Category Archives: FHC

Things to Remember when you go to your local Family History Center

Some of our MoCoGenSo members volunteer at the local Monterey Family History Center (FHC).  We see lots of different people over the years and it is always a pleasure to help newcomers get their feet wet!  Ancestors are free at the FHC 🙂

But many folks forget the same things when they come to a FHC for the first time.

  • Bring a flash drive. Call it a thumb drive or USB stick, whatever.  If you do find something on our computers, you can print it of course.  But if you have a thumb drive, you can take a digital copy with you!  And share it and print it many times. The FHC does NOT supply USB sticks.
  • Bring or remember the passwords for your Email and for your Ancestry.com account or your FamilySearch account (or any other account you need help with). If we help you create a FamilySearch account, it will send an email to you for verification.  You either need to have your cell phone or your password!  Likewise, if we help you download your DNA data file, you will need your email access.
  • Bring something (paper, charts, notes, etc.) that has the BMD information for the ancestors (or their close relatives) you are researching. BMD is Birth, Marriage, Death, The info needed is name, date & place. Bring whatever you have, but don’t bring original records.

Bring those things with you and your visit will go more smoothly!


”Failure to plan is planning to fail.” – Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez


Bring a flash drive to your Family History Center

The printer in the Monterey Family History Center will be out of commission for about a week.

This is a good reminder to bring your Flash drive, aka thumb drive, jump drive, usb stick, etc. with you when ever you come to the FHC. Always keep one in your purse or on your key chain.

“Loosing weight doesn’t seem to be working, so I’m going to concentrate on getting taller.”

Genealogy in Indian Country

Brad Stimson, the new Director of the Monterey Family History Center, has announced that there will be a special meeting about American Indian genealogy.

This meeting isn’t on our normal calendar since it is new and unusual and is not sponsored by MoCoGenSo.  But Brad has invited us all.  So if this applies to you, be sure and include this meeting in your schedule.

Presented by Lorraine Escobar   Tribal Vice Chairnan for the Escolan Tribe of Carmel Valley

FRIDAY April 6, 2018

5:30-7:30 pm

Monterey Family History Center, 1024 Noche Buena, Seaside,, CA., Left year of building.

This is the normal MoCoGenSo meeting place.

Subscription Sites

When you are doing genealogical research at home and run into a “pay-wall”, perhaps the Monterey FHC can help. All of these excellent websites are available at the Monterey FHC for free! If you like saving money, then use these sites at the FHC.  If you find that you must have a personal login, you can always subscribe at home later. (Yes, I have an Ancestry signon, world edition.) Just another reason to come to the Monterey Family History Center – look here for directions.

Provided by the Monterey FHC Directors

  • Genealogybank Discover your family story in Newspapers 1690-today. 7 day free trial, then $20 per month or $70 per year.

Provided by Monterey County Genealogical Society

  • Vitalsearch-CA Search official records in California, birth, death, marriage certificates. $10 per month or $70 per year.
  • New England Historic Genealogy Society NEHGS is a highly respected research site with emphasis in the New England area. $7.50 per month to $90 per year.

Provided by Salt Lake City Family History Library

  • 19th Century British Library Newspaper Digital Archive Over 2 million newspaper pages. Fully searchable but spotting in some distant locals
  • Alexander Street Press The site for the American Civil War. 4 million soldiers and thousand of battles. 15000 photos, 100,000 indexed pages of diaries and letters.
  • American Ancestors New England Historic Genealogy Society-NEHGS is a highly respected research site with emphasis in the New England area. $7.50 per month to $90 per year.
  • Ancestry – instituion version. The largest for profit genealogy company in the world. Immigration and naturalizations records, Census and voter rosters, Photos, newspaper and a collection of public family trees.
  • Arkivdata These are Swedish records that have been re-photographed and digitalized. Were you to go to Sweden and ask for original records you would be sent to a computer with these very same records.
  • FamNet Online network for New Zealand roots
  • Find My Past – institution version. This is a family history and genealogy website that is primarily for British and Irish records. Includes PERSI.
  • Fold3 This site is named from a traditional flag folding ceremony in which the third fold is made in honor and remembrance of veterans who served in defense of their country. From the Revolutionary war to current and recent wars, including Mexican/American wars/ Indian war/ Spanish American/Vietnam/ Korean
  • Geneanet Family tree search and site.
  • Kinpoint – Premium take family names to the temple.
  • MyHeritage – Library Edition 5 billion historical records. Helps you research your family history, build your family tree and add photos, and historical records. Includes a private family site for your family only
  • Newspaper Archives This is best collection of newspapers anywhere. Largest collection of US papers followed by Canada and then UK. Some collections back to the 1600’s though majority is the 20th century.
  • Paper Trail This site is dedicated to research of pioneers. It has journals, histories, of pioneers headed west from 1800 to 1899. It is very useful if you have ancestors who crossed the plains whether they were Mormon Pioneers or not
  • ProQuest Obituary Listings This site is primarily for US research. This site more than 10 million obituaries and death notices published in newspapers from 1800 onward. It is very useful in finding death dates of your ancestors.
  • Puzzila Descendant Viewer view critical data for your descendants in FamilySearch Tree

“Always borrow money from a pessimist. He won’t expect it back.” – Oscar Wilde


Fridays at FHC


Fridays at the Monterey Family History Center are interesting and fun! Part of the reason Fridays are great is because that is when I volunteer. I usually open the doors, take care of the computers, and give the others a hard time. I use RootsMagic, and have my tree at Ancestry and FamilySearch. You can find my DNA most everywhere.

Another reason Friday is “expert” day is Dayna Jacobs. Dayna works the first Friday of the month. She is an accredited genealogist, serves as a Commissioner on the International Commission for the Accreditation of Professional Genealogists, is a blogger, a public speaker, and an expert in family history. She really can sense where elusive ancestors may be hiding. Her expertise is Western States, using FamilySearch, and Ancestry.com.

The other Fridays of the month brings in Barbara Rae-Venter. She is our DNA Sig leader. She is a retired lawyer, biologist, and college professor. When she is on site, we laughing call it “DNA discussion time”. The thing is,Barbara is a really good genealogical researcher too and loves to help others. She also volunteers at DNAAdoption.com where she is a Search Angel plus she help teach the online atDNA classes there.

Our other Friday guy is Charlie Biller. He comes in often to work on his own Hungarian ancestors, but he is also a substitute for the rest of us. So you will see him most Fridays. He is has a degree in Industrial Technology and is a whiz kid around the microfilm readers. He also is “into” DNA testing, his data can be found at Gedcom and he has recently done the Big-Y test at FTDNA. He loves to help beginners. As an ex Naval Aviator, he will get you going fast!

I feel intimidated and honored to work with these experts. You should read their full biographies elsewhere in this site.

If you have Friday mornings open, and need help with your genealogy or DNA testing, do drop in! 🙂

We are open 9:00 am to 1:00 pm.

The FHC 3rd Shift


Are you having trouble doing genealogy because you have a day job?
Are you having trouble doing genealogy because your spouse runs the T-V all evening?

I am retired now, but I used to work “8 to 5”! The only time I had for genealogy was nights or weekends. And weekends was for chores and outdoor activities. So I began to come to the Monterey Family History Center on Tuesday evening on the way home from work. I came almost every Tuesday for a while and pretty soon, my tree began to blossom. You can see some of it in the halls of the FHC now.

Then my wife got jealous, and she began to come with me. She soon had her ancestors into the 1600’s in Croatia!

We had computers at home. The reason we came to the FHC was for personal help, for ideas, for films, books, and to use subscription web sites that we couldn’t afford at home.

The FHC “third shift” is for working people! 🙂

Open Tuesday and Wednesday 4:00 pm to 7:30 pm.