Orange County California Genealogical Society
16 No. 7
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.
– 18 July 2009
“Five C’s To Successful Genealogy
|The five C’s Ms.
Renick will discuss in this presentation are: “Combining Computer
resources with Classic resources into your search techniques.” “Searching
Completely (beyond the ordinary and easily available.” “Seeking
out Cousins to Collaborate.” “Citing your sources Consistently.”
During this presentation, Barbara will cover the resources and techniques
used to facilitate and ease your way through these five C’s.
Barbara is a frequent lecturer at National Genealogical Conferences
and teaches at the Orange Regional Family History Center. She has
authored several books and instructional videos. Her book titled
“Genealogy 101: How to Trace Your Family’s History and Heritage”
was sponsored by the National Genealogical Society for their 100th
Don’t miss this presentation!
- 17 October 2009
|Registration is under way for
the Eighth Annual Seminar. Paula Stuart-Warren will speak on four
topics of special interest to genealogy researchers. Don’t miss
this opportunity to hear one of the premier lecturers in this field.
Also, there will be time during the seminar to browse the vendor
tables, check out our book sale opportunities, and find a great
deal on some fine costume jewelry. The “Corner Bakery Café” will
be providing our box lunches.
Sign up now! Be sure to tell your “genealogy buddies” that registration
forms are located in the Genealogy section of the Mission Viejo
Library, or on the SOCCGS website at
A form may also be found in this newsletter.
|A beautiful quilt will be up for
raffle at the seminar again this year. David Flint, ways and means
chairman will begin offering tickets for sale at the general meeting
in July. Joanne Florence donated the quilt. She is a resident of
Mission Viejo, and a member of the Mission Viejo DAR. Tickets are
$1.00 each or six for $5.00.
are suspended during July & August.
of looking at the same thing as
Everyone else does and thinking something different.”
|I enjoyed our June meeting with
speaker Nancy Huebotter teaching us about researching cemetery
and mortuary records. Thanks to Diane Hearne and Marilyn
Kowalski for bringing our snacks for the meeting. A big thank
you to our new Hospitality co-chairs: Eunice Murai and
Barbara Heebner! Thanks also to Bill Bluett who purchased
the new Easy-Up tent for the snack area. It was nice to have with
the morning drizzles. The board of directors recently Okayed this
purchase. The following is a continuation of letters written by
my Scottish Tannahill ancestors, brothers Robert and John who came
from Scotland via Cornwall via Liverpool, England in 1841/1842 to
be with their sister Janet (married to Mr. Toomer) and other family
members in Fulton, MS. Letters traveled slowly back and forth. I
believe this one gives a good look at life in Mississippi in 1842.
John Tannahill, having arrived in Fulton, Mississippi writes to
his brother James in Truro, Cornwall, England on January 19, 1842
“I wrote this in my own log cabin, which barring a few chinks
is not a bad one. Robert is here today from Mr. Toomer’s store.
Mary (John’s wife) and he are gone out to visit one of our neighbours.
They beg to be remembered to all friends in Cornwall. Write to Marion
and Helen (John and Robert’s sisters in Scotland) on receipt of
this and you would perhaps drop a note to Mary’s Mother at Thornhills
(Scotland) to say you had heard from us and that we were well.
The country here is but thinly settled as it is only six years since
the Indians left it. The land is not so rich as it is in other parts
of the States where I have been but I am told it is very healthy.
My Father’s place is one of the finest here abouts and he has got
the best log house in the county. I think they will be able to live
very comfortably and want for nothing necessary.
I think I will be able to live for $50 a year. I am to have $250
a year from Mr. T. With the house I live in this is very little,
but I am to have a share in the concern next year, and if it does
well, so will I. I think it very likely that Robert will also be
engaged in the store as their way of doing business requires a great
deal of writing.
I would have written you before but I wanted to give you some idea
of our situation and prospects here. We live on bread of Indian
corn which is the only kind used here. Their hogs are excellent
being fed in the woods on nuts and acorns, but the beef is most
[?]. They never think of feeding cattle, but go out and pretty indifferently
shoot down with the rifle the one that happens to be best within
their range. We have got no Irish potatoes and the sweet ones, fond
as I am generally of sweets, neither Mary nor I can eat. I get up
in the morning, chop as much firewood as will be wanted for the
day and then trudge away to the store.
All men here are not merely nominally but really equal. There is
a lot of threatening with guns and knives here. The sheriff has
his hands full. Two men have been shot in Mr. Toomers store.”
Note: John eventually built a house that is a historical home in
Mississippi, then he and his family moved to Texas. Robert married
in Mississippi, and then moved on to Texas, where the home he built
is a Texas state Historical Home. Both brothers (and some other
family members) lived out their lives in Texas since the mid-1850s.
Most descendants of the brothers still live in Texas to this day.
New Books at
~Bunny Smith, Librarian
|Our Thew Family Heritage
follows the history of the John Thew and Elsie Snedeker family.
The goal of the writer was to document as best he could. They used
citations for every single source that proved the information reported
for each person and family. This is a very big but well written
book, even if you’re not a Thew.
Cyndi’s List, A Comprehensive List of 40,000 Genealogy sites
on the Internet. Here, in print, is the organized, cross-reference
index to genealogy and family history sites on the Internet that
you can feel, touch and read.
The Official Family Tree Maker. Learning how to use Family
Tree Maker is now a breeze. With this book’s step-by-step instructions,
you can build your family tree.
“The truth is
rarely pure and never simple.”
Getting The Most
Out Of Obituaries
~Michael John Neill
|There are many genealogically
significant items one can find in a newspaper, but we frequently
turn to the obituaries. This week let’s take a look at an obituary
that was discovered in the newly uploaded additions to Ancestry.com
and see how it can be analyzed for further clues and search ideas.
Conrad Krebs died in November of 1899 in Davenport, Iowa, and his
obituary appeared shortly thereafter in The Davenport Weekly Leader
of 21 November 1899. As I looked at this newly found death notice,
I was reminded of some things we should keep in mind when working
Read the Whole Page - There may be more than one reference
to a person on the same page and OCR searches do occasionally miss
entries. There was an obituary for Conrad and, on the same page,
a notice about the “Krebs Obsequies” (“obsequies” refers to the
funeral service). If the obituary had not provided details about
the service and I hadn’t scanned the entire page, this information
about the church and burial would have been overlooked.
Consider the Source - Most information in any obituary is
secondary. Many of the details in the obituary are being reported
years after the actual events and typically by individuals who were
not firsthand witnesses. Even when it comes to “current” information,
a newspaper can easily make an error.
Saving a digital copy of the obituary is best, but if you must transcribe,
copy the obituary exactly and do not edit it. Include obvious errors
as they were written and use the “sic” notation immediately after
the likely mistake.
Create a Chronology - Ordering the information found in obituaries
chronologically makes it easier to spot inconsistencies and opportunities
for research. Here’s an abbreviated chronology for Conrad based
upon his obituary:
Events in a chronology suggest resources to be researched or gaps
to be filled. It is best to use the chronology as a research tool
beginning with the most recent event and working backwards. Each
fact should be entered into your genealogical database. Cite the
obituary as the source.
- 1818 Born in Goldbach, Bavaria
- 1854 Came to United States,
directly to Davenport
- 1881 Went into paper and bag
- 1885 Wife dies
- 1891 Retires from paper and
- 1891 Moves in with daughter,
Mrs. Herman Hartz
- 1899 Dies at home of daughter
Approximate Dates - Not only does an obituary tell me who
is dead, it also tells me who is alive. “Conrad was survived by
three children, Mrs. Herman Hartz, Mrs. Mary Handel and Conrad Krebs.
Two siblings, Mrs. Thekla Krausert and Joseph Krebs, also survived.”
In my genealogy database I can indicate they were alive at the time
of Conrad’s death and include their residence as well.
Take care when making assumptions regarding the spouse of a female
based on the way the woman’s name is written. Thekla Krausert is
listed with her first name, rather than her husband’s as was often
the custom, but was married and living with her husband in 1899.
The use of the wife’s first name does after the word “Mrs.” does
not necessarily indicate she was widowed or divorced as you might
Follow-Up with Other Sources - The death date listed suggests
locating a death record for Conrad–both at the county level and
possibly at the church as well. His wife’s death date, also listed
in the obituary, suggests the same sources should be utilized for
her and the chronology also indicates her death took place in Davenport
as well. Given the year of death and the year of immigration, Conrad
and family should appear in federal census records between 1860
and 1880. There are also several Iowa state censuses available that
should be checked as well.
City directories for Davenport may document any changes in residence
for Conrad and may provide more information on his paper-selling
business. Conrad’s obituary provides a year of immigration for him
and his wife. Since Conrad died before the census asked any specific
immigration questions, this year of immigration should be used as
a starting point in any searches of passenger lists. The obituary
does not make any mention of a port where Conrad landed, so searches
should include all available ports.
Remember nearby locations. For rural areas, search in towns
near where the person lived—not just the town where they resided.
Searching the county seat newspaper is also a good idea as they
may run death notices for areas within the county as a whole.
(Copyright © 1998-2006, MyFamily.com
Inc 3 August 2008)
|Memories of my first encounter
with a cemetery are as fresh as the wildflowers that grew in the
old cemetery at the corner of Wilcox and Quaker Roads in Erie County,
New York about twenty five miles south of Buffalo. Wildflowers were
not on our teenage minds as we imagined ghosts prowling their realm.
As the shivering shadows of the cemetery’s uncontrolled growth gave
way to the sun’s last glimmer, we made a mad dash past its portal;
eyes straight ahead as we bicycled home down Wilcox Road. In daylight
though, we often cavorted among the headstones, read their entries
in search of a name we recognized and balanced on the brass rails
encircling family plots. At the cemetery’s East side, on a never
used portion, tall lean brush was laden with vines, a perfect canopy
for our secret hideout.
Fifty years later with new reverence for my first cemetery, I was
stunned to find it completely overgrown. Some effort to stop nature
from overwhelming it was evident by saplings slashed in a manner,
a couple feet about the ground, so that it appeared a field of pungie
sticks had been planted for protection. I wished for an opportunity
to contribute to this cemetery’s restoration. Since then, others
have contributed to remembering this cemetery and a plaque has been
placed at the intersection of Wilcox and Quaker. What I never knew
was that, it is a Quaker Cemetery.
On this trip back “home”, however, I was in search of other cemeteries
and perhaps their secrets. I had been researching and assembling
a family tree of Nicholas Beaver my wife, Bonnie Beaver’s,
great great grandfather. Nicholas was six years old in 1830 when
he came to America with his father, Nicholas, and mother, Magalana,
from France. With his first wife, Elizabeth Haas, Nicholas
(jr.) had eleven children and with his second wife, Hortensia
Stickney, he had five and perhaps a sixth that died in infancy.
On the Internet I had found many of the gravesites for his deceased
I had seen a picture of Nicholas’s monument in the Marshfield Burying
Ground. Now, I wished to personally photograph it and others. My
wife’s cousin, who lives in the area, escorted me to all the applicable
cemeteries. Without his guidance, I would not have found Marshfield
Burying Ground. Its location is described as at the corner of Marshfield
Road and Sisson Highway. However, to get to this old cemetery, three
hundred feet before the intersection, you must enter a farmer’s
private drive on Sisson Highway and then skirt his hayfield for
about 600 feet to reach the copse of large trees hiding its treasure
of headstones from a hundred and fifty years ago. I decided to take
a hike rather than risk getting the rental car stuck in the slick
bottom below the promontory.
Pine Hill Cemetery on the Erie County side of the town of Gowanda
and Collins Center Cemetery have become familiar haunts to me. Where
online data is lacking, family contacts have helped to keep fresh
the memory of dear departed ones’ last resting places. My wife’s
sister has been a big help in locating ancestor gravesites. However,
it was a determined tromp through the entirety of Pine Hill Cemetery
that revealed the forgotten location of one great grandmother’s
gravesite, and the family plot of another branch to our family tree.
Another rewarding cemetery visit happened almost by chance when
I was driving my sister home from a family lunch. As we passed through
the town of Cattaraugus in Cattaraugus County, New York, she suggested,
“We could drive by the cemetery.” I made a quick u-turn and followed
her directions. Her husband is buried in the Easton family plot
and beside this plot is the Fuller family plot with data that proved
a connection that that long eluded me.
Needless to say I look forward to more cemetery visits in Western
(Jim is a member of SOCCGS)
will close later this year (2009). Please go to the above website
for complete information. There are many genealogy sites on Geocities,
and many of these sites may be lost if the webmasters don't move
the sites to a new location.
I Could Be Wrong
About Some Things
"Atomic energy might be as good as our present-day explosives,
but it is unlikely to produce anything very much more dangerous."
~Winston Churchill, British Prime Minister, 1939
"There is not the slightest indication that nuclear energy will
ever be obtainable. It would mean the atom would have to be shattered
at will." ~Albert Einstein, German-born American physicist, 1932
|During the audience participation
portion of the meeting several members shared brick walls and research
suggestions. Pat Christiansen told of a one-page document
that may be added to a will in order to ensure that genealogical
data is saved. (There are copies available at the SOCCGS docent
desk at the Mission Viejo Library.) Eunice Murai had questions
about getting info on the Orphan Trains. She thinks her ancestor
Fred Alonso Mileo may have been a rider on an Orphan Train.
Joyce Van Schaack suggested leaving your genealogy to a Historical
Society. While on a visit to Salt Lake, Bunny Smith found
a Virginia probate record, dated 20 years after the death of her
ancestor, which named three children and said, “They’d moved out
West”. Thus, she found proof of her Wisconsin family. Melbournea
Pittman found a Ball cousin who was born on her wedding
day. Jo Taylor reported that she found her great great father
in Ancestry’s Civil War prisoner records. David Flint mentioned
that genealogist, Arlene Eakle, has a warehouse in Utah where
she stores genealogical collections. Check out the following website
for an interesting story about how she became involved with this
Pat Weeks shared a beautiful picture of her ancestor, Francoise
Missouri, who was also known as the Princess of the Missouri.
Marilyn Kowalski and Diane Hearne served scrumptious
treats under our new hospitality tent. As Sandy mentioned in her
president’s article, Barbara Heebner and Eunice Mauri
have graciously volunteered to serve as hospitality co-chairs. Be
sure to thank them. They have ensured our treats for the rest of
We welcome two new members: Karen Jachetta,
firstname.lastname@example.org and Dottie
Dottie is searching BOLYN in England and North Carolina, TAYLOR
in Virginia and Maryland.
Membership chairman, Jack Naylor, introduced guests: Anita
Aron, Laguna Woods, Allan & Della Frankel, San Clemente,
Lucille Nukols, Mission Viejo and Joan Petrime, Laguna
David Flint – Ways & Means Chairman
This Ways and Means project is
going well. Instructions for signing on to this program are posted
on the SOCCGS website. You may also receive them via email or USPS
by contacting David Flint. Please consider signing up for this project.
"The horse is
here to stay, the automobile is only a fad."
~Advice of President of Michigan Savings Bank to Horace Rackham,
lawyer for Henry Ford, 1903
(Rackham ignored the advice and invested $5000 in Ford stock, selling
it later for $12.5 million)
I Wish I Had Known"
|My great great grandfather English-born
John Lockin(g) from the Stainfield, Lincs area of (Lincolnshire,
England) was baptized 27 March 1796. The earliest recorded event
in the Locking family tree is the birth of Robert Locking born 1490
who wrote a will, dated 2 Dec 1533, and was buried in the church
of St. Peter and St. Paul of Tetney. In 1840 the Lockins suffered
a devastating loss from which they never recovered. Five of my great
grandmother’s siblings died. Although there is no specific information
available records say there was a major epidemic of smallpox from
1837 to 1840, which killed 42,000 people nationwide so perhaps members
of this this family were victims of smallpox. Within a few years
the whole family would have emigrated to America to make a new start
and a better life in Wisconsin and Iowa. In 1841 in Stainfield John
appeared on the census living with his wife and three children.
According to oral history he was a foreman of a plantation for several
years. The sons went to America first and the parents and girls
followed in 1845. The sons were William, John, Thomas and James.
The daughters were Elizabeth and Harriet. They left only a married
daughter Anne Goulding back in England. I would like to ask him
what it was like to leave your homeland where so many of his ancestors
lived and travel to some unknown land.
He immigrated to Fond du Lac, Wisconsin. They stayed about three
years in Jefferson County, then moved to Fond du Lac. Through the
first third of the nineteenth century Fond du Lac County was part
of the Winnebago Indian nation. By the close of the 1830’s, however,
the central Wisconsin wilderness, the new Northwest became a focal
point for Easterners hoping to create new lives for themselves.
The county itself was created in 1836, and growth came rapidly beginning
in the mid 1840’s. By 1870, Fond du Lac was the state’s second largest
city, a major railroad hub, and the second major county in wheat
production. On 1 March 1848 either John, or his son John Jr., took
out land patents for several parcels of land in the Metomen area,
totaling 353 acres. They were in the area that became Brandon, in
the southeastern part of Metomen. Elizabeth was the first of the
family to move from Wisconsin, after marrying Thomas Nerton originally
from Yorkshire, England in March or April of 1852. The newlyweds,
my great grandparents, crossed the Oregon Trail in a western bound
oxen-drawn wagon train and arrived in Oregon Territory on October
18, 1852. By the 1860 census John Lockin Sr. was listed as a 63-year-old
farmer of $4,800 worth of real estate and $723 worth of personal
estate. He died 27 September 1871 in Metomen. He and his wife are
buried in the Brandon cemetery in the new world as a respected old
settler in the village of Brandon. I wonder what they had thought
of their life here.
In the far west my great grandmother and grandfather made a Donation
Land Claim in Columbia County. They settled in St. Helens, Washington
and later moved to Clark County, Washington and settled on a homestead.
The area was called Fourth Plains and later called Orchards. In
1855 Thomas Nerton took out his American citizenship and received
a Donation Land Claim of 320 acres in Clark County, Washington.
Each claimed 320 acres for a total of 640. Elizabeth inherited an
additional 320 acres from a man she had cared for until his death.
They had 13 children. During the Indian War of 1855/56 Thomas served
under Captain William Kelly with the “Clark County Rangers” Second
Regiment of the Washington Volunteers. I wonder how great grandma
survived all this change and danger. Thomas died in September 1882
and Elizabeth died in January 1897. Both are buried in the Sifton
Cemetery in Clark County, Washington.
Two of their sons George and Thomas came down to San Francisco,
California in 1900 and worked as motormen on the trolleys. Thomas
Nerton would meet and marry Mary Elizabeth Tehan and become my grandfather.
So it continues...
(Patricia is a member of SOCCGS)
(There was an error
in a June 2009 newsletter article.)
|Pat Weeks has confessed that she
was 90 years off and another 90 miles away when she stated that
Francois Dubois was killed by the Indians around 1728. The site
of the massacre was Fort Orleans, and not Fort Osage. Working from
memory causes these mishaps. “Pobody is nerfict.”
to lifelong learning.
The most valuable asset you'll ever have is your mind and what you
put into it.”
|September 26 - North San
Diego county Genealogy Society plans a Fall Seminar, “Unexpected
Journeys”. More information will be forthcoming.
October 17 - SOCCGS 7th Annual Seminar. This year featuring
Paula Stewart Warren. For information contact Bill Bluett (949)
492-9408 or email@example.com.
"Man will not fly
for 50 years." -- Wilbur Wright, American aviation pioneer, to brother
After a disappointing flying experiment, 1901 (their first successful
flight was in 1903)
Please use the Registration
Form below to secure your place at the October Seminar.
|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
SOCCGS ‘2009’ Seminar
_______ @ $20.00
_________ @ $9.00
|Mail to: SOCCGS,
P.O. Box 4513
|Mission Viejo, CA
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