Orange County California Genealogical Society
16 No. 5
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.
– 16 May 2009
“Genealogy Research on the Internet”
on the Internet is growing at a phenomenal pace. Historical record
data is being added daily to the many websites that exist. The SOCCGS
Genealogy Department at the Mission Viejo Library has an excellent
selection of “free” and “fee based” websites that can be accessed
from our three computer workstations. Herb Abrams will demonstrate
how to search on a number of these websites. Any one of them may
have the answers you’ve needed for discovering more about your ancestors.
Herb began doing genealogy research after his retirement in 1992.
He became a volunteer at NARA in 1995 and joined the society about
the same time. It wasn’t long before he accepted the job of publicity
chairman and additionally took over the duties of web master in
1997. He has been a Saturday morning docent since 1997 when our
Genealogy Department opened at the library. Herb also services the
SOCCGS computers, printers and copy machines.
- 17 October 2009
|We are eagerly anticipating the
annual seminar and Paula Stuart-Warren’s presentations. Topics are:
"Genealogy on the Internet: Make it Work For You," "Organizing Your
Genealogical Materials," "The U.S. Federal Government: 13 Underutilized
Resources" and "Untrodden Ground: Sources You May Not Have Encountered."
Paula has lectured for genealogical societies and organizations
across the U.S. and Canada. Her presentations are lively, professional
and educational. Information about her may be found by entering
her name in GOOGLE. Click on the GENEALOGICAL SPEAKERS GUILD and
it will open to her page.
Be sure to set that day aside to attend what is sure to be another
Safari News –
Burbank In May
|Plans are in the works for a safari
on May 27 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 at 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. Contact
Bill Bluett (949-492-9408) to make a reservation.
SOCCGS 15th Birthday
Party at the May Meeting
~Bill Bluett, Program
|We will celebrate our Society’s
birthday with displays of special photos, highlights from the first
six months of the newsletter, and a specially decorated cake commemorating
the event. Also, some folks will receive special recognition. Come
join the celebration!
|The month of April brought us
another great speaker (Connie Moretti) who has left us with suggestions
on researching our Civil War ancestors. We said goodbye to member
Kathy Kane who is moving away. We have two super seminars coming
in 2009: the SCGS Jamboree in Burbank from June 26-28, and our own
SOCCGS seminar on October 17.
Following is more information from the letters left by my Scottish
ancestors detailing their voyage to America, and their trip across
the country, in 1842 to be with their sister who had come to the
country in 1832. This letter was written by my ancestor Robert Tannahill’s
brother John to their brother James who remained in Truro, Cornwall,
Written by John Tannahill from their destination in Fulton, Mississippi,
Jan. 19th, 1842:
I left the canal at
Lockport (?) about 25 miles from Buffalo, and went by railway to
Niagara. Thin rails are laid on cross pieces of split timber, which
jump about and shake horribly, and you can hardly venture to set
your face out at the window lest it should receive a salute from
a stump. They are not either very particular as to level, as they
seemed to go up and down hill indifferently. They do not as in the
old country start to the minute, but are sometimes ˝ an hour or
more after. I can’t say I felt at all at ease in them.
As to the Falls, I
was taken by surprise all at once. I heard the sound, and two Frenchmen
in the same car could not preserve any degree of composure. Such
gesticulation I never saw before. With much difficulty, I moved
past them and the Falls with all their magnificence lay before me.
I will not venture on any description of them. I cannot. Conceive
a mighty river rushing through a confined channel, and thrown sheer
over a precipice 160 feet high. I went down and lingered and lingered
in a state of overwhelming amazement the few hours I had to spare
and left on the evening by steam for Buffalo. I saw with great interest
the scene of the late struggle – Navy Island and Grand Island, and
after a tedious ascent to the Black Rock Rapids, when at some places
we did not make 1 yard in 5 minutes, I got to Buffalo at nightfall.
The canal boat came
up the same evening, and the next day we took boat for Cleveland,
but owing to storms could not leave for two days. It was piercingly
cold with snow showers and after Robert and I had spent the night
in a place like a dog’s den, among a miscellaneous ( ), of no very
respectable looking emigrants, we retreated to the cabin, fairly
driven from economy by the weather.
There is a small colony
of Indians near Buffalo which is said to be rich. I saw a good many
of them in Buffalo. The women carry their children swung at their
backs, and wear leggings and moccasins embroidered. The men were
clad in beaver coats and trousers and except the countenance had
nothing remarkable about them. But the face there was not mistaking.
The long straight black hair, small piercing eye, and the broad
nose marked every one of them.
We got to Cleveland
in a week after landing in Buffalo. Thence to Portsmouth by the
Ohio canal, another week. Thence by the Ohio to Paduca, another
week. Here we were obliged to wait nine days for a boat going up
the Tennessee. This took two days and on a Sunday night we landed
at the town of Eastport.”
|Jamie Walker was born 10 December
1929 and passed away 01 April 2009. She had recently undergone open-heart
surgery. Jamie was a long time member of SOCCGS, Mission Viejo DAR
and a devoted library docent. She will be sorely missed.
|Help is needed to fill the second,
fourth and, sometimes, fifth Saturdays from 1:00 to 4:00 pm., and
on Wednesdays 1-3. There is also a need to fill Jamie’s shifts on
Friday’s from 1-4. It is possible to fill a shift for one day a
week if the entire month is not possible. If you are able to fill
any of these shifts please contact Bunny Smith, 949-472-8046. She
will set up a training session for you. Note: Serving as a docent
is a great opportunity for you to research your own genealogy.
Why is it that
our children can't read a Bible in school, but they can in prison?
I Wish I Had Known"
|The Englishwoman, Cecil Woodham-Smith,
is the author of The Great Hunger Ireland 1845-1849. In the book
she writes about the "Irish of the nineteenth century and their
blend of courage and evasiveness, tenacity and inertia, loyalty
and double-dealing" and how their character developed during centuries
of Penal Laws (1695 to 1829).
My great-great grandfather, Irish-born Jeremiah Fallon, came from
the poor rocky west of Ireland, Elphin Parish, County Roscommon.
He was a larger than life young man. He seemed to have had a great
sense of timing. He boarded a sailing ship alone bound for New York
between 1832 and 1834. Why did he leave? This was before the great
famine but certainly times were already tough and in 1821 and 1822
the potato crop failed completely in Connaught. His birth date is
unknown and later records indicated he might have been as young
as 16 in 1834 when he made his passage.
During the long voyage he met and fell in love with his future bride,
Eleanor Murray, who was traveling with her older brother, Michael
Murray. Michael and Eleanor remained in New York for a while, however,
Jeremiah went to New Orleans. A shipbuilder by trade, he constructed
two ships and by 1838 had made enough money hauling pine timber
down the Mississippi to New Orleans to send to New York for Eleanor.
The Marriage Register of St. Patrick's Catholic Church in New Orleans,
erected in 1833 for English speaking people, indicates "Darby Fallon"
married "Ellen Murray" on May 22, 1838. He probably spoke mainly
Irish, but he must have spoken English, as well, since he used the
anglicized version "Darby" for Jeremiah. He acquired ten acres of
land in the piney woods of Louisiana and built a nice house. Four
children were born to the Fallon’s in New Orleans, including twin
daughters who died in infancy.
Ellen's brother Michael Murray, unmarried, left New York City to
start farming near St. Joseph, Missouri. Michael started looking
west and during a visit by Jeremiah and Ellen, Michael convinced
them to join him on a wagon train to California. Jeremiah returned
to New Orleans and sold his boats, business and I assume home and
property as well. In the early spring of 1846 the little family
and Uncle Michael yoked up their oxen and joined a wagon train.
Why were they willing to leave a comfortable life to venture into
the unknown? Perhaps Eleanor couldn't bear to be separated from
her only kin in America or perhaps the idea of slavery was hard
to accept after English domination.
According to family stories the Fallon and Murray wagons left Missouri
in a group headed by George F. Donner and James F. Reed. They separated
at Fort Bridger, Wyoming, after deciding to push on with little
rest. This proved to be a fateful choice since the Donner Party
became trapped in an early snowfall in the High Sierras. The Fallon
and Murray train arrived in Mission San Jose on October 18, 1846,
the Fallon wagon being pulled by a big white ox, called "Whitey."
Whitey had been crippled in Nevada by arrows from a hostile Indian
band and left to die. He followed the train overnight and was hitched
up to make it to Mission San Jose and later to what would become
Dublin, California. Captain Jeremiah Fallon is sometimes listed
as one of the early group of rescuers of the Donner Party. “I would
like to ask Captain Fallon if this is true.”
In 1848 gold fever came to Mission San Jose and Jeremiah Fallon
and Michael Murray headed for the Mother Lode. After making enough
money to purchase land Jeremiah Fallon convinced Jose M. Amador
to sell him land and built a home in the Amador Valley. Michael
Murray followed his example and eventually they acquired over one
thousand acres. They donated land and money to build Saint Raymond's
Catholic Church, in Dublin, California. In 1850 when Jeremiah first
acquired 246 acres of land he went up into the Oakland Hills at
Moraga to fell redwood trees and hauled them back to the site by
an oxen team. He built his home like a ship with square wooden pegs
and moved it once on logs when the spring water dried up.
When the county of Alameda was created Michael Murray was the first
supervisor and Jeremiah served on the early board as well. Jeremiah
became sick and died August 13, 1864. Eleanor lived for another
thirty-one years to raise her three remaining daughters and three
sons. Her oldest John had died at Mission San Jose. The last daughter
was born after Jeremiah's death. My great grand mother, who was
also named Ellen, crossed the continent in a wagon train at one
year of age. She was the first to marry in St. Raymond's church
and was given away by Uncle Michael Murray. This wedding, which
took place on 1 January 1866 united Miss Ellen Fallon (daughter
of Jeremiah) and Mr. William Tehan, who came West as a civilian
teamster for the army.
of the year: "If you can read this, thank a teacher.
Since it's in English, thank a soldier!"
|Our guest speaker, Connie Moretti,
gave a very interesting presentation on "Researching Civil War Ancestors".
Primary areas to search for information regarding a veteran was
indicated as follows: cemetery headstones and markers, old newspapers
for reunions and obits, county histories, pension records, and master
rolls and indexes. The 1910 census, column 30, indicates if the
person listed was a Civil War veteran. Also, Connie encouraged members
to consider joining one of the Heritage Organizations listed on
her handout. Members who shared information about ancestors who
were “colorful characters” or Civil War veterans were: Beverly Long,
Pat McCoy, Georgiana Emery, Karen Miller, Eunice Murai and Pat Christiansen.
Those sharing "brick walls" were: Tom Corning, Karyn Schumaker,
Kathy Kane, Kathy Mauzey, Patti Bartlett Russell, and Rosanna Gahran.
Pat Nostrome and Noel Jensen provided the delicious treats.
on Herb Abrams' Lost Revolutionary War Ancestor
(See the June 2008
issue of the Saddleback Valley Trails)
|Following is what Herb reports:
I recently upgraded my 12-marker DNA test to a 67 marker test and
now have the results. There were two 63/67 matches, one with a Gary
McNeil and one with a Rodney Richard Baird and two 62/67 matches,
one with a Lamar Beard and one with a Larry Beard.
I had suspected that my 4th great grandfather William Abrams b.
about 1774 might be from Mary Telford's (James Abrams' wife) possible
prior marriage, because my DNA did not match with James Abrams.
In the book "A Compilation of the Original Lists of Protestant Immigrants
to South Carolina 1763-1773" by Janie Revill (on file at our SOCCGS
library) it shows that Mary Telford arrived in South Carolina in
Jan 1773 from Belfast, Ireland on the ship Britania and petitioned
for land. The names on either side of her name on the petition were
William Beard and James Beard and indicated they were on the same
boat. I have a land plat map that shows James and William Beard's
land near James and Mary's in Newberry County, SC.
I contacted by email all four of the people with whom I had close
matches and got replies back from all of them.
Gary McNeil's niece Irene McNeil sent this: "My great grandfather
is Henry Charles McNeil born 1862 in London area, England. My great-great
grandfather is William Baird McNeil, born in Scotland. I never really
paid attention to the fact that my great-great grandfather's name
was William Baird McNeil. I thought that could have been his mother's
name. It obviously was a direct male ancestor and now I need to
Rod Baird sent this reply: " I will review my data – there is a
suggestion of SC property ownership until the Civil War but I need
to refresh my memory. William and John were the usual Baird (Beard)
forenames during this period and around that time there were 2 brothers
(W & J) that crossed the Atlantic in my records but we have to be
very careful with jumping to conclusions. The hard part starts here!"
Lamar Beard didn't reply but he included a pedigree chart on the
Family Tree DNA webpage that showed his earliest known ancestor
was James A. Beard b. 1822 in Alabama. I found him in the 1880 census
and it showed that his father was born in South Carolina.
Larry Beard wrote this: "My great grandfather was William Noah Beard,
Sr. DOB – 30 July 1865, Place – Pulaski, Giles County, Tennessee.
His father was Frank Beard who died in 1899." I found him in the
1850 census and his father was John A. Beard b. 1795 in South Carolina.
So three of the Beard/Baird close matches have paper trails back
to South Carolina and could indicate a close relationship. The other
one probably indicated a common ancestor a few generations before
my William Abrams.
One more thing - there was a William Beard that purchased items
at James Abrams' estate sale at his death in 1822 in Newberry County,
SC. William Beard was listed on the 1800 census of Newberry County,
age 26-45, with 4 sons under 10. John A. Beard born 1795 could have
been one of them.
I wonder..... Could I be a Beard instead of an Abrams????
I Could Be Wrong
About Some Things
"Drill for oil? You mean drill into the ground to try and find
oil? You're crazy."
~ Drillers whom Edwin L. Drake tried to enlist for his project to
drill for oil in 1859.
“So many centuries after the Creation it is unlikely that anyone
could find hitherto unknown lands of any value."
~ Committee advising Queen Isabella of Spain regarding a proposal
by Christopher Columbus in 1486.
Interest to Genealogists"
Interesting site. Simply put the mouse
on a city anywhere in the world and the newspaper headlines pop
up... Double click and the page gets larger.... you can read the
entire paper on some if you click on the right place.
Digitization of the Old Parish Register
death/burial records covering the years 1553-1854 has now been completed,
and the collection was launched online on April 1. This is a wonderful
addition to the site following the recent release of the 1881 Scotland
census. As a pay-per-use site, ScotlandsPeople has offered online
access for many years to digitized records of births, marriages
and deaths found in civil registration records from 1855. In addition,
they have offered birth/baptism and marriage records from the Old
Parish Registers (OPRs) maintained by the Church of Scotland for
300 years prior to the implementation of civil registration. Searching
Have you seen this? Go to familysearch.org
and click the drop-down menu under "Search". In "Record Search Pilot"
it was possible to print out an ancestor’s 1850 census page. Another
is "Historical Books". If a book is found you may pint out pages.
The Indiana Magazine of History, published
by Indiana University, has put its past issues online from 1910
to 2007. Only the last two years are not available. Go to this page
and type your subject into the search box.
Databases On NewEnglandAncestors.org
(Available on SOCCGS
- The Connecticut Nutmegger,
Volumes 1-6 was released in January 2009. An additional five
volumes will be released every few weeks. The entire database
will be online by the end of 2009.
- New England Historical
and Genealogical Register, 2005 (Newly added),
- New England Ancestors,
- Plymouth Court Records,
Los Angeles Regional
Family History Center To Close For Renovation
|The Family History Center on Santa
Monica Blvd. will be closing as of April 26 for renovations. It
is expected that the facility will be closed until the fall
New Ways & Means
David Flint, Ways
& Means Chairman
(email@example.com or (949) 0551-6300)
|Please go to this website to find
printable information regarding the fund raising project in conjunction
with Ralphs Grocery.
|Please send 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.
Complete stories, outlines and/or rough drafts will be accepted.
Send to: firstname.lastname@example.org
|Ladies, please stop by the check-in
table to pick up a new badge holder. Bring your current badge and
make the change. Don’t have one? Sign up and Herb will make you
one. Gentlemen, of course, may have a new badge holder, but this
change is being made particularly with women in mind. New members
may also pick up their badges. Please wear your badge at each
meeting. If you forget there are temporary ones available.
|Have you searched the SOCCGS Surname
Website lately? http://www.rootsweb.com/~casoccgs/
Please check your information, and 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
“One Brick Wall
Toppled; Another Behind It!”
|About a year ago, I recounted
how I unraveled the mystery of my great grandfather William Allen’s
roots, tracing him to Sugar Creek, Montgomery, Indiana. I found
his father to be James Allen, born somewhere in Pennsylvania. A
Montgomery County biography of William’s brother, John, revealed
that their father, James, had left Pennsylvania as a young child
and moved with his parents to Ohio. Where in Ohio, it was not said.
Eventually I came upon Montgomery County, Indiana, land records
showing the sale of land to a James Allen of Warren County, Ohio;
on that same day a parcel of land was sold to an Abraham Allen,
also of Warren County. I checked additional Montgomery County land
purchase entries for any other Allen’s who might have come from
Warren County, but found none. In searching US Federal Census and
LDS records, I learned that Abraham was born in Ohio in 1808, four
years after James was born. On the basis of those three sources,
I tentatively claimed the two Allen’s as likely brothers. Fine and
dandy! But who were their parents? Where in Ohio? Allen is such
a common name. As for James! Why not Ichabod or Horatio?
Working further with the Census and LDS records, I learned that
Abraham was married to Mary Ann Bunnel, also of Warren County, Ohio.
I searched for Bunnels in Warren County and found several possible
families from which Mary Ann might have come. However, I was not
able to determine which family was hers. I decided I would have
to wait for a lucky day to discover anything further. Months later,
on a whim, I decided to search Warren County genealogy sites once
again. This time I found a reference to “Biographies with Warren
County Connections”, taken from The History of Warren County Ohio,
Part V. Biographical Sketches, written by WH Beers. There, I found
a biographical sketch of Benjamin Bunnel who was born in New Jersey
and, with his father, Abner, came to Warren Co. in 1804. Benjamin
married Maria, daughter of James and Margaret Allen, who came from
Pennsylvania and settled in Turtle Creek Township, “where they lived
and died.” “They were the parents of five (other?) children; James,
Sarah, Abraham, Ann, and an infant.” Since this list does not show
Maria, I assume she may have been the first child and the author
had already included her when he mentioned her as the wife of Benjamin
Bunnel. At any rate, the spacing of the children seems logical,
if there was one child (Sarah) born between James (1804) and Abraham
(1808). It sure looks like this could be the right family! A James
and an Abraham, parents from Pennsylvania, maybe even a namesake
for James, Jr’s daughter Mariah.
The author writes that Mrs. (Margaret) Allen died about 1812. Apparently
shortly after the first Mrs. Allen died, James married Elizabeth
Busby on April 16, 1812 in Butler, Ohio. With Elizabeth he had nine
more children, four of whom survived to adulthood. So I’ve learned
that my great, great grandfather, James Allen, Jr. had a stepmother
by the time he was eight years old, and a number of step-siblings
as well. Maria Allen and Benjamin Bunnel were married March 2, 1820.
If Maria were born about two years before James, she would have
been 18 when she married. A family group record from the LDS family
search shows “Maria Bunnell” born in 1802 in Pennsylvania.
As yet I have been unable to find more information on James Allen,
Sr. or his wife Margaret. Cemetery records have not produced any
sign of Allen’s. However, I hope to find death records in Warren
County that might indicate Margaret’s maiden name and possibly where,
in Pennsylvania, they were born. With that information I might be
able to find a marriage record containing additional details. For
now I am happy to have (possibly) learned the names of another generation
of Allen’s and the names of James’ siblings, my great grandfather’s
aunts and uncles.
Since I had Mary Ann Bunnel Allen to thank for my great discovery,
I thought it was only fair to see if I could find her parents. Suspecting
that she might be the sister of Benjamin, I looked for Abner Bunnel
at Ancestry and Family Search. He was there, but his family wasn’t!
So I Googled Abner and discovered “Bible Records with Warren County
Connections”, part of the Warren County Ohio Gen Web project. There
I found a copy of the actual Bible page listing May Ann Allen as
a sister of Benjamin Bunnell! So Mary Ann’s parents were Abner and
Anna (Scudder) Bunnell. That means two Allen siblings married two
Bunnell siblings. Another bit of the family puzzle has been pieced
together. But another brick wall awaits this researcher’s bulldozer.
"We are the
children of many sires,
And every drop of blood in us in its turn ... betrays its
~Ralph Waldo Emerson
|May 16 - Hemet-San Jacinto
Genealogical Society seminar with Geoff Rasmussen at the Hemet Public
Library. For information: http://www.hsjgs.org
May 23 & 24 - United Scottish Society Highland Gathering
& Festival, Fairgrounds Costa Mesa.
May 25 - 20th Annual Memorial Day Observance, 11:00 AM, at
El Toro Memorial Park, 25751 Trabuco Road, Lake Forest. Featured
Speaker: Ronnie Guyer, Vietnam Veteran. Information: (949) 951-8244.
June 20 & 21 - Irish Fair & Music Festival, Irvine Meadows
Fairgrounds. Follow the VerizonWireless Amphitheater signs into
the Park. 8800 Irvine Center Drive.
June 26-28 - Southern California Genealogy 40th Annual Jamboree
at the Burbank Marriott Hotel and Convention Center. Check the blog
Registrations may be made online at
June 27 & 28 - San Diego Scottish Highland Games & Gathering
of Clans in Vista. http://sdhighlandgames.org
October 17 - SOCCGS 7th Annual Seminar. This year featuring
Paula Stewart Warren. For information contact Bill Bluett (949)
492-9408 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Chairman & Safari Coordinator ________
Bill Bluett ________________________
||Cindie Reily _______________________
||Pat Weeks _______________________
|Treasurer & Newsletter
||Mary Jo McQueen
||Jack Naylor ______________________
||Herb Abrams _____________________
||Bunny Smith _____________________
||Charles & Patricia
|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
Top of Page
Soccgs Home Page