Category Archives: 2020

Another Big Sale

AncestryDNA has joined the Black Friday competition!

The basic service is 40% off, you can get it for $59 (normally $99) thru Nov 25. There are other options that include the 3 month membership for only $60 or a more expensive one that includes the new Health service.

The 3-month membership for only $1 more is a good deal unless you already have an account with Ancestry. You can do 3 months of research like crazy and then cancel, or if you get addicted like me, continue with a renewal. Your DNA will remain online as will any tree you create.


From the Board

Your MoCoGenSo Board Nominating Committee announces the current slate for 2021 Elected Officers. Voting and installation will be at our Annual meeting in January as required by the By Laws.

Hear ye, hear ye….

  • President ===> Gary Carlsen
  • lst Vice President (Programs) ===> Shelley McFadden
  • 2nd Vice President (Membership) ===> Marilyn Ruccello
  • Recording Secretary ===> Joe Donahue
  • Corresponding Secretary ===> Ellen Riddick
  • Treasurer ===> Jeannie Pedersen
  • Member-at-Large ===> Erica Burton
  • Member-at-Large ===> Tina Magill

Appointed positions will still be available after the beginning of the year when the new Board begins its work. You can see the current slate of all these positions HERE.

This announcement does not close the nominations, rather it reflects the Volunteers willing to serve at this point. Nominations will still be taken from the floor. You can join the Board and make a difference! Many thanks to all who have agreed to continue serving.

We hope our members will come forward and join our Board, and continue to keep Monterey County Genealogy Society alive for the future. We are always looking forward to new ideas to share in the field of genealogy. Come help us make it happen!


Monthly Meeting – November 5, 2020 – “U.S. Marriage Research Online” by Junel Davidsen, Certified Genealogist® via Zoom

This meeting will explore marriage research at family history websites such as Ancestry and FamilySearch and non-family history websites provided by local public officials. Public officials across the United States have websites with indexes and many have images as well. Being aware of these sites will allow the family historian to do more in-depth research. Discussion will feature examples of navigating public officials’ websites to access their collections, understanding arrangement of content and tips for successful search experience. In addition, we will cover some of the laws in different states that may have influenced our ancestors’ choice of marriage location. Over the years, couples eloped to other states to avoid blood test requirements or waiting periods. Until 1967, inter-racial marriages were allowed in some states but not in others. States have different laws about where marriage licenses must be issued and prohibitions on certain degrees of relationship. Some examples of the importance of divorce research will also be discussed.

Junel Davidsen, CG®, is a professional genealogist specializing in courthouse and forensic research. She helps estate administrators in finding next-of-kin and families looking for missing relatives, including adoptees. She recently found her maternal grandfather’s true identity using genetic genealogy. Currently Junel is working to document her paternal lineage for her DAR application. She worked 27 years in San Benito County Clerk/Recorder’s office and as Assistant Registrar of Voters of Monterey County. She obtained an AA degree in Family Research Studies from MPC and has been a Board-Certified Genealogist for 12 years. She has attended genealogical conferences, most recently a Native American research course in Salt Lake City in 2019. She has been a member of the board and past President of MoCoGenSo. Member of “Off The Charts’ writing group. She volunteers at Monterey County Historical Society and board member. Junel assists researchers at the San Benito County Historical Society Research Room. She is a regular presenter at MoCoGenSo and Ancestor Roundup Conference.

The Zoom meeting will start at 7:00 pm sharp. For security reasons, the meeting will be 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.


”There are seven days in the week and ‘someday’ isn’t one of them.”


Monthly Meeting – October 1, 2020 – “Free Genealogy Classes, Webinars and Online Learning, Updated” by Dayna Jacobs, Accredited Genealogist® via Zoom

Dayna Jacobs began her genealogical career way before the internet was invented. She has actually worked with un-digitized microfilms! But she has kept up with the modern world. She is now an accredited genealogist, and has her own blog On Granny’s Trail. These days there are more ways to learn about genealogy than ever before—all from the comfort of your living room sofa or home office. Dayna will show you her favorite places to find free webinars and classes. You’ll have plenty of resources to keep you busy as you quarantine at home. This meeting should be helpful to all levels of genealogical “searchers”.

Dayna Jacobs, AG®, is a graduate of Brigham Young University, is a former Commissioner on the International Commission for the Accreditation of Professional Genealogist, (ICAPGenSM), and she previously served as a Director on the board of the Utah Genealogical Association. She is accredited in the U.S. Mountain West States as well as the U.S. Southwest States regions. She has been researching, teaching and writing since 1988 and has been on staff at the Monterey, California Family History Center since 1988, where she serves as consultant and was formerly the staff trainer and Assistant Director. Dayna has presented classes at the Northwest Genealogy Conference, the BYU Genealogy Conference, the New England Regional Genealogy Conference, and Local genealogy society conferences and meetings. Services she provides: Investigative Genetic Genealogist, Archival Research, Lecturing, Record Analysis, and Report Writing. Geographic Specialties: U.S. Mountain West, U.S. Southwest, Mexico. Please refer: http://www.apgen.org/users/dayna-jacobs and http://www.linkedin.com/in/dayna-jacobs-ag/..

The Zoom meeting will start at 7:00 pm sharp. For security reasons, the meeting will be 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.


” It’s what you learn after you know it all that counts!” – John Wooden


Monthly Meeting – September 3, 2020 – “Getting Ready for the 1950 Census: Searching With and Without a Name Index” by Stephen P. Morse via Zoom

When the 1950 census will be released in April 2022, it will not have a name index. Finding people in the census will involve searching by location instead. Even when a name index becomes available, there will still be many reasons for doing locational searches. The census is organized by Enumeration District (EDs), so the location needs to be converted to an ED before the census can be accessed. The One-Step website stevemorse.org contains numerous tools for obtaining EDs. This talk will present the various tools and show circumstances in which each can be used.

Stephen P. Morse was given the Lifetime Achievement Award from the International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies in 2006, the APGQ Excellence Award, and the National Genealogical Society – Award of Merit in 2007. It was in recognition of exceptional contributions to the field of Genealogy. His “One-Step” search tools have assisted genealogists greatly by making it easier to find their ancestors within existing large genealogical databases. He is a computer professional who holds a doctoral degree in electrical engineering. He is best known as the architect of the Intel 8086 which sparked the PC revolution.

The Zoom meeting will start at 7:00 pm sharp. For security reasons, the meeting will be 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 difference between stupidity and genius is that genius has its limits!” – Albert Einstein


Ancestry has a new Owner

Ancestry has been in the news lately, many new things have been announced in the last 5 weeks.  We are now finding out why!!  What a deal….

The first recent announcement came out yesterday:  the new HEALTH DNA test is now available.  $179 will tell you all….

The second announcement came out today: Blackstone Group Inc. acquired a 75% stake in Ancestry for $4.7 billion !  Wow, that is lots of money for only 3/4 of Ancestry.  According to Bloomberg, Silver Lake and Singaporean sovereign-wealth fund GIC Pte have been majority owners since 2016, when they bought it for $2.6 billion. It was taken private in 2012 for $1.6 billion by private equity firm Permira.  It was originally a public company, raising $100 million at its IPO in 2009.  This has been quite a ride for “just a genealogy company”!

Their statistics show this:

Given their size and recent financial dealings, it is understandable that they have wanted to get their computer systems to perform better and faster.  The simple changes they have announced regarding DNA are

  1. Accurate # of shared segments (early August)
  2. See length of longest segments (mid August)
  3. Sharing cutoff will be 8 cM (late August)

We now know the rest of the story!!


July was a busy month for some

Lots of things made the news in July 2020.

<:> Jeff Bezos said he would double any Bitcoin sent to him! So did Warren Buffet, Barack Obama and Bill Gates. A 17 year old kid will probably be found guilty, and then hired since he is obviously well skilled in Twitter tricks!

<:> Gedmatch was hacked so that, temporarily, all kits were eligible for search by police! And unreal kits appeared. Who was hurt? The owners of Gedmatch, Verogen, Inc., were a bit embarrassed. But it doesn’t seem that any real people were hurt. (I doubt we ever figure who was responsible. Hopefully lots of unsolved cases get solved this year!)

<:> MyHeritage users are possibly being targeted by phishing emails. If you get an email from ‘info@myheritaqe . com” instead of “info@myheritage . com” (note the “q” instead of “g”), hit delete quick! This actually could be quite dangerous, do watch out for MyHeritage emails that want you to click on something.

<:> And big noisy news came from AncestryDNA. They are making changes again, some of which lots of people do not like! More on that later.

<:> July was so exciting that the Daughters of the American Revolution decided to wait until August 1st to quietly announce that they are beginning to accept autosomal DNA as evidence of lineage submitted with DAR membership!

CLICK HERE to see the announcement on their Blog. What a deal. Of course, there are gotcha stuff in the details. It only works for the first 3 generations, and only when traditional documentation does not exist or cannot be obtained due to sealed records. I need to be honest, I haven’t read the fine print, but this could be quite exciting news for adoptees and children of adoptees. If you are considering joining the DAR, be sure to read more about this on your own.

SAR has accepted autosomal DNA for a while. When I Googled SAR DNA, I discovered that they require the cM segment size to be 7 cM or more! And you have to have 30 cM or more composed of 7 cM segments! Leave to the SAR to complicate things. Hopefully we will get details from a Daughter or Son on this “quiet” news.

AncestryDNA

First off, if you use Chrome with the extension MedBetter, please uninstall MedBetter. Then Google it to find out why.

The changes:
1) More accurate number of shared segments (goes live in early August)
2) Ability to see the length of the longest shared segment (goes live in mid August)
3) Distant DNA matches must share 8 cM or higher (goes live in late August)

Please note the difference between the SAR and AncestryDNA. They should have discussed their differences first! Not very empathetic of AncestryDNA!


Hopefully some of you will join us at the next DNA Discussion Group and explain these Newsy items more clearly!


” If you place a humidifier and dehumidifier in the same room, you can wirelessly transmit water!” – Reddit


Monthly Meeting – August 6, 2020 – “Living History: Monterey County Historical Society” by James Perry via Zoom

“History is Fragile. Memories fade. Writings are lost…and relics crumble. Historians serve best when they can preserve yesterday-today.”

This statement was made on Dec. 22, 1933 during an afternoon gathering at the residence of Florence Baker, Granddaughter of the first Mayor of Salinas, CA. The statement caused discussion among the group which led them on that day to establish the Monterey County Historical Society. This past, Present and future of the Monterey County Historical Society (MCHS) is as fascinating as the collections it stewards. James Perry, Director of MCHS will take us upon a journey spanning over 8 decades chronicling community efforts toward the collection and preservation of our regional history. He will review the history of MCHS, the acquisition of the historic Jose Eusebio Boronda Adobe, present project development initiatives and future build-out plans of the Boronda Adobe History Center. In addition, James will review the critical need for historical organizations in our region to come together as partners in order to assure that the past continues to be preserved for future generations.

James Perry has a M.A. in Museum Studies with an emphasis on Collections Management and Public History. He has served as Curator of Collections and Exhibits for the Valdez Museum and Historical Archive in Valdez, Alaska as well as the Museum of the Aleutians in Dutch Harbor, AK. Locally, he has served as consultant to various organizations for special project initiatives, including the City of Carmel-by-the sea, the Royal Presidio Chapel and Missions Carmel, San Juan Bautista, Soledad, and San Antonio de Padua. He has served the Monterey County Historical Society in various capacities since 1990, and is currently the Executive Director.

The Zoom meeting will start at 7:00 pm sharp. For security reasons, the meeting will be 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 older I get, the better I look in a mask!” – pandemic 2020


DNA Discussion Group Meets on Wednesday July 1 at Noon via Zoom

is one of the most useful “tools” in the genetic genealogy arena. If you are really interesting in using DNA as a way to help grow your ancestral tree, then you need to learn to use parts of this site. Many/most of it’s tools are free.

There are Trees, Tools, and Chromosome Mapping!

Our DNA Discussion group has decided to concentrate on DNA Painter during the next few sessions. Join us Wednesday, July 1st as Terry Jackson shares some of his experiences at DNA Painter. We will continue into future sessions for as long as it takes….

Remember, this is a DNA discussion group for all levels. Come join the crowd.

The Zoom meeting will start at 12:00 noon sharp. For security reasons, the meeting invitation will be by posted on this site the day before the meeting. If you are already a “follower” here, you will receive the invitation by email. If not, you can return here in the afternoon before the meeting.

If you are not familiar with Zoom, click here.


”Did you know that you share at least one ancestor with everyone who belongs to the same haplogroup as you?” – 23andMe