaches at
Santiago Canyon College and also works for the City of San Juan
Capistrano as a water conservation coordinator. She has lived in San
Juan for over 25 years and has been active in the preservation of the
Los Rios Historic district.
The San Diego Genealogical Society Research Library will be our
destination on March 30th (not March 23rd). Many of our books were
relocated to their facility last summer. So, you might want to revisit
what was once a part of our collection. Their "library catalog" can be
http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~casoccgs/. We will meet at
the LDS Church parking lot at 9:00 A.M. You may bring a lunch, or be
prepared to drive a short distance to a local eatery. Don't forget $$
for your driver. There will be no plans for dinner on the way home.
Contact Bill Bluett to reserve a spot.
March Meeting Location
The Mission Viejo Family History Center Institute Building is to be torn
down for the reconstruction of a larger building. The project start date
has not been determined at this time, but could begin before the March
meeting. During the construction project, the meeting will be held in
the main Family History Center Building.
Our safari to the Los Angeles Public Library was a great success last
January. We had 12 folks from our society make the trip. I decided to
spend my day doing some Civil War research in the military book
collection section. I got to thinking about my wife’s great-great uncles
who served in the Iowa 7th Cavalry during the war. This is a family that
had four out of six brothers serving at the same time. The other two
were too young to join the military.
John Neunom Reynolds and William Yale Reynolds initially joined the Iowa
41st Infantry Battalion in October of 1861. The war was depleting troops
that helped support the cavalry on the Western Frontier, so three
companies were dispatched to Sioux City and then on to Fort Randall for
assignment. The fort was located on the Missouri River in the Dakota
Territory. They would be employed in active duties protecting the
frontier from hostile Indians. They garrisoned posts, escorted trains,
protected emigrants, guarded lines of travel and telegraph, and had
frequent engagements with hostile bands of Indians. They served from
this location until April of 1863. At that time, the Reynolds boys and
the three companies of infantry were transferred to the 7th Cavalry.
John and William were now part of Company “K”. I’m sure they were
required to go through additional training at this time. Now they would
be part of the longer expeditions into the Dakota Territory. From the
spring of 1863 until the fall of 1864, they would travel as far as the
junction of the Little Missouri River and the headwaters of the
Yellowstone River on the Montana/North Dakota boarder.
Most of the information I found at the library regarding the Battalion
and the Cavalry were in the “Iowa and the Rebellion” and “Iowa in the
Civil War” books. Each gave timelines with specific information about
their location, movements, and engagements during the Civil War years.
Even Company “K” information was included with distances traveled. When
on patrol, they would travel anywhere from 600 to 800 miles over a two
to three month period. Fortresses were scattered throughout the
Territory at this time. Fort Union, in the western part of the Dakota
Territory, was one of their furthest destinations. Company “K” was
involved in several battles during this time period in this region and
John ended his three years of service in October of 1864. After the war,
he moved around a lot. He cooked in a number of hotels in Kansas and may
have married several times. I even found John in the 1910 census in
Central California. He came back to Tiffin, Iowa, when his health was
failing. A widowed sister lived with him, kept house, and took care of
him in his illness. He died on June 9th, 1916, and is buried with many
other Reynolds ancestors in the Oakhill Cemetery in Tiffin. His
headstone inscription includes Civil War service information.
John’s brother, William, remained in the cavalry until June of 1866. His
departure was nearly 10 years to the day before General George Armstong
Custer and 268 men of the 7th Cavalry lost their lives at the Battle of
the Little Big Horn. The dead included two of Custer’s brothers, a
nephew, and a brother-in-law. In 1868, William married and started
farming with other family members near Tiffin, Iowa. Eventually, he and
his wife relocated to Shelby County in western Iowa and bought a farm.
They raised a family and remained there the rest of their lives. Both
are buried in the Washington Township Cemetery which is located about
one half mile north of Interstate 80 at the Shelby exit. Over the years,
my wife and I have driven past that exit on Interstate 80 over a dozen
times not knowing where William Reynolds was buried. The next time we
travel through that region, we’ll make it a point to stop at the
cemetery. He died in 1902 and his wife, Roseanna, died in 1907. His
headstone photo is on the Internet and there are no markings regarding
his Civil War service.
I think about the excitement and adventure that these two brothers must
have experienced while they served in the Dakota Territory in the
1860’s, including extremely cold winters and blistering hot summers
along with the constant threat from the Sioux, Lakota, Northern
Cheyenne, and the Arapaho. I realize that this was all part of the great
expansion of our country, but at the same time, I feel some sadness for
the displacement of the Native American Indians during this time period.
The one thing that I am thankful for is the number of detailed records
that exist today enabling me to find information regarding the Reynolds
brothers and their service to our country.
We are saddened to learn of the passing of Caroline Braxton
Rober, one of SOCCGS favorite lecturers, friend and genealogy patron.
“Caroline, we will miss you sorely.”
Caroline Rober, wife of Larry Rober, passed away on February
1, 2011. She was born on April 12, 1952 in San Bernardino to Robert
Braxton and Gloria Lou Taber. She leaves her husband, three children,
seven grandchildren, her father and a sister.
Caroline was a professional genealogist and a favorite
lecturer for Genealogical Societies all over Southern California. Many
of our members knew her personally and have worked with her through the
years. Among many other genealogy pursuits, she was chairman of the
genealogy booth at the Orange County fair for seven years.
Beth McCarty’s presentation gave a timeline of events affecting how
English records were kept. She also showed images of records on film and
differences in script of handwritten records. Guests introduced at the
meeting were: Vince & Maggie Bauerlein, Keith O’Connor, and Teresa
Leone. Refreshmen providers were: Naomi McCabe, Eileen Merchant, Myrna
McGaugin and Bob McQueen.
New Members: Virginia Dunk of Lake Forest;
researching: Lucero - Las Vegas, NM 1850 – 1900; Ellsworth - Las Vegas,
NM 1850 – 1900. Draden Ekas of Coatesville, PA;
researching: Ekas, Ickes, Ekis, Eckaus. Barbara Taylor of Foothill
researching: Fowle - descendants of George
Fowle about 1610 from England, Thornberry - Hugh, Hugh Henry from
Ireland 1800's, Taylor - Fluvanna, Virginia. Christina Hurst-Loeffler &
Rob Loeffler of Rancho Santa Margarita;
Researching: Rouch: 1750's Maryland, early 1800's Pennsylvania, 1850''s
Indiana, 1900 Colorado 2. Stutesman: 1700's Maryland, 1800's Ohio and
Pennsylvania, 1840's Indiana 3. Payne: mid 1800's Missouri, early 1900's
Arkansas 4. Hurst: 1840's Tennessee, 1870's Arkansas 5. Jameson: 1700's
Virginia 6. Goodnight: late 1800's Texas
***** Surname List *****
|Members, please check your information
on the SOCCGS Surname Website. If corrections and/or additions are
necessary notify Herb at email@example.com
or (949) 581-6292. New members may add their information by sending
an email to Herb listing surnames, locations and years being researched.
CHECK OUT THE SURNAME LIST TO DISCOVER A LITTLE MORE ABOUT FELLOW MEMBERS THROUGH THERE SURNAMES.
Brick Walls & Genealogy Research Suggestions
Victoria Crayne has had good luck finding family information on
GenealogyBank.com. A 30 day free trial subscription is available. Marcia
Roy reminded our members about paid websites that they can access for
free on our computers at the Mission Viejo Library and the Mission Viejo
Family History Center. Pat Christiansen described her negative
experience with a year subscription (@$50) to Yearbooks.com. Schools of
interest to her only had yearbooks for one or two years at the site. She
found the site extremely limited for her and the fee is non-refundable.
She reminded us that subscriptions are automatically renewed without
prior notice by charging the credit card required for subscription.
David Flint is now researching his wife's family and has connected with
a nephew in Texas who is showing interest in genealogy - the first one
in his family to do so. David’s nephew has provided him with a lot of
information. Pat Nostrome has utilized the
was fortunate to find quite a bit of ancestor information (newspaper
obituaries, etc) in the Pacific Northwest region and the Southern
States. Her search in the New Jersey area did not provide her much
information. Mickie Dempsey is researching her great-great-great
grandfather Philip Hulvey. Google referenced his son, Madison Hulvey, on
She already knew where Madison was buried but clicked on
the link anyway. On Madison’s entry she found a message placed there by
a previously unknown third cousin in Kansas, “So wonderful to have found
you Great Great Grandpa, Rest In Peace...." She emailed this Kansas
cousin who gave her access to a family tree on Ancestry.com which
included pictures and told her about another third cousin in Anaheim.
She emailed her newly found Anaheim third-cousin and they got together
for lunch. Her cousin brought a 500-page book on the Hulvey family,
which Mickie has taken on loan from her cousin. Joyce Van Schaack asked
about how to use the FindAGrave website. Donna Hobbs and Barbara Wilgus
both responded and gave some suggestions in using the website.
GEDCOM, an acronym for GEnealogical Data COMmunication, is a proprietary
and open de facto specification for exchanging genealogical data between
different genealogy software. GEDCOM was developed by The Church of
Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints as an aid to genealogical research.
A GEDCOM file is plain text file containing genealogical information
about individuals, and a means to link this information together. Most
genealogy software supports importing from and/or exporting to GEDCOM
format. However, some genealogy software programs incorporate the use of
proprietary extensions to the GEDCOM format, which are not always
recognized by other genealogy programs.
Do you know?
What does the term processioning mean as it pertains to property in
Virginia in 1600-1800?
Processioning – land owners formed a procession every four years to
re-validate landmarks that determined property boundaries within the
USGenWeb and Sharing Information
USGenWeb is one my favorite websites for gathering genealogical
information. If you haven’t been there, you should definitely check it
From this site there is a link to a GenWeb
site in every state in the United States. From the state site you will
find a link to every county in that state. When you get to the county
site - that is where it really gets interesting. These sites are usually
maintained by volunteers who reside in that county. You may find
marriage records, cemetery records, biographies, obituaries, county
histories, county maps and often a list of people who will do lookups.
The Wayne County Tennessee site has a section devoted to biographies of
World War I Veterans from Wayne County. A few years ago I contributed a
biography of my father to that site. You may check it out at:
Recently I transcribed a manuscript written by my great aunt Annie
(Horton) Abrams, born 1896, just two years after my father was born. The
title is “Facts of Older Settlers in Wayne County Tennessee”. She tells
of her life growing up on a farm in Wayne County. After sending a copy
to my brothers and sisters, I began to wonder if the Wayne County
Tennessee people might want to publish the story on their website. So, I
contacted the lady who maintains that site and she was delighted with it
and asked if she could publish it in the journal of the Wayne County
Historical Society as well as putting it on the website.
I have added it to a Google website at:
Annie wrote the
manuscript in 1975 when she was 79 years old. Two years later, when she
was in ill health, she wrote a second document titled “Changing Homes.”
I have transcribed that one also and have included it on my website. I
don’t know yet whether they will publish that one on the Wayne County
I think it is important to share information and USGenWeb is an
excellent place for your biographical and historical information.
The following new searchable databases are available on
AmericanAncestors.org. The site is available at the SOCCGS Research
center within the Mission Viejo Library.
- American Ancestors Journal, 2009 - 2010
- American Ancestors magazine, 2010
- The Mayflower Descendant, volumes 11-15
- The New England Historical and Genealogical Register, 2010
- New Englanders in Nova Scotia by F. C. Cowell
- Opening the Ozarks, 1835-1839: First Families in Southwest Missouri
- The Virginia Genealogist, volumes 36-40
- Parish register of All Saints Church, New York City, 1824-1862
- Vital records Amherst & Wilbraham, Massachusetts
- Vital records of Barrington & Argyle, Nova Scotia
- Wellfleet, Massachusetts Births & Deaths, 1800-1850
- Rochester, New Hampshire tax lists, 1700 & 1815
Visit your library soon!
National Archives - United Kingdom
The U.K. National Archives website at
research guides, sources for family history records, military records,
and other government records. The site also contains articles, online
exhibitions, and links for research in the United Kingdom. A free
subscription to their monthly newsletter can be obtained at
The Wedding That Became a Legend
My maternal great grandfather, Charles “Papa” Durand, was truly a bon
vivant Frenchman and there are as many stories about his excesses as
there were children he fathered (25 from two wives – and that’s a story
unto itself). There is one story, however, that stands out above all
others and has truly become legendary – “The Gold & Silver Wedding” that
took place on May 21, 1870.
Charles’ father, a wealthy merchant, migrated from France to Louisiana
in 1820, when Charles was just 4 years old. The family fortunes
continued to grow, thanks to sugar cane and a large number of hard
working slaves. Charles took over the business and made it even more
successful, which was fortunate, as he lived a very lavish lifestyle.
When two of his daughters announced they were to be wed on the same day,
there was no limit to the extremes he would go to in order to celebrate
the occasion. In fact, he vowed that it would be the most memorable wedding
ever in Louisiana.
Legend has it that he imported large tree spiders from Cathay, which
were released into the mature oak and pine trees, planted along the 3
mile road to his lavish plantation home, where they spun millions of
yards of delicate webs. On the morning of the wedding, while still wet
with dew, Papa’s slaves, armed with bellows and bags of gold and silver
dust sprayed the webs creating a glittering canopy. Carpets were laid to
cover most of the passage under the trees, making a fairytale entrance
for the procession of the wedding couples and the 2,000 guests.
The couples arrived at the ceremony in grand style, riding in a set of
papa’s beautiful carriages which were adorned with ornaments of gold,
including the harnesses. An open-air altar was placed at the end of the
trees, and tables covered with food stood between the trees. Several
bands played and everything went on schedule. At the end of the
ceremony, a steamboat came up the bayou and docked at the plantation
wharf to take the two couples on their honeymoon. The crowd accompanied
them to the wharf, shooting off fireworks and waving until they
disappeared into the Louisiana dusk. The celebration went on for days
after they left.
Papa’s fortunes changed for the worse in the difficult post-Civil War
days and the wedding became his last grand gesture. In his final months,
he is rumored to have told of money that was buried under one of the
trees but none has ever been found. Oak and Pine Alley still stands
today as a historical monument which is visited by thousands of tourists
each year; a final reminder of an extraordinary one of a kind
Do you need a name badge?
Wearing a name badge at the monthly
meetings is an excellent way to meet new friends and/or possibly
a “cousin.” These are provided to all members at no cost. Please
contact Herb Abrams at (949) 581-6292 or
firstname.lastname@example.org. He will
have one ready at the next meeting.
News *********Ancestry World Archives Project
The World Archives Project for California Naturalization Records
co-sponsored with SOCCGS through Ancestry.com has been completed.
Ancestry is still processing the data internally, but when they have
finished, SOCCGS is to have special access to indexes and images.
Ancestry has not offered new genealogy society sponsored projects at
this time. Congratulations to all SOCCGS participants for your
successful completion of your part in this project and thank you for
taking the time make access easier to more online data. For additional
information contact David Flint -
“If you are going through hell, keep going”
Continue citing those sources you postponed entering.
“History will be kind to me for I intend to write it”
No kindness for deceased procrastinators.
“A clear and innocent conscience fears nothing”
Elders had time to muddy conscience.
~Queen Elizabeth I
Who Are the British?
Many of you have done research on ancestors you traced to the British
Isles, while others are still seeking that elusive ancestor who will one
day connect you to the other side of “The Pond”. In either case, do we
all use the same terms in referring to our British ancestors? For
example, if they are from England, do you consider them British? In this
article I will review the geographic components of what we often call
the British Isles.
England, of course, is its own country. But it is also part of Great
Britain, the United Kingdom, and the British Isles. So it’s important to
define our terms. An English lecturer I heard referred to the British
Isles as a “geographical expression” for the two large islands that make
up Great Britain: the big island (consisting of England, Scotland and
Wales), and Ireland (which includes the Republic of Ireland and Northern
Ireland); plus thousands of small islands that surround the coast,
including the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man. But first, let’s
review some history.
In 1536 King Henry VIII united both England and Wales under one
government. Today that is referred to as Britain. Two hundred years
later, the parliament of the Kingdom of England and Wales and the
parliament of the Kingdom of Scotland passed the Act of Union in 1707
combining England, Wales, and Scotland to form Great Britain. Another
hundred years passed, and in 1801 Ireland united politically with Great
Britain to form the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.
Most of Ireland later separated from the United Kingdom in 1921.
Following the partition of Ireland the name changed to the United
Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, which is typically
abbreviated as U.K. (By the way, when the current monarch is a queen, as
today, the name does not change to the United Queendom.) Today it is
common to hear references to the “United Kingdom”. Historically,
however, that term had different meanings depending on the time period.
From 1801 to 1921 it included England, Scotland, Wales and all of
Ireland. Since 1921 it includes England, Scotland, Wales and Northern
To summarize: Great Britain includes England, Wales, and Scotland;
United Kingdom (since 1921) includes England, Wales, Scotland and
British Isles includes England, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland, the
Channel Islands, and the Isle of Man.
Since we are talking geography, here are a few comparisons of the U.K.
land area with the United States. England, which is only part of the
U.K., is a relatively small area. It is roughly the size of Louisiana or
Alabama, and less than one-third the size of California. Scotland is
smaller – about the size of South Carolina. Wales is even smaller and
comparable in size to Massachusetts. The whole of Ireland is about the
size of Maine. The entire U.K. is slightly smaller than Oregon.
So, with this background perhaps we can think about the terms we use
when referring to our British ancestors.
News From the Mission Viejo Library
Since our shelf space has been reduced at the library we cannot purchase
paper books for our book collection. What we can purchase are books on
CD. Bunny has requested that Society member’s contact her with their
preferred CD titles from which selections will be made that would best
benefit our collection. Please contact Bunny Smith (949-472-8946). As
you expand your genealogy to new states, you may want to revisit our
book and CD collections at the library. Our hardcopy collection is
smaller but still has valuable content that you may not have used in
research before finding new clues to pursue.
Ralphs Community Contribution Program
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. There, you’re’ enrolled until September. Please see me
at the next meeting for a “Scanbar letter.” There are copies of the
letter at the library docent desk, or one will mailed at your request.
You may also enroll on-line at www.ralphs.com.
Was your name missing? The names of three participants were missing in SOCCGS January
newsletter. This suggests that their information is not correct in the
Ralph’s rewards Card Database.
If you have a question
call or e-mail: email@example.com; ph: (949) 492-5334.
2011 Genealogy Events
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
March 26 – North San Diego County Genealogical Society is scheduled at
the Carlsbad Center. Stephen P. Morse will present "The One-Step
website: Its Tools and Its Applications." Additional information:
May 28 & 29 - United Scottish Society Highland Gathering & Festival,
Costa Mesa, CA,
June 10-12 – 42nd Annual Genealogy Jamboree presented by Southern
California Genealogical Society at the Los Angeles Burbank Airport
Marriott Hotel and Convention Center,
Jun. 25 & 26 - San Diego Scottish Highland Games & Gathering of Clans,
You may still receive the April newsletter if dues are paid by March 19!
Use this form to send with your dues payment
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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