Category Archives: Meetings

Monthly Meeting – April 1, 2021 – “Rootstech 2021 Forum: Share a Tip Learned at the Virtual Rootstech Experience” Co-hosts: Shelley McFadden & Joseph Donahue

Genealogist’s dream of attending the Annual Rootstech Conference in Salt Lake City, UT. Professional genealogists, and family researchers, gather to share and learn what is new in the world of genealogical research; all hoping to find a new solution to solve their own family mystery. How often have you thought about traveling to Salt Lake City, in order, to be educated by those famous genealogy professionals? This year, Rootstech is introducing – “Rootstech Connect: A FREE Online Conference Experience.” We can all attend this virtual event from our own home computer. The Conference – February 25-27, 2021. This event was livestreamed or on demand, and you can access the classes up to 12 months after the conference.

Monterey County Genealogy Society has decided to dedicate their April 1, 2021 program to the Rootstech Experience. Each of us will have an opportunity to share tips learned at this year’s Rootstech Conference. Our plan is to share with other members new or more effective ways to complete our family genealogy, learned at Rootstech.

Shelley McFadden holds a BFA in Fine Arts, and is a retired RN. She had worked for over 40 yrs on her family genealogy. She is member of MoCoGenSo, 1st V.President – Programs and past Acting President. Also a member of Commodore Sloat Chapter of the DAR, and Assoc. member of Aloha Chapter of DAR. Charter member of NSCDA in Hawaii. Teaches Beginning Genealogy and Newspaper Research.

Joseph T. Donahue, retired RN. All of my Great-Grandparents immigrated from other countries: Ireland, England, Germany, and Italy. As a young Child, I asked my Dad which was I mostly. He said Irish, a fact supported half a century later by DNA testing. I was named after my Dad’s Brother, who died in England while serving in the U.S. Army during WWII. In the early 1980’s, Aunt, Margie fueled my interest in genealogy by sharing info she gathered by interviewing my paternal Grandfather, research done as a member of the Root Cellar Sacramento Genealogical Society, and travels to the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, UT. I am a member of MoCoGenSo since and serve on their Board of Directors.

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 more I work and practice, the luckier I seem to get.” – Gary Player


Monthly Meeting – March 4, 2021 – “Connecting with Cousins: Reunions, Road Trips and Zoom” by Kathy Nielsen

Our cousins provide so much family history information. But traditional ways of connecting were suspended last year. Family Reunions were cancelled. Road trips were postponed. Thank goodness for Zoom. Join Kathy Nielsen in planning some real life connections with cousins. Kathy will help you start planning that reunion and that trip. And if these plans are not meant to be in 2021, what about a virtual connections? Let’s share ideas!

Kathy Nielsen, MA, MLS, 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 Society’s special interest writing group, “Off the Charts”. Kathy incorporates her skills as a historian, storyteller, Librarian in her search for her family’s history.

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


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)


Monthly Meeting – January 7, 2021 – “Tips for Searching with Ancestry” by Shelly McFadden via Zoom

There will be a short, but required Annual Business Meeting for Election of Officers. This will be followed by a presentation and group interaction with Shelley McFadden, on exploring different tips for searching with Ancestry. Many of us spend wasted time trying to search on Ancestry. But understanding how Ancestry works, and how to get results, can be easier than you think. We will explore many different techniques to search on Ancestry, and I am hoping you will come up with a few new ones to share with the group.

Shelley McFadden holds a BFA in Fine Arts at the University of Hawaii and is a retired RN from CHOMP. She has worked for over 40 years on her family genealogy. Her focus has been on Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, North and South Carolina, New York, Ohio, & New England. She is currently serving as acting President for Monterey County Genealogy Society, and 1st Vice President, Programs Chair. She is a member of the DAR Commodore Sloat Chapter & Assoc. member of the Aloha Chapter in Hawaii. A Charter member of the Colonial Dames in Hawaii. She specializes in Newspaper Research. She is currently working on research in the Monterey County Cemeteries with Jeannie Pedersen, Tina Magill, Theresa Henderson and Barbara Brown, and in connection with James Perry, Director of the Monterey County Historical Society, and Graig Stephens at the Soledad Historical Society in Soledad, CA.

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.


”Don’t let the bees follow the butterflies.” – Jim Robeson


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


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