Orange County California Genealogical Society
17 No. 11
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.
Please check your newsletter
“1/1/11” means dues are payable in January.
November 20, 2010
“Preparing for the 1940 Census”
|The 1940 US Census
introduced sampling, organized publicity, and had an emphasis on
economic questions. Some standard questions were dropped, while
new ones were added. The changes were not without controversy. This
census is being digitized by the National Archives and will be available
online. It is unlikely there will be a name index available on opening
day, April 2nd, 2012. Therefore, a geographical means for finding
people will be necessary. Mr. Weintraub will explain the 1940 enumeration
and its questions, and will give a brief history of the 72-year
rule. He will report on the online 1940 geographical tools that
will be provided on the “Morse One Step” website for searching the
census on opening day. Examples of 1940 census documents will be
shown to the audience.
Joel is an emeritus biology professor at California State University,
Fullerton, and has won awards for his science teaching. He became
interested in genealogy over 12 years ago and regularly volunteered
at NARA in Laguna Niguel prior to their relocation. He, along with
Stephen Morse, has produced a number of online census searching
utilities for both the Federal and New York State censuses. He has
lectured and given computer workshops on census searching to numerous
societies around the United States.
|There are no safaris scheduled
during November and December. On January 26 the safari destination
will be the Los Angeles Public Library.
|Francie Kennedy is scheduled to
conduct Google Workshops at 10 a.m. on October 22 and November 19.
Signups were taken at the September meeting and may be full. However,
you may contact Francie to add your name to the waiting list. 949-487-4304
or Francie@fea.net. The workshops
will be held in the SOCCGS Research Center in the Mission Viejo
~Bill Bluett - Seminar
|The 2010 genealogical seminar
was a complete success! We had 129 folks in attendance for three
interesting and informative presentations by Dr. George K. Schweitzer,
which were followed by questions and answers. We so enjoyed Dr.
Schweitzer being dressed in period costume along with his wit, humor,
and extensive knowledge of each topic. His syllabus was filled with
an abundance of valuable information and resources. All those in
attendance went away with a long list of helpful resources and ideas
for refining their own research. There was a buzz of activity around
each of the vendor and SOCCGS tables throughout the day. To the
delight of those present, numbers were drawn for dozens of door
prizes. Congratulations to all the winners! The food and refreshments
were excellent and very nicely displayed. Finally, I must say that
all volunteers did a superb job in setting up and hosting our event.
Many “thanks” to everyone who assisted in putting our seminar together!
|The October Seminar featuring
Dr. George Schweitzer was a home run! We had a record number of
attendees this year. It was the best seminar I have attended, hands
down. Many folks told us how great the day was. Dr. Schweitzer has
blessed so many genealogists by sharing his vast knowledge. I have
no ancestors from Germany, but I was surprised that Dr. Schweitzer
provided information in his German presentation that explained about
happenings in Germany that affected how records in the British Isles
began being recorded. This was a good reminder that, in our genealogical
research, we need to look outside the box for best results. The
day was made even better by the number of vendors we had available,
and the good snacks and lunches provided. Thanks to seminar chairman
Bill Bluett, who did most of the planning and heavy lifting. Thanks
also to the many SOCCGS members who helped out both before and during
the seminar. It is clearly the participation of so many people that
makes SOCCGS such an enjoyable group. If you have a little or a
lot of time, and wish to participate, please see one of the board
members. There is always an opportunity to contribute your time
There are still a couple of openings for Francie Kennedy’s GOOGLE
class on November 19. Contact one of the board members to
sign up. This will be the last class for this year. Francie will
continue to offer her class next year. If you haven’t attended a
class, I can tell you it is very helpful. I wanted to go home after
her class and isolate myself for a while just to try out all the
pointers I picked up. Like many, I was so sure I knew how to GOOGLE
something. Not! There are many wonderful layers to this program.
I hope to see you in November, when our speaker will be Joel Weintraub
who will bring us up to date on the 1940 Census.
|The Seminar Ways & Means Projects
proved to be extremely successful. Proceeds are as follows: Quilt
– $399.00, Jewelry - $218.15, Books – $347.35.
|There were no new members this
month. It is time to start thinking about renewing your membership.
Please check your address label. “1/1/11” means your membership
is up for renewal in January.
2010 - 2011 Programs
November 20 – Joel Weintraub, “1940 Census”
December 18 – “Holiday Gathering”
January - Bill Bluett, "Connecting Your Ancestors With Historical
February - Beth McCarty, "Researching Church of England Records"
March - Francie Kennedy: "GOOGLE 2"
|The Department of Veterans Affairs
provides a medallion, by request; to be affixed to an existing privately
purchased headstone or marker to signify the deceased's status as
a Veteran. This new product is furnished in lieu of a traditional
Government headstone or marker for those Veterans whose death occurred
on or after Nov. 1, 1990, and whose grave in a private cemetery
is marked with a privately purchased headstone or marker.
Complete information and a picture of the medallion are available
Some of Family
Chronicle’s Top Genealogy Websites
|Cyndi's List of Genealogy Sites
on the Internet: This is probably the most popular genealogy
index on the web. Cyndi's site features over 16,800 links, categorized
and cross-referenced, in over 60 categories, and is updated with
US GenWeb: This site serves as the entrance to the massive
US GenWeb project, wherein volunteers across the US maintain linked
websites about their states and counties. This page contains information
about the project and links to state-level GenWeb sites.
RAND Genealogy Club: This site supports the Roots Location
List, Roots Surname List and a Soundex converter, as well as many
links organized either by type or by regional, ethnic or religious
Helm's Genealogy Toolbox: An attractive site with links to
several tools of use to genealogists, including various guides and
indexes, area-specific information and data on associations of interest
Family Tree Maker Online: The only commercial site to make
it into our top ten, the FTM site offers an extensive "how-to" guide,
a genealogy mall, the 115-million-name Family Finder index, message
boards, a biography assistant and more.
GENDEX: In spite of its rather plain appearance, many genealogists
love Gene Stark’s Index of Names for all Gen Web Sites. Data on
over two million individuals, collected from hundreds of web pages,
can be viewed on this single site.
Genealogy Is My Hobby: A great site to visit when you're
doing genealogy late at night and in danger of falling asleep. Lots
of bright colors, lots of enthusiasm and lots of webmaster Pam Middleton-Lee's
|Do you have a query, research
tip, website, or a special ancestor, who’s story you would be willing
to share? Please submit such items to the newsletter editor by the
fourth Wednesday of the month for inclusion in the next newsletter.
Articles are best at 900 words or less, however exceptions may be
allowed. Articles are best at 900 words or less, however exceptions
are allowed. Please note: leave only one space after punctuation
at the end of a sentence. Please send as a word document. Mary
Jo McQueen – email@example.com
|Footnote is now available remotely
to anyone with a Carlsbad City Library card. Go to the library website
and click on the Research tab. You will be asked to enter your library
card number and select Footnote. Newspaper Archives is no longer
available as a remote access site. You may still use this website
at the SOCCGS Research Center.
Dickinson County, Iowa
|Spirit Lake, located in northern
Iowa, is the seat of Dickinson County. The Spirit Lake Public Library
has made sixteen separate cemetery records databases available on
its website. First click on the Cemetery Records tab to open the
database page. To view an alphabetical by surname list of the individuals
buried in them, click on the cemetery name. The data fields include
cemetery abbreviation, lot number, last name, first name, date of
birth (month and day), year of birth, date of death (month and day),
and other. Maps of all but two of the cemeteries have been provided.
In addition, a ‘cover page’ with photographs of the entrance to
the cemetery and the address of the cemetery has been provided.
You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to view the map and cover page.
Researching My Germans From Russian Heritage
|This past summer I took a driving
genealogical safari. The plan was to attend two “Germans from Russia”
conventions, one in Bismarck, North Dakota and the other in Lincoln,
Nebraska. I decided to expand the convention trip and visit friends
and relatives along the way, which brought the trip up to 7600 miles.
These conventions promote Germans from Russia genealogy, and aim
to pass on and preserve this heritage.
Who are Germans from Russia? In the mid 1700’s through the
first part of the 1800’s the German states were in a constant state
of war. The population was being heavily taxed and the young men
were being conscripted into the military by the German States as
well as by Napoleon when his armies fought through Germany. Russia
at this time had various alliances with western European countries
and was also waging war with the Turkish Empire. Catherine II the
Great, a German noblewoman, usurped control from her husband Peter
III, the Tsar of Russia. Her armies had been victorious over the
Turks and had gained control over the areas west and north of the
Black Sea, the Crimean Peninsula and the Caucuses.
Catherine II having won this vast amount of land wanted to develop
it, and proclaimed in her manifesto of 1763 conditions which gave
many Germans an opportunity to get away from the less than desirable
positions in Germany. The manifesto provided for free travel, free
land, and money to build houses and start farming, freedom from
paying taxes for 30 years, autonomy in local government, and freedom
of religion. Russian agents (foreign ministers in the courts of
the German states) helped many Germans begin the trip to Russia.
Most of the Germans traveled overland. The first groups settled
along the Volga River. Later groups settled in what is termed the
Black Sea Region, an area between the Dneister and Dneiper Rivers
north of the Black Sea, in what is now the Ukraine. Another route
that was tried for a while, and then abandoned, was to travel by
boat down the Danube River. The Danube route was abandoned because
of the high casualty rates from disease. This doesn’t mean that
disease and hardship did not take its toll on the overland routes
Upon arrival in Russia the hardship of travel was just one milestone
that had been accomplished. Starting from scratch created new hardships
to overcome, which included building homes, schools and churches,
while tilling their fields. The German settlers also had to survive
the natural hardships of drought, grasshoppers, and disease. The
Germans were settled in colonies - each colony had a village where
they had their homes. The fields surrounded the each village. They
had to travel out to their fields from the village each day to work
their crops, although during harvest they might stay in wagons at
As time progressed, many prospered and purchased sizable amounts
of land outside the colonies for estates. To manage the estates
they employed native Russians and other Germans to work the land.
As we know, good times don’t last forever. Catherine’s grandson
was about to change the “Germans from Russia” status. The first
announcement in 1872 was that their exclusion from conscription
into the Russian military would end in two years. Also, on the horizon,
was that schools would use the Russian language and the Russian
government would administer the local governments. Many Germans
at this time began planning to leave Russia.
Ministers and priests of churches in Russia had attended seminaries
in the United States. The ministers told of land similar to that
of the steppes of Russia in the Americas. The Homestead Act, which
began in the 1860’s, had made much land available. Large groups
of families packed up their belongings, took the railroad to Hamburg,
Germany from where they sailed to New York, and then crossed the
eastern states on the railroad to the plains.
Most of the Germans from Russia settled in the Dakotas, but many
also settled in Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas and down into Texas and over
into Colorado. Once again they started from scratch. Droughts, grasshoppers,
floods, hard winters, and disease were once again obstacles to overcome.
Some of them also immigrated to Canada and South America.
The Germans from Russia took and preserved many customs from Germany
and developed many more while in Russia. Their language mutated
somewhat along with their food menus. There are two international
societies here in the US that were established to preserve the Germans
from Russia heritage: The Germans from Russia Heritage Society
(GRHS) and The American Historical Society of Germans from Russia
These societies also provide genealogical information and work with
Russian, Ukrainian, and former Russian State’s archives and resources
to obtain documents to further research on German Russians. Due
to recent elections in the Ukraine, cooperative efforts between
the societies, the archives and the government has changed. It is
too soon to tell what effects these changes will have on future
Not all members of families left Russia. In my case, out of eight
brothers, four Schwarz brothers including my great grandfather,
Peter Schwarz and great grandmother Magdalena Ochsner and their
immediate families left in 1874 and ended up settling in Sutton,
Nebraska. Four other brothers stayed in Russia. I haven’t found
out what happened to them…yet! The youngest brother had three sons
with families who left in 1929 and settled in Winnipeg, Canada.
They were able to leave because they had maintained their German
passports. Other cousins were not allowed to leave Russia. The communist
officials intimidated them by placing pistols on top of their Russian
passports on the table.
In 1873 my grandmother’s father, Karl Hofmann, left with his uncle’s
family. Katharina Griess, whom he would marry in Sutton, Nebraska,
also left Russia in 1873 with her family. The rest of Karl Hofmann’s
immediate family (father, mother, brothers and unmarried sisters)
remained in Russia. I don’t know what happened to them…yet!
Those who remained after the 1919 communist take over suffered during
the revolution, and after. Collectivization caused years of government-induced
famine for German Russian colonists. When Germany invaded Russia
during World War II, Stalin immediately exiled the Volga River German
Russians to Siberia. The Nazis occupied the Black Sea area until
the Russians were able to push them back. Most of the Black Sea
German Russians were evacuated back to Poland with the retreating
German troops. In Poland, the Nazis determined which Germans were
of “pure ancestry” and could be sent on to Germany. Others of not
so pure ancestry were sent back to Russia. Most of the German Russians
who remained in Russia towards the end of the war were exiled to
slave labor camps, mainly in Siberia. Many perished in the camps
but remarkably many survived.
There are some older inhabitants; of what were German Russian villages
and estates, who still remember times when the German Russians lived
there. Nikita Khrushchev was the first Russian leader to recognize
the plight of the exiled German Russians. Even though over the years
since World War II, the severity of their exile had eased somewhat,
these people were still not allowed to leave their exile locations.
Khrushchev initiated a process that would eventually allow the German
Russians to leave their exile. Many left and went to Germany, but
If you think your German ancestors emigrated directly from Germany
because they spoke German and had German names, it may not be so.
They may have lived in Russia for a few generations.
My circuitous safari route took me up through Oregon and Washington,
across through Idaho, Montana, North Dakota, and Minnesota, down
through Michigan, Illinois, and Indiana, and back through Iowa,
Nebraska, Kansas, Colorado, Utah, and Nevada to California. Illinois,
Indiana, and Nebraska were my secondary points of interest. The
majority of research can be done on the Internet, by mail, and telephone,
but actually going to locations can produce some extra benefits.
While visiting The Little Blue River Baptist Cemetery near Shelbyville,
Indiana, I met my third cousin once removed. He owned the farm across
the road from the cemetery. We had a long conversation there by
the cemetery and church. He told me that our great great grandfathers
were founding members of the Little Blue River Baptist Church and
had held services in their homes until they were able to build a
log church. The log church remained at the corner of the cemetery
until 1922 when a brick church was built across the road. The only
evidence of its existence is the lack of tombstones in that corner
of the cemetery.
Taking a road trip can help you meet non-genealogist people of interest
whom you might never have met otherwise. I gathered so much new
information on this trip, that I couldn’t process it while traveling,
and am still working at incorporating it into my genealogy
(Gary is a member of SOCCGS and
a Tuesday docent at the SOCCGS Research Center.)
|Historian and nominating Committee
Chairman, Chuck Nostrome, has announced nominations for the upcoming
year. Election of new officers will take place at the November general
meeting. Nominations will be accepted from the floor with the written
consent of the nominee. The following have been nominated: president,
Bill Bluett; vice president, David Flint; recording secretary, Sandy
Crowley; recording secretary, Patricia Weeks; treasurer, Mary Jo
|Karyn Schumaker has organized
the toy drive again this year. Since the December meeting is quite
close to Christmas, unwrapped toys will be collected at the November
meeting. The donated items will go to the 1/11 Marine families at
The toys are put in a room at the 1/11 headquarters, and the parents
are allowed to “shop” for their children. Volunteers then wrap the
gifts, which are taken home by the parents.
Although items for any age are welcome, those 0-2 years old and
teens seem to not receive as many gifts. Gift cards are very popular,
especially for the teenagers.
If you bring items to the December 18 meeting they will be taken
to a local fire station for “Sparks of Love.”
The 1/11 is currently serving in Afghanistan. They are expected
home before Christmas. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers.
Questions? Call Karyn at 949-248-0662.
~David Flint - Ways
& Means Chairman
|Don’t forget to sign up.
Everyone who participates must renew his or her membership after
September 1 each year. See David Flint at the November
meeting if you need a copy of the scanbar letter, which is the
easiest way to sign up.
~David Flint, Chairman
|Please visit our website at
http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~casoccgs/ (or type SOCCGS
into Google) to learn about our society’s co-sponsorship and participation
in the World Archives Project with Ancestry.com. There are links
on our website to connect you with information about the program
and how to get started. Please consider helping with this service
project. It’s a great way to give something back to the larger genealogy
~Courtesy of Marcia Roy
- Records from Record Search (much of this data is from Indexing)
are being transferred to the Historical Records area of the
FamilySearch Beta (fsbets.familysearch.org). The data transfer
should be completed by the end of September.
- Historical Records from the current
will be transferred after that.
- All new collections (including indexing records) will go
directly to the familysearch Beta website.
- Ancestor discussions were recently added to the new.familysearch.org.
The length of discussions will so increase from the current
limitation of 500 characters.
- The Family History Library Catalog search on Familysearch
beta has been improved.
- Disputes can no longer be added to the FamilySearch Tree.
Soon, all the disputes on an ancestor will be moved into a discussion
called “Legacy Disputes” and deleted from the details section.
- The NewFamilySearch Asia rollout is set for December.
- Beta.familysearch.org will replace the current
by the end of the year.
- The general public can begin preparing for access to the
new familysearch Tree now, for an account on the familysearch
- Some time after this year the new FamilySearch Tree will
become “Family Tree” on the new website.
Library of Scotland
|The National Library of Scotland
is an information treasure trove of Scotland's knowledge, history
and culture, with millions of books, manuscripts, newspapers and
maps covering every subject. Hint: Put National Library of Scotland
into Google and click on desired link, for example “maps.”
& 2011 Genealogy Events
|January 29 – The Whittier
Area Genealogical Society presents Lisa Louise Cooke at the 28th
Annual Seminar. Ms. Cooke will present four topics: “Google Search
Strategies,” “Google Earth & Maps for Genealogy,” “Genealogy Gems:
Google Books & Google Toolbar,” and “Google Tools: iGoogle, Gmail,
Google Alerts. For further information and registration contact
Roger Mount (562) 693-2674, firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the
WAGS web site at www.cagenweb.com/kr/wags.
Did You Know?
Thomas Jefferson worried that the Courts would overstep their authority
And, instead of interpreting the law, would begin making law an oligarchy.
The rule of few over many.
23123 Cajalco Road
Perris, California 92570-7298
Hours: 8:00-4:30 Monday-Friday
And the First Saturday of Each Month (Except Federal Holidays)
Do you need a
|Wearing a name badge at the monthly
meetings is an excellent way to meet new friends and/or possibly
a “cousin.” These are provided to all members at no cost. Please
contact Herb Abrams at (949) 581-6292 or
email@example.com. He will
have one ready at the next meeting.
Seminar & Safari
Bill Bluett ________________________
||Cindie Reily _______________________
||Pat Weeks _______________________
|Treasurer & Newsletter
||Mary Jo McQueen
||Jack Naylor ______________________
||Herb Abrams _____________________
||Bunny Smith _____________________
||Charles & Patricia
Eunice Muari ______________________
|Ways & Means
||David Flint ________________________
South Orange County
California Genealogical Society Membership/Renewal Application
( ) New
( ) Renewal
( ) Individual, $20/yr.
( ) Joint Members, same address $25/yr.
State_____ Zip ____________ Phone _________________________
Make check payable
to: SOCCGS (South Orange County CA Genealogical Society)
Mail with application
to: SOCCGS, P.O. Box 4513, Mission Viejo, CA 92690-4513
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