Monthly Meeting – March 1, 2018: “Organize Your Genealogy to Optimize Your Research Time” by Cynthia C . Stormer

Researching your family history can soon become overwhelming when the piles of records, documents, photographs, letters and memorabilia expand as you find more and more relatives and ancestors. Each new name on your family tree means there are two more people to find and this often results in endless stacks of paper on the desk or closet shelves. What is the best way to sift through these piles to retain the treasures? Can you truly digitize everything? What is the best method to keep originals so you can easily find them? Can color coding assist you’? Cynthia will share some of her tips to assist you in devising your own approach to reducing the piles and increasing your research time.

Cynthia’s interest in genealogy began in high school by the pedigree chart and autobiography of great grandfather Alexander Sharp, a Union veteran of the Civil War. She was spurred on in early adulthood with the list of heirs for Aunt Maude Thompson who died intestate. Then there was that Reed-Dempsey reunion booklet picked up by her father containing 500+ names, including a Revolutionary War patriot. Computers made it all easier, and finding great grandfather Sharp’s name on a ship manifest from Scotland to America sealed the deal. Cynthia has a BA in French and an MBA in International Management.  She currently works as a Vice President of Talent Management for HSBC.  She is a member of the Association of Professional Genealogists.

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.

“I used to think that the brain was the most wonderful organ in my body. Then I realized who was telling me this.” – Emo Philips

DNA SIG Meeting Saturday February 10 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 10:15 Discussion of future topics of interest/volunteers for future presentations. Please consider volunteering! Work In Progress is Fine.

10:15 to 10:30 Probability Tool at DNA Painter Barbara Rae-Venter

10:30 to 11:15 The Other DNA Linda McNeal Millerick

Linda will share with us her work on her McNeal/Macneill ancestry using her bother’s Y DNA test results.

11:15 to 11:30 Questions/Discussion

March: Need a volunteer
April: Junel will review the week-long Irish Institute she attended
May: Kathy Nielsen will share some of her work with mtDNA

“Yo, is it true that, even tho there are 7 billion more people today than 3 million years ago, that the world weighs the same now?” – @neiltyson

DNA Meeting handout available for download.

Barabara Rae-Venter, our DNA Sig leader, has had a busy week. She was the lecturer at the MoCoGenSo monthly meeting last Thursday evening and today at the annual DAR Ancestor Roundup, she taught two sessions. And she will be leading our DNA Sig next Saturday too!

She passed out a sheet Thursday evening that had various pointers, web sites, programs name, etc.. She has graciously agreed to let us post the document here for you to download. The links in the PDF file are live.

The programs mentioned in the advanced DNA meeting at the Ancestor Roundup are included in this file.

To download the file, CLICK HERE.

This file will be made a permanent fixture here later, in our Meetings page.

“The good thing about science is that it’s true whether or not you believe in it.” – Neil deGrasse Tyson

Monthly Meeting – February 1, 2018: “I have taken a DNA Test – Now what do I do?” by Barbara Rae-Venter

If you are like most of us, when you look at the match results from your DNA test at AncestryDNA, 23andMe, MyHeritage or FamilyTreeDNA’s FamilyFinder, you see a list of names for upwards of two or three thousand strangers. Maybe there is a surname or two in common with those in your family tree, if you have one. Each testing company provides some tools on their site of varying degrees of usefulness to you, depending on your goal in testing. Barbara will discuss some of the third party tools that are, in her view, most helpful in turning those lists of strangers into resources to help you reach your testing goal. Barbara will discuss tools used,, WikiTree, and If you have taken a DNA test for genealogical purposes, this is the program for you!!

Barbara Rae-Venter, J.D., Ph.D., is a retired intellectual property attorney who specialized in the patenting of biotechnology inventions. She earned a J.D. from the University of Texas at Austin Law School and a B.A. double major in Psychology and Biochemistry and a Ph.D. in Biology (Biochemistry) at the University of California at San Diego. She is licensed to practice before the US Patent and Trademark Office and the State Bar of California (inactive). Barbara is a Search Angel with and also helps teach the autosomal DNA classes offered by to help adoptees use their DNA match results to identify birth relatives. Barbara uses this same technique to assist law enforcement with identification of crime victims. Barbara is a frequent speaker at genetic genealogy conferences and genealogy research groups. She is the founder and facilitator of the MoCoGenSo DNA Special Interest Group and a volunteer at the Seaside FHC. Barbara also offers fee-based consulting at 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.

“You never lose a dream, it just incubates as a hobby.” – Larry Page

Genealogical Society of Santa Cruz County

Vulcan Hand
There is another genealogical society across the bay, to the north, in our sister city Santa Cruz. The best way to stay 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 – February 7, 2018

  • General Meeting
    • February 7 – 1:00pm – 3:00pm
    • Junel Davidsen/ – Researching Local Land Records

Don’t miss important information about your family history! 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.

DNA SIG – Saturday Jan 13

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 10:15   Discussion of future topics of interest/volunteers for future presentations.  Please consider volunteering!  Work In Progress is Fine.

Bonnie Hill and Barbara Rae-Venter both attended the FamilyTreeDNA 2017 Project Administrators’ Annual Meeting in Houston and the 2017 i4GG Conference in San Diego.  They are each going to cover some of the presentations from those conferences.

10:15 to 10:45  Bonnie:  LivingDNA* presentation by Katie Welka

FTDNA Group Administrator Pages (GAP) Breakout Session

*LivingDNA is a new consumer DNA testing company:

10:45 to 11:15   Barbara:  Pedigree Triangulation by CeCe Moore

Science the Heck out of Your DNA by Leah Larkin

11:15 to 11:30  Questions/Discussion

Reminder:  The DAR Ancestor Round Up is on Saturday February 3, 2018 at the FHC 8:30 to 3:30.

Barbara is giving two presentations at the Roundup:

  1. Can DNA Testing Help Me With My Brick Wall?  This is an introductory level presentation
  2. New Tools For Making The Most Of Your Autosomal DNA Matches.  This is an advanced level presentation.

Barbara is also giving a presentation at the MoCoGenSo monthly meeting on Thursday, February 1, 2018 at 7 pm:

  1. I Have Taken a DNA Test: Now What Do I Do? This is an intermediate level presentation.

“One advantage of talking to yourself is that you know at least somebody’s listening.” – Franklin P. Jones

Ancestor Roundup by the DAR February 3, 2018

reserve the date — 3 February 2018 — is coming

The local Daughters of the American Revolution chapter is holding its 37th annual Ancestor Roundup Genealogical Seminar again in January.

Many of you know this is the best genealogical meeting on the central California coast! As always, it will be held in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints here in Seaside, CA. If you are working on your genealogy, you really need to come to this seminar. I know I’ll be there.

The seminar will be held all day Saturday, February 3, 2018 from 8:00 am to 3:30 pm. Lunch is provided.

There will be over 25 classes during the day. You can pick and choose from the calendar and actually attend up to 5 classes during the day, including the Keynote. The keynote speaker will be Karen Clifford!

for a clearer PDF image, Click Here

There are 2 ticket options, both include lunch! $20 gives you a downloadable syllabus, $30 gives you a printed syllabus. Get the signup form by clicking below. Print the signup form to mail in.

Or, for Signup Form in PDF format Click Here

“Start with what you know.”