Author Archives: MoCoGenSo Webmaster

Monthly Meeting – Feb 3, 2022 – “U.S. Census” by Cathy Andrews

Since 1790, the U.S. Census has been a resource both for community planning and for genealogists. The wealth of information can help establish or confirm details about an ancestor’s life. We’ll talk about all the things that Census has and doesn’t have for genealogical research including supplementary documents and unexpected notations.

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. 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.

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.


” The only thing that you absolutely have to know, is the location of the library.” – Albert Einstein


Book: Research Like a Pro with DNA

The other day, Jonny Pearl of the DNA Painter web site distributed his monthly newsletter.  There was a link to a blurb about this book.  I was in a susceptible mood, and I have a great deal of respect for the DNA Painter web site, so I bought the book! I am NOT unhappy about it. 

The team at Family Locket Genealogists (https://familylocket.com/)  Diana Elder, AG, Nicole Dyer, and Robin Wirthlin share the method they use in their professional research to incorporate DNA with documentary evidence. 

This book is easy to understand, detailed and comprehensive.  This will help if you just can’t seem to ‘get’ what to do with your DNA results! It is great for those who want to understand before they test too!

They have lots of “how to” stuff relating to the various web sites.  I have been building up a list of things from this book that I need to try at Ancestry, FTDNA and My Heritage and I thought I knew it all! 

This book is like having a college level course in genetic genealogy.  I wish we had a classroom environment with lectures and lab work where we could use our own DNA and family tree as the creatures we are to dissect!   

There is both a Kindle version (9.99) and a paperback version (27.87) available in Amazon. 


We don’t normally post advertisements for books here, but I promised the DNA Discussions group that I would review it for them.

Jim Robeson

Off the Charts : Presenting Ancestors’ STories (PAST) meets 3rd Wednesdays via Zoom @ 1:30 pm

We are a genealogy group for people who like to think outside the box and beyond the chart. We exchange support for our work and excitement about how we’re sharing it. Our meetings include topics and speakers on writing, crafts, photo projects, organization, trips, reunions, issues, and much more.

Wednesday January 19th @ 1:30-3:30 ==> Contact Kathy knielsen68@gmail.com or Karen 917-2042 for Zoom meeting details.

This Month: “New Year’s Review and Resolutions”

It’s time to look back over the old year and share our accomplishments. Then we will take a look at our intentions for the new year. Come and bring your goals, hopes, or dreams, and your challenges or tips for reaching them. We can help each other to move forward.

Do you have ideas about how to organize files or get started on a new photo project, experience with hiring an expert or buy a new product, tips on how to start turning research into writing, etc. Send me your ideas for new steps, questions for the group, or practical tips you’d like to share. Karen karenb1115@yahoo.com.

Every meeting includes a chance to connect, ask questions, and update genealogy friends on your latest discoveries or roadblocks. We also have an opportunity to receive inspiration from others and to help.

Annual Officer Election

MoCoGenSo had another election for officers tonight!  These positions were filled:

Member At Large – Earl Cory

Genealogist – Kristina McGill

Congratulations to these brave folks!!  And thanks for helping our group.

You can see the full slate of officers here

Elected Officers

President		Gary Carlsen	
1st Vice		Shelley McFadden	
2nd Vice		Marilyn Ruccello	
Recording Secretary	Joe Donahue	
Corresponding Secretary	Ellen Riddick	
Treasure		Jeannie Pedersen	
Member at Large		Erica Burton	
Member at Large		Earl Cory	

Appointed Officers

Archivist/Historian	Joe Donahue	
Auditor		        Lucretia Portman	
Newsletter Editor	Gary Carlsen	
N.G.S. Delegate		Ellen Riddick	
Genealogist		Kristina Magill	
Hospitality 		Lucretia Portman	
Parlimentarian		Open
Publications		Open
Publicity		Sue Morris	
Web Master		Jim Robeson	

We still have a few open positions.  We are looking for a parliamentarian and a publications director.  Please contact someone in the above list if you can help out. 


1950 Census

The word from the FamilySearch Tech Guys is that the 1950 Census will be available this year in FamilySearch sometime in April, May or June. More detailed information will be announced at Rootstech 2022.

Rootstech 2022 is free and will be available online. To sign up, go to rootstech.org

DNA Discussions – zoom at noon on Wednesday – January 5th

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


Suppose you just got a new DNA test, what should you do now?

Presume it is an autosomal test you took at AncesterDNA, 23andMe, MyHeritage or FTDNA:

• Update all your account settings, put in genealogy information, make it easy for others to match to you
• Join a DNA discussion blog or meeting where you can ask questions (hint hint)
• Download your raw data and save where it is findable and safe
• Review your ethnicity, does it seem reasonable, record the info
• Scan your matches, look for anything unusual
• Build a tree, even if just thru grandparents. Give matches something to work on, give the computer matching algorithms food too
• Create account at MyHeritage, FTDNA and Gedmatch and upload raw DNA file there “to fish in many ponds”
• Use the same display name everywhere


”When my turn comes, I plan to talk about my experiences doing Clustering!

Exploring Online Genealogy Resources at the Library

Interested in searching for your ancestors? Join us for our All Things Relative: Finding Family at the Library, as we explore a different genealogy topic with Historian and Librarian Kathy Nielsen. This month’s topic will be exploring the different online genealogy resources that are available through your local library and beyond. 

Kathy Nielsen: Kathy Nielsen 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.

This program takes place on Zoom, or participants may join by phone. Registration closes an hour before the program. The Zoom access information will be sent to registered participants shortly before the program begins. Use of video camera and level of participation is determined by each person.

Folks can register for the January 13th 4:00 pm meeting Zoom link at https://montereypl.libcal.com/event/8647432