MoCoGenSo DNA SIG Meeting Saturday April 14 at 10 am

This is reminder for the MoCoGenSo DNA SIG meeting this coming Saturday 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 10:10 Discussion of future topics of interest/volunteers for future presentations. Please consider volunteering! Work In Progress is Fine.

10:10 to 10:20 Follow up on Using an iPad for Genealogy Research – James Robeson

10:20 to 10:30 Photograph tips – John Light

10:30 to 11:15 Irish Institute Review – Junel Davidson

11:15 to 11:30 Questions/Discussion

11:30 to 12:00 Meeting for those interested in working on forensic samples

Next meeting: Saturday May 12, 2018 at 10:00 am
Kathy Nielsen will share some of her work with mtDNA

Barbara Rae-Venter will give a practice presentation on DNA AND UNCOVERED SECRETS: HELP AND SUPPORT


  • Barbara is an invited speaker at the following event:
  1. Southern California Jamboree May 31-June 2, 2018,
  2. On May 31 at 3:30 pm: Cold Case Solved: The Continuing Story
  3. On June 1 at 5 pm:

“All else being equal, the most likely hypothesis is the one with fewer assumptions.” – Occam’s razor

Genealogy in Indian Country

Brad Stimson, the new Director of the Monterey Family History Center, has announced that there will be a special meeting about American Indian genealogy.

This meeting isn’t on our normal calendar since it is new and unusual and is not sponsored by MoCoGenSo.  But Brad has invited us all.  So if this applies to you, be sure and include this meeting in your schedule.

Presented by Lorraine Escobar   Tribal Vice Chairnan for the Escolan Tribe of Carmel Valley

FRIDAY April 6, 2018

5:30-7:30 pm

Monterey Family History Center, 1024 Noche Buena, Seaside,, CA., Left year of building.

This is the normal MoCoGenSo meeting place.

Monthly Meeting – April 5, 2018: “How to Be a Document Detective” by Cynthia Stanford

Most documents about our families will give us some obvious direct and pertinent information. But what about “the rest of the story?” What else can we learn from the documents we use for family research? How can we detect further information that will help us solve our genealogical mysteries? This session will be interactive. So dust off your Sherlock Holmes hat and come prepared to think like a detective.

Cynthia Stanford has been researching her family history, and that of her husband, for more than twenty years. She has interest in several states, particularly Ohio, Pennsylvania, Michigan, New York, Iowa and Illinois. She has French Canadian and Holstein ancestors. Her most recent pursuits include a major study and writing about her husband’s Irish roots. Cynthia is delighted to return to speaking about her genealogy passion.

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.

“You can observe a lot by just watching.” – Yogi Berra

What to do if your family tree has 13 million persons

The research article in Science Magazine that used family trees from is really quite interesting. It is titled “Quantitative analysis of population-scale family trees with millions of relatives”. If you are interested in the findings, then Click here to go to the Science article. You will need to click View Full Text after reaching the abstract.

One of the findings is that living into your 90’s is not primarily a function of genetics, but living into your 100’s does appear to be have genetic influences. So you really should continue to eat fruits and vegetables and exercise daily. You can slack off when you reach 100 – then you know your genes have been working too! 🙂

The company My Heritage owns the company Geni, it was purchased in 2012. My Heritage is doing DNA tests, the giant 13-million public tree came from Geni. Both companies have products. After reading the article in Science, I have decided to check out both companies. I have had the basic free account at Geni for a few years (and some of my ancestors were probably included in the study) and am now thinking about upgrading to the Pro $$ account.

The blog called The Legal Genealogist did a great job of comparing My Heritage and Geni a couple of years ago. The comparison was done in two parts which can be reached here. I am starting my research here.

Click here for Part 1.

Click here for Part 2.

“The idea is to die young as late as possible.” – Ashley Montagu

RootsTech 2018 Videos

RootsTech 2018 has ended. But the videos of the main sessions will live on. You can see them here: .

I was looking for the video of Henry Louis Gates Jr. from the Saturday session, but it is not on the Saturday page. Either his video is just late, or it has been copyrighted and is not going to be made available. I really enjoyed seeing his presentation, he is an excellent speaker and presenter. Meanwhile, many of the other videos are worth viewing, so enjoy the above link.
If you loose track of this posting, just go to and click on the Menu link (upper right) and then click on Videos under About Rootstech.

For the DNA geeks:

The link below is for the Thursday video given by the scientist from MyHeritage that is an excellent overview of DNA testing for Genealogy. It is by MyHeritage, but the processes are the same for all the companies. It is 59 minutes long but it is worth it, for all levels of DNA interests.
Click here.

The speaker was Yaniv Erlich, a geneticist from Columbia University who is now employed by MyHeritage as chief scientific officer, the “genome hacker” who mapped a 13 million person family tree from (now owned by MyHeritage). This link goes to an article in The Atlantic containing an interview with Dr. Erlich published March 1st, 2018. You should read this too!

Click here.

“Everyone knows that the early bird gets the worm, but no one seems to talk about the fact that the worm was up early too.” – Twitter

Local Land Records

A couple of weeks ago, Junel Davidsen gave a talk at the Santa Cruz Genealogical Society. her talk was about Researching Local Land Records.

I wish I had been able to be there. The lecture was about finding and using local land records. Local land records contain more than property descriptions, names of buyers/sellers and legal jargon. Records kept by local officials for hundreds of years hold a treasure-trove of information. Finding these records can reward researchers with biographical information, evidence of relationships, clues to migration and more.

Junel has made the handout she created available for downloading, not only at the Santa Cruz site, but also here. Having this file, which is full of hot links, is almost as good as being there!

To get the file, Click here.

Meanwhile, if you see Junel, perhaps Wednesdays at the FHC, give her a big thanks.