Saddleback Valley Trails
South Orange County California Genealogical Society
Vol. 18 No. 6
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.
General Meeting 18 June 2011
“Ethnic Groups: They Came to America”
This program considers the Polish, German, French, Walloons from
Belgium, Irish, Italian, and Dutch and explores where they came from,
when they came, why they came, and where they went in America. This
presentation also looks at some common reasons for immigration,
including the history behind why people left their homeland. In
addition, it presents the time periods during which a group was most
likely to immigrate into the United States and where the most common
entry points were. By understanding our ethnic ancestors in greater
depth, we can more easily find them and tell their story.
About the Speaker: Linda Serna has been involved with genealogy for many
years. She is a member of the Association of Professional Genealogists,
the Genealogical Speakers Guild, the Orange County California
Genealogical Society, the Polish Genealogical Society, and the
Genealogical Society of Hispanic America. For the last 20 years Linda
has focused on tracing her and her husband’s families including her
Polish, French, and German background. She enjoys helping others begin
their research and write their family’s stories. Over the past several
years she has given presentations to various groups in Southern
Once again, by popular demand, the San Diego Genealogical Society
Research Library will be our destination on June 29th, the 5th Wednesday
of the month. 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. 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. Use
to access their Library Catalog.
Until further notice the SOCCGS monthly meetings will be held in the
main building at the Mission Viejo Family History Center.
Gravel – Listed as a cause of death usually meant complications from
Of all the research documents I have collected, I have to say that
OBITUARIES have provided some of the most interesting “breakthroughs” in
my genealogy research. They have indicated locations where the deceased
lived during their lifetime, accomplishments they may have attained at
some point in their life, and the names of brothers, sisters or children
are usually given including the names of spouses. Many times, their
current residence is indicated in the obituary. The biggest help I’ve
found is when the married names are included. That piece of information
alone has been a tremendous help to me in being able to continue
following the female line of a particular ancestor. I have found many of
these obituaries on the NEWSPAPERARCHIVES.COM website. Recently, I’ve
found a few more on the ARCHIVES.COM/ website. Their membership cost is
about $40 per year. Otherwise, Historical or Genealogical Societies in
areas where ancestors died have sent me obituaries from local
newspapers. Let me give you a few examples of what I have received with
some examples of the information they contained.
Thomas Collins, my gg-grandfather, died in Dubuque, Iowa, in October of
1869. The Dubuque County – Key City Genealogical Society found the
newspaper article for me. It stated where he was born (Portatown, County
Armagh, Ireland), what year he came from Canada to Dubuque (1855), who
he worked for (The Dubuque & Sioux City Railroad Company), what his age
was at death (59), the number of children in his family (8), what church
he was associated with (The Society of St Francis De Paul), and where he
was buried (The Key West Cemetery). It also stated that - “In the
earlier part of his life he followed the sea and had gone through all
the positions of seamanship, from before the mast, to the captaincy of a
vessel.” Needless to say, all this information has given me many
additional resources to explore and research. I’m not sure exactly when
Thomas departed Ireland and came to Canada. But, I’m working on it.
Tom Collins, my great-grandfather (son of Thomas), was a great find that
I have shared with many of you in the past. In March of 2003, our
society Safari traveled to the Pomona Library. Now, this was before the
days of the LOS ANGELES TIMES newspaper being made available on the L.
A. Public Library website. The Pomona Library had the newspaper on
microfilm. I had a list of ancestors who had died in the Los Angeles
area and I researched those dates on their microfilm. I found several
obituaries that day. But, the big surprise was the articles that ran for
two consecutive days in the L. A. Times (December of 1910) with my great
grandfathers picture! Tom had worked at City Hall in the Water
Department for many years and later served as a City Hall Guide for
seven years – after he became blind! You see, he was a brick mason on
the City Hall project when it was built and knew the layout of the
building like the back of his hand. He became known as “Old Blind Tom”
during those years. And, that is the way the articles were titled. They
covered his entire lifetime from his birth in Chatham, Ontario, Canada,
to his arrival in Los Angeles in 1890. The article gave me the path of
his life and locations to search for additional information. The fact
that he worked for William Mulholland at the Water Dept. may have had an
influence on the coverage he received when he died. I am thankful for
whatever reasons those articles were created.
Martha Stowell, my gg-grandmother, is my final example. She died in
Syracuse, New York, in 1906. The obituary listed her children in the
article. The main point of interest was her four daughters, their
married names, and where they were living at the time of her death. Many
times we lose track of the female lines unless we can find their married
names. Now, I had their names and I could research those family lines if
I chose to do so. One daughter of interest in the obituary was Jennie
Blount. It mentioned the fact that she had lost an arm as a result of a
trolley accident two years prior to her mother’s death. I found a number
of newspaper articles in NEWSPAPERARCHIVES.COM covering the incident.
That’s another story all together.
So, it is evident that obituaries can produce excellent leads for
additional research. I’m sure that many of you have had great success
with obituary information. But, there is always the possibility that one
of them just might knock down a “brick wall” that has been up for many
years and open up the floodgates to locating more of those elusive
ancestors. So, keep on digging and share some of your stories with our
group. We all learn from each other’s experiences.
Genealogical Writing: Selecting Type
~Michael J. Leclerc
Part of publishing compiled genealogies is selecting an appropriate font
and typeface to use. Font and type selection can make the difference
between a polished work and one that looks less clean and more amateur.
Fortunately there are a few simple rules to follow in selecting your
fonts that can make you shine like a star.
There are two major types of type. Serif fonts have small accents,
called serifs, on the end of the strokes in the letters. Serif fonts are
used for body text in printed works because the serifs help the eye to
keep the traveling along the lines in long blocks of text.
Times and Times New Roman have been the default fonts in word processing
programs for years. As such, they now have an amateurish look about
them. Neither should be used in publishing your family history. There
are a number of serif fonts that will make your work look much more
professional. Garamond and Palatino, for example, are two fonts that are
commonly used by the Newbury Street Press when publishing books.
Sans-serif type is more straight, and do not have the serifs on them.
The name comes from the French “sans” which means “without.” Another
term for this type style is Gothic, although this is now an outmoded
term. Sans-Serif fonts are traditionally used for headlines instead of
body text. Sans-serif fonts have also become the standard for electronic
publishing (CDs, websites, etc.). Serif fonts do not display well on
many computer monitors, and so are rarely used in electronic publishing.
Arial was the default sans-serif font in word processing programs for
many years, so again should be avoided in your publishing. Calibri is an
excellent choice for a sans-serif font.
Emphasizing text should also be used sparingly. If everything is bold or
italicized, nothing will stick out. And avoid italics in electronic
publishing. It can be very difficult to read on computer monitors,
especially on smaller monitors.
When selecting a font from your word processor or web page creation
software, you will often be provided with a wide variety of choices.
Remember that just because you have 100 fonts in your word processing
software, it doesn’t mean that you should use them all in a single
document. As a rule, try to choose a single serif font and a single
sans-serif font for your work. Specialty fonts (that make your type look
like the wild west, for example) should be used sparingly, if at all.
Excerpted from NEHS The Weekly Genealogist, Vol. 14, No. 9, Whole #520,
March 2, 2011
Dotty Frankel - Rancho Santa Margarita, CA,
Looking for: Yeagen – 1930, Schroll – 1730.
Sue McClory - Laguna Niguel, CA,
Looking for: McClory, Whitley, Warr and Chase (of Greenfield Co., MA).
Yvonne Horton - Trabuco Cyn, CA,
Judith A. Malone – Laguna Woods, CA,
Barbara Perez – Temecula, CA,
Looking for Lite,
Bennett, Pearson, Nelson, Olson, Sibbitt, McClure, Noble and Morton.
Ralph's Community Contribution Program
~Jim Thordahl – Ways & Means Chairman
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. You may also enroll on-line at
www.ralphs.com. Please see me at the
next meeting for a “Scanbar letter.” A “Scanbar Letter” can also be
downloaded from our website. If you have a question call or e-mail:
ph: (949) 492-5334.
U.S. IRS Tax Assessment Lists, 1862-1918
When the taxman came to call, our ancestors probably grumbled as much as
we do. But their tax woes can be a genealogists’ good fortune.
Throughout history, taxes have been collected by federal and local
governments on luxury items like carriages, watches, pianos, billiard
tables, and silver, as well as real estate, slaves, and income. Poll
taxes were sometimes levied by counties and towns on the free white
Guests at the meeting were: Robin Dries, Penny Sander and Beth Marcus.
Brick Walls & Genealogy Research Suggestions
Bunny Smith said that Pat McCoy has donated books for the October
seminar’s book sale and asks that we please begin collecting books to
Sondra Koegler asked for direction to a source for Norwegian
translation. Jim Thordahl can provide information for her.
Pat Weeks suggested going to a family history library and asking for the
research booklet for the country you are interested in. Those booklets
have info on sources.
Melbournia Pittman has been searching for WPA records.
Barbara Taylor has been using Ancestry and has found ships records and
info on her grandparents. New stuff is being added, so keep checking on
Kathy Mauzey has found an 1895 will. The will gives $1 each to the
children of the first wife. The children of the 2nd wife received
substantially more money. She told of the story of a lawsuit between the
children of the two wives.
Member, Pat McCoy, needs transportation from Laguna Woods to our
meetings. If you are able to offer assistance please call Pat at (949)
“He that hath no fools, knaves, or beggars in his family
Must have been begot by a flash of lightning!”
~Thomas Fuller, 1608-61
~Gary Schwarz - Editor
I wish to thank members who have submitted articles to be published in
the newsletter. Please continue to submit your articles of genealogical
interest. Short, one or two paragraphs, or long, two or more pages are
Submissions must be received by the Wednesday after the monthly meeting
to have a chance of making it into the next month’s newsletter. The
articles should be a text or MS Word attachment, emailed to the editor
and have a Subject line: SOCCGS Newsletter Article – article title or
description. I would prefer articles be kept under 800 words, but longer
ones can be accommodated. All articles may be edited by the editor, but
the preference is not to alter articles. If you wish to review your
edited article prior to publication, say that in your email. All
articles will be spell checked and grammar checked with MS Word.
News from the Mission Viejo Library
~Bunny Smith – SOCCGS Librarian
The Mission Viejo Library is back open after the carpet upgrades. We
have new chairs just waiting for you to try out. Our computers have been
updated with the latest genealogy programs and docents are ready to help
Our Library collection is complete. We have every book on CD that
everyone could want. Or, is there a book that you would like to research
that is not on our online list? Is there a state, county, or country
that you are interested in that is not represented? Well now is your
chance to let us know. We would like to expand our books on CD's. Please
email Bunny Smith,
with the name of the CD's you
would like to add to our collection. Thank you. I am waiting to hear
SOCCGS has recently purchased the following books on CD: The Emigration
from Germany to Russia in the Years 1763-1862 by Karl Stumpp, and From
Catherine to Khrushchev: The Story of Russia’s Germans by A. Geissinger.
The “New” Version of the FamilySearch Website
~Barbara Renick’s lecture (adapted for this article by David Flint)
As you know, FamilySearch has made significant changes to the look and
functioning of its well-used genealogy website located at
Some of our members have reported having
difficulty navigating the “new” version of FamilySearch or frustration
in finding things they were used to using on the “old” site. Barbara
Renick lectured in May at the Orange Family History Fair about new tools
at FamilySearch.org. Barbara recommended a guide that is available on
the FamilySearch website called “Adjusting to the New Version of
(8 December 2010)”. This is a 24-page PDF document
that is worth the paper and printer ink, if you really want to learn,
how the new website is organized, where to find things in the “new”
version that were in the “old” site, and tips on how to do some common
tasks using the new site.
To download this document:
- Go to
and click on the brown What’s New? box
under Changes at FamilySearch.org in the top right corner of the page.
- In the shaded area on the right side of the page under Archives,
click on 2010.
- You are now in the Blog Archive for 2010. Go down to the bottom of
the page and click on the box for page 3.
- On page 3, near the bottom of that page, is an article titled
FamilySearcg.org Website Changes - Updated (posted on 13 December 2010).
Click on the title line of the article, which will take you to the full
story version of that blog article.
- When you get to the full story page, scroll down to the What’s New?
section in the middle of the page. Click on What’s New View/Print Guide
(pdf) to see the full 24-page document. You can either save the PDF file
in your computer for later reference and/or print it out from the file
you are now viewing.
HP Smart Web Printing
~Jack Naylor suggestion
A tool that can be downloaded from:
as an accessory to Internet Explorer. Smart Webprinting has a selection tool which allows clipping
the image of an area which has selected on a webpage. A number of clips
can be retained by the program and later, edited and printed. A handy
tool for the web genealogy researcher.
New On Ancestry.com
U.S. World War II Navy Muster Rolls, 1938-1949
Utah, Military Records, 1861-1970
California, World War I Death Announcements, 1918-1921 - Free Index
California, World War I Soldier Citations, 1918-1921 - Free Index
U.S., Naval Intelligence Personnel Duty Locations and China Muster Rolls, 1942-1945
U.S. Navy Cruise Books Index, 1918-2009
California Voter Registrations, 1900-1968 - Updated
U.S. Marine Corps Muster Rolls, 1798-1940 - Updated
2011 Genealogy Events
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,
July 20-24 – The 41st Annual Germans from Russia Heritage Society
International Convention is being held in Spokane, Washington,
August 1-7 – 2011 AHSGR Convention presented by The American Historical
Society of Germans from Russia in Salt Lake City, Utah,
October 15 – South Orange County California Genealogical Society
presents its annual seminar in Mission Viejo, CA, this year featuring
Curt B. Witcher, a manager of the Allen County Library, Fort Wayne,
October 22 – Clark County Nevada Genealogical Society presents its CCNGS
Fall Family History Seminar in Las Vegas, Nevada, “Gardening Your Roots,
A Genealogy Series”,
SOCCGS BOARD OF DIRECTORS
President, Seminar & Safari
Chairman_______________________________ Bill Bluett___________________ firstname.lastname@example.org
Vice President / Program Chairman _____ David Flint___________________ email@example.com
Recording Secretary____________________ Sandy Crowley_________________ firstname.lastname@example.org
Corresponding Secretary________________ Pat Weeks_____________________ email@example.com
Treasurer______________________________ Mary Jo McQueen_______________ firstname.lastname@example.org
Historian______________________________ Barbara Wilgus________________ email@example.com
Hospitality____________________________ Barbara Heebner_______________ firstname.lastname@example.org
Hospitality____________________________ Sharon Keener_________________ email@example.com
Librarian______________________________ Bunny Smith___________________ firstname.lastname@example.org
Membership_____________________________ Jack Naylor___________________ email@example.com
Newsletter Editor______________________ Gary Schwarz__________________ Gary_Schwarz@sbcglobal.net
Parliamentarian________________________ Marilyn Kowalski______________ MA_Kowalski@sbcglobal.net
Publicity / Webmaster__________________ Herb Abrams___________________ firstname.lastname@example.org
Ways & Means___________________________ Jim Thordahl__________________ email@example.com
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.
City_____________________________________ State_______ Zip _____________ Phone__________________
Make check payable to: SOCCGS
Mail with application to: SOCCGS, P.O. Box 4513, Mission Viejo, CA 92690
South Orange County
California Genealogical Society
Mission Viejo, California
A Family History Seminar
Saturday, October 15, 2011 - 9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
(Doors Open 8:00 a.m.)
City Hall, Saddleback Room, 100 Civic Center Drive, Corner La Paz & Marguerite
(North end of the city hall directly across the library parking lot.)
“An Ancestor’s Life – Pulling It All Together”
Curt B. Witcher
Renowned Lecturer & Manager of the Allen Co. Library Genealogy Dept. - Ft. Wayne, Indiana
“Doing the History Eliminates the Mystery”
“Fingerprinting Our Families – Using Ancestral Origins as a Research Key”
“An Ancestor’s Death – A Time for Reaping”
“The Road Not Taken - Mega Internet Sites Off the Beaten Path”
Refreshments - Door Prizes - Drawing for Handmade Quilt
Sales Tables and Displays
Pre-registration must be received by October 12 / Tickets at the door $25.00, no lunch.
(Seminar information & registration form are also available on SOCCGS website.)
SOCCGS ‘2011’ Seminar Registration
Name(s) ___________________________________________________________ Registration: ______ @$20.00
___________________________________________________________________ Box Lunch: ______ @ $9.00
Address: __________________________________________________________ Total: $__________
City & Zip: _______________________________________________________
Telephone: _________________________ E-mail:____________________________________________________
Mail to: SOCCGS, P.O. Box 4513 Information: (949) 492-9408 or
Mission Viejo, CA 92690-4513 http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~casoccgs/
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