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: scgensoc.org/

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

Mitochondrial DNA Haplogroup

We learned about mitochondrial DNA the other day at the DNA Sig. 23andMe provides a data file that can be downloaded that contains most of your important mitochondrial SNPs (up to 19% of the total). That file can be uploaded to a site run by James Lick that will provide your maternal haplogroup. (Upload the text file from within the Zip file.) This service is quick and easy and free! Go to the site here: dna.jameslick.com/mthap/.

Once you have your haplogroup, then you can start tracing your longitudinal maternal tree from “Eve” forward in time to some thousand years before present.  We were told about a site in the UK run by Ian Logan at www.ianlogan.co.uk/mtDNA.htm but I’ll be honest, I couldn’t figure out much from that site.

So I used Google to find a mtDNA tree located at www.phylotree.org/tree/index.htm.

I found my branch in this tree, and for me, er, that is my mother’s mother’s mother (etc), I found that we came from Denmark and Ireland. This is good news because I have a “brick wall” along my maternal lines that is located in Ireland. My 2nd great grandmother on my mother’s side, Margaret White, came from Ireland. Her husband, James Mitchell, died on the trip to the USA. Since the people in the UK moved around alot, and since I have not been able to confirm the Mitchells and Whites in Ireland, I have never been sure….

Now I figure that my DNA is telling me that yes, I am really partially Irish and that part came from Danish immigrants to Ireland.

My maternal haplogroup, from James Lick’s site, is H1e1a3. Coincidentally, the National Genographic Geno-2 test also gave me that same value. FTDNA only gave me H1e1a.

Of course, the ethnicity reports I have received from the big sites all show some Irish: 23andMe (41% Britain/Ireland), Ancestry (20% Ireland) and National Genographic (30% Britain/Ireland). But these reports are from all my DNA. The tricks we learned in the DNA Sig were from my maternally passed mitochondrial DNA. That is, they showed me a snapshot into the ancestry of my 2nd great grandma Margaret! This has been a good “mother’s day” for me!

If there are any H1e1a3 folks out there, give a shout. perhaps our DNA will match somewhere.


“I used to have a lot of free time… then I discovered genealogy.”


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


DNA Sig Meets May 13

This is a reminder for the MoCoGenSo DNA SIG meeting on Saturday May 13, 2017 at 10 am at the Family History Center in Seaside.  The Meeting will be in the room across the hall from the FHC office.

Topic: mitochondrial DNA

Definition of mitochondrial DNA. : an extranuclear double-stranded DNA found exclusively in mitochondria that in most eukaryotes is a circular molecule and is maternally inherited —abbreviation mtDNA.

Whoo…

Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) is genetic material found in mitochondria. It is passed down from mothers to both sons and daughters, but sons cannot pass along their mothers’ mtDNA to their children. This is because mtDNA is transmitted through the female egg. … You inherited your mtDNA exclusively from your mother.

Great topic for Mother’s Day – 1


The Journal of Genetic Genealogy

The Journal of Genetic Genealogy (JoGG) is being resurrected. JoGG is a free open access peer reviewed journal which provides a platform for publication of articles on all aspects of genetic genealogy. This first issue (Volume 8 Number 1) of the newly relaunched “journal” is now available online at jog.info.

The chapters/articles are separate PDF files that can be viewed or downloaded. Some of the articles were published online as preprints toward the end of last year but this is now the complete issue.

Hopefully this online journal will continue — it is fully supported by volunteers.


Every teacher who used to use the tired old line “You won’t be walking around with a calculator in your pocket, so you better know how to do it by hand.” must feel like a complete idiot now. — Reddit


Monthly Meeting – 4 May 2017: “Preparing For A Genealogy Road Trip”, by Kathy Nielsen

Join Kathy Nielsen as she shares delights and pitfalls in organizing a genealogy road trip. Travel with her overseas and to locations within the United States and Canada. She will make suggestions on how to begin planning, whom to contact, and what to see. Much depends on your goals. Are you planning a serious research trip or a chance to get an overview of the land from which your ancestors came? Who are your travel companions? Are they genealogists or friends and family? These questions will have a bearing on your plans. Join Kathy as she walks you through the process, and shares some of her successes and her challenges..

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 University of California, Berkeley, and an M. A. in History at Hunter College, City University of New York. After teaching history in high school and Middle school, she returned to U.C. Berkeley and obtained a Masters in Library Science. Kathy combines her skills as a historian, a storyteller, and a librarian with her love for travel and her search for her family’s history. See more about Kathy 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.


“Google can bring you back 100,000 answers, a librarian can bring you back the right one.” – Neil Gaiman