New Monthly Meeting Starting – Genealogy Discussion & Work Group – Feb 23 @ 2:00pm

Please read the fine print – this meeting is “in person” at the FamilySearch Center! Feel free to wear a mask or not. This looks like a great opportunity to work on your genealogy! Share methods, get help finding those elusive ancestors. There are computers available to apply your new knowledge immediately. Come join Shelley McFadden at this inaugural meeting and make it a success.

Monthly Meeting – Feb 2, 2023 – “Genealogy Basics: Military Records” by Cathy Andrews

From locally organized militias during the Colonial and Revolutionary period, to mass mobilizations like the First and Second World Wars, military records can contain tantalizing clues or detailed data for family history research. We’ll help you understand what kind of records exist, where to search for them, and how to make the most of them.

Cathy Andrews is Senior Librarian for Adult Services with the Salinas Public Library, where she teaches the “Genealogy Basics” series and oversees genealogy resources, services and programming. She also runs a Virtual Genealogy Work Group connected with Salinas Public Library, that meets on the 4th Tuesday of each month. Growing up in a family where stories and details about ancestors were woven into every family gathering, she has a deep appreciation for genealogy’s challenges and rewards. Her email:

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 .

For additional information, call (831) 915-9465.

”The essence of being human involves asking questions, not answering them. – John Seely Brown

Another way to use this web site

This is a “how-to” post. One way to find something herein is to scroll down the right hand column to the section titled CATEGORIES and select a group out of the drop box.

If the subject you are looking for is not there, you can use GOOGLE SEARCH with the site: parameter. For example, the term CLUSTER in not a category. Go to Google and type “ cluster” without the quotes and your search will find quite a few posts that have the term cluster.

Create Family Trees – Manually

Sometimes genealogists have a need to build a family tree. Is that a joke? Really, not. We’ve all drawn trees using pencils. Some of us have an account and build trees there. The tree at is wonderful (and free). But still, sometimes we want to create a printable chart without using the big systems. Perhaps we want to send something to family members, perhaps we are helping someone find their missing relatives and need to “show and tell”. Listed below are some ways to create tree charts “by hand”.

A limited version is free, or the individual fee is $7.95/month. Cloud based, stores file locally. (or

Completely free. They make their money from corporate licenses. Cloud based, stores file locally. This looks and feels just like Lucidchart. I like it, but it requires a learning period.


This is an unusual free-form product, limited in chart elements, designed primarily for idea or note taking. But charts can be tossed together quickly. For those quick-n-dirty trees, this is almost as good as pencil and paper.

The program is installed on your computer, Windows or Mac. There is a one time purchase fee: $20.99, or educational $16.79.

There is a 30 day free trial, fully capable. I was told this trial counts “used days”, so you can skip a few days and it won’t count against you. I can show an example at the DNA Sig meeting.

Completely free. Cloud based, stores file locally.

Excel (or any spreadsheet program)

I was surprised to see charts built using Excel, but it can be done quickly and with limited knowledge of formatting rules. I can show an example at the DNA Sig meeting.

Disclaimer: Of the above, I have only used I may try Scapple in the future. I do own Excel and can try it whenever.…

DNA Discussion Group meets Wednesday February 1st

The MoCoGenSo DNA Sig will resume operations, with scheduling like before: First Wednesday of the month at noon via Zoom. Reserve the time in your calendar!

A DNA Discussion Group (SIG) is a group of individuals who have a shared interest in using DNA testing for genealogy and family history research. DNA SIGs typically provide a forum for members to share information, resources, and expertise related to DNA testing and genealogy. Newcomers, beginners, are always welcome!

Please let us know if you would be able to present or share some of the tools or issues you are interested in. Maybe you have a topic or a speaker that you think others might be interested in. Perhaps you can facilitate a meeting. We can all learn from each other.

We haven’t met for 6 months. Lots of things have been happening in the genetic genealogy field in that time. Below are some of the new tools that have shown up at the DNA Painter wed site. Hopefully someone can show us how these things work.

Ancestry . com has not been standing still either. There are many new things that I want to learn how to use. Of course, discussing the Sawtooth Slayer Methodology could easily take a whole session. And I hear that FamilyTreeDNA has not been standing still either. Building clusters is my current pet peeve.

If there is a particular tool or strategy you would like to share with others, or a genetic genealogy problem you would like the group to advise you on, get enough screenshots prepared in advance so you’ll be able to describe the technique step by step on screen, or show us the DNA-related work you’ve already done on your problem case.

My job is facilitator, or door keeper, if you would. Come join us next week. If you can’t make it this month, don’t worry. We plan to be here next month, and the next…

Click to Join Meeting: Zoom Link

Meeting ID: 897 1823 5118
Passcode: 738495

Before the Ford

The Model T was introduced to the world in 1908. Henry Ford wanted the Model T to be affordable, simple to operate, and durable. The vehicle was one of the first mass production vehicles, allowing Ford to achieve his aim of manufacturing the universal car.

These folks probably hadn’t yet heard of a Ford automobile!

Mud Houses in Nebraska

My 2x great grandfather Andrew Robeson (1825-1904) was a homesteader in Nebraska in the 1880s. His first home in Furnas County was probably similar to the above picture. I don’t think I could have lived like that. They were “tougher” in them thar hills.