Category Archives: Other

GSSCC and the Santa Cruz Public Library present Lecture Series

Tuesday, November 2, 2021 7:00 PM

Guest Speaker: Terry Jackson — How It Has Helped Me in My Research

Terry Jackson’s family has been submitting family histories to what is now called FamilySearch for many, many years. As that information has come online, it has provided lots of interesting stories and has helped to clear up some family mysteries. Using some examples from his own research, Terry will demonstrate how FamilySearch can help us with our own research. We will also look at some fun things that come with a free FamilySearch account.

Terry Jackson is a retired Social Worker who now spends his time fishing, or finding more questions than answers in his genealogical research. He also enjoys what has become a rare opportunity to spend time with his grandkids! Terry is the descendant of Mormon immigrant families. His paternal grandmother’s parents arrived in the 1890s; his paternal grandfather’s forebears came in the 1850s. Terry’s maternal line stretches back to the early 1600s in Virginia and New England. His maternal ancestors were early converts to Mormonism and were among the first Mormon settlers in what became Utah and Idaho. All the family lines that Terry has traced from the U.S. have gone back to English, Scottish, and Irish roots. Terry is a 35-year resident of Seaside.

NOTE:  You MUST register at this address in order to attend.

Genealogical Society of Santa Cruz County DNA SIG

Today at the MoCoGenSo DNA Discussion Group meeting it was announced that the Genealogical Society of Santa Cruz County has started a DNA Special Interest Group (SIG)!

They are meeting in person (not video) in the Santa Cruz Public Library, Downtown Branch, located at 224 Church St, Santa Cruz, CA, 95060.  See map below.  It was recommended that you park in the “Locust Garage.”  The library is at number 16 on the 2nd map.  

This new group is meeting on the first Tuesday of the month in the upstairs meeting room.  For the next 2 months, they will meet at 1:00 PM.  Starting in January 2022, they switch to 10:00 AM. 

See for information about the Society. There is nothing about the new SIG on the web site yet. This information came directly from the organizers!

Don’t forget to wear a mask! 🙂

(In the picture below, drag the < > icon back and forth.)

Monthly Meeting – Oct 7, 2021 – “Better Genealogy Searches on Google and YouTube” by Dayna Jacobs

A Google search can unearth hidden genealogy gems from all corners of the internet, but how many times do your searches turn up the same results? Over 85% of internet content is now in video form, and YouTube is the place to find much of it, but have you tapped into that resource for your genealogy research? We will explore different strategies for both Google and YouTube that will improve your odds for success as you search for your ancestors.

Dayna Jacobs, AG® is a professional genealogist who holds the credential of Accredited Genealogist® with two specializations: one in U.S. Mountain West States research and one in U.S. Southwest States research. She has been researching, teaching, and writing since 1988 and has been on staff at the Monterey, California Family History Center since 1998. Dayna is a past Commissioner on the International Commission for the Accreditation of Professional Genealogists, known as ICAPGen℠, and served on the board of directors for the Utah Genealogical Association. In recent years she has worked as an investigative genetic genealogist, and currently volunteers with the ICAPGen Study Group program as a mentor to individuals who are credentialing. She has presented classes at the local Ancestor Roundup, the Northwest Genealogy Conference, the BYU Genealogy Conference, and the New England Regional Genealogy Conference.

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.

”Education is the ability to listen to almost anything without losing your temper or your self-confidence.” – Robert Frost

Merger Mania

Geneanet (based in France) has just announced that it has been acquired by Ancestry . com.

Last month, Filae (also based in France) was acquired by My Heritage.

It seems that the French genealogists have decided that if you can’t beat them, then you better join them!

In case you forgot….

12 months ago, Blackstone acquired Ancestry . com.

8 months ago, myDNA and Gene by Gene (owner of FamilyTreeDNA) merged.

7 months ago, Francisco Partners acquired MyHeritage.

1 month ago, 23andMe became a publicly traded company (symbol ME). You can become an “owner” today for about $9 a share!

Everybody keeps saying that nothing negative will happen, things will only get better. Crossing fingers, here. From my perspective, when mergers occur, either customer growth occurs or employment decreases.

I just wish one of these companies would merge with an Artificial Intelligence company!

Rare 23andMe Sale

The 23andMe ancestry DNA test kits are for sale at Amazon!

In the Amazon store, you can buy the standard 23andMe Ancestry + Traits test kit for $79. Regularly $100 or so, this is 20% off the going rate, and matching the lowest we have tracked all year at Amazon.

Sourcing over 2,000 regions across the globe, this test kit will trace your lineage back as far as possible to tell you where you’re genetics come from and to help build out your family tree. It also optionally offers up details on living relatives and dives into the genetic traits that make you who you are, with no hidden fees attached. You’ll find the more advanced 23andMe test kits on sale below.

More 23andMe deals:

All Things Relative is on You Tube! #2

I did not know before, but the Monterey Public Library has a YouTube channel!   And they are putting the All Things Relative: Finding Family at the Library series on that channel. 

You can Subscribe to the Monterey Public Library channel and see these programs whenever, or you can click on these links to see the first two program in the series, and then subscribe!

Monterey Public Library | 625 Pacific Street, Monterey, CA 93940

(831) 646-2091 

California’s First Public Library ~ est. 1849

“Wear Masks. Save Lives. Meet the Moment for Monterey.”

Wouldn’t it be great if MoCoGenSo would put some of our presentations on You Tube.  If you agree, you could recommend to our Board that MoCoGenSo create a You Tube channel!! Contact one of the Member-At-Large officers, Erica Burton or Kristina McGill.

Monthly Meeting – Sept. 2, 2021 – “The Jewish Marriage Contract and What It Really Says” – by Stephen Morse

Vital records (birth, marriage, death) have always been a valuable source of family information and sought after by genealogist. The Jewish Marriage Contract (Ketubah) is no exception. The information in the Jewish record complements the information in the civil record: the civil record typically identifies the bride and groom by giving their family names whereas the Jewish record gives their fathers’ names instead. There is a basic difference between the civil and religious marriage records in that one focuses on the union and the other on the termination of the union. This talk discusses what is contained in the Jewish marriage contract, tells what it really means, and provides information that can be useful to family historians.

Stephen P. Morse was given the Lifetime Achievement Award from the International Association 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 doctorate 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. 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 reason people do not know much is because they do not care much.” – Stephen Fry


Family History Fanatics Virtual Conference

MoCoGenSo receives lots of adverts for seminars and such.  This one sounds interesting and the price is right.  Perhaps some will be interested.

If any members of the Monterey County Genealogical Society are looking for an opportunity to learn more about genealogy research, Devon Noel Lee (#1 genealogy YouTube channel – Family History Fanatics) and Lisa Louise Cooke (#1 genealogy podcast – Genealogy Gems) will be producing a Back to Research virtual conference on Saturday, September 11th.  Speakers and topics will include:

Lisa Louise Cooke – How to Reopen and Work a Genealogical Cold Case
Devon Noel Lee – Creating Simple and Complex Clue Webs to Solve Family Mysteries
Lisa Louise Cooke – The Genealogist’s Google Search Methodology 
Devon Noel Lee – Sifting Through the Townsends 

The online sessions will begin at 10 AM Eastern Time on September 11th. A final panel discussion will end the day.  All registrants will be able to view the conference for 30 days.  Register and get your questions answered by two of the most popular genealogy educators! Presentations are live, not pre-recorded, and you can ask questions throughout.

The Early Bird Price is only $19.99 until August 31st and then it will be $24.99

More information is available on the website:

Create Simple Block Charts

At the DNA Discussions group today, Gail Burk showed us a slick block chart of a portion of her family tree. When we discovered that the software used to create it was free, we all wanted to find out how! I promised to post the answer here in this site. Here is the information:

CLICK HERE to see the Rootstech video by Nicole Dyer titled “Organize your Dna Matches in a Diagram” to see how to create block charts of excerpts from your family tree. This video is aimed at documenting DNA in your family lines, but it can be used to display any block charts. It is using the free system at

(This reminds me of Visio!) Excellent. Thanks for the hint, Gail.