GEDCOM 7.0 is here

FamilySearch International is pleased to announce the release of FamilySearch GEDCOM 7.0 (Genealogical Data Communications). The latest version allows zip packaging capabilities for photos and files with genealogical information, plus new tools, and a public GitHub repository for ongoing maintenance. Technical information, specifications, tools, and guides can be found at

The GEDCOM Standard Specifications were last updated in 1996 with the introduction of Version 5.5. Now, after a lot of work by a lot of people we have a NEW version: GEDCOM Version 7.0.

With the introduction of GEDCOM Version 7.0 release candidate, the standard will now support the inclusion of media using a NEW utility called GEDZip. Previously, the older versions of the GEDCOM Standard did not have the ability to include, maintain, store, and share media files. With addition of the GEDZip utility, you can now link media from the Internet as well as from local files and include them with your GEDCOM Standard data files. What most users need to know is that more of their data will be able to be transferred from program to program and website to website, including their document images, photos, and other media items.

For good general info about this, go to

Diahan Southard is doing a sneak peak at a YDNA course

Why Do YDNA?

Get a sneak peek at the YDNA Course in my free webinar Why Do YDNA? on June 4, 2021 at 2:00 pm ET. Get inspired to think past the obvious use of YDNA (by a man, on his own paternal line) and see SO many more possibilities for this essential piece of genealogical fishing gear. Register for free, and we’ll send you a link after the webinar so you can watch it even if you miss it live.


Single nucleotide polymorphisms, frequently called SNPs (pronounced “snips”), are the most common type of genetic variation among people. Each SNP represents a difference in a single DNA building block, called a nucleotide. For example, a SNP may replace the nucleotide cytosine (C) with the nucleotide thymine (T) in a certain stretch of DNA.

A short tandem repeat (STR) occurs when a pattern of two or more nucleotides are repeated and the repeated sequences are directly adjacent to each other. The pattern can range in length from 2 to 16 base pairs (bp). By identifying repeats of a specific sequence at specific locations in the genome, it is possible to create a genetic profile of an individual. Autosomal STR analysis has become the prevalent analysis method for determining genetic profiles in forensic cases. Y-chromosome STRs (Y-STRs) on the Y chromosome) are used in genealogical DNA testing in surname DNA projects.

Generally, STR loci are named D + the chromosome the locus is on + S + the order in which the location on that chromosome was described. For example, D3S1358 is on the third chromosome and is the 1358th location described.

STRs are useful genealogically, to determine to whom you match within a recent timeframe, of say, the past 500 years or so, and SNPs define haplogroups which reach much further back in time. 10-15 years ago, Y-DNA matching and haplogroup definitions were done primarily with STRs. But in the last few years, sequencing technology has improved such that SNPs can be useful in genealogical years.

The FBI uses STR loci to identify/match persons. Their system is called CODIS (Combined DNA Index System). The original core group had 13 STRs, 7 additional were added in 2017.

The CODIS loci list can be found here.

The loci used in CODIS were chosen because they are in regions of noncoding DNA, sections that do not code for proteins. These sections should not be able to tell investigators any additional information about the person such as their hair or eye color, or their race. However, new advancements in the understanding of genetic markers and ancestry have indicated that the CODIS loci may contain phenotypic information

None of these are found in the Big-Y test at FTDNA.

DNA Discussions –zoom @ noon on Wednesday

MoCoGenSo’s DNA Discussion Group will be meeting Wednesday with an open forum. Join us via Zoom.

Don’t forget to sign into your various genealogy web sites periodically or they might forget you. DNA Land forgot me! Feel free to drop in for conversation and stay for lunch. 🙂

Check out this great page full of information for newcomers to genetic genealogy

Topic: DNA Discussions Meeting – via Zoom Time: Wednesday June 2, 2021 12:00 noon PT

Click to Join Meeting

Meeting ID: 897 1823 5118 Passcode: 738495
Go ahead, try to shout the word ‘whisper’.

The Libraries are doing genealogy now!

Albert Einstein once said that the only thing that you absolutely have to know is the location of the library. In these pandemic days, few people physically go to the library. But video technology like Zoom, Hangouts, Teams, Skype, etc. have enabled us to still use the Library facilities. My wife, for one, gets lots of electronic books from the Library systems. Now we will be able to learn genealogy methods at our local library, remotely that is.

Kathy Nielsen, the leader of the Off-The-Charts writing meetings, is going to do a series sponsored by the Monterey Public Library all about genealogy. This new series will be on the 2nd Thursday of each month at 4:00 pm in the afternoon, live and in color, via Zoom.

I’m not sure where Kathy gets all of her energy,  she is a reference librarian and an educator. She is currently a popular genealogy speaker on the Monterey Peninsula. She has been featured on Lisa Louise Cooke’s weekly YouTube program, Elevenses. She is a co-founder of the Monterey County Genealogy Society’s special interest writing group, Off the Charts. Kathy incorporates her skills as a historian, storyteller, and librarian in her search for her family’s history.

The meetings are being done via Zoom, and registration is required. You can find out more about this new series by visiting the Monterey Library website or following this link

The schedule for the next 6 meetings are:

  • June 10th, 2021: Finding Family at the Library
  • July 8th, 2021: A New Life for Old Photos: Identifying, Organizing, and Restoring Photos
  • August 12th, 2021: DNA: The Key to Uncovering Your Family History
  • September 9th, 2021: Every Home Has a Story: Researching Yours and Your Ancestors’ Homes
  • October 14th, 2021: What to Do with All of Your Family Stuff? Heirlooms and Research
  • November 11, 2021: Share Your Family’s Stories….Just Jump In and Do It

Monthly Meeting – June 3, 2021 – “Using FindaGrave” by Gary Carlsen and Tina Magill

Looking for the burial sites of your ancestors with little luck, wishing for some place on line to put their remains, or simply wanting to remember them for future generations? Gary and Tina will attempt to introduce this website to those of you who don’t know about it, and open more about it to those of you who have used it casually. The website currently is managed by Ancestry, but you do not need an Ancestry membership to use it. It is a free website. You have to register, establish a username and password and you off and running.

Gary Carlsen, He began his genealogical research in 1990, and he has been pursuing both his and his wife Carolyn’s, a seventh generation native Californian, ancestors. In that time he has located over 20,000 family members to which he and his wife are related. He is presently the President of Monterey County Genealogy Society, but has been a member since 1990. He is the Editor of the Society’s Bimonthly Newsletter, the Society’s Genealogist. He has been a volunteer librarian at the local Family History Center for the past 25 years. He has given presentations with the DAR and other Societies. He has transcribed 2 publications for the Society, the first, “Soldiers and Census,” contains the 1790 Monterey Mission Census, 1804 Monterey Garrison Census, the 1808 Monterey Garrison Census, the 1836 Monterey Garrison Census and Ranchos, and the 1850 Monterey County Census Index. His second was a transcription of the 1889 Monterey County Directory covering all of the townships in the county.

Tina Magill, Has researched her family for many years. She is currently serving on the Board as, Member at Large for Monterey County Genealogy Society. A member of the DAR, Commodore Sloat Chapter. She is currently documenting the burials of Monterey County, CA using the website: She has completed Monterey, and currently working on Seaside, Soledad, and Gonzales.

The Zoom meeting will start at 7:00 pm sharp. Zoom meeting details will be sent 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.

”The young will get old, if they are lucky!” – Francine Prose