Vol 8 No 9 ...Editor: Gail Gilbert ...Sept 2001
South Orange County California Genealogical Society
P. O. Box 4513, Mission Viejo, CA. 92690
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 wishing to join. Yearly membership fees are $20 per calendar year for individuals, $25 for joint membership. SOCCGS is not affiliated with the LDS Family History Center.
"Ole had worked on his family tree for years. However, he had so many missing relatives he didn't know how he was ever going to finish it. One day Ole won the Lottery. That night, his family tree was complete!"
I found this joke on the Internet this morning and, since it made me giggle, I am passing it on. The "cousin", from whom it came, is one I met while searching the Internet for genealogical clues. She answered my query and opened a whole new chapter in my family history. Her expertise in "the hunt" has since helped me repeatedly. Together we found a ggg grandmother's family that had long been a mystery; we had been looking for the wrong family all along. This lady had been married "twice" before marrying our ggg grandfather! We never know when we might win the "genealogical lottery!"
This brings me to the SOCCGS Surname list on which I am currently working. This list, available only to our members, will enable us to find those, among us, who share ancestors. It might prove to be another tool by which we can further our research. At the very least, it should provide for some interesting conversation at our meetings.
Some of you who were at the August meeting have already listed your surnames. This list will continue to be circulated at the September meeting. In the meantime, I will welcome any information you would like to send by regular or email. Please include your name and telephone number along with the surnames and areas of your research. My address and telephone number are at the end of this article.
There was much lively participation in our last meeting, which included nine guests. I look forward to more of the same at the September meeting. See you then.
Mary Jo McQueen
26081 Avenida Bonachon
Mission Viejo, CA 92691
SOCCGS SEPTEMBER MEETING
15 September 2001 Special In-House Meeting! Several of our members will be sharing their experiences in searching for their ancestors and, not only do we expect this to be informative, but this should be a great time to get better acquainted with some of our members. Some of the program participants and topics so far are: Hall Simons, "Ohio or Oregon Research," Mary Jo McQueen, "The Wrong Side of the Tracks," Tom Hruska, "Czechoslovakian Research." There is still time to join the program and share some of your research finds or anecdotes with us. Just call Karyn Schumaker at 248-0662 or Mary Jo McQueen at 581-0690. See you at the meeting!
SOCCGS SPECIAL EVENTS!
Remember to Save September 22 for our GARAGE SALE! On Saturday, September 22nd, we will be holding a "garage sale" at the home of our President, Mary Jo McQueen (see address above). Doors open at 7:30 a.m.! A flyer with a map to Mary Jo's house was passed out at the last meeting, and we will make sure it is available at the Sept. 15th meeting too. We hope you all have lots of goodies to donate to sell, because we would like to make lots of money to help defray the increasing costs of running our society. If you are unable to drop items off at Mary Jo's yourself, you can call Joe Barney at 589-7808 to arrange for collection. It would be nice to have things there ahead of time so that there is time to mark them. And also please think about volunteering some of your time to help with pricing and selling and give Mary Jo a call. There will be a "work party" on Thursday the 20th & Friday the 21st to get things ready. It should be a fun time for us all.
Our society will be holding a "Docent Day" on Tuesday, Sept. 25th, and everyone is welcome to come, whether you plan to be a docent or not, to learn about our library. In fact, we would encourage you to bring a friend, even one who is not a current member. If you have thought about being a docent, but just didn't know what was involved, this is a good time to find out!
Since October has been declared nationally as "Family History Month," we are planning to do our part by holding a Family History Day at the Library. Actually, we are reserving two days for this event, Tues. Oct. 23rd and Sat. Oct. 27th, and we will have extra people on hand in our genealogical library to help you with your research agenda. If you would like to be one of those extra docents, please don't hesitate to call our librarian, Janet Franks at (949) 4968428.
The SAFARI Schedule has been tentatively set up for the rest of the year to be: Orange FHC in September, Santa Monica FHC in October, and Carlsbad Cole Library in November. We should know for certain by the September meeting, so be there if you want to find out.
GENEALOGY- when you confuse the dead and irritate the living!
OTHER CA EVENTS
8 September 2001 The San Diego Genealogical Society will present a seminar from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Hanalei Hotel, 2270 Hotel Circle North, Mission Valley, San Diego, CA. The featured speaker will be Sharon DeBartolo Carmack, CG who will present "Flesh on the Bones", putting your ancestors into historical perspective; "The Silent Woman", bringing a name to life; and "Cryptic Clues in the Bone Yard", tips for cemetery research. Cost, including lunch, is $38 per person. Mail checks payable to SDGS to Gloria Osborn, 1997 Alameda Terrace, San Diego, CA 92103-1646 or for additional information email her at <email@example.com>.
29 September 2001 The Genealogy Seminar 2001, "Tracing Your Family Tree in the 21st Century," will be sponsored by the Genealogical Society of North Orange County California (GSNOCC), Saturday from 8:30 - 3 p.m. at the Yorba Linda Community Center, Imperial Hwy & Casa Loma, Yorba Linda, CA. The featured speaker will be Barbara Renick, Professional Genealogist, known as the "Internet Queen of Genealogy." The cost is $35 if pre-registered by Sept. 10th or $40 at the door, free syllabus included. For more information contact Eileen Hunt (714) 528-3326.
20 October 2001 The North San Diego County Genealogical Society (NSDCGS) has scheduled their Annual Fall Seminar from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday at the Dove Library in Carlsbad. The cost of this event will be $20 and lunch will be available from TOGO's for $6. Arlene Eakle
will present the program which will include workshops on: Tracing Ancestors who lived in Cities; How to find Birth, Marriage and Death dates prior to 1900; Pre-1820 Census Records; and Special Chronological Indices and Lists Tracing the Ladies on your Pedigree.
27-28 October 2001 The National Genealogical Society (NGS) Regional Conference, hosted by the California Genealogical Society, will be held at the Crown Plaza, San Francisco, Mid Peninsula, 1221 Cheess Dr., Foster City, CA. The featured speakers will be Cyndi Howells of Cyndi's List and Curt Witcher, MLS, FUGA, of the Allen County Library. Information available at: http://www.ngsgenealogy.org or http://www.calgensoc.org or call (800) 473-0060.
27 October 2001 The Glendale California Immigrant Genealogical Society will hold it's Fall Seminar, "Which Way to Amerika," German Genealogy Day 2001, at the 1st Methodist Church, 134 N. Kenwood, 8:30-4:30. For details call Barbara (818) 353-2341.
10 November 2001 Remember to save this date when our own Judy Deeter will be making a presentation " Stories From Beyond the Stucco Walls," based on the background of Mission Viejo architecture. Watch for further details on this in a later newsletter.
On-Line Genealogy Courses Available
Many community colleges are beginning to offer basic courses in genealogy, such as Doug Mason's course listed above, but many are offering them on-line. For a complete list of all the colleges go to: http://www.ed2go.com/colleges.html. There are literally hundreds of sites to choose from.
1. Orange Coast College, Fall Semester, History 105, "Family History and Genealogy," begins Tuesday, August 27, meeting weekly through December 11 in the Social Sciences Bldg. Room 109 from 6:30-9:40. This is a basic course, carrying 3 units of lower division college credit, and emphasizing post-1850 American research methods and sources, and local repositories. The instructor, is Doug Mason, one of our society members, and you can contact Doug at (714) 432-5038 for more information. Call OCC at (714) 432-5072 to register. (It may not be too late.)
2. Continuous classes are offered at the Mission Viejo Family History Center at 27976 Marguerite Parkway. See: http://genweb.net/Family_History_Center/classes.htm for a current schedule. To register call (949) 364-2742.
3. For information on classes held at the Orange FHC, 674 S. Yorba St., Orange, call Beth McCarty at (714) 998-3408.
4. Classes for beginners and intermediates in Computer-assisted Genealogy are offered each month by the Orange County CA Genealogy Society in the General Meeting Room of the Huntington Beach Central Library, 7111 Talbert Ave., Huntington Beach, CA for a fee of $4 for non-members, payable at the door. See http://occgs.com for schedule.
5. The Summer/Fall schedule for NARA workshops follows. To register call (949) 360-2641.
Sept 10 Mon 9:30 a.m. Preparing for the 1930 Census
Sept 12 Wed 9:30 a.m. Introduction to Military Records
Oct 2 Tues 9:30 a.m. Naturalization & Immigration Records
Oct 6 Sat 9:30 a.m. Preparing for the 1930 Census
Oct 17 Wed 9:30 a.m. Genealogical Resources on the Internet
Oct 24 Wed 9:30 a.m. Preparing for the 1930 Census
Nov 3 Sat 9:30 a.m. Preparing for the 1930 Census
Nov 8 Thurs 9:30 a.m. Naturalization & Immigration Records
6. The British Isles Family History Society (BIFHS) holds classes monthly at the LA FHC of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 10741 Santa Monica Blvd., W. LA. Classes and parking are free. For information contact Dorothy Losee at (310) 838-6085, firstname.lastname@example.org.
7. Classes are offered monthly by the LA Family History Center, 10741 Santa Monica Blvd. Los Angeles which offer a wide variety of topics, ranging from Beginning Genealogy to more specialized research of ethnic groups such as Cherokee Genealogy, African American Genealogy and even deciphering the old-style Script of German and records. To see the schedule for the current month, go to their website at http://www.lafhc.org or call (310) 474-9990.
8. Brigham Young University's Department of Independent Studies offers two free online genealogy courses, Finding Your Ancestors and Providing Temple Ordinances for Your Ancestors. See http://ce.byu.edu/is/dept/famhist.htm for details.
LESSONS TO LEARN - HOW TO HURDLE THAT BRICKWALL
NICKNAMES, MISSPELLINGS AND OTHER ROADBLOCKS
Reprinted from the August CSGA Newsletter with permission of the author.
By Sharon E. Jones, Bakersfield, CA
When I set out to find my great-great grandparents in my WHITWORTH line, I tried the "shortcuts." I looked on the Ancestral File and joined the WHITWORTH Family Association, but could find no one who was connected to or researching my line. That left me only the option of starting from scratch to dig up these kinfolks. I had to start with the information I had and work backwards.
My grandmother, Stella Mable WHITWORTH, was born in Parker County, Texas on 21 March 1900. I looked on the 1900 Census for Parker County and she was not there. So, I searched the 1900 Texas Soundex and found them in Hood County. Hood is one of the seven counties that border Parker.
Lesson #1: Look in surrounding areas. This 1900 Census told me Stella's father, Samuel Porter WHITWORTH, was born June 1877 in Arkansas. I could not find the family on the 1880 Census in Arkansas, so I went back to Texas (where I last found them) and found Sam, age 4 on the first line of page 378 in Ellis County, Texas. Again, this county borders Parker, so the vicinity was right, but where were his parents? Page 377 did not turn up the rest of his family, so I continued back until I found them as the last entries on Page 375! This was obviously an error made when the enumerator was copying the census. When his count came up short, he discovered he had omitted a page, so added Sam and his brother on a page at the end of the precinct. This record, by the way, indicated Sam was born in Texas - not Arkansas.
Lesson #2: The Census records contain many errors. Sam's parents were listed as James WHITWORTH, 41 born in Kentucky, and Amanda, 35, born in Tennessee. Our family's oral history said James's wife was Annie ALLEN, but for now I have to assume Amanda was the mother of Samuel.
Using the birthplaces of the children from the 1880 Census, I determined the family was in Tennessee in 1864, Arkansas in 1869, Kentucky in 1873 and Texas in 1876. This information led me to find them on the 1870 Arkansas Census in Franklin County. In 1860 James, age 21, turned up as an unmarried child with his mother in Graves County, Kentucky - his birthplace. The 1850 Census shows him 12 years old in the household of S. and Elizabeth WHITWORTH in Graves County. A transcription was done of this Census and the father is listed as Samuel WHITWORTH. A local genealogical organization gathered information from tax lists and vital records to make the transcription more complete. Women's maiden names were inserted as well!
Lesson #3: Check local resources in the area.
From the 1850 and 1860 Census records, I determined that Samuel died during that decade. It also gave me the information that Samuel and Elizabeth were both born in North Carolina, and that the family was in Tennessee in 1831 and Kentucky in 1835. Then the dreaded truth was discovered. The Graves County, Kentucky Courthouse was burned in December 1887 and all records were completely destroyed. Then, by chance, I discovered the state of Kentucky had vital statistics for 1852-1859, 1874-1878 and 1893-1894. Bingo! Samuel WHITWORTH died 2 October 1855 in Graves County, and his parents were listed as "J. and A. WHITWORTH.
Lesson #4: Check the various governmental levels for available records.
Reviewing tax lists, I found Samuel WHITWORTH on the 1841 tax list, and a Jacob WHTIWORTH in 1833. The Kentucky Land Grants index showed Samuel and Milton J. WHITWORTH receiving 160 acres of land each. I requested copies of these land grants and was delighted to find the property purchased by Jacob WHITWORTH in 1835 and assigned to Samuel and Milton in 1836. Jacob paid $25 for each quarter section consisting of 160 acres. It looks like Jacob could be the father of Samuel.
Lesson #5: Don't rely solely on indexes - check the original records.
Samuel WHITWORTH was agent for Wm. SHORT on an 1851 Graves County Tax List. So, checking out the neighbors, I found Julius SHORT is in the third household before Samuel on 1840 Graves County Census. Moses SHORT had the land patent on the adjoining property to Samuel. There appeared to be a relationship between these two families.
Lesson #6: Families moved together.
Knowing Samuel was born in North Carolina, I started doing searches for WHITWORTHS and SHORTS there. The Will of Moses SHORT in Rockingham County, North Carolina was proved in 1809. Moses left land to his daughter, Nanny WHITTER, wife of Jacob WHITTER. Although the will lists Jacob as WHITTER, the land records of Guilford and Rockingham County give his name as WHITWORTH. A WHITWORTH family lived in Rockingham county, while there is no evidence of a WHITTER family. "Nanny" happened to be a nickname for Anne Nancy SHORT WHITWORTH. Here she is - my "A. Whitworth:, mother of Samuel.
Lesson #7: Consider variant name spellings. This one even failed the Soundex "sound-alike" match. The Soundex code for WHITWORTH is W363, while WHITTER is W360.
Anne Nancy SHORT was the daughter of Moses SHORT, Sr. and Margaret NICKS. Further documentation was found on the land division when her Uncle Quintan Nicks, died intestate in Guilford County, NC. Jacob WHITWORTH sold their 1/20th share in September 1815. Anne had a sister, Margaret SHORT, who married her cousin, Moses SHORT. This Moses is the neighbor I found on the land patents in Graves County.
While there are still many relationships to figure out, and a period of time spent in Tennessee to be explored, I have methodically chipped away at one brick wall and feel an immense satisfaction. Hopefully, the roadblocks I encountered may give you clues to hurdle your brick walls too. ---- Sharon E. Jones, copyright June 2001
THE OLD PLASTIC SANDWICH BAG TRICK!
We have discussed in past newsletter the ins and outs of visiting the cemeteries of our ancestors. Here is a tip that you might find helpful on your next trip. It was sent by Mary Kell of Denver, Colorado to the MOWASHIN-List and we have her permission to repeat it here in entirety.
"I just wanted to share something with the list that I have found to be very helpful. Recently, I went on a research trip to Pulaski, Washington and Jefferson Counties, MO. I was searching for information on a family named MILLER. William Miller married my great Aunt, Elizabeth Ann Jackson. I thought William MILLER was buried in the Hazelgreen Cemetery (a clue from familysearch.com) and so I went to Hazelgreen Cemetery and sure enough I found William's final resting place. I wrote a note explaining who I was and what I was searching for, then I placed the note inside a plastic sandwich bag, sealed it tight and using a small strip of velcro, attached it close to the bottom of the tombstone. Today, I received a letter from the grand daughter of William's brother, Charles. She enclosed the names, b-dates and d-dates of William Miller's siblings. Her aunt is 91 years old and takes care of the graves at the cemetery and she found my note. So if anyone is going to pay their respects at their ancestor's grave, think about leaving a note, in a conspicuous place, but DO NOT attach it where you will noticeably mar the tombstone. Good Luck. Mary" <email@example.com>
A WORD OF WARNING
I received this message from a mutual genealogy researcher which was sent to the VAROOTS-List by Jan Lund <firstname.lastname@example.org>. It concerns the membership fee charging site www.familydiscovery.com. This is what Jan had to say: It is another "ripoff". You pay for information that can be found FREE on the internet. Don't subscribe. They charge you a "one time fee" but nothing is stopping them from getting off the internet. They are being investigated by the Better Business Bureau! Though I have not verified this information, I think it would be wise for anyone to check it out before paying any fee to join such a service.
Since we are no longer passing envelopes and collecting for 50/50 purchase of books at the library, the Board decided on new procedure: If anyone has a book they would like to see added to our library shelves, if they will donate half of the cost, the society will pay the other half. Just let Janet know your choice before making any purchase. Oh, and Janet has now joined the email list. You can reach her at <email@example.com>.
WHEN A SOCIETY OR CIVILIZATION PERISHES, ONE CONDITION CAN ALWAYS BE FOUND. THEY FORGOT WHERE THEY CAME FROM. ~CARL SANDBURG
MORE WEBSITES WHICH MAY BE OF INTEREST
To create your own timeline: http://www.ourtimelines.com/create_tl_2.html
CA Death Index 1940-1995: http://userdb.rootsweb.com/ca/death/search.cgi
Civil War Soldier and Sailors System: http://www.civilwar.nps.gov/cwss/
Virginia Land Office Patents and Grants Collection: http://www.lva.lib.va.us/dlp/index.htm
Hamburg Emigration Lists: http://www.hamburg.de/LinkToYourRoots/english/start.htm
A Virginia Regional History Site: http://scott.k12.va.us/history/priorto.html
VA & WV family chart project: http://www.rootsweb.com/~deschart
Social Security Death Index Database: http://ssdi.genealogy.rootsweb.com/cgi-bin/ssdi.cgi
Vietnam Veteran Reunions: http://www.HMM-262vietnam.org
REMEMBER - Dues are now half price until the end of the year!
South Orange County California Genealogical Society
( ) New 1 Year ( ) Individual, $20 ( ) Jt. Members, same address $25
( ) Renewal Membership Number(s) _______________ ___________________
City ____________________________ State_____Zip__________Phone ___________________
Make check payable to: SOCCGS (South Orange County CA Genealogical Society) Check No. __________________
Mail with application to: SOCCGS, P.O. Box 4513, Mission Viejo, CA 92690-4513 Date Rec'd__________________