Saddleback Valley Trails
South Orange County California Genealogical Society
Vol. 18 No. 7
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 16 July 2011
“Adding Timelines To Your Genealogy Tool Kit”
The purpose of developing a timeline for an individual family member, or
a family line in its entirety, is to place them in history, track their
movements, and look at various historical events that may have had an
impact on their situations. Timelines are particularly useful when
setting a person or family in history. By graphically laying out an
individual's life, it is easy to see the "holes" in one's research, and
point out where additional research should be focused.
About the Speaker: Nancy Huebotter began her family research in the fall
of 1980. She is a nationally recognized genealogical speaker, has
conducted numerous genealogy classes and seminars, and has contributed
to genealogical journals. Nancy's own family research resulted in the
publication of Ancestors and Descendants of Thomas Carroll and Ellis
Miller, a 395-year history of her mother's lines. She is currently
writing her father's biography, especially highlighting his military
service and subsequent imprisonment in a German POW camp during World
War II. By profession, Nancy is a 35-year employee of Raytheon Company,
where she is a Principle Technical Writer, Editor, and Instructor. Nancy
is one of our favorite speakers. Don't miss this opportunity to hear her
There are no safaris scheduled during July and August. The regular
schedule will resume in September
Until further notice the SOCCGS monthly meetings will be held in the
main building at the Mission Viejo Family History Center.
Olographic Will – A will that is handwritten and signed by the
individual to which it belongs.
This past month, I attended the California Cornish Cousins annual
conference from June 3rd – 5th. Each year, this event is held somewhere
along old US Highway 49 – in the “Gold Rush Country”. This year, Helen
and I traveled to Placerville located at the crossroads of Hwy 49 and
Hwy 50 – about 40 miles east of Sacramento.
The history of Placerville began with the "rush for gold" to California
in the late 1840’s. The highly publicized discovery of gold in the
tailrace section at Sutter’s Mill in Coloma (only 10 miles from
Placerville) in 1848 resulted in the migration of thousands of
fortune-seekers to Northern California in the mid 1800’s. The town was
named after the placer deposits found in the riverbed between Spanish
Ravine and the town plaza. During the gold rush, Placerville became an
important supply center for the surrounding mining camps. Today, there
remains a historic downtown area including several structures that are
on the Historic National Register. The population today is approximately
9,600 folks. Placerville has served as the El Dorado County Seat since
1857. When it was first incorporated in 1854, it was the third largest
city in California.
My Bluett ancestors were scattered throughout this region from the
Nevada City/Grass Valley area east of Yuba City to the Sonora region
east of Modesto. Many Cornish immigrants had occupations related to
“working the mines” as did the generations before them in Cornwall,
England. My direct line ancestors were located mostly in the Nevada
City/Grass Valley area. They worked hard in the gold mines and dabbled
in “mining claims” on their own. I do not believe any of them became
super-wealthy in the process. There were thousand’s of “Cousin Jack’s”
that settled in many of the other mining regions located along Highway
49 and made their living the same way. Four of my great grandfather’s
cousins settled in the small town of Soulsbyville near Sonora. As it
turned out, they were very successful during their lifetime. Some of
them bought land and built second homes in an exclusive area of Oakland
around the turn of the century. I suppose they were planning for their
future retirement and a life of leisure. I was unaware of this
particular Bluett group until 2008. In June of that year, I attended a
California Cornish Cousins Conference in Sonora. On Saturday afternoon
of that weekend, I set time aside to go to the Tuolumne County Museum
and History Center located in town. When I gave the docent on duty the
family name, she said there was quite a bit of information available. I
was there for about 2 hours while she found and copied about 16-18 pages
of documents and newspaper articles regarding these families. There was
John, Thomas, William, and Joseph Bluett all born in Cornwall, England.
It was pleasing to learn that there was at least one branch of the
family that turned out to be relatively successful.
While in Placerville last month, I visited the El Dorado County
Historical Museum. I called a few weeks ahead and talked with one of the
docents about doing a little research on the Saturday afternoon of that
weekend. The woman I talked to said she would do some preliminary
research prior to my arrival. As it turned out, one of my grandfather’s
brothers, Francis Gordon Bluett, married a woman who grew up in
Placerville. Her father, George W. Kimble, had been involved in “gold
mining” for a number of years and later became superintendent of the
local water district. The docent I meet with could not find any other
information on Bluett’s except Emma (Kimble) Bluett (the wife of
Francis). She is buried in the Placerville Union Cemetery with her
parents. I did receive a copy of a photograph of Emma’s parents, George
and Louisa Kimble.
It’s always a fun experience to be able to do research in a location
where ancestors resided. You never know what “gems” might be pulled out
of the local records and documents. I hope that many of you have had
that opportunity at least once in your lifetime while doing your family
genealogy research. I will continue to share with you any “nuggets” I
might find in the “Gold Rush Country” in the coming years. In the
meantime, I wish you all “happy hunting”!
On May 31, 2011 Jinx Cochrell passed away in Mission Viejo. She was a
SOCCGS Founding Member. In fact she was the second person to join when
the group was formed in 1994.
Jinx was born in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania on 14 December 1922 to Ada Emma
Kepple and Thomas Wilbur Cole. She was married to Dean David Cochrell in
1946. They had since divorced.
Jinx served as a Wave during WWII. She joined the military 1n 1943 at
Philadelphia and was discharged in 1946 at Memphis, Tennessee. She was
buried in the Veteran’s Cemetery in Boulder City, Nevada.
She leaves three children: Kerry Nathan, Sandra Lynn and Mark David.
Linda Serna’s presentation on Ethnic Groups gave us detailed information
regarding why these groups immigrated to America, where they settled,
and how many relocated. The groups discussed were: Polish, German,
French, Walloons, Irish, Italian, and Dutch.
One guest introduced at the meeting was: Denise Neilsen. Members
providing refreshments were: Mary Jo Nuttall, Pat Weeks, Jean Johnson,
and Jean Pettigrew. Members that provided refreshments in the month of
May were: Karyn Schumaker, Jessie Ellison, Linda Dibble, and Pat
We have two new members: Brenda Hardiman, Aliso Viejo, and Beth Marcus
, Mission Viejo,
Beth is looking for: Fried, Marcus,
Mann and DeYoung.
Ruth Sheean’s new email address:
A Trip to the Salt Lake City Family History Library
~Bunny Smith – SOCCGS Librarian
The Salt Lake City Family History Library is the largest and best known
genealogical library in the world. What a great place to spend your
vacation! It is open six days of the week and the resources they have
there are unbelievable. Five floors of books, microfilm, fiche and
docents just waiting to help you answer your questions. For the first
time visitor, there is even a short video that walks you through the
facility and a docent ready to help you get started.
The library is located in the downtown Temple Square area of Salt Lake
City. There are several hotels within walking distance of the library
and most have “Genealogist Specials”. The Plaza Hotel is right next to
the library. Whether you fly or drive, you will not need a car. but you
will have to be ready for your library trip. You don't want to waste any
time while you are there, you want to get straight to their books and
films. You will have to do some homework first.
Take the time now to look carefully at your family group sheets. Decide
what information is still needed. Think about what kind of record you
might use to find that specific information. When you have decided, make
a detailed list to guide your research and write them on a Research Log.
For example: if you need a death date of someone who died after 1830 and
you have located a census record for them. You have a place to start
your search. Your next step will be the online FamilySearch.org Card
Catalog for possible sources in that county. Go to Place Search, type
the county name. There you will all find library records for that
county. You may want to look at Taxation to see if your person had
property, write that call number on your Research Sheet. Next, look for
wills, probate, estates and other court records that may have a will.
Write those call numbers on the Research Sheet. If you don't find a
will, and that person owned land, you may want to look at the
Grantor/Grantee indexes. A land deed may have their death date and
distribution of their land between children. Lastly, check the
You may end up with ten or more Call numbers on your Research Sheet for
that person. Make another Research Sheet for every person you still need
to prove information for. The process will be the same for death date
and place, as it is for birth date and place, or marriage date, place
and spouse. Now when you get to the library, you already know what you
are going to do. Be sure to update the sheets every time you check a
source either positive or negative and keep the Resource Sheet with the
Family group. You don't want to repeat what you have already searched.
Have a great summer vacation, see you at the Library.
The Orange Regional Family History Center hosts a RootsMagic SIG on the
4th Saturday each month between 2:00 and 4:00 pm.
Contact Joan Rambo at
for more information.
2011 Genealogy Events
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”,
Ralph's Community Contribution Program
~Jim Thordahl – Ways & Means Chairman
Thanks to all who are enrolled in this generous fundraising program. If
you are a new SOCCGS member or have not yet enrolled, it’s as easy as 1,
1) Get a Ralphs rewards Card, if you don’t have one.
2) Get a copy of our “Scanbar Letter” from our website or from me.
Copies are also available at our docent desk in the Mission Viejo
3) Present the “Scanbar Letter” at checkout the next time you shop at
There, you’re enrolled until September. You may also enroll on-line at
A copy of the on-line enrollment procedure is available
on our website. The procedure was recently revised. It’s “user
friendly.” If you have a question call or e-mail:
ph: (949) 492-5334.
Brick Walls & Genealogy Research Suggestions
Karyn Shumaker shared with us the flag and proclamation she received
from the 1st Marine Battalion, 111th Infantry Regiment, for her work
helping to support them. Our society provides toys and gift cards for
this group each Christmas as well.
Mary Jo McQueen suggested using the website
for photos of ancestors. She found an ancestor in her search on this
Beth Marcus is a new member asking about old photos she has in a
leather-bound hard cover book with ancestors that are not identified.
How can she get help?
Cindie Reilly’s suggestion to Beth was to utilize FACEBOOK by adding the
pictures and contacting as many relatives (or distant relatives) as you
possibly can. Cindie had success doing this regarding her husband’s
French descendants in France.
Sandy Crowley made a suggestion to Beth about family reunions that may
be taking place with any of the surnames she is researching.
Kevin Gross shared a 15 year “brick wall” that he overcame on June 4th
of this year as a result of uploading his Family Tree Maker program onto
A young man from Chicago has provided Kevin with much of
the information he needed.
“Sometimes I see my father in me”
~Peter Falk (1927 – 2011)
“Just one more thing”
What the genealogist said two hours before leaving the library.
~Peter Falk as Columbo
~Gary Schwarz - Editor
I wish to thank members who have submitted articles for publication in
the newsletter. Please continue to submit your articles of genealogical
interest. Submissions should be submitted by the Wednesday after the
monthly meeting. 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”.
The two most powerful warriors are patience and time.
A genealogist’s motto!
A Trip to Ukraine (Part I)
I recently returned from a trip to Ukraine to see the lands of my great
grand parents: Peter Schwarz of Worms (Vinogradnye, Ukraine), Magdalena
Ochsner of Worms, Karl Hofmann of Rohrbach (Novosvetlivka, Ukraine), and
Katherina Griess of Rohrbach. The trip was organized by Robert Schneider
of German Russian heritage and resident of Spearfish, South Dakota
(North and South Dakota being areas of where a large percentage of
German Russians settled in the USA) for twelve people, seven of which
were interested in walking on the soil where their ancestors walked. I
provided Bob with locations determined from a map by Dr. Karl Stumpp
(1896-1982) and published in 1940 of the Odessa Oblast (an oblast being
the equivalent of a state in the USA) which included German Russian
villages and Russian towns. I used this map in conjunction with Google
Maps and Soviet Military maps of 1930 and 1940 to locate villages and
chutors (a chutor being the equivalent of a large estate) which I wanted
Bob Schneider has been organizing trips to Ukraine for twenty years. He
works out a route for each trip to include the places of interest to his
small group of travelers. He hires a van with a Ukrainian driver; a
Ukrainian guide to fine tune the routes and schedule, hotel stays, stays
in people’s homes, museum tours, tours of palaces, and other historical
Ukrainian places; and a Ukrainian interpreter. I and my fellow travelers
were interested in places in the southern half of Ukraine. Four of the
people on the trip: Cleon Ochsner of Colorado Springs, Colorado; Fred
Ochsner of Lincoln, Nebraska; Steve Ochsner of Omaha, Nebraska; and Jim
Griess of Lincoln, Nebraska, were my third and fourth cousins. Cleon
Ochsner translates many documents originally written in German, to
English, for publication by German Russian organizations in the USA. Jim
Griess has written a book, The German Russians: Those Who Came to Sutton
which in its newest edition has a broader scope of German Russian
heritage than just those settling in Sutton. Our Ukrainian/Russian
interpreter was Inna Stryukova of Mikolaiv, Ukraine. Inna is a professor
of English in Mikolaiv who has helped Bob as his Ukrainian/Russian
interpreter for years and has accumulated detailed knowledge of places
Bob’s groups have visited. With the combined knowledge of Bob, Cleon,
Jim, and Inna, I was able to get a tremendous amount of information on
the historical and present day: peoples, places, geography, and politics
of Ukraine/South Russia.
In preparing for the trip, I provided Bob with coordinates for places I
wanted to visit, but places which he had never visited before: several
Schwarz chutors, several Ochsner chutors, and Chutor Kapitanovka which I
believe may have been a Schwarz chutor. I did this by using Dr. Stumpp’s
Odessa Oblast map. Dr. Stumpp was born in the Alexenderhilf, South
Russia (Ukraine), but immigrated to Germany after World War I. He did a
massive amount of research and documentation of Germans in Russia from
Russian and German-Russian documents when Germany occupied Ukraine
during World War II. I compared village and chutor locations on his map
to Russian military maps. I was able to locate many Russian towns, plus
rivers and roads on his map which were also on the military maps. I then
compared the location of German named villages and chutors to the
Russian towns, rivers and roads on both Dr. Stumpp’s map and the
military maps. Most of the German named village locations on Dr.
Stumpp’s map had Russian names on the military maps. Since the Russian
military maps were from 1930 and 1940, I compared them to maps generated
on Google Maps. I was able to get coordinates of the places I wanted to
see by verifying that the locations matched on all of the maps. Dr.
Stumpp’s map was in German, the military maps were in Russian which uses
the Cyrillic alphabet, and Google was in English. Our driver Alex was
able to navigate to some of my locations by putting my coordinates into
his GPS. He had to drive the sixteen passenger van along dirt tracks
between fields to get to some of the locations. Good thing it only
rained lightly once, those dirt tracks would have been slippery bogs.
Chutor Kapitanovka (Kapitanka on Google) was the first location on my
list that we visited. It was that first place that provided a look at
how life may have appeared when my great grand parents lived there. It
was a cluster of houses located near pastures. Several men and women
were herding cattle in nearby pastures towards a “Beam Well”. The beam
well consists of a tall tripod (fifteen or twenty feet high) with a beam
balanced horizontally on the top. A bucket is attached to one end of the
beam with a long rope. The other end of the beam has a counter weight.
The rope is pulled down lowering the bucket into the well. The counter
weight on the beam helps to lift the full bucket up out of the well. The
water is then poured into a trough to water the cattle, dairy cows in
this case. This type of well was used for villagers as well as livestock
when my ancestors lived there. Inna approached a women (Rosa) working in
her flower garden and we were able to find that there in Kapitanka they
were dairy farmers and still milked their cows by hand. A truck came
everyday to collect the milk. Rosa also said that the young people left
this area because there is not enough work to keep them in Kapitanka.
This migration from rural areas to cities is prevalent there in Ukraine
just as it is here in the USA. There were no persons of German heritage
that lived in the community. Rosa was of Polish heritage. She appeared
content with her life in the small chutor. Georg Schwarz who was born in
Kapitanovka was my great grandfather’s nephew. Georg Schwarz, his
family, and his mother Katharina (Ochsner) Schwarz, left the USSR in
1929, immigrating to Winnipeg, Canada. (To Be Continued)
A Bit of Serendipity
I have always enjoyed things that have a connection to serendipity. In
fact, just saying the word “serendipity” can make one smile. Serendipity
means to find something valuable or interesting just by chance or in an
Pictured here is a portrait of Maude Hartman and Frank Kaufman, my
maternal grandmother’s sister and brother-in-law, taken on their wedding
day in 1909. The story of how I obtained this photograph is quite
interesting. Neither my grandmother nor any member of her family gave it
to me. In fact, I do not know some details about how the photograph and
I “found” each other. Though I know where I got the picture, I have no
idea how it came to be at the place I discovered it.
One day in late
summer or autumn of 2009, a family member asked me if I would like to go
to Lebanon, Ohio to walk through the antique stores there. My relative
was looking for a particular item; I went along just for the ride. It
was mid-afternoon when we arrived in Lebanon and I realized that I
probably wouldn’t have a lot of time to linger over items. The walk
through the shops would have to be quick.
Because I have a love of old
books, postcards and photographs, I looked for those items first. As I
recall, as the closing time of 5 p.m. drew near, we had visited all the
stores except one. We had just a few minutes to browse in the one
Upon entering the last store, an old box of photographs
caught my attention. I enjoy reading the names on old photographs,
checking where they were taken, and gazing on long ago faces that are
captured in black and white or sepia tones. I stood by the little box
for several minutes flipping through the photographs. Suddenly, I
recognized a face in a photograph. I was stunned, to say the least.
There in my hand was a photograph of my grandmother’s older sister Maude
and her husband Frank Kaufman. I couldn’t believe my eyes. “Impossible!”
I kept saying to myself. Aunt Maude had always lived in northern Darke
County and I knew of no family members in the Lebanon area.
Nevertheless, I turned the photograph over, and sure enough, there
written in ink were the names “Frank--Maude.” Even as I headed to the
cashier to pay for the photograph, I doubted the picture was that of my
Great Aunt and Uncle. It wasn’t until I arrived home and I pulled out a
picture of Maude as a young woman, which had only recently been given to
me by her daughter, that I truly believed I had found their photograph.
Months later, their granddaughter confirmed to me that the photograph
was her grandparent’s wedding portrait and that a large print of it had
once hung in the dining room of their farmhouse. I would have seen it
when I had visited them as a young girl.
In the time since I purchased
the photograph, I have often thought how amazing it is that I have the
picture. It was only by chance that I went shopping that day in Lebanon,
that we had walked through the stores quickly enough that I had time to
look in the last store, that I happened to go to the booth where the box
of photographs was located, and that just prior to the shopping trip I
had been given a photograph of Maude as a young woman. I would never
have recognized her if I hadn’t previously seen another picture of her
as a young woman. The face of the Maude I knew was much different. Time
had put many creases in her skin by the time I met her.
There is one
more thing that amazes me. I have come to believe that the day I found
the picture was very near the date or perhaps the exact date of their
100th wedding anniversary. That’s serendipity!!
(Judy is a longtime member of SOCCGS who currently resides in Troy, Ohio.)
Curt B. Witcher is coming October 15!
We are beginning to receive reservations for our 10th Annual Seminar.
So, it is not too early to send yours in. We expect a full house for Mr.
Witcher's first visit to Mission Viejo. Members, please note that
reservations are processed on a first come basis, and the capacity of
our venue is 125 persons. You will find a flyer with a Reservation Form
on the last page of this newsletter. Tell your friends! Information is
also on the SOCCGS Website.
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.)
Use this form to register for seminar. Send with your check for payment.
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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