The founder and leader of our DNA Sig has been quite sick of late, and just had open-heart surgery.  She would hate having lots of attention, but I figured her friends would like a status report.

She is recovering well, as of 3/25, and hopes to be checking out of the hospital soon.

For those who asked about her mailing address, please send all communications to:

Barbara Rae-Venter
P.O. Box 5566
Carmel, CA 93921

Please continue to send her those positive thoughts so she will be back with our group soon.

We’re on Facebook

Much thanks to The Duplex Cartoons in today’s paper for the oh-so-appropriate image. Click here to visit their website.

It gives me much pleasure, with much trepidation, to announce that MoCoGenSo has just acquired a Page on Facebook! If you have a Facebook account, be sure to locate our new Page by searching for “Monterey County Genealogical Society”. You can help us “get famous” by Following the Page, or at least Liking it!

If you see any problems with the page, or have suggestions, be sure to contact me (Jim Robeson) directly. Meanwhile, you can click here to see the page now. to Facebook

“Screw it, Let’s do it!” – Richard Branson

Monthly Meeting – 6 April 2017: “U.S. Gen Web Project”, by Gary Carlsen

Join Gary Carlsen, the MoCoGenSo President, as he shares his wisdom about volunteers in the genealogical world. The US GenWeb Project at consists of a group of volunteers working together to provide Internet websites for genealogical research in every county and state of the United States. The project is non-commercial & fully committed to free access for everyone. State and county sites vary in makeup, but all offer a wide variety of genealogical information. Join Gary as he explores this valuable free online site.

Gary has been a member, and officer of the Monterey County Genealogy Society from 1990 to present. He is currently the President, and has held many positions on the Board of Directors, currently – Editor of the MoCoGenSo Newsletter, and Genealogist and Publications Chairperson. He has transcribed two publication for MoCoGenSo – “The First Soldiers and Census,” and “1889 Monterey County Directory.” He is a volunteer librarian at our local Family History Center for the past 25 years. In 1996 he completed “Across the Sea Across the Prairie” a 300 page history on his mother’s family back to the early 1700’s in France. Gary began in 1990, researching his family and his wife, Carolyn’s family, a seventh generation native Californian. In that time, he has located over 20,000 family members to which he and his wife are related. He has given many presentations over the years for MoCoGenSo, the DAR and other Societies. He has been a great source of genealogical information, as well as, for our Monterey County. See more about Gary here.

Doors open at 6:15 pm, the meeting starts at 7:00 pm. We’ll see you at the Family History Center, 1024 Noche Buena, Seaside, CA., left rear of building.

“It’s surprising how hard we’ll work when the work is done just for ourselves.” – Bill Watterson

Membership Renewal Time Is Here

Hi… It’s that time again!

Spring is coming and March is the time of year when we remind everyone that your MoCoGenSo 2015 membership will be expiring, and it is time to renew. The dues will remain the same at $15.00 for individuals and $22.50 for families (add $5.00 for paper copy).

An important way to learn more about your ancestors and their lives is to join a genealogy society that focuses on the area in which your ancestors lived. Genealogy societies conduct research and preserve information about a specific area, and most publish some sort of newsletter, journal, or other periodical. The articles offer insight into the area and the people, and can provide help in conducting your research in an area. There are genealogy societies at the national, state, county, parish, province, and other levels. Annual membership fees are reasonable and the benefits are considerable.

The Monterey County Genealogy Society is one of these organizations right here in your own back yard. It serves its members in many ways. The board of directors is made up of members
just like you.

Remember our society is only as strong as our membership, and those who get involved.

OUR MEMBERSHIP YEAR RUNS FROM APRIL 1 TO MARCH 31 OF THE FOLLOWING YEAR. For renewing members, you can renew using the membership form in your recently received newsletter.  New or renewing members can download and print a copy of the Membership Application by clicking here.  There will always be copies of this form at our monthly meetings.

Join me by staying with MoCoGenSo and getting the E-Newsletter.

Thank you for being a supporter!

DNA SIG Meets Saturday Mar 11

This is a reminder for the MoCoGenSo DNA SIG meeting this Saturday March 11 at 10 am at the Family History Center in Seaside. We will meet in the library (across the hall from the computer room).

Schedule for DNA SIG Meeting:

10:00 to 10:15 Discussion of future topics of interest/volunteers for future presentations

10:15 to 11:00 New Tools available on Gedmatch and DNAGedcom by Barbara Rae-Venter
This will be a live demonstration–bring your laptop if you would like to follow along with you own data.

11:00 to 11:30 Questions/Discussion
Next DNA SIG meeting: Saturday April 8, 2017 at 10 am, Speaker: Pat Burrows

“Living on earth may be tough, but it includes a free ride around the sun every year.”

Monthly Meeting – March 2, 2017: “The Law of Unintended Consequences”, by Barbara Rae-Venter

Join Barbara Rae-Venter as she tells the full story about how her efforts helped one person discover her identify and, in the process, solve multiple murders too.

Topic: The Law of Unintended Consequences

When you come to a fork in the road, take it. (Attributed to Yogi Berra)

Summary: “A fork in my road that I took in March, 2015 was to volunteer my time to help a young woman, Lisa Jensen, find her birth family.” Lisa was abducted when less than a year old and did not know who she is or where she was from.

The fork Barbara took did lead to identification of Lisa’s mother and identifying her father as one of five brothers. A video on the technique used to accomplish this, DNA triangulation, is available for purchase as Lecture 9 at

The presentation will cover some of the highly unexpected, but serendipitous, consequences that have resulted from solving who Lisa is. They include enabling law enforcement to solve several cold case murders. Some details are still confidential at this time, but public disclosure in a press release was made in late January.

Who knew that choosing to help someone find out who she is would help solve a series of murders that have stumped detectives for decades?

Barbara is a volunteer at the Monterey Family History Center and founded and leads the DNA Sig for MoCoGenSo. She uses primarily online research tools and has made extensive use of genetic testing of herself and multiple family members to supplement her research into her own family. Barbara earned a B.A. in Psychology and Biochemistry and a Ph.D. in Biology from the University of California at San Diego, and a J .D. from the University of Texas at Austin Law School. Now retired from teaching and private legal practice, Barbara is helping those interested with their genetic genealogy efforts. To see her full biography Click Here. We are lucky to have her in our community.

Doors open at 6:15 pm, the meeting starts at 7:00 pm. We’ll see you at the Family History Center, 1024 Noche Buena, Seaside, CA., left rear of building.