Category Archives: 2017

December 7, 2017 – Annual Joint Christmas Potluck with the Family History Center

Come join The Monterey County Genealogy Society and The Family History Center volunteers, as we celebrate this Christmas Season. We will be giving thanks for a wonderful year learning about the world of Genealogy, as well as thanking you for your participation. Please join us for this annual potluck event. All are welcome. This is a time for stories, games, and good cheer – so bring a dish to share. Join in the fun and merriment while we get to know others who are also interested in learning about their family histories. There will be lots of fun and good cheer, and the food is great! 🙂

Doors open at 5:30 pm, the party starts at 6:00pm in the Fireside Room. Enter through the FHC doors.

We’ll see you at the Family History Center, 1024 Noche Buena, Seaside, CA., left rear of building. For Information: (831) 915-9465.
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Come join us for our Annual Christmas Celebration and Potluck.
This is a time to give thanks for a wonderful year.

Monthly Meeting – November 2 “Searching For California Courthouse Records” by Junel Davidsen

Junel Davidsen will tell us about the many changes that have occurred over the years in the County courthouses involving record keeping, indexing, and storage, as well as, access limitations. Courthouse records are maintained by each of the 58 counties in California, and are not found at the State Archives (with a few exceptions). Procedures for accessing the records vary county by county. We will discuss these changes, historical background about California records, and give examples for searching onsite. Suggestions for preliminary work and where to find some digitized information online will also be discussed.

Junel Davidsen, is a Certified Genealogist, and former Assistant County Clerk/Recorder. She has worked in the San Benito County Courthouse for 18 yrs, and the Monterey County Elections for 10 yrs, She obtained an AA in Family Research Studies, and specializes in forensic genealogy and courthouse research. She Assists Estate Administrators in finding missing heirs and helping clients locate missing relatives. Recently she helped a person find her true identity using genealogy methods and DNA tools. Junel has assisted in documenting members of an American Indian Tribe, plus coordinated the descendant search for the Washington Territorial Sesquicentennial (150 Year) Celebration. She researched locally for a TV series “Faces of America.”

Doors open at 6:15 pm, the meeting starts at 7:00 pm. We’ll see you at the Family History Center, 1024 Noche Buena, Seaside, CA., left rear of building.


” Get your facts first, then you can distort them as you please.” – Mark Twain


Monthly Meeting – October 5 “Researching in Washington, D.C. Without Leaving Home” by Dayna Jacobs

Washington, D.C. is home to the National Archives, the Library of Congress, and the DAR Library – all treasure troves of records for genealogists, but few of us ever have the opportunity to visit these repositories in person. Come and learn how to access the records they hold without leaving home, including maps, land records, military files, newspapers, congressional records, DAR applications, Social Security, and U.S. patent records. Dayna Jacobs will share what she learned in the 2017 Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy course titled, “Researching in Washington, D.C. Without Leaving Home.”

Dayna Jacobs serves on the board of the Utah Genealogical Assoc. and is one of the five Professional Accredited for U.S. Mountain West States Research. She will also be serving another term on ICAPGen as Public Relations Chair. She has taught at the Northwest Genealogy Conference in Washington, the BYU Genealogy Conference, and the New England Regional Genealogy Conference, also with Ancestor Roundup. Dayna has been researching, teaching, and writing since 1988 and has been on staff at the Monterey, FHC since 1998, where she serves as a consultant and former Staff trainer and Asst. Director. She enjoys educating and mentoring genealogists. She has her own genealogy blog “On Granny’s Trail,” which is a resource for Western States research and beyond.

Dayna is one of our favorite speakers. She is the go-to gal at the FHC when I have questions! Don’t miss this MoCoGenSo meeting.

Doors open at 6:15 pm, the meeting starts at 7:00 pm. We’ll see you at the Family History Center, 1024 Noche Buena, Seaside, CA., left rear of building.


” You will never be 100% ready, just start.” – Bill Gates


Monthly Meeting – September 7 “One-Step Webpages: A Potpourri of Genealogical Search Tools” by Stephen Morse

We normally start our meetings at 7:00 pm. Our speaker likes to start earlier to allow for questions and new additions. So we will be starting at 6:30 pm. Don’t be late!

Stephen Morse will talk about his One-Step website, which started out as an aid for finding passengers in the Ellis Island database. Shortly afterwards the site was expanded to help with searching in the 1930 census. Over the years it has continued to evolve and today includes about 300 web-based tools divided into 16 separate categories ranging from genealogical searches to astronomical calculations to last minute bidding on eBay. This presentation will describe the range of tools available and give the highlights of each one.

Steve 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.

Stephen is one of our favorite speakers, his full biography can be seen here: Stephen Morse Don’t miss this MoCoGenSo meeting!

Doors open at 6:00 pm, the meeting starts at 6:30 pm. We’ll see you at the Family History Center, 1024 Noche Buena, Seaside, CA., left rear of building.


“Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new.” – Albert Einstein


August 2017 Meeting Notes

Bill Hannah, our VP of Ways and Means, spoke the other night about his experiences at the RoosTech 2017 conference. He also showed us about the Wolfram Alpha web site.

He has made his presentation slides available and a copy of the Wolfram Alpha handout he provided. You can download them here by clicking on the respective link:

Presentation Slides
There are Presentation Notes for some of the slides. Your PDF viewer should be able to show them. But you have to look for them.

WolframAlpha Handoute Book


You can learn more about RootsTech 2018 by Clicking Here.

Next year, the Conference is Feb 28 – March 3, 2018


And you can go straight to the Wolfram Alpha site by Clicking Here.

When you get to Wolfram Alpha, type this request into the window: My Grandfather’s Niece’s Daughter to get a sense of how this site can be used for genealogy!


“Creativity is the residue of time wasted. – Albert Einstein


Monthly Meeting – Aug. 3, 2017: “Rootstech & Federation of Genealogical Societies 2017 Conferences’”, by Bill Hannah

Join Bill as he recounts his experience at RootsTech 2017, the premier annual genealogy conference in Salt Lake City. He will discuss the event organization, highlight several of the world-class speakers, and give an overview of the 200+ classes available. He will present several specific topics from some of the classes that you will be able to use in your genealogy research. Bill will conclude with a brief discussion of our recent Board decision to join the Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS), what it means to the society as a whole, and to the individual members. He has been designated our society’s contact person and delegate for FGS. The FGS Conference this year will be “Building Bridges to the Past”, located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, August 30-September 2, 2017.

Bill Hannah is a retired Army Officer, and defense contractor. He earned a B.S. in Mathematics (Clemson), and M.S. in Operations Research (NPS). He enjoys applying research skills gained through these degrees and throughout his career into his genealogical quests. Bill has a rich family history from the South, Midwest, and from Wales, Scotland, and Ireland. He has been a member of Monterey County Genealogy Society since 2010, and is currently serving on its board. He is a member of our local SAR. He has also been a speaker for — The Annual Ancestor Round-up Conference, and The Monterey Bay Colony of the Mayflower Society.

Doors open at 6:15 pm, the meeting starts at 7:00 pm. We’ll see you at the Family History Center, 1024 Noche Buena, Seaside, CA., left rear of building.


“Mathematics is the extension of common sense by other means.” – Jordan Ellenberg


Monthly Meeting – June 1, 2017: “Research like a pro: Dayna’s FamilySearch Power Tools” by Dayna Jacobs

We have our general meetings on the first Thursday of the month. It just so happens that in June, the first Thursday is also the first day of the month! Don’t let the calendar confuse you.

Most people have used FamilySearch’s record search or family tree features, but few genealogists tap into the powerful research tools available on the free site. FamilySearch is one of the first places professional genealogists go to see what records are available for a locality, and they know how to access these records, whether online, on microfilm or as textual records. Dayna will take you deep into the records side of FamilySearch, and give you the tools to find sources you had no idea existed!

Dayna is one of our favorite speakers, her full biography can be seen here: Dayna Jacobs Don’t miss this MoCoGenSo meeting!

Doors open at 6:15 pm, the meeting starts at 7:00 pm. We’ll see you at the Family History Center, 1024 Noche Buena, Seaside, CA., left rear of building.


If at first you don’t succeed, search, search again. That is why we call it re-search.


Monthly Meeting – 4 May 2017: “Preparing For A Genealogy Road Trip”, by Kathy Nielsen

Join Kathy Nielsen as she shares delights and pitfalls in organizing a genealogy road trip. Travel with her overseas and to locations within the United States and Canada. She will make suggestions on how to begin planning, whom to contact, and what to see. Much depends on your goals. Are you planning a serious research trip or a chance to get an overview of the land from which your ancestors came? Who are your travel companions? Are they genealogists or friends and family? These questions will have a bearing on your plans. Join Kathy as she walks you through the process, and shares some of her successes and her challenges..

Kathy Nielsen is a Reference Librarian at the Monterey Public Library. She works at the Library Help Desk and in the California History Room. Kathy earned a B.A. in History at the University of California, Berkeley, and an M. A. in History at Hunter College, City University of New York. After teaching history in high school and Middle school, she returned to U.C. Berkeley and obtained a Masters in Library Science. Kathy combines her skills as a historian, a storyteller, and a librarian with her love for travel and her search for her family’s history. See more about Kathy here.

Doors open at 6:15 pm, the meeting starts at 7:00 pm. We’ll see you at the Family History Center, 1024 Noche Buena, Seaside, CA., left rear of building.


“Google can bring you back 100,000 answers, a librarian can bring you back the right one.” – Neil Gaiman