Category Archives: Meetings

Monthly Meeting – Jan. 3, 2019: “An overview of the coming DAR Seminars” by Barbara Rae-Venter

The first meeting of the year always includes voting for the Board of Directors for the coming year. If you are interested in volunteering for an open position, speak up before the meeting so we can get you on the slate! When the business is complete, Barbara will then take the floor and proceed with the program.

Barbara Rae-Venter will give us an overview of the upcoming Ancestor Round-Up Genealogical Seminar in which she is involved. She has been selected to be the Keynote Speaker ! She will also be teaching 4 classes. This presentation will cover “Using autosomal DNA to Answer Unknown Parentage Questions.” This meeting will give you a chance to learn about the Seminar and to also ask Barbara questions.

Barbara Rae-Venter is a retired intellectual property attorney who specialized in the patenting of biotechnology inventions. She earned a J.D. from Univ. of Texas at Austin, and a B.A double major in Psychology and Biochemistry and a Ph.D. in Biology at UC at San Diego. She is a Search Angel with DNAAdoption.org and also helps teach the online autosomal DNA classes they offer to help adoptees use their DNA match results to identify birth relatives. Barbara used this same technique to assist law enforcement with identification of suspects in violent crimes and victims of violent crimes. She is a frequent speaker at genetic genealogy conferences and to genealogy research groups. She is the founder and facilitator of the MoCoGenSo DNA Interest Group (DIG) and a volunteer at the Monterey Family History Center. She also offers fee-based consulting @ GenealogyConsult.com.

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.


AND on the eighth day God said, ‘OK, Murphy, take over.’


Genetic Genealogy DNA Sig Nov 10

Barbara Rae-Venter’s lecture to the Genetic Genealogy Ireland conference has made it’s way to YouTube You can see it here: Barbara in Ireland

There were many other big names in the Genealogy/DNA field at the conference! You can subscribe to the Genetic Genealogy Ireland channel at YouTube and watch them all for free as they appear.

Of course, you can see Barbara and many other LOCAL folks who are interested in DNA and genealogy at the next DNA Sig, right here in the Monterey Bay Area at 10:00 am this coming Saturday Nov 10 at the Family History Center in Seaside. FHC location


“Why do you never see elephants hiding in the trees? – Because they are really good at it.”


Monthly Meeting – November 1: “Webinars and Podcasts for Genealogists” by Dayna Jacobs, AG®

Genealogists have so many opportunities for learning these days, and some of the easiest are through webinars and podcasts. Webinars are online presentations you can watch from home, and podcasts are like radio shows you can listen to on the go—in your car, while exercising, gardening, or sitting on an airplane. Dayna Jacobs will show us how to find popular webinars and podcasts (both free and subscription-based) and will demonstrate some apps we can use to watch and listen to them. If you’ve wanted to get started watching and listening to webinars and podcasts, this is your “How-to” opportunity!

Dayna Jacobs is an Accredited Genealogist Professional with over 30 years experience in researching, writing, and teaching. She serves on the board of directors for the Utah Genealogical Association (UGA) and the International Commission for the Accreditation of Professional Genealogists (ICAPGen). She has her own genealogy blogs (On Granny’s Trail and The Fairy Tale Genealogist), and also maintains the blogs for ICAPGen and UGA.

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.


“There is nothing better than realizing, right after you wake up, that you won’t have to face repercussions for the terrible choices you made in your dream.” – Reddit


Monthly Meeting – October 4 — “Discoveries in Courthouse Deeds” by Junel Davidsen

Don’t miss important information about your family history! Deeds and other documents recorded at the local level 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 relationship, clues to migration, and more. Junel Davidsen will discuss online and on-site research examples from various U.S. locations.

Junel Davidsen, a professional genealogist, worked for 18 years in the San Benito County Clerk/Recorder’s office and 10 years as Assistant Registrar of Voters for Monterey County. She obtained an AA degree in Family Research Studies from Monterey Peninsula College and has been a Board-certified genealogist for ten years. She has attended national genealogy conferences and training workshops, including RootsTech and Association of Professional Genealogists. She has held various positions on the Monterey County Genealogy Society board including President, and served as Legislative Watch Chair for the California State Genealogical Alliance.

Currently, Junel specializes in courthouse research and forensic genealogy. She assists estate administrators in finding missing heirs and helps clients locate missing relatives. Recently she has worked on solving unknown identities using genetic genealogy.

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.


“Thinking is hard work, which is why you don’t see many people doing it.” – Sue Grafton


Monthly Meeting – September 6 One-Step Webpages: “Finding Presidents and their Ancestors in the Strangest Places” by Stephen Morse

We normally start our meetings at 7:00 pm. Our speaker likes to start earlier to allow for questions and new additions. So we will be starting at 6:30 pm. Don’t be late!

Join Stephen Morse as he shows us that searching for Presidential records is no different than searching for ancestral records. We are used to looking for our ancestors in ship manifests and in census records. We have mastered a variety of tricks for finding people in spite of name misspellings and incorrect birth dates. You might think that United States Presidents are a breed apart from our ancestors, but they are not. They arrived on ships and have come face-to-face with the census taker. He will show you that we will encounter some of the same problems with both, and will use some of the same techniques for resolving them.

Steve was given the Lifetime Achievement Award from the International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies in 2006, the APGQ Excellence Award, and The National Genealogical Society – Award of Merit in 2007. It was in recognition of exceptional contributions to the Field of Genealogy. His “One-Step” search tools have assisted genealogists greatly by making it easier to find their ancestors within existing large genealogical databases. He is a computer professional who holds a doctoral degree in electrical engineering. He is best known as the architect of the Intel 8086 which sparked the PC revolution.

Stephen is one of our favorite speakers, his full biography can be seen here: Stephen Morse Don’t miss this MoCoGenSo meeting!

Doors open at 6:00 pm, the meeting starts at 6:30 pm. We’ll see you at the Family History Center, 1024 Noche Buena, Seaside, CA., left rear of building.


” Innovative people do not need to be told to do it, they need to be allowed to do it.” – Udi Manber


Monthly Meeting – August 2, 2018: “Building a Family Tree in PowerPoint” by Caleb Smotherman

Join Caleb as he guides you on how to use PowerPoint to manage projects, organize information, and build a family tree. Throughout the lesson, he will give tips and tricks for taking full-advantage of PowerPoint. He will also tell ways to inspire our younger generations to get interested in their own family ancestry, but more importantly, on ways in which they can get involved.

Caleb Smotherman was raised in Savannah, Tennessee. Having served in the military for 9 years, he is currently attending the Defense Language Institute in Monterey, studying Korean. He has used PowerPoint for about 10 years, and has received Microsoft Advanced Certificates in Excel, PowerPoint and SharePoint. He has worked for 4 years in Satellite Communications, and currently working in the Military Intelligence Branch, which uses exclusively Microsoft products for daily work. Caleb got started in genealogy because of his grandfather, and other close relatives who wanted to preserve the family genealogy electronically. He realized there was no proprietary software available that met his needs, or budget. So he used what he knew would manage information. He was able to bring his family tree to digital-life using PowerPoint!

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 know what it’s like to wake up in the middle of the night with a vivid dream? And you know how, if you don’t have a pencil and pad by the bed to write it down, it will be completely gone the next morning? Sometimes it’s important to wake up and stop dreaming. When a really great dream shows up, grab the pencil and start writing.” – Larry Page


MoCoGenSo DNA SIG Meeting Saturday June 9 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 10:40 “How do you identify an unknown person using autosomal DNA testing?” Barbara Rae-Venter

10:40 to 11:30 “Phasing at GEDmatch: Focus on Father’s autosomal DNA” Junel Davidsen

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

Barbara is a speaker at the following event:
Adoptee Camp Denver, Colorado June 21-June 24 “DNA testing for Adoptees: Tips and Considerations”

“When you come to a fork in the road, take it..” – Yogi Berra