Orange County California Genealogical Society
17 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.
May 15, 2010
"Research and Analyze Strategy"
Caroline Braxton Rober
|At one time or another
we all forget some of the practices that have helped us do our research.
Caroline’s presentation will help each of us learn how the experts
keep on top of their work, find new clues to help jump start the
research process, and uncover answers that may already be in one’s
Caroline is a professional genealogical lecturer, teacher and researcher.
She has been doing genealogy research for 36 years. She is President
of the Southern California Chapter of the Association of Professional
Genealogists and Staff Training Coordinator for the Orange County
Regional Family History Center in Orange, California. She is a member
of the National Genealogical Society, New England Historical Genealogical
Society and the Kentucky Historical Society. Caroline is a native
|On May 26 join the group
for a day of “ancestor searching,” when we travel to the Orange
Family History Center. If you have never taken a SOCCGS Safari,
now is the time. Haven’t been for a while? Again, now is the time!
The car(s) will leave the LDS parking lot at 9:30 a.m. Bring a brown-bag
lunch and $$ for your driver. Since this a shorter distance, there
are no plans for dinner.
To make a reservation please contact Bill Bluett at
email@example.com 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!
"Those who do
not look upon themselves as a link connecting the past
with the future do not perform their duty to the World."
|The April meeting was attended
by a large group, which enjoyed speaker Glenn Witte and his wife
Maureen’s talk on German Research. Their emphasis was on those who
immigrated during the 1800s. There are many useful resources included
in Glenn’s syllabus. If you missed his talk, you may want to pick
up a copy at the library’s genealogy desk.
Francie Kennedy has offered to teach another Google class at the
library on Friday, April 30. This class filled up quickly at the
April meeting, and a waiting list has been started. More classes
will be scheduled in the fall. This is a popular class, and we are
lucky to have a knowledgeable and willing teacher. Google is a valuable
tool for genealogists, and, I would guess that many of us are still
using it on a minimal level.
When I read Bill Bluett’s column in last month’s newsletter, telling
of the financial times of the 1890s and how they affected his ancestor,
it got me thinking. My maternal grandmother was born in 1893 in
Texas. During the 1890s her family went through two distinct cycles
of wealth to poverty and back again. I “Googled” the Depression
of 1893. The results I found explained a lot about the fluctuating
finances of my grandmother’s family. Now, I am going to look back
at financial situations at other times in history to help me understand
my ancestors’ circumstances. Following is some of the data I found
at EH.net (Economic History Association).
~David O. Whitten,
|The Depression of 1893 was one
of the worst in American history with the unemployment rate exceeding
ten percent for half a decade. This article describes economic developments
in the decades leading up to the depression; the performance of
the economy during the 1890s, domestic and international causes
of the depression and political and social responses to the depression.
This Depression can be seen as a watershed event in American history.
It was accompanied by violent strikes, the climax of the Populist
and free silver political crusades, the creation of a new political
balance, the continuing transformation of the country's economy,
major changes in national policy, and far-reaching social and intellectual
developments. Business contraction shaped the decade that ushered
out the nineteenth century. More information is available at
|Charlene Clark of Mission
Viejo is our newest member. She was a guest at the March meeting.
She wrote that she enjoyed the meeting so much that she decided
to join “the friendly folks.” Welcome Charlene
|We are sorry to report that SOCCGS
member, Iris Graham, passed away on April 12. She was a founding
member and membership chairman for many years.
Iris, age 87, was a resident of Orange County for over 31 years.
She retired in 1993 and became a library volunteer, genealogy society
member and Tai Chi instructor. She gave so much of herself and will
be greatly missed by all who knew her.
Iris Moreen Padgett was born to John H. Padgett and Grace Sellman
Rynearson on 18 April 1923 in North Bend, Oregon. She first married
Johnny F. Jones in Washoe County, Nevada. He was killed in Germany
in 1945. She then married Bernard Graham in 1948 at Stockton, California.
They were divorced in 1977.
Iris worked for many years to prove her right to join the Daughter’s
of the American Revolution. Her line to Patriot, Joseph Abbot, is
as follows: Grace Sellman, Emerson Sellman, Thomas Sellman, Ester
Abbott, and, Joseph’s father, John Abbot.
Joseph Abbott was a private in the Revolutionary War. He served
in the Continental Army, Third Battalion of Morris County, New Jersey.
|Lots of helpful information was
given during the “Brick Walls and Genealogy Moments” portion of
Pat McCoy shared the name of a Spanish interpreter, Peggy Edwards,
who is willing to help our members with translations, and may be
contacted at 949-707-5156. Ms. Edwards was born in Mexico City.
Joyce Van Schaak thanked Herb Abrams for helping her clear up a
mangled GEDCOM file.
Myrna Hamid said that she finally received her USS Grant ancestor’s
death certificate. She recommends being persistent. Don’t give up.
She kept going back to the same sources over and over, and after
several answers of “no” eventually the answer was, “Yes, we have
Kathie Mauzey also was persistent. She had lost track of her great
grandfather’s brother, William L. Doak, who was missing from the
1870 census. She found him when she searched marriage records, finding
that he had another wife (actually 4 wives). That marriage record
named his parents, so she knew she had found the right man.
Jim Thordahl found his father’s immigration papers through the Danish
Immigrants’ Museum in Iowa.
Pat Christiansen was able to complete a several-generation-history
for her son-in-law who didn’t know much about his family. She looked
through the papers and pictures he had in a “show box”, then interviewed
him and did much research. She was pleased to be able to send him
a book she created of his family history.
One guest attended the meeting: Jeannette Smith of Mission
Diane Hearne, Ruth Relin and Ted Keyser hosted the refreshment table
and provided the goodies.
|I would like to share with you
a recent find while on Safari with our SOCCGS group, when we traveled
to the San Diego Genealogical Library in northeastern San Diego.
I was looking for books on Polish history and came across Quarterly
Reports for the Polish Genealogical Society of California. There
were about ten of them from 2004- 2006. As I looked through them
I came across an article about funeral cards found in the belongings
of a deceased lady from Michigan. The article provided a listing
of the names and information printed on each card. I perused the
list of about fifty names and was surprised to find one each for
my husband’s maternal grandmother and his paternal grandfather.
Both had long ago passed away. Information about spelling of names,
dates of death and cemeteries had been lost by remaining family.
I was fortunate to find an email address for the author of the article
and I contacted her. After several friendly and satisfying communications
I now have in my possession the original Funeral Cards and I am
sharing them with my husbands' family. Plus, I have a new friend
and contact to help in my Polish research.
Going on a Safari is always fun, but this time I was on target and
bagged a big one! I wish to thank Bill Bluett for organizing
or Ethical Won’t?
|Do you ever think about what will
be your most valuable legacy? Perhaps you should give some thought
to an "ethical will".
An ethical will is a personal, spiritual message to our descendants
and can include: Thoughts and feelings about life, Lessons learned,
Important messages to pass on, Values, hopes and dreams, Challenges
and triumphs, Stories about yourself.
Through an ethical will, you pass on your values, not your valuables.
You share the voice of your heart and the legacy of your spirit.
You may find out more about ethical wills by reading this blog:
Give some thought to your most important treasure - your wisdom,
your stories and the values you want to pass on.
Editor’s note: There is a myriad of information regarding ethical
wills on the web: simply put “Ethical Will” into Google.
We Are The Chosen
|We are the chosen. In each family
there is one who seems called to find the ancestors. To put flesh
on their bones and make them live again, t0 tell the family story
and to feel that somehow they know and approve.
Doing genealogy is not a cold gathering of facts, but, instead,
breathing life into all who has gone before. We are the storytellers
of the tribe. All tribes have one. We have been called, as it were,
by our genes. Those who have gone before cry out to us, "Tell our
story!" So, we do. In finding them, we somehow find
How many graves have I stood before now and cried? I have
lost count How many times have I told the ancestors, "You have a
wonderful family; you would be proud of us." How many times
have I walked up to a grave and felt somehow there was love there
for me? I cannot say.
It goes beyond just documenting facts. It goes to who I and why
do I do the things I do.
It goes to seeing a cemetery about to be lost forever to weeds and
indifference and saying, "I can't let this happen." The bones here
are bones of my bone and flesh of my flesh.
It goes to doing something about it. It goes to pride in what our
ancestors were able to accomplish, how they contributed to what
we are today.
It goes to respecting their hardships and losses, their never giving
in or giving up, their resoluteness to go on and build a life for
It goes to deep pride that the fathers fought and some died to make
and keep us a Nation.
It goes to a deep and immense understanding that they were doing
it for us. It is of equal pride and love that our mothers struggled
to give us birth. Without them we could not exist, and so we love
each one, as far back as we can reach. That we might be born who
we are, that we might remember them. So we do.
With love and caring and scribing each fact of their existence,
because we are they and they are the sum of who we are.
So, as a scribe called, I tell the story of my family. It is up
to that one called in the next generation to answer the call and
take my place in the long line of family Storytellers. That
is why I do my family genealogy, and that is what calls those young
and old to step up and restore the memory or greet those who we
had never known before.
|The dictionary defines “apron”
as a garment worn over the front of clothes to keep them clean during
working, especially cooking.
Yes, Grandma's apron was worn to protect her dress, but along with
that, it served as a potholder for removing hot pans from the oven.
It was wonderful for drying children's tears, and on occasion was
even used for cleaning out dirty ears.
From the chicken coop, the apron was used for carrying eggs, fussy
chicks, and sometimes half-hatched eggs to be finished in the warming
Those big old aprons wiped many a perspiring brow, bent over the
hot wood stove. when the weather was cold, grandma wrapped it around
Chips and kindling wood were brought into the kitchen in that apron.
It was used to carry vegetables in from the garden, and, after the
peas had been shelled, it carried out the hulls. In the fall, the
apron was used to bring in apples that had fallen from the trees.
When unexpected company drove up the road, it was surprising how
much furniture that old apron could dust in a matter of minutes.
When dinner was ready, Grandma walked out onto the porch, waved
her apron, and the men knew it was time to come in from the fields.
It will be a long time before someone invents something that will
replace that “old-time apron.”
Remember: Grandma used to set her hot baked apple pies on the window
sill to cool - Her granddaughters set theirs on the window sill
They would go crazy, now, trying to figure out how many germs were
on that apron. I don't think I ever caught anything from an Apron!
Where Are the
|My mother started work on our
family history back in the 70s, when I was growing up. While we
were in school, she would visit libraries, Family History Centers,
and the National Archives-Great Lakes. More research was done through
correspondence via what we now consider “snail-mail.”
Now we can sit at home in our jammies and fuzzy slippers in front
of our computers and with the click of a mouse, locate and view
images of census records, military records, passenger arrival records,
and so much more. With this convenience though, there is sometimes
a cost. We may be so focused on what’s available online, that we
may be overlooking a treasure-trove of resources that reside in
the physical world–in libraries, archives, courthouses, and with
historical and genealogical organizations.
It can be intimidating to venture out beyond the relative comfort
of our computer chairs but through correspondence, interlibrary
loan, and library visits, we may find that the tools we need, aren’t
as far away as we thought.
Where to Check? The good news is, when it comes to rooting
out these offline resources, we can start our search online. Here
are some places to get you started.
- Database Descriptions. If you’re looking for an original
record that corresponds with an entry you found in an online
index, check out the database description. At Ancestry, in many
cases, you’ll find the necessary contact information where you
can write to request the original record. To view the description,
click on the database title at the top of the search results
page, or locate it through the Ancestry Card Catalog.
- USGenWeb or WorldGenWeb. These volunteer-driven websites
typically give links and information on ordering vital records,
naturalizations, and other locally relevant records.
- Local Government. Municipalities have figured out that a
good online presence can greatly diminish the inquiries that
eat up personnel time, so it often pays to go directly to the
source of the records. For example, the Cook County, Illinois,
website even has a genealogical page with detailed instructions
and downloadable forms for requesting records.
- County Courthouses. Courthouses typically hold a number
of records of value to family historians. The National Association
of Counties (NACo) website gives addresses and links to county
websites for the U.S.
- Archives. The National Archives has a very helpful website
with a genealogy guide, and regional branches also include information
on holdings and research requests. The Great Lakes Region website,
for example, has an overview of records available. The link
to naturalization records lists what states’ records are held
at that branch, and there is also a link to order the records
- State archives shouldn’t be overlooked either. The Pennsylvania
State Archives has an excellent reference section detailing
holdings with guides to census records, coal miners and mining,
county records, land records, military records, naturalization
records, prison records, railroad records, ships’ lists, and
vital records. The website also features several military databases
for various conflicts in U.S. history.
- Family History Library Catalog (http://www.familysearch.org).
I keep a printout of vital records available at the Family History
Library for my areas of interest. The catalog is also a great
way to see what else is available for a particular area.
- Other places to check would include libraries (particularly
those with large genealogical collections like the one in Fort
Wayne, Indiana and genealogical and historical societies.
|Organizing What You Find
- So you’ve checked around and have amassed a ton of information.
Print off inventories and make your own cheat sheets on record availability,
listing repositories, years available, fees and restrictions, and
addresses—both street and online. It’s a good idea to keep a list
of online databases that you have access to from home. You don’t
want to waste precious time searching records you could access anytime
from home when you’re on the road. Create a “locality file” and
put it someplace near your desk for easy reference. I put mine in
a binder so I can easily page through and get what I need. I use
information and the outline from Red Book as my guide and I add
pages from various repositories.
These are just some of the places whose holdings with which you
should familiarize yourself. As mentioned, many won’t even require
a visit in person, but if at all possible, it would be well worth
the trip. Many of these repositories could have hidden gems that
don’t make it to the website and can only be accessed in person.
(Copyright © 1998-2007, MyFamily.com
Inc., 22 June 2007)
Loss of Family Treasures
|How often do price less family
treasures end up on the trash heap or selling for 50 cents at a
yard sale, all because none of the younger generation knew the beautiful
family stories associated with them?
A grand parent dies, and the youngsters come in to clean out the
house. Who could have known that the lamp had been a 50th wedding
anniversary gift from a great-grandmother, or that the inexpensive
looking bric -a-brac had been a treasured wedding gift, lovingly
carried from one residence to another for the past 80 years?
Who would have guessed that grandmother remembered the day in 1923
when her father brought home the Alcoa Aluminum pot with lid as
a gift for her mother and the special meals her mother had prepared
in it when she was a little girl. It was just another pot the kids
found in the kitchen cabinet. In this age of computers and digital
cameras, such heartbreaking stories are insanely unnecessary.
While there is still time:
- Make a list of items that are special to you. Make notes
stating why they are special---Who bought them? Where? Who has
owned them? When and how did you come to have them? If you have
older relatives, do the same for them.
- Open a "Family Inventory" file in your computer, with sub-folders
for father and mother's side of the family.
- Create a page to display a photo of each item and the story
of its family history.
- Include a line specifying whom you wish the item to go to
upon your demise, and make sure that both the owner and designee
receive a copy of the page. For the sake of your family's children
for generations to come, don't allow yourself, your parents
or grandparents to take memories of treasured items into eternity.
(Edited from an article by the
Rev. Charles Stanley, Ret., previously published in RootsWeb
Review: 9 September 2009, Vol. 12, No. 9) and excerpted from the
Whittier Area Genealogical Society’s October 2009 Newsletter.)
New at the Library
The Mission Viejo
Chapter DAR has purchased two new CDs.
|New Hampshire Revolutionary
War Rolls. (Heritage Books CD #1172.) This CD contains reprints
of the following volumes: *Rolls of the Soldiers in the Revolutionary
War, 1775 to May 1777. *Rolls of the Soldiers in the Revolutionary
War, May 1777 to 1780. *Rolls and Documents Relating to Soldiers
in the Revolutionary War. *Part 1: Rolls and Documents Relating
to Soldiers in the Revolutionary War. Part II: Miscellaneous Provincial
Papers, from 1629 to 1725. *Composite Index to Volumes XIV – XVII
(Revolutionary War Rolls) of the New Hampshire State Papers. *Miscellaneous
Revolutionary Documents of New Hampshire, including the Association
Test, the Pension Rolls and Other Important Papers.
Revolutionary Records of Georgia, Volumes 1-3. (Heritage
Books CD #2406.) *Volume 1 (1769-1782) contains information about
the Council of Safety, the Provincial Congress, the Constitution
of 1777, several Acts, confiscation and banishment, and a list of
Negroes paid to the Georgia State Legion. *Volume 2 (1778-1785)
contains information on the Minutes of Executive Council and the
Journal of Land Court. *Volume 3 (1781-1784 contains information
about the Journal of the House of Assembly. Each volume contains
a full name index.
~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
~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.
The Scottish Festival 2010 will be held on May 29 and 30, 2010 from 9:00am until 5:00pm at the Orange County Fair & Event Center
(Orange County Fairgrounds), located at 88 Fair Drive in Costa Mesa, California.
There will be a Memorial Day Program at El Toro Memorial Park on Monday,
May 31 at 11:00 a.m. The speaker will be Chaplain James L. Juhan (LTC) U.S. Army (Ret). He’s a Vietnam Veteran.
October 16 – SOCCGS Family History Seminar featuring Dr. George Schweitzer.
Orange County Cemetery District has a new website and our burial records are now online for Anaheim Cemetery, Santa Ana Cemetery and El Toro Memorial Park.
The 2010 SCGS Jamboree is scheduled Friday, June 11 through Sunday, June 13 at the LA Marriott Burbank Airport Hotel.
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
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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