Category Archives: Other

Genealogical Society of Santa Cruz County

There is another genealogical society across the bay, to the north, in our sister city Santa Cruz. Some of our members drive to Santa Cruz regularly and some even lecture there. And some folks in Santa Cruz come to our meetings. We will experiment with posting their meeting schedule here, for a while. I am not sure if this will last, but we can try.

The bad news is that they meet the same day of the month that we do: first Thursday. You can go to their meetings in the middle of the day and then come to ours in the evening. Call it your “genealogy day”.

The best way to stay fully informed about the Genealogical Society of Santa Cruz County is to go their own website:

All meetings are located in

  • Santa Cruz Public Library, Downtown Branch
    • 224 Church Street
    • Meeting room, 2nd floor
    • Santa Cruz, CA 95060
    • 831-427-7707, ext. 5794

Meeting Schedules – June 2017

  • General Meeting
    • June 1 – 1:00pm – 3:00pm
    • Rosemarie Capodicci – Finding Your Immigrant in Modern Day Records

  • DNA Workshop
    • June 1 – 11:00am – 12:15pm
    • Dan Speice

Vulcan Hand

The Lisa Project

The Lisa Project was a roaring success! The team pulled together by Barbara Rae-Venter and the DNA Special Interest Group here was able to identify the missing child and in the process helped solve a serial killer’s rampage. The Lisa Project is finished, but the DNA Sig here at MoCoGenSo is still going strong, and the DNA Adoption site is still helping to discover the ancestry of adopted folks. Volunteers are still wanted.

Meanwhile, if you like a good mystery story, or would like to read about the results of the Lisa Project, the Boston Globe has just this morning published a great article about “Lisa” and the serial killer who abducted her. To find out the real birth name of Lisa, click the following link. (You can click Close in the upper left to not sign up for an account.)

Finding Lisa

The article is long, but interesting all the way to the end. Barbara, Junel Davidsen and the Monterey County Genealogy Society are all mentioned!

And remember, the DNA Sig that cracked this case meets at the FHC on the 2nd Saturday of most every month. (Always check here for the schedule.) Perhaps Barbara will let you help solve the next mystery! (Which might be your own brick wall.)

Congratulations to Barbara. Without her gumption and persistence, this puzzle would have never been solved.

Character is doing the right thing when nobody is looking. — J.C. Watts

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

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.”

Witches in Scotland and Elsewhere

This morning, the Blog had information about a new collection they have added that contains the names of witches in Scotland! You can read the full article here.

Witches in Scotland 1658

When you click the link to the Names of Witches in Scotland, 1658 collection, you end up in the UK side of Ancestry. If you just wait a couple of seconds, it will switch to the US side.

I was interested in searching the list for two reasons. First, my paternal line has been traced into Scotland in the 1600’s. And more importantly, I have a documented witch in my family tree!

I was surprised when I discovered someone who might be related to me. A woman named Margaret Lornner was married to Thomas Robison. She was “accused” of witchery in 1658 in Ardrossan, Scotland. I have to be fair, I have not proved a relationship to me, yet. My line of Robeson’s seems to be from the Kelso, Scotland area. But, witchery has been found in my family.

My 8th great grandfather George Martin’s 2nd wife was Susanna Martin. Susanna became involved in the insanity known as the Salem Witch Trial. She was among the five women who were tried for witchcraft June 30, 1692. Although the court tried to wring confessions from the accused, none would do so. All were condemned to death by hanging. The executions took place July 19, 1692. Susanna was 66 years old at the time of her death.

So, if you have Scottish interests, you should give a quick peek at this collection. Perhaps you too have a witch in your history!

You do need an account at Ancestry to get all the way in. If you don’t have one, come to the FHC and use the Ancestry account there.

FamilySearch Will Be Down This Monday

The FamilySearch website will be undergoing a technical upgrade Monday, June 27th starting at 12 midnight MDT(6am UTC), and may be down for up to 24 hours as they test the system. (This will be 10pm Sunday night on the edge of the Western world!)

The entire FamilySearch system will be down, including the APIs that connects to outside applications, such as RootsMagic or the IOS app.

This is a big deal. Nobody shuts their website down for up to 24 hours. Something really important must be in the works.  This presumably involves the cutover to the New Tree Foundation. Once the link between NFS and Family Tree is broken, Tree functionality should improve, especially regarding merging duplicates. This should be better after the cutover occurs.

This is a major upgrade to the FamilySearch back end.  Scheduling up to 24 hours implies FamilySearch is going to do everything they can to insure no lost data.

Tune in Tuesday morning to see how things went.  Join the party at our own local Family History Center all day Tuesday as we learn how to use the new system 🙂