Author Archives: MoCoGenSo Webmaster

Rootstech . org

Thousands of people have signed up to attend Rootstech and are starting to wonder why they haven’t heard about what to do Thursday. I think they have heard, but just didn’t realize it. We were all told to go to rootstech.org and view the schedule. So do it!

I went there today and found an interesting little “app” on the front screen (scroll down a bit) as shown in the graphic. Find your surname meaning and origin….. Yes we’ve seen lots of these over the years, but this one is fun. Try it out! Check not only your own surname, but your 3 other grandparents surnames. Save the results and send to your kids.

Genealogy can be fun, too!

SNP Tracker

I’m a member of a Y-DNA messaging group at the GROUPS.IO system powered by Google called Y-DNA-HAPLOGROUP-I .  It is usually a quiet group, most folks are old timer types who have long ago figured out where they came from.  (grin)  Once in a while a newcomer asks questions and someone always helps out.  (most haplogroup I folks are helpful, after all)

Today someone answered  a question from a searcher by recommending a website I had never seen before.  It is really quite slick, a tool that shows how your SNP traveled across the world, similar to the paths that the old Genographic site first implemented.  But this site show not only the path travelled by our SNP ancestors, but it includes a timeline.  There is an animated slider that shows anthropological time periods too.

Click here to try this SNP Tracker

This site does both Y-DNA and Mitochondrial DNA SNPs. Use your “terminal” SNP. Be sure to work thru the tabs at the top to see what is available.  If you know your haplogroup, give it a go…  Remember, you still have time before Rootstech starts!


“The only place where success comes before work is in the dictionary.” – Vidal Sassoon


Open Positions

The Monterey County Genealogical Society still has some open positions that might interest you. Take it from me, these positions become what you make of them.  Flexibility is built in!  Each position is a one-year term requiring two short meetings each month and they are as follows:

Genealogist shall:

• Conduct workshop meetings of the Society.
• Serve the membership of the Society, counseling members about genealogical research.
• Organize study groups as needed, with attendance at such meetings being limited to members of The Society.
• Bring items of genealogical interest to the attention of the members.
• Serve in an advisory capacity as needed by officers and committees.
• Present an Annual Report for the Annual Business Meeting.

Publications Chairperson shall:

• Be responsible for all incoming and outgoing publications of the Society with the exception of the newsletter.
• Publish all materials except the newsletter.
• Be responsible for publication sales.
• Recommend the purchase of items identified by the local genealogy library and members, and act as liaison between libraries and the Society.
• Present an Annual Summary Report for the Annual Business Meeting.

Parliamentarian shall:

• Give procedural advice to the Presiding officer and to any member.

If you interested in genealogy and would like to volunteer please contact Gary Carlsen, President.


” Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.” – Theodore Roosevelt


Joe’s ideas

Joseph Donahue is one of our Board members. He serves two roles, one as Recording Secretary, the other as Archivist. Joe recently sent Board members ideas that he hopes we can use. I figure many of us might use them!

I read that Ancestry.com offers a 30% discount to AARP members. At my renewal time, I used the savings to upgrade from World Explorer to All Access membership, which includes Newspapers and found my older Sister’s wedding announcement which I shared with her and other family.

One suggestion for a meeting topic: “Share What You Learned by Attending RootsTech.org” I look forward to attending on 25 -27 Feb 2021, virtual and free for the first time ever, and know that I’ll need help with using new skills.

Btw, if you are interested in leading the meeting Joe is interested in, please contact Shelley McFadden, our VP in charge of Programs. Perhaps a round table discussion meeting would work.


” This planet will survive any kind of climate change, it’s us who are in danger.” – Reinhard Huttl


Off the Charts : Presenting Ancestors’ STories (PAST) meets Wednesday Feb 17 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.

Third Wednesdays 1:30-3:30 Contact Kathy knielsen68@gmail.com or Karen 917-2042 for Zoom meeting details.

In February: Spinning a Memory Tale: Using Genealogical Information to Tell Your Family Story.

Anne Shimojima will show how she shaped her parents’ World War II incarceration camp story, gathered historical photographs, and used a storyteller’s skills to share her genealogical work with her family and the world.


Proving family tree with DNA

Recently I decided to try and see if I could “prove” parts of my family tree by finding DNA cousins who linked to my paternal line via Y-DNA and my maternal line via Mitochondrial DNA. I figured it would be easy.

My AncestryDNA account has the most matches, so I decided to start there. I was in for a surprise! It isn’t as easy as it sounds.

Y-DNA is passed only from father to son. Using Thrulines in Ancestry, I went back to my 2nd great grandfather Andrew Robeson and began to look for matches that were male to male all the way to now. I found only one line out of 12 that was fully male from Andrew, but even it ended in a female 3C1R cousin. So I sent her an email asking if she had brothers who had done DNA test who knew their Y haplogroup. Well, she did have a brother who even had a son, but she didn’t know if he had done DNA. She would ask… arghh

The Mitochondrial side was even more frustrating. I did find a 2C2R cousin who is female and descended female to female from my great grandmother. Hooray, I thought, she is a true Irish Mito person! I sent her an email, but she is one of these non-responders. Patience is required. Yes, she is the only one out of 25.

I turned to MyHeritage. The Theory of Family Relativity is useful when checking individuals, but I don’t see a way to selectively pick those who stem from a specific ancestor.

Some people talk about offering to buy a test for individuals in my tree who fit the requirements. Not me… I figure “crowd sourcing” (lots of autosomal matches) is good enough proof that I descended from Andrew Robeson and/or his wife!  My 2 Big-Y test cousins and I come from Scotland in the 1600s.  Of course, 3 different surnames are involved!  So who knows who came first: Robeson, Grierson or Marshall. 🙂

If you have success stories along these lines, come tell us at the DNA Discussion group on first-Wednesdays at noon. Look for Zoom details soon.


” Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.” – Thomas Edison


Monthly Meeting – February 4, 2021 – “Metes and Bounds” by Martha Wallace via Zoom

Beginning at a hickory and white oak on the North east side of Wolf River…Thence N 62 W 50 poles…Do you have land records that read like this? What’s a pole? The hickory tree is no longer there! Why was this format used? Join us to learn how to “translate” the records and map the land, and get some hints about finding the land today.

Martha Wallace is a retired middle school history teacher. She really got serious about genealogy research in the1990s when she received copies of family histories which had been researched in the 1940s and 50s. These documents were each over 3 inches thick! She used the stories she learned about her family to expand American history lessons for 8th graders. Today, in addition to spending lots of time hunting for ancestors and hiking in the hills, she is a docent at the 1867 Rengstorff House at Shoreline in Mountain View and a volunteer at the National Archives in San Bruno indexing Criminal Court Records from the mid to late 1800s. Her interests are US land records, tombstones, medieval and American history, and connecting her ancestors to actual events in history, especially in Mississippi, Alabama, Kentucky, Tennessee, and Texas. She still enjoys teaching as long as it doesn’t require grading papers.

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 reason that my phone doesn’t autocorrect on caps lock is because it knows that I’m angry and doesn’t want to intervene.” – II (Internet Intelligence)


Some disconnected and unrelated hints 

  1. If you are in a Zoom meeting on a Windows 10 computer and want to save something showing on the screen, it isn’t obvious how to do it.  To Capture your entire screen and automatically save the screenshot, tap the Windows key + Print Screen key. Your screen will briefly go dim to indicate that you’ve just taken a screenshot, and the screenshot will be saved to the Pictures > Screenshots.
  1. Ancestry.com is a great site for building your genealogy tree.  I spend lots of time now adding descendants down to DNA matches.  Sometimes I want to send my new ‘cousin’ a relationship chart. There is a relationship chart built into Ancestry that is hidden!  In fact, I just found it the other day when poking around.  Go into the Profile page of the person in question.  In the upper section under the name there is a line that shows the persons relationship to you.  Click on it. Bingo!  Print to a PDF and save it, upload to the persons Gallery, email it, or print and save in your documentation notebook.
  1. In AncestryDNA if you want to easily look for new matches that you haven’t reviewed before, go to your Match List. Then filter your list by Unviewed.  I do this scan using the app in my iPad daily when eating breakfast!  There is a way to do this in MyHeritage, but it isn’t easy enough for breakfast. Use Sort by, then Most recent.

Off the Charts : Presenting Ancestors’ STories (PAST) meets Wed. 1/20/2020 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.

Third Wednesdays 1:30-3:30 Contact Kathy knielsen68@gmail.com or Karen 917-2042 for Zoom meeting details.

In January: Family History Scrapbooking with Devon Noel Lee.