Spindrift October 5th, 2023


Last Thursday’s meeting was held in the lower meeting room of the Newport Beach Yacht Club, and 15 of us were in attendance, including the two guests who made their presentation on behalf of the Orange County FamilySearch Center. President Shirley Lashmett opened the meeting with a clang of the bell, and asked President-Elect Cynthia Strasmann to give the invocation. Cynthia expressed gratitude to our Lord for the goodness that we receive every day; that we use our gifts wisely and effectively to benefit others; and that He continue to guide and strengthen us in our decision-making with respect to Club functions as well as in all our day-to-day activities. Marj Davis led the membership in the Salute to Old Glory. A buffet lunch was served, including a Caesar salad, pasta with meat balls and sausage, and a delicious breast of chicken. The consensus was that the food was very good!


Our Football Commissioner Mike Gertner reviewed the results of the Week #3 Football Pool, of which there were 19 players. Mitch Mitchell won the low-man booby prize and got his $3 entry fee back. The winner with 14 correct guesses out of 20 was Al Wachs, who will be receiving $26. Leo Fracalosy came in at 2nd place and received $5 for his efforts. This week’s pool will have 21 entries instead of the usual 20.


President Shirley introduced this week’s speaker, Sharon Nicholl, who, along with her husband, Larry Nicholl, presented the mission and resources of the Orange County Family Search Center (OCFSC, FSC). The Nicholls are full-time specialist missionaries with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (LDS). They spend most of their time helping individuals and families to create Family Search accounts, and establishing connections with community centers, libraries, museums and other organizations which have an interest in family history and genealogy. OCFSC is a chapter of Family Search International, which is the largest genealogy organization in the world. Sponsored by the LDS, it offers its services free of charge, regardless of religious affiliation. Their object is to help people around the world discover their heritage and connect with family members. Family Search offers access to two mobile apps: Family Search Family Tree and Family Search Memories. Most of us are familiar with existing programs such as Ancestry.com, which are subscription programs to which only members can access and/or add family data. FSC allows anyone to access and add to its individual accounts. If the collaborative data which is entered is truthful and accurate, it becomes a potentially more comprehensive family tree. In the interest of privacy, only data entries involving deceased persons are allowed entry into the system.

OCFSC is located at 674 S. Yorba Street, Orange. Its database provides free access to over 17 billion historical records and images for research purposes. The FSC Digital Library provides access to over 550,000 books, e.g., family history, local history, school yearbooks. There are currently over 1.5 billion names within the family trees in the FSC data base. The Center has the technology and equipment to digitize all data, including written documents, photos, videos, and cassette (audio) tapes, and can offer more convenient storage locations, such as thumb drives for safekeeping. SFC has access to Ancestry.com at the Center. There is expert help from staff members at OCFSC who are available to answer any questions you may have. The website added a Memory section in 2015 which stores family photos, stories, audio recordings etc. for preservation. This is beneficial in that family members, especially children, and other interested parties can have access to such documents in one single location. The program also has a “Faces” feature which compares recent photos of family members with photos of ancestors and brings up those who look comparatively alike.

To start a family tree, you will need to start gathering information into individual accounts from relatives. It is important to be truthful and complete, because the information which is stored within is only as good as the information which is entered. Data gathered by FamilySearch can be used to correlate and verify DNA studies; Sharon mentioned an individual who had a DNA study performed which indicated that he had Central American heritage. When compared with his FSC data, to his surprise, it was verified.

Please visit at www.ocfamilyhistory.org to register and have access to all their wonderful programs. You can also call OCFSC at (714) 997-7710 if you have any questions regarding their website.


Marj Davis and Richard Swinney each took home $16 as winners of this week’s raffle.

SHIRLEY’S THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: “Memories remind us that nothing lasts forever. You can be happy today and sad tomorrow. Time is precious and should not be wasted. Enjoy life and remember: don’t count the days; make the days count.”

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Robert Wood

Robert Wood