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 http://i4gg.org/conference-videos/.

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.

DNA Sig Meets tomorrow Feb 4th

The MoCoGenSo DNA SIG will meet this Saturday February 4 at 10 am at the Family History Center in Seaside. We will meet in the library (across the hall from the computer room).

NOTE – This is not the standard schedule — we will revert to 2nd Saturday in March.


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

10:15 to 10:30 Update on Sequel to the Lisa Project Barbara Rae-Venter

10:30 to 11:15 “Revealing Cousins in Ireland” by John Light

Summary: 19th century genealogy research and 21st century genomics converge. John will discuss recent autosomal and X-DNA matches that are beginning to fill in the story.

11:15 to 11:30 Questions/Discussion

Next DNA SIG meeting: Saturday March 11, 2017 at 10 am

“May the best day of your past be the worst day of your future.” – old Irish wish

Monthly Meeting – Feb. 2, 2017: “Searching for Your Roots at the Public Library”, by Kathy Nielsen

Join Kathy Nielsen, a Reference Librarian at the Monterey Public Library, as she shares her search for her family. Discover the treasures the Monterey Public Library offers to those researching their Monterey families, and to those searching for families who settled in other parts of the United States. She will inform us on the holdings of the “California History Room,” a repository specializing in California History on the Monterey Peninsula, extending from Moss Landing to Big Sur to Carmel Valley. She will demonstrate how to research families in the context of their time, and will share tips on how to access resources in Public Libraries and Archives throughout the United States.

Kathy Nielsen is a Reference Librarian at the Monterey Public Library. She works at the Library Help Desk, and in the “California History Room.” Kathy earned a B.A. in History at the Univ. of California, Berkeley, and an M.A. in History at Hunter College, City Univ. of NY. After teaching history in schools for five years, she returned to U.C. Berkeley and obtained a Masters in Library Science. She then served as a school librarian. She incorporates her skills as a historian, a storyteller, and a librarian in her search for her family’s history.

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.

“A library is a place where you learn what teachers were afraid to teach you.” – Alan M. Dershowitz

Last minute decision?

The 36th Annual Ancestor Roundup Genealogical Seminar is being held this Saturday, January 21. Some folks couldn’t decide ahead of time as to whether they could come or not. Let me help you decide….

The word on the street says it will not rain Saturday. And there are indeed seats still available at the conference. All you have to do to attend is show up at the LDS Church in Seaside between 8:00 am-8:30 am with $20! You can register easily and no one will notice you because it is always crowded at the “last minute desk”!  Lunch is included! Last class ends between 3:30-4:00 pm. If you have the flu or are attending an inauguration event, you are excused. Otherwise….


Parking is tough if you are late. Try to car-pool. And remember, the Church is on a corner –> check the other side!

You can connect to Wi-Fi when in the building, the Name and Password is provided in the building. We do ask, though, that you silence your phone while in classes. Vibrate is OK.

Addicted to caffeine? None is provided. I bring my thermos and leave it in the car.

Need a mid morning boost? I also leave an apple in my car!

Tender bottom? Some chairs are hard. I bring a padded sports cushion!

Don’t forget to bring something to take notes with! Pencils and pens are not provided. I am always surprised by people trying to borrow my pencil! Yes, it is OK to bring your iPad too.

Click here to get more details on the schedule and location.

“If I give you a penny, then you’re a penny richer and I’m a penny poorer, but if I give you an idea, then you will have a new idea but I’ll have it too.” – Eric Schmidt


As a parent we learn that children should not be told things until they are ready. But they become ready generally sooner than we expect. As a child we soon learn that our parents do not know everything.

With these opening words, I am going to mention a new website that perhaps no one should know about. Yet if we don’t find out about it, we can’t protect ourselves. Yet perhaps as genealogists we might want to use it!

There is a new site called www.familytreenow.com that will let you build a family tree and share it with others. This is a “genealogical” site.

Yet, it allows anyone, for free, without an account, to search for living people and discover information that you might not want available so publicly.

From their website:

Our mission is to create the best free genealogy site in the world. We want it to be super easy to use for new users yet powerful for experienced genealogists.

From Snopes:

The web site in question, FamilyTreeNow.com, allows users to look up a person by first and last name. The site then pulls up information about the named person obtained from public records, such as age, month and year of birth, immediate family members and “associates,” and past and current addresses. The searches are provided free of charge.

Persons whose information appears on the web site can use the “opt out” to block their information from being displayed to users, and our tests so far indicate that that option does work. However, as we have noted about similar search services in the past, your personal information will still be available through the underlying public record sources used by FamilyTreeNow (and others). Those third-party records will still exist and will remain publicly accessible, so the same information provided by FamilyTreeNow will remain available to others, either working on their own or using information aggregators similar to FamilyTreeNow.

In short, removing your personal information from display by Internet aggregators isn’t a one-time deal, but rather more like a never-ending game of Whack-a-Mole: You might swat down an aggregator site or two, but more of them will inevitably pop up.

FamilyTreeNow.com was launched in 2014, so I am slow to notice. But no one I know has heard of it either. So I decided to let you know about it. You can quickly go find details about your cousins! Or you can quickly go block your own personal data from view.

You can be the parent and the child….