Category Archives: Meetings

The Libraries are doing genealogy now!

Albert Einstein once said that the only thing that you absolutely have to know is the location of the library. In these pandemic days, few people physically go to the library. But video technology like Zoom, Hangouts, Teams, Skype, etc. have enabled us to still use the Library facilities. My wife, for one, gets lots of electronic books from the Library systems. Now we will be able to learn genealogy methods at our local library, remotely that is.

Kathy Nielsen, the leader of the Off-The-Charts writing meetings, is going to do a series sponsored by the Monterey Public Library all about genealogy. This new series will be on the 2nd Thursday of each month at 4:00 pm in the afternoon, live and in color, via Zoom.

I’m not sure where Kathy gets all of her energy,  she 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.

The meetings are being done via Zoom, and registration is required. You can find out more about this new series by visiting the Monterey Library website or following this link https://montereypl.libcal.com/event/7789707

The schedule for the next 6 meetings are:

  • June 10th, 2021: Finding Family at the Library
  • July 8th, 2021: A New Life for Old Photos: Identifying, Organizing, and Restoring Photos
  • August 12th, 2021: DNA: The Key to Uncovering Your Family History
  • September 9th, 2021: Every Home Has a Story: Researching Yours and Your Ancestors’ Homes
  • October 14th, 2021: What to Do with All of Your Family Stuff? Heirlooms and Research
  • November 11, 2021: Share Your Family’s Stories….Just Jump In and Do It

Monthly Meeting – June 3, 2021 – “Using FindaGrave” by Gary Carlsen and Tina Magill

Looking for the burial sites of your ancestors with little luck, wishing for some place on line to put their remains, or simply wanting to remember them for future generations? Gary and Tina will attempt to introduce this website to those of you who don’t know about it, and open more about it to those of you who have used it casually. The website currently is managed by Ancestry, but you do not need an Ancestry membership to use it. It is a free website. You have to register, establish a username and password and you off and running.

Gary Carlsen, He began his genealogical research in 1990, and he has been pursuing both his and his wife Carolyn’s, a seventh generation native Californian, ancestors. In that time he has located over 20,000 family members to which he and his wife are related. He is presently the President of Monterey County Genealogy Society, but has been a member since 1990. He is the Editor of the Society’s Bimonthly Newsletter, the Society’s Genealogist. He has been a volunteer librarian at the local Family History Center for the past 25 years. He has given presentations with the DAR and other Societies. He has transcribed 2 publications for the Society, the first, “Soldiers and Census,” contains the 1790 Monterey Mission Census, 1804 Monterey Garrison Census, the 1808 Monterey Garrison Census, the 1836 Monterey Garrison Census and Ranchos, and the 1850 Monterey County Census Index. His second was a transcription of the 1889 Monterey County Directory covering all of the townships in the county.

Tina Magill, Has researched her family for many years. She is currently serving on the Board as, Member at Large for Monterey County Genealogy Society. A member of the DAR, Commodore Sloat Chapter. She is currently documenting the burials of Monterey County, CA using the website: findagrave.com. She has completed Monterey, and currently working on Seaside, Soledad, and Gonzales.

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 young will get old, if they are lucky!” – Francine Prose


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