Vol 3 No 7 Editor: Pat Weeks July 1996
South Orange County California Genealogical Society
P.O.Box 4513, Mission Viejo, CA 92629
Monthly meetings are scheduled for the third Saturday of each month and are held from 10:00 a.m. to Noon at the Norman P. Murray Community Center, 24932 Veterans Way, Mission Viejo, CA.
13 July 1996 "Digging Up Clues in Cemeteries" will be the subject discussed this meeting by our guest, Karen Langer. Those of you who have heard Karen before know her ideas are always varied and practical.
17 August 1996 Our speaker this month is Dee Semon, who spoke to the group at the May meeting. Dee continues the discussion of emigration from central Europe to the United States. She will discuss border changes that have taken place, and how to find records in central Europe.
21 September 1996 "What To Do When the Courthouse Burns" is the subject of this meeting, presented by Barbara A. Renick.
12 October 1996 Mimi Holtzman, from the Society of Hispanic Historical and Ancestral Research, will speak on Spanish History and Heritage.
Please note, the date change for this meeting from the customary 3rd Saturday to the 2nd Saturday.
29-30 June 1996 The San Diego Scottish Highland Games & Gathering of the Clans, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Rancho Santa Fe Park in San Marcos, CA.
22-24 August 1996 British Isles Family History Society Seminar, Los Angeles Family History Center, 10741 Santa Monica Blvd., Los Angeles. Speakers: James R. Reilly, Judith Wight, Nancy Bier, Don Hirst, Ivan Johnson, Linda Jonas, Annie Lloyd, Beth McCarty. Registration before July l is $50 for members, $69 for non-members. For information, Contact Dorothy Losee at (310)838-6085
21-22 September 1996 San Diego Gen. Soc. 50th Anniversary Celebration and First Annual Family History Fair. Speakers, vendors. Scottish Rite Center, 1895 Camino Del Rio South, Mission Valley.
We welcome the following new members:
Trabuco, Canyon, CA 92679
San Juan Capistrano, CA 92675
Our guests at the June meeting were Grace Cacia, Becky Hutchinson, Frank Nolen and Kathleen Hagan.
Members renewing were Bea Norred, Herb Abrams and Edmund Isreal.
Hooray!! Safari events are now back! This month, the group plans to travel to Carlsbad Library on the 4th Wednesday, June 26th. We will meet at the Community Center and car pool down, leaving at 9:30 a.m. sharp! We expect to be back in Mission Viejo by 4:30 that afternoon. Bring a snack, or if you are driving, if you prefer you can go out to eat. There is a small patio at the library that sells drinks and some snacks. Hope to see lots of you on the 26th.
ORANGE COUNTY CEMETERY RECORDS
OCCGS is offering for sale an alphabetical list of burials in Anaheim Cemetery, El Toro Memorial Park, Magnolia Memorial Park and Santa Ana Cemetery, which covers burials as early as 1879 through 31 December 1992. Because the list is several hundred pages long, it is being offered on 3.5 inch discs, DOS format. It is available either on a single disc which is used to install the file to your hard drive, or a two disc format that can be read without installing. The cost is $13.78 which covers tax and shipping. To order, specify one disc or two disc format and send check to OCCGS, POBox 1587, Orange Ca., 92668-1587, Attention: Betty Feldman.
(Orange Co. CA Gen Soc Newsletter, June 1996)
INTERNET E-MAIL ADDRESSES
Have you been frustrated trying to locate people on WWW because you don't know the correct e-mail address? A company named Four11, (http://www.four11.com/) allows you to search their national e-mail directory at no cost. The only requirement is that you provide e-mail information about yourself for publication. Four11 does not permit the directory to be downloaded and used for unsolicited commercial e-mail. It does allow listings that restrict the amount of information available to people searching their database. Four11 is another tool to add to your genealogical toolbox. (OCCGS Newsletter, June 1996)
MICROWAVE THAT BOOK
The Library of Congress actually "cooks" books it considers suspect of containing lice, silverfish, or cockroaches. The use of dangerous and costly chemicals was impractical, so the library resorted to placing a book in the microwave and cooking it for 60 seconds on warm or low setting. The heat kills the insects and any eggs. If you pick up a suspect book at a flea marker or from an attic or basement, you may wish to try this method before placing it on your shelf.
(LEGS 9/95 via Whittier Area Gen Soc Newsletter, March 96)
MEANINGS OF CARVINGS ON OLD TOMBSTONES
(From So. Dakota Gen Soc April 1990 via Lycoming Co Gen Soc (PA) Nov/Dec 1995)
Rosebud - morning of life
Morning Glory - beginning of life
Butterfly - short lived, early death
Full blown Rose - prime of life
Palm branch - victory and rejoicing
Ivy - friendship and immortality
Laurel - fame of victory
Oak leaves & acorn - maturity, ripe old age
Weeping Willow - sorrow
Corn - ripe old age
Sheaf of wheat - ripe for harvest
Poppy - sleep
Lamb - innocence
Dove - innocence, gentleness, affection
Cherub - angelic
Stars & stripes around an American Eagle -
eternal vigilance, liberty
Hourglass (wings of time attached) - time
flying, short life
Cross - faith
Anchor - hope
Broken Ring - family circle severed
Broken Column - loss of head of family
Torch Inverted - life extinct
Urn with base - undying friendship
Harp - praise to the Maker
Tree Stump entwined with ivy - head of
Urn draped with crepe or wreath - mourning
Open book or bible - deceased teacher or
I dreamed death came to me last night
And heaven's gate swung wide,
With kindly grace an angel came
And ushered me inside!
And there...to my astonishment
Stood folks I'd known on earth,
Some I judged and called "unfit"
And some of little worth;
Indignant words rose to my lips
But never were set free;
For every face showed stunned surprise...
No one expected me!
(Treasure Map's E-mail Newsletter, <http:///www.firstct.com/fv/surprise.html>)
VA STATE LIBRARY
The Virginia State Library is in the process of putting their colonial records and bible records on line. It is possible to do a search now to see if they have records of your ancestor and other records you might be interested in researching. If you find they have some records you need, it will tell you how to retrieve them. Their home page address is <http://leo.vsla.edu/lva/lva.html>
If your ancestors passed through Martha'sVineyard, make sure to check the following web site: <http://www.vineyard.net/vineyard/history> It contains a number of online censuses, vital records, and other indexes and documents regarding the history and genealogy of (mostly)Tisbury, MA. Also a queries section.
(Both articles contributed by Betty Mackenzie, SOCCGS)
Ed note: If you think there is an awful lot of attention being paid to the Internet in this newsletter, you're right. That is all this editor has been doing the past month, trying to make online and e-mail work for her. Success has been meager!
THE GOOD OLD DAYS
by Pat Weeks
Lets talk about the good old days of genealogical researching. The "good old days", meaning 1970, when I began my quest for family ties. That was only twenty-six years ago, but the changes that have emerged in that short quarter of a century have been staggering. How we every got anything accomplished back then is a mystery to me now.
To begin with, the computer was not available to the genealogist. My, in 1970 we thought we were dealing with outer space technology as we cranked our tinny microfilm machines. You see, those machines were not motorized as they are today. Their engineering was such as to give the reader an exasperating neck pain and headache after a few short hours. To use one, a trip to the Loara LDS Family History Center was a must; a drive of about one hour, with no guarantees that you would be able to get the use of one of the few machines there.
If you were fortunate to commandeer a microfilm reader, you began to read the census line by line, for no indexes were available. And, if you did find something, you wrote it all down long hand, for there were no copy machines that handled microfilm in those days, at least not at the disposal of the few genie researchers.
In 1976 Alex Haley's book "Roots" was published and became an instant success. All of a sudden, it seemed like everyone was out to discover their roots. Family History Center traffic increased enormously. Public libraries began expanding their genealogical sections, and publication of vital records took a giant leap forward.
But the real boom came with the computer. Alex Haley had lured men into the pastime of genealogy, but it really was the computer that pulled the men into research. Here we are today with multiple programs to help us record and organize. Our tools twenty six years ago was only pen and paper. Well, if you really were a perfectionist, you would type out those charts, on a manual typewriter.
There were some good things about researching twenty six years ago though. A trip to a county courthouse was the epitome of excitement. There were all the original records, dusty and mysterious, commanding one to dig deeper and deeper. Today, so many of these courthouses have boxed up their records and shipped them off to a state archives library, and who in turn, are making access even easier by microfilming those documents. Well, its just not the same as having that original document there in front of you. And, why travel to distant places when you have the microfilm at your fingertips. I remember finding a 1734 document concerning my family while in New Orleans many years ago. I was mesmerized with the document. My husband came into the library to lure me away, and when he saw what I had found he said, "my God, no wonder you're so involved in researching". A find like that would bring tears to one's eyes, something a microfilm, or xerox, or computer cannot emulate.
Success is relative - the greater the success, the more the relatives.
CENSUS TRAPS TO AVOID
When trying to reconcile the ages of people found in the censuses, it is important to know the instructions given to the enumerators and the official date of the census under study. To illustrate:
1850-1880 The official census date used during this period was l June, and census takers were to record ages as of that date. The typical deduction - if an individual appears on the 1850 census as aged 39, let us say - is to subtract 39 from 1850 and conclude that the person was "born 1811". Forget the simple math, it is likely to be wrong. There is a 58% chance that the ancestor was born 1810, rather than 1811. In order to be 39 on 1 June 1850, your individual had to be born between 2 June 1810 and 1 June 1811. That's seven possible months in 1810, only five in 1811.
1820 - 1830 The pitfall here is a change in official census date that affects the age category of most enumerated people born during the summer in the year ending with 0. The applied date in 1820 was the first Monday in August. The applied date in 1830 (through 1880) was 1 June. Thus a person whose birthday was 4 July 1810 would have been counted in the 1820 census among those aged 10-19, because he or she would have had that tenth birthday before the official census date in 1820. However, in 1830, the official date fell before that person's birthday. He or she would have been 19 on 1 June 1830 and would once again be tallied in the 10-19 category.
(Based on NGSQ Dec1994 via OCCGS Nsltr Sept 95)
Seeking data on these brothers and/or their families: All brothers born Lyon Co
John G. Boyd - b 18 Sept 1856
David S. Boyd- b 13 Sept 1858
Sydney Robert Boyd - b 15 Feb 1860
Beverly Boyd Long, 8-U Via Castilla, Laguna Hills CA 92653
Who was Hester/Esther Lett who married Philip Mefford abt 1824 in Campbell Co KY? Lett was probably name from earlier marriage. She was still living 1850. Any children by Mefford? Pat Weeks, 33412 Sea Bright Drive, Dana Point CA 92629-1133
If your ancestor returned to the old country to visit, he/she needed a passport. These applications give the place of birth, birth date and personal descriptions. Write Diplomatic Records Branch, National Archives, Room 5-E, Washington DC 20502 (for passports through 1902)
For dates after 1906, write to Passport Office, Department of State, 1425 K Street NW, Washington DC 20509. Be sure to include the applicant's name, place of residence, place and approximate date of the application. A charge is made for the search and copies of the records, but what valuable information for the researcher. (Henry Co GS 2/96 via Questing Heirs June 1996)
It is best to use the currency of the country in question rather than send US dollars and hope for the best. Ruesch International will issue bank drafts in the currency of most countries in exchange of US dollars and a $2 fee. They will also issue travelers checks in British pounds, Canadian dollars, German marks, French francs, Japanese yen, and US dollars ($2 fee) Their address: Ruesch International, 700 11th St NW, Washington DC 20001-4507. Telephone: (202)408-1200 or (800)424-2923, FAX (202)408-1211.
(Lycoming Lineage, March/April 1996)
"I've Been Working on the Railroad"
If you had an ancestor who could fittingly sing this song, you may want to try obtaining information about your railroad workin' ancestor from:
United Association of Railroad Veterans
187 Illinois Street
Patterson, New Jersey 07503
The law against obtaining husbands under false pretenses, enacted by the British Parliament in 1700 as follows: "That all women, of whatever rank, profession or degree, who shall after this act impose upon, seduce and betray into matrimony any of His Majesty's subjects, by virtue of secrets, paints, cosmetic washes, artificial teeth, false hair, iron stays, bolstered hoops or high heeled shoes, shall incur the penalty of the law now in force against witchcraft and like misdemeanors; and the marriage under such circumstances, upon conviction of offending parties, shall be null and void". Published in the Perth County Herald, Stratford, Ontario, Canada on 15 July 1863.(TR: Annual Musings, April 1996 via Questing Heirs Newsletter, June 1996)