Author Archives: MoCoGenSo Webmaster

Monthly Meeting – June 2, 2022 – “MyHeritage DNA Tools” by Pamela Brigham

MyHeritage has several great tools available for evaluating your DNA results. We’ll look at everything from ethnicity results to how to use the tools for evaluating your relationship to your DNA matches. We’ll also look at their Chromosome Browser, Auto Clusters, and the Ethnicity Map. All of these tools can help you with evaluating your DNA results. Come learn how these tools can help you!

Pamela Brigham is the President of the Silicon Valley Computer Genealogy Group. She has been using technology to advance her research into her family’s past. She believes in using technology as a tool to help break through brick walls and effectively document her genealogy. She was in the technology industry for almost 20 years, and since she started researching her genealogy – 11 years ago – she has applied that knowledge to tech to effectively document her family history. She enjoys teaching classes in genealogy, including classes in the Mac, FamilySearch, Ancestry, MyHeritage, FindMyPast and searching in newspapers. She has received a certificate in genealogy from Boston University.

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.

If you are not familiar with Zoom, click here.


” An intellectual says a simple thing in a hard way. An artist says a hard thing in a simple way.” – Charles Bukowski


CGSL is Calling All Writers

The California Genealogical Society invites writers to submit articles to be considered for publication in our magazine, The California Nugget. The Nugget is published twice yearly, in spring and fall. We carry a wide variety of genealogical articles by both amateur and professional genealogists.

Articles usually fall into one of three categories: the story of a California ancestor; longer feature articles involving genealogical research; and methodology (DNA, skill-building, research tips), or about a particular archive or repository. Except for articles on methodology, the submissions should have some connection with California history or genealogy. We accept items as short as 750 words or up to several thousand words, depending on the subject.

Complete submission guidelines can be found under the “Publications” tab at our website, www.californiaancestors.org.

Articles may be submitted by email to: nugget@californiaancestors.org

For questions, please email the editors at  nugget@californiaancestors.org

Shared DNA Matches in Ancestry


”They say that our genes create proteins that help define our attributes. Like height, width, etc. And they say that some of these genes correlate with multiple attributes. Like bright teeth and bright eyes. Let me warn you, I ain’t nearly as smart as I look – those genes must not interlace! Shared matches in Ancestry . com prove it, every time!”


Roberta Estes, on the other hand, does seem to understand Shared matches in Ancestry. She wrote a really good blog post the other day all about some of the confusing aspects of Shared matches. Please read her post here as it will explain lots of the confusing details.

DNA EXPLAINED

Ancestry displays some shared matches with all of your matches, regardless of the size of your match to that person. However, Ancestry ONLY shows shared matches to a third person if you share more than 20 cM of DNA with that third person.

The takeaway of this is if you have a larger (20 cM or over) and smaller match (under 20 cM), always request shared matches from the perspective of the smaller match because the smaller match won’t show up as a shared match on any shared match list. The only way you can see shared matches that includes people under 20 cM is to request to view shared matches with individual people who match you below 20 cM. .

My problem is that I still see shared matches in 2nd/3rd cousin range where Person A links with B & C, but C does not link with A. My intelligence gene folded the wrong direction. (Maybe you can explain it to me in the next DNA Discussion group.)

DNA Discussions – zoom at noon on Wednesday – May 4th

MoCoGenSo’s DNA Discussion Group will be meeting Wednesday with an open forum. Join us via Zoom. Feel free to drop in for conversation and stay for lunch.

Check out this great page full of information for newcomers to genetic genealogy isogg.org/wiki/Wiki_Welcome_Page

This meeting will start with discussions about our latest finds. Then we will move on to questions and discussions.

Click to Join Meeting: Zoom Link

Meeting ID: 897 1823 5118
Passcode: 738495


Reviewing the book Research Like A Pro With DNA

Learning how to use DNA with genealogy can be difficult. We have found that trial and error can be costly and time consuming. Finding a good book can quite often help speed up our learning process. Our DNA Discussion Group has found a book that many of us have found useful. But not everyone in the group has bought the book, so we have decided to review it, one chapter at a time. This week we will review chapter 8, the one about Tools and Methodology!

To see my earlier review of Research Like A Pro With DNA, Click Here

Join us Wednesday at the DNA Discussion Group to also hear about Nathan Dylan Goodwin’s latest book about mysteries solved with forensic genealogy titled The Foundlings . I bought the book and attended the webinar with Diahan Southard and Mr Goodwin as they discussed the methods used in the book! The following snippet is from Diahan Southard’s webinar.


  • Puzzles of life:
  • Why is it when we put French bread in the toaster we don’t get French toast ?
  • Why does Hawaii have an interstate ?
  • Why do the Flintstones celebrate Christmas ?
  • Why are nickels bigger than dimes ?
  • Why doesn’t Tarzan have a beard ?
  • Why do people say tuna fish but don’t say beef mammal or chicken bird ?
  • Why do mirrors reflect sideways but not upside down ?


Monthly Meeting – May 5, 2022 – “Local History and Creativity in Your Research and Story-Telling” by Mary Smathers

When twenty-something Nicole Sinclair stumbles on DNA reports that document an ancestry far different from her father’s narrative of a white, northern European background, she enlists the help of her great grandmother to investigate their roots. As they search, their true Californio ancestors come to life. They include a Spanish soldier in the Portola expedition to explore Alta California, a captured Ohlone native and a girl whose family walks with the De Anza settlers eighteen hundred miles from Sinaloa to the San Francisco Bay. In This Land of Plenty’s family saga introduces the diverse cast of characters and complex social issues that populate California’s rich history while drawing a direct line to today’s residents.

Come listen to Mary as she tells us how to write your own family’s story using her book IN THIS LAND OF PLENTY as an example.

Mary Smathers grew up in Los Altos, California and graduated from UC Berkeley with a degree in Latin American Studies. She earned a Master’s degree in Education and another MA in Educational Administration and Policy Analysis from Stanford University. From 1983 to 2013, she worked in public schools throughout California as a high school teacher, administrator, teacher trainer, grant writer and educational entrepreneur. Since then, she has focused on writing, publishing a collection of short stories and the award winning In This Land of Plenty, a family saga based on California history. She recently published her first children’s book, the first in a bilingual series featuring jungle and ocean animals. She divides her time between the Monterey Peninsula and Costa Rica.

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.

If you are not familiar with Zoom, click here.


”Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted.” – Albert Einstein


Watch “1950 Census | Weekly Update with The Barefoot Genealogist | Week 1”

Crista Cowan, The Barefoot Genealogist, is doing a weekly YouTube presentation for Ancestry on the progress they are making towards indexing the 1950 Census. They are releasing the indexes for Delaware, Wyoming, Vermont and American Samoa this Thursday and Friday. You can watch the video and then subscribe to the Ancestry YouTube site for weekly updates.

If you go to Family Search, you can help correct the AI generated indices for your state and get it released faster! 😊

As a reminder, MyHeritage and the National Archives also has these records.