Google Capping Storage – June 2021

Heads up. Google has announced that free online storage for files, photos and videos will be capped at 15GB starting next summer.

From 1 June 2021, any new files created in Drive, as well as photos and videos uploaded to Google Photos, will count towards the 15GB of free storage included with every Google Account. Customers who go over that limit risk having excess content stored in Gmail, Drive, Docs and Photos deleted. 15 gigs seems like lots for just email, but combined with photos, videos and docs and 15 gigs is just too small.

Those who wish to extend their storage beyond 15GB can pick up a Google One account, which starts at $1.99 per month for 100GB storage. Or start cleaning, moving, deleting!

Many folks have become accustomed to using Gmail as a giant storage box for their research. I have created labels for different subjects and stored emails, including those with pictures and even big MP4 files, there. The searching methods Google provides made my email storage spot better than Evernote or DropBox!  And many people I know, my grandkids included, have chosen to skip Microsoft Office and are using Google Docs instead, using the free storage area too. And how many of us are using Google Photos for vacation pics, genealogy pics, kids pics…. you get the picture!

Congress told Google and Facebook that they are too big. So, Google said “Yup, our free stuff is too big. The party is over, folks.” Thanks a lot, Congress. You just don’t know how to negotiate!

Well, we have 6 months to figure out how to fit into 15 gigs or get a Google One account. When “the system” decides to delete data from your stored files, they won’t do it “judiciously”. Files or emails will just disappear. So, start now — look for offline storage for those treasured items in your Photo albums; delete those stupid jokes you trade back and forth and never delete. Clean your email by searching for mail with attachments first.

I fear I will be looking seriously at the Google One account. But I must also remember that if Congress pushes hard at breaking up Google, I had better be simultaneously copying files to offline storage. The pandemic has shown us that we should be prepared, just in case.

There is also Microsoft or Adobe or Apple cloud storage that can be used instead of Google’s plan. But, we gotta decide within 6 months.  Don’t delay.

Updated: to find out how much space you are using – First sign in to your Gmail account. Then open a 2nd tab in your browser and go to Your data will be there.

Junel’s Marriage Research Handout

Last night, Junel Davidsen gave a talk at the MoCoGenSo General Meeting via Zoom. A handout was distributed to those in attendance. The talk and handout are about Researching U.S. Marriage Records Online.

Junel has made the handout available for downloading temporarily by all. Having this file, which is full of hot links, is almost as good as having been there!

To get the file, Click here.

If you see Junel out and about, give her a big thanks.

Regarding These Sales

Personal views follow…

We advocate doing DNA tests for genealogical purposes.  DNA testing is not required to do excellent genealogical work, but it can help break some roadblocks or just help discover new cousins that have those long lost pictures!

But testing at just one company is like only fishing in just one pond.  Some of your relatives might pick a different sale this month, for example.  So I always recommend that you test at each of the “big 4”:  AncestryDNA, 23andMe, MyHeritage and Family Tree DNA.

That can get expensive!  That is why we always mention sales around here.

Picking which place to test is a subject best suited for our DNA Discussion Group.  But it is important that you remember that AncestryDNA and 23andMe do NOT accept data file uploads while MyHeritage and Family Tree DNA DO accept DNA data uploads at a considerable discount in price.  Perhaps testing at AncestryDNA or 23andMe first might be a good idea for some.

” L.O.C.K.S.S. ===> Lots of copies keep stuff safe.

Another Big Sale

AncestryDNA has joined the Black Friday competition!

The basic service is 40% off, you can get it for $59 (normally $99) thru Nov 25. There are other options that include the 3 month membership for only $60 or a more expensive one that includes the new Health service.

The 3-month membership for only $1 more is a good deal unless you already have an account with Ancestry. You can do 3 months of research like crazy and then cancel, or if you get addicted like me, continue with a renewal. Your DNA will remain online as will any tree you create.

From the Board

Your MoCoGenSo Board Nominating Committee announces the current slate for 2021 Elected Officers. Voting and installation will be at our Annual meeting in January as required by the By Laws.

Hear ye, hear ye….

  • President ===> Gary Carlsen
  • lst Vice President (Programs) ===> Shelley McFadden
  • 2nd Vice President (Membership) ===> Marilyn Ruccello
  • Recording Secretary ===> Joe Donahue
  • Corresponding Secretary ===> Ellen Riddick
  • Treasurer ===> Jeannie Pedersen
  • Member-at-Large ===> Erica Burton
  • Member-at-Large ===> Tina Magill

Appointed positions will still be available after the beginning of the year when the new Board begins its work. You can see the current slate of all these positions HERE.

This announcement does not close the nominations, rather it reflects the Volunteers willing to serve at this point. Nominations will still be taken from the floor. You can join the Board and make a difference! Many thanks to all who have agreed to continue serving.

We hope our members will come forward and join our Board, and continue to keep Monterey County Genealogy Society alive for the future. We are always looking forward to new ideas to share in the field of genealogy. Come help us make it happen!

Big Sale

Discover your family tree with a $99 DNA test from 23andMe

Black Friday must be coming, because 23andMe‘s Health and Ancestry test is half off again.  For $99, you get both Ancestry and Health.  Maybe now is the time to splurge. Thru Nov 26th.


Monthly Meeting – November 5, 2020 – “U.S. Marriage Research Online” by Junel Davidsen, Certified Genealogist® via Zoom

This meeting will explore marriage research at family history websites such as Ancestry and FamilySearch and non-family history websites provided by local public officials. Public officials across the United States have websites with indexes and many have images as well. Being aware of these sites will allow the family historian to do more in-depth research. Discussion will feature examples of navigating public officials’ websites to access their collections, understanding arrangement of content and tips for successful search experience. In addition, we will cover some of the laws in different states that may have influenced our ancestors’ choice of marriage location. Over the years, couples eloped to other states to avoid blood test requirements or waiting periods. Until 1967, inter-racial marriages were allowed in some states but not in others. States have different laws about where marriage licenses must be issued and prohibitions on certain degrees of relationship. Some examples of the importance of divorce research will also be discussed.

Junel Davidsen, CG®, is a professional genealogist specializing in courthouse and forensic research. She helps estate administrators in finding next-of-kin and families looking for missing relatives, including adoptees. She recently found her maternal grandfather’s true identity using genetic genealogy. Currently Junel is working to document her paternal lineage for her DAR application. She worked 27 years in San Benito County Clerk/Recorder’s office and as Assistant Registrar of Voters of Monterey County. She obtained an AA degree in Family Research Studies from MPC and has been a Board-Certified Genealogist for 12 years. She has attended genealogical conferences, most recently a Native American research course in Salt Lake City in 2019. She has been a member of the board and past President of MoCoGenSo. Member of “Off The Charts’ writing group. She volunteers at Monterey County Historical Society and board member. Junel assists researchers at the San Benito County Historical Society Research Room. She is a regular presenter at MoCoGenSo and Ancestor Roundup Conference.

The Zoom meeting will start at 7:00 pm sharp. For security reasons, the meeting will be by invitation only. If you are not a member and wish to attend, send an email with your email address to our Membership VP, Marilyn Ruccello .

If you are not familiar with Zoom, click here.

”There are seven days in the week and ‘someday’ isn’t one of them.”

Hallow Witch

Just for Halloween!! The 2nd wife of my 8th grandfather was hanged as a witch in Salem, MA on July 19, 1692. She was Susanna North Martin, wife of George Martin. See relationship in attached photo. Not blood relationship, but close enough to let me legally howl during the full moons.