Orange County California Genealogical Society
17 No. 4
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.
April 17, 2010
|Glenn and his wife
Maureen retired in 1994 and then started to research their family
origins They remembered that family oral history claimed some of
their ancestors were French, some Dutch and some German. Their research
has shown that all of their immigrant ancestors were German, and
came to Wisconsin in the mid 1800’s. Glenn will discuss the methods
they used to discover 253 of their direct-line ancestors (one back
to the 1400’s), with 107 different surnames. He’ll give examples
of the sources used and the “rewards” they reaped from their efforts.
Glenn and Maureen are Mission Viejo residents in the Palmyra retirement
community of Mission Viejo, and have been members of the Genealogy
Club since its inception in 1996. They’ve served the Club as President
and/or Vice President for a combined 12 years. Over the years they
became known as the “German Experts” and two years ago were persuaded
to make a presentation to the Club describing their efforts. That
is the presentation you will experience.
|Plans are in the works for a safari
on April 28 to the Southern California Genealogy Society’s Library
in Burbank. This is one of the premier genealogy research facilities
in California. Plan your day by perusing the Library’s Catalogue
The SOCCGS group will leave the LDS parking lot promptly at 9:00
a.m. Since, this will be an all-day excursion we will eat dinner
on the way home. Plan to bring lunch. Bring $$ for the driver. To
make a reservation please contact Bill Bluett at
firstname.lastname@example.org or 949-492-9408.
Dr. George Schweitzer is coming back to SOCCGS!
|The three topics Dr. Schweitzer
will present at the seminar are: “Revolutionary War Genealogy”,
“German Emigration, Immigration & Migration Patterns” and “Rivers
To Trails To Roads To Canals To Trains”. Those of you who have attended
a Schweitzer seminar will remember that he dresses in costume for
his presentations. You will be entertained while learning!
|Our March meeting ushered in a
beautiful spring day, a great bunch of genealogists, and yummy snacks
at break time and speaker Michael Kratzer presenting his “Civil
War Collections for Family History” talk. One thing Michael said
that struck home with me was his statement that he started out with
no recollections within his family of any ancestors involved with
the Civil War. He told us, step by step, how he discovered many
interesting connections, including one man who spent each day with
President Lincoln, escorting him from Lincoln’s summer home to the
White House. How exciting. The reason I started genealogical research
was that my paternal side of the family knew nothing about, and
had no interest in, our ancestors. Luckily, the occasional person
among our family members has the interest to pursue the family history
and share it.
We enjoyed seeing our former President, Judy Deeter, who was visiting
from out of town. She stopped to see us and to hear Michael’s talk.
Thanks for visiting, Judy.
|Once more, we had a nearly capacity
crowd at a monthly meeting. We relish our growing popularity, which
some attribute to the Friday night TV Show, “Who Do You Think You
Are?” Are you all watching?
Guests joining us were: Charlene Clark, Paul Densmore, Sharon
Newman, Michael Reed, and Virginia Robertson.
Mary Jo Nuttall, Pat Nostrome and Richard Merritt
provided and served the goodies during the break.
Thanks to the following who participated by sharing brick wall questions
Trish Leard asked if anyone could help her by translating
several pages written in Spanish, also German. Mickey Dempsey
offered to help with the Spanish translation.
Dean Duet has an 88 page secession document relating to his
great-great grandfather which is written if French. See Dean if
you can help with the translation. (Note: we do have a list of members
with various areas of expertise located in the docent book at the
Mission Viejo Library genealogy section. If you would like to add
your services to this list, see librarian Bunny Smith or one of
the board members.)
Joyce Van Schaack gave information regarding the Saddleback
College Veterans Memorial. If you’d like to buy a brick to support
the construction of this memorial, please see Joyce. Further information
is in a separate article within this newsletter.
Pat McCoy told us that the Indianapolis, Indiana Historical
Society has actual letters that some of her ancestors wrote. It
was a thrill for Pat to actually see and hold these old documents.
Shirley Blythe Good is searching for information on Israel
Blythe, who was perhaps a gypsy.
Michelle David is looking for translation help with a four-page
deed of Herman Frasier.
|Don & Iris Bjorklund of
Mission Viejo were visitors at the March meeting and decided to
become members. Welcome! They are searching ASA LONSON in Shaw,
Ohio. Don and Iris may be contacted at
Salt Lake City
2010 NGS Family History Conference
April 28 – May 1
|Several SOCCGS members have expressed
an interest in attending this conference. However, transportation
seems to be an issue. Is anyone interested in driving to Salt Lake
City? Contact Mary Jo McQueen at
Each year the National Genealogical Society (NGS) holds a national
conference to share the latest ideas, trends, and information. Some
of the special activities include:
- Free one-on-one research consultations with accredited genealogists
- Extended Family History Library hours and extra staffing
- Free same-day access to millions of rolls of microfilm from
over 100 countries
- Dozens of special international presentations and hands-on
- Free admission to an evening celebration of family history.
- Free access to over 250 genealogy and technology exhibiters—the
largest-ever gathering under one roof
|More details about the conference
can be found online at
I Wish I Had Known”
|Thanks to Francie Kennedy and
her January presentation titled “Google Research”, I found
information that filled a time gap of about fifteen years for my
great grandmother Martha (Jones) Bluett. I searched her name
on GOOGLE and clicked on the “BOOKS” search located at the top of
the page. The third item listed was a book titled “The Pacific
Reporter”. It was volume 86, page 854, of 1135 pages. The book
contained details of Supreme Court cases in the fourteen most western
states from August 20th to October 22nd, 1906. The case of interest
to me was “Bluett et al V. Wilce”, August 25th, 1906. The
write-up actually began on page 853 and covered nearly three printed
pages. The case took place in the City of Spokane, Washington.
Two years after my great grandfather, James W. Bluett’s, death in
1891, Martha remarried. Everything went downhill from that point
on. Unfortunately, she was not that well treated by her second husband,
Henry Boston. Martha still had the family homestead of 160 acres,
was about 40 miles south of Spokane. She still had at least five
children at home, who ranged in age from 3 to 15. My grandfather,
Ralph Bluett, was about ten years old at this time. In 1893 a severe
depression hit the United States. Railroads failed, banks closed,
and land values hit rock bottom. Martha had to borrow money against
the farm. Ultimately, what she owed became more than the value of
the land, and she lost the farm in 1895.
In the meantime, she had separated from her husband and they divorced
by 1899. Much of this information is outlined in the lengthy summary
of her court case. The reason Martha filed a case was because she
felt that, being a woman in difficult times and circumstances, a
number of individuals had taken advantage of her, including her
second husband. Martha indicated that her former husband and the
folks she owed money to forced her into signing over the deed with
no opportunity to recover the farm even if land values happened
to rebound at some future time. The folks she owed the money
to took over the farm and kept up the taxes on the property. I do
not know when Martha actually filed her case in court. But, by the
time a decision was rendered, eleven years had passed since the
deed had been turned over to the Wilce family. Another words, releasing
the farm to the party she owed, paid off her debt. Martha’s claims
of being taken advantage of did not hold up in court and she lost
her case. The case was decided on August 25, 1906. I do not know
why she even filed a claim in the court system. It may have been
at the urging of her family or possibly her third husband, William
Conrad, whom she married on February 26, 1906, six months prior
to the court decision. At any rate, she lost the case.
Needless to say, I was thrilled to find this document on GOOGLE
“BOOKS”! It not only gave me a historical glimpse of a depression
era in the 1890’s, but it gave me insight into Martha Bluett’s life
from 1891 to 1906. The great thing about this particular book was
the fact that there was a PDF file that allowed me to download it
(88.8 MB) and copy all the pages I needed. Not all books on GOOGLE
can be downloaded.
So, once again, I would like to say, “Thank you, Francie Kennedy,”
for giving our Society members more insight into the research power
"Lost at the
|Don Bjorklund took a Civil War
pin to the meeting and since has been unable to locate it. It is
an infantryman's pin that belonged to his great-grandfather. The
name "F. H. Crepps" is engraved on it, along with the 103rd OVI
(Ohio Volunteer Infantry). The pin was in a Zip-Loc bag. It was
possibly left on the entrance table as they were leaving the meeting.
Please call Don at 949-830-4730 if you have any information regarding
David Flint, Chairman
|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. Please consider helping with
this service project. It’s a great way to give something back to
the larger genealogy community
"To forget one's
ancestors is to be a brook without a source, a tree without a root."
Dedication - Salute our Heroes”
|Saddleback College is well on
its way to the completion of the campus Veteran Memorial, which
is being designed and built by the students and faculty.
Terence Nelson, VETS Director and Asst. Dean CS&SP at the college
requests, "Please save the date - Thursday, April 29th -
as we dedicate this largest and most significant memorial to the
United States military heroes on a California post-secondary institution
The event will include military bands, color guards representing
all military branches, and guests including Veterans and decorated
military officials. More than 1,000 guests are expected to attend
The VETS Center Open House starts at 3:00 p.m. The Veterans Memorial
Dedication follows at 4:00 p.m. This official dedication, which
will be held at Saddleback College, 28000 Marguerite Parkway, Mission
Viejo, will include students, faculty and neighbors.
Over 700 veterans are presently attending classes at Saddleback
College. Nelson says, “we need to help our heroes’ transition back
into civilian life and find success,”
If you would care to Salute, Honor or Memorialize your active or
retired veteran please donate your tax deductible gift to the Veteran
Memorial or VETS Program's fund. You can salute your loved ones
with an inscribed brick or plaque placed in the pathway or on a
bench, leaving a lasting reminder to the name of your veteran for
generations to come.
Please contact Saddleback Board of Governors’ Member Joyce Van Schaack
(949) 495-4567 or email@example.com
for more information. If you would like to receive a brochure call
(949) 582-4479 or e-mail
~David Flint - Ways
& Means Chairman
|Don’t forget to shop at Ralphs!
This is a reminder for you to designate SOCCGS as the organization
to receive funds from Ralphs. Please see the detailed instructions
on our website www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~casoccgs/.
We recently received notice that Ralphs is issuing a check to SOCCGS
in the amount of $204.68. This is for the shopping period between
12/01/2009 and 2/28/2010. Last names of members who participated
are as follows: Abrams, Cramer, Crowley, Dill, Domenick, Ellison,
Flint, Frankel, Gahran, Harley, Keyser, Larsen, LaVenture, Lobo,
Luckman, Mauzey, McQueen, McCoy, McGuigan, Merchant, Murtha, Naylor,
Nolen, Reilly, Ryu, Schwarz, Sheean, Weeks, White, Wilgus and Witte.
New at the Library
|Donated by Mary Bump: Irish
Pedigrees, Vol. I & II, 5th Edition, by John O'Hart: Listed
in this edition are all the Genealogies contained in the Third Edition
of Irish Pedigrees and those given in our Irish Landed Gentry When
Cromwell Came to Ireland. Included in Vol. It is the Origin and
Stem of the Irish Nation as far as have been collected. Vol. II
lists the Families in Ireland from the twelfth to the end of the
The Hereditary Register of the United States of America 1984
by Ralph Malcom Pabst & Jerome Francis Beattie: In order to be listed
in the Register one must be a member of a hereditary organization
requiring proven lineal descent from ancestors who resided in the
United States not later than the American Revolution.
Anonymous donations are: A General History of the Burr Family:
With a Genealogical Record from 1193 to 1891 (1878), by Charles
Burr Todd; This work may be regarded as the fruit of the author's
interest in, and his desire to preserve to posterity the memory
of the fore fathers. This book contains over 500 pages with sketches
on Colonel Aaron Burr and Chief-Justice Peter Burr.
The House of Waltman and Its Allied Families, by Lora S.
LaMance: This book begins with Valentine Waldman who was born in
Alsace, France and died in Bavaria about 1750. His only heir, Conrad,
came to Philadelphia in 1738, and from him most of the Waltmans
in the United States came. Eight generations of Waltmans and allied
families are represented in this book.
"The kind of
ancestors we had is not as important as the kind descendants our
|Understanding land measurement
and terms is vital to genealogy research. I hope this will help
you decipher the wills and land records.
Old Survey Measurements: Old surveys were often measured
using a Surveyors Chain. These were literally chains made up of
100 links. Each Chain was 66 feet long. Each link was 0.666 of a
foot...or 7.92" To convert the distances on a plat measured in chains
(abbreviate Ch) simply multiply the distance in chains by 66.
Another common unit of measurement was the Pole. The Pole is exactly
what it sounds like; a wood pole which was 16.5' feet long. To convert
the distances on a plat measured in poles (abbreviated P) you must
multiply the distance by 16.5 . A Pole is sometimes called a "perch"on
Miles: A mile is defined as being 5,280 feet in length.
Area Measurements: The standard unit of measuring land in
the United States is the ACRE. An Acre is equal to 43,560 square
feet (Sq. Ft.) of area. An acre is also equal to 10 square chains
( 66 x 66 x 10 = 43560 Sq. Ft.), or 160 square rods (16.5
x 16.5 x 160 = 43,560 Sq. Ft.) There are exactly 640 Acres in one
Seeing how older units of measurement, like the chain and the pole,
can be converted into acres makes it easy to see that seemingly
odd distances (66' and 16.5') really did make sense.
What Does An Acre Look Like? If you had a parcel of land
that was exactly 1 acre in size and was perfectly square it would
be 208.71' on each of the 4 sides. If the same lot was a rectangle
100' wide it would be 435.60' feet deep (long).
Methods of Survey: The following methods of survey
comprise the specifications for determining the length and direction
Distance Measurement: Units: The law prescribes the chain
as the unit of linear measure for the survey of the public lands.
All returns of measurements in the rectangular system are made in
the true horizontal distance in miles, chains, and links. (Exceptions
are special requirements for measurement in feet in town site and
Units of Linear Measure: 1 chain=100 links, 1 chain=66 feet,
1 mile=80 chains, 1 mile=5,280 feet.
Units of Area: 1 acre=10 square chains=43,560 square feet,
1 square mile=640 acres.
The chain unit, devised in the seventeenth century by Edmund Gunter,
an English astronomer, is so designed that 10 square chains are
equivalent to one acre. In the English colonial area of the United
States the boundaries of land were usually measured in the chain
unit, but lengths of lines were frequently expressed in poles. One
pole is equal to 25 links, and four poles equal one chain. The field
notes of some early rectangular surveys in the southern States show
the distance in "perches," equivalent to poles. The term now commonly
used for the same distance is the rod.
Surveying Measurements: 1 yard = 3 ft = 0.9144 meter,
1 rod, perch, or pole = 25 links = 16.5 ft, 4 rods = 1 chain, 1
chain = 4 rods = 66 ft = 100 links, 10 chains = 1 furlong, 1 link
= 1/100 of surveyor's chain = 7.92 inches, 25 links = 1 rod = 16.5
ft, 100 links = 1 chain = 66 ft, 1 furlong = 10 chains = 1/8 mile
= 220 yards = 660 ft = 201.168 meters, 8 furlongs = 1 mile, 1 mile
= 80 chains = 320 rods = 1,760 yards = 5,280 ft = 1,609.344 meters,
league = 3 statute miles = 4,828.032 meters.
|About 17 members attended Francie
Kennedy’s workshop on March 26. Everyone learned more about researching
genealogy on Google, and some found new information. Read what Herb
Abrams has to say. “I am pretty sure I found the middle name
of my great grandfather at Francie's workshop on Friday. I had always
known him as William D. Bassham, b. 1820 in Tennessee. His son,
Solomon, named one of his sons William “Doak” Bassham. I am
guessing that the "D" in my great grandfather's name was Doak also.
It sounds like a surname, so now I will start researching the Doak
family hoping to find a connection.” Watch for information
regarding a future workshop featuring Francie and Google.
The Basics of
Archival Document Storage
~George G. Morgan
|Many people are unsure about how
to store the documents they have collected in the course of their
genealogical quest. There are a number of considerations in selecting
the right storage containers, binders, file folders, and the like.
You also have to be aware that anything published on newsprint can
spell disaster to documents stored in close proximity to it.
Most of the genealogical items you compile are paper-based materials.
These include originals of letters, vital records, land and property
records, books, diaries, journals, forms, and other documents. They
also include photocopies you make when you visit libraries, archives,
and courthouses. In order to ensure the longevity of these papers,
you need to know about and recognize their natural enemies.
Original documents may or may not have been produced using archival-safe
paper. Some paper products are manufactured using acids or chemicals,
which degrade or destroy the paper over time. Newsprint is a prime
example of high-acid paper. It has been used in newspapers, telephone
directories, and other short-term publications. Other materials
it comes in contact with can discolor and/or decompose over time.
If this paper comes in contact with other paper documents–even through
the air–the other documents become “infected” and begin to discolor.
Newsprint should be stored separately from other documents. An excellent
solution is to make a photocopy of newsprint items and store the
copy instead of the original. However, even photocopies may be a
problem because not every photocopy paper is acid-free and archival-safe.
Check the box or wrapper that the paper comes in; for these purposes,
recycled paper is not a good choice.
Storage in cardboard is a definite no-no too. I learned this the
hard way. I once purchased a beautiful signed and numbered print,
“African Elephants,” by artist John Ruthven. It arrived in a stiff
cardboard package. I set the print aside for a year or so before
I decided to have it framed and matted. Imagine my horror when the
framing gallery owner informed me that the print had been damaged
and discolored by the cardboard in which the print had been shipped
and stored. The print’s paper had already begun yellowing. Only
through the application of a spray-on acid neutralizer and fixative
was the damage halted. However, in the meantime, my expensive print
had been so damaged that no other collector would ever want it.
Direct sunlight is a deadly enemy to paper products. Light and heat
can cause photographic papers to age, fade, discolor, and deteriorate
over time. Sunlight and bright light also interact with photographs
of all types causing them to fade and disintegrate. (Keep in mind
that photographs are created using controlled light exposure and
even though the chemicals used and stop bath may halt the chemical
developing process, prolonged exposure to bright light will fade
some photographs and cause others to darken.)
Moisture and humidity can do more damage than you might think. They
certainly can damage paper, causing it to warp, weaken, and deteriorate.
They also provide an ideal environment for the formation of mold
and mildew and a breeding ground for a variety of insects and parasites.
If you combine direct sunlight, moisture and humidity, acidic paper
products, and general neglect, you have a perfect recipe for disaster.
Proper storage is not as complicated as you might think, and with
a little foresight and planning, you can develop your own archival
preservation and storage environment.
Storage Basics: The ideal environment for storing genealogical materials
would be clean, dark, cool, and have low humidity. Containers should
always be archival-safe and acid- and lignin-free. That means no
ordinary cardboard boxes or plastic storage containers. Both of
these can wreak havoc on paper products.
All of us are guilty of gathering genealogical documents and setting
them aside until we have the time to work with them. Short-term
storage in non-archival-safe containers may do little damage, but
you would do well to equip yourself with an archival-safe storage
receptacle for that temporary period. Who knows how long it will
be until you get around to filing and preserving your files?
(The Ancestry Weekly Journal, 22 June 2008)
"If you don’t know your family history, then you don’t know anything.
You are a leaf that doesn’t know it is part of a tree."
~Michael Crichton, Author
|April 28–May 1. - Salt
Lake City NGS Family History Conference <www.familysearch.org/ngs2010>
October 16 – SOCCGS Family History Seminar featuring Dr. George
Is Your Address
|This means that the April newsletter
will be your last issue, as the 2010 dues payment has not been received.
Please contact Jack Naylor or Mary Jo McQueen if you still wish
to remain a member.
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 ________________________
||Cindie Reily _______________________
||Pat Weeks _______________________
|Treasurer & Newsletter
||Mary Jo McQueen
||Jack Naylor ______________________
||Herb Abrams _____________________
||Bunny Smith _____________________
||Charles & Patricia
Eunice Muari ______________________
|Ways & Means
||David Flint ________________________
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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