What is GeneaSpy?

GeneaSpy is an amateur genealogist who attends national, regional, and local genealogical conferences, who likes to take photos and meet people.

Monday, March 5, 2018

2018 OCCGS Genealogy Bash

2018 Orange County California Genealogical Society (OCCGS)
Genealogy Bash

 I attended the annual OCCGS Genealogy Bash this year featuring Judy G. Russell, The Legal Genealogist, Who just flew in from RootsTech. I have been attending this event since 2013 and it’s only an hour and a half drive from my house in Escondido up to Huntington Beach. By the way, Huntington Beach is where my Mom was born (in her parents’ house I might add) and grew up. OCCGS always puts on a spectacular event and very well organized. This year, President Hal Horrocks and his all-volunteer team yet again pulled out all the stops. There were several vendors, including Jean & Butch Hibben representing “Gena an Jean Genealogy Journeys at Sea” cruise. There was also plenty of door prize and drawing opportunities from sponsors like MyHeritage, Ancestry, GenealogyBank, RootsMagic, and Legacy Family Tree Software.

  Judy Russell had four topics for today:

·        More Than Just Names: Advanced US Census Research
·        NARA Mythbusters: Your Family IS in the Archives
·        When Worlds Collide: Revolving Conflicts in Genealogical Records
·        "Don't Forget the Ladies" - A Genealogist's Guide to Women and the Law

You know, you’d think I knew everything about "US Census research" since I have been doing it for over 15 years online… Nope! Judy not only showed us some tips and tricks, she showed us the reasoning behind different decades of census enumeration. The reasoning? Instructions! Each decade had a new set of rules and guidelines for the enumerator to follow and they are all published and available for free!

 “NARA Mythbusters” was a great refresher for me just coming back from a week-long course at SLIG about archives researching. I will be visiting NARA’s regional archives outside Atlanta, Georgia this June. “When World’s Collide” was where I really need help… resolving conflict in my research and writing it up. I have been a “name collector” for decades and it is hard for me to break out of that mold and do “real” genealogical research. Judy puts the process in a language I can understand. Now, if I can just do it! I left a little early and didn’t get to see “Don’t Forget the Ladies”, but I do have her syllabus on it. I have several generations in my tree that list just the men and no wives… why? I need to really work on this.

 During the lunch break, I looked through their historical books on Huntington Beach and there was very few to my surprise. I asked if they had old phone directories from the 1940’s and 1950’s and the reference desk person said no. So, I wandered down to the Genealogical books section, which I already knew had a great collection, and browsed the North Carolina and Virginia books. To my surprise, I found several books on a little county in Virginia called “Henry County”. That is where one of my maternal lines came from in the 1700’s. I didn’t have time to go through each book in detail so I will have to make a separate trip. I must say, the Huntington Beach Public Library has a vast selection of genealogical books.

 The OCCGS Genealogy Bash is worth the drive and I will be back again next year. I wonder what genealogy “Rock Star” they will have? Thank you to all the volunteers who made this happen and to the leadership of Hal Horrocks! You guys rock!

 At the end of the seminar, Hal was driving Judy to LAX to board a plane for Sydney, Australia so she could attend Congress 2018. Wow! What a jet-setter! 

Driving past Camp Pendleton on the way there. This is where my dad served.

Yes, I'm a ham.

Vendor hall

Candid camera: Jean and Butch Hibben before the people were let in.

President of OCCGS, Hal Horrocks introducing Judy Russell.

Very comfortable seats, great lighting, and great sound!

President of OCCGS, Hall Horrocks, and Judy G. Russell, JD, CG, CGL.

Myself and Judy with "FLat Laura" Luara Prescott.

The beautiful Hunting Beach Library.

My Mom's hometown!

Henry County, Virginia books.

The library opened in 1975.

I was on the far side. Most of the people sat on the right side - over 100!

Driving back past the defunct nuclear plant - San Onofre.

Monday, December 11, 2017

i4GG 2017 Conference

 2017 Institute for Genetic Genealogy (i4GG)

 I attended the 2017 Institute for Genetic Genealogy held in my beautiful hometown of San Diego. This was the2nd. time for me to attend the still new institute, this having been their 3rd. conference since 2014. It was founded by CeCe Moore and Dr. Tim Janzen to organize genetic genealogy conferences, funding genealogical and anthropological genetic testing, and considering a credentialing board.

  The two-day event was held at the Sheraton Hotel in Mission Valley on December 9th. & 10th. A few days before the conference I saw a post by CeCe Moore indicating that it was sold out! I heard an un-official count of approximately 273 people registered, not including the instructors and support staff.

 This conference was organized by CeCe and her husband, Lennart Martinson. Lennart runs his own film production company, and he used his expertise to film the whole conference which should be available in early February. Everything went smoothly with very few hiccups. The hundreds of people from throughout the U.S. and elsewhere were quite friendly and joyful. I met several Facebook friends in person for the first time and reconnected with several more.

 I also saw a larger San Diego area crowd than the previous year. This conference is geared to the intermediate to advanced genetic genealogists, but there were many beginners in attendance too. I would say a high percentage of people come to i4GG because they are honing in on their skills for their own business. I am there personally for my own education to help me understand how to break through brick walls in my family research.

Classes I attended on Saturday, December 9th.

·       Opening Keynote – CeCe Moore.
·       The Limitations of Cousin Matching – Blaine Bettinger, Ph.D., J.D.
·       What’s New at Gedmatch – 2017 – Kitty Cooper.
·       Creating and Utilizing Genetic Networks In Your Research – CeCe Moore.
·       Power Tools for the Genetic Genealogist – Angie Bush.

  Classes I attended on Sunday, December 10th.

·       Identifying the Man Known as Paul Fronczak through DNA Detective Work – CeCe Moore, Carol Rolnick and Michelle Trostler.
·       DNA Successes In–And Despite Of—Endogamy – Lara Diamond.
·       Using DNAGedcom’s GWorks – Rob Warthen, founder of DNAGedcom.
·       Breaking Down Genealogical Brick Walls with AncestryDNA – CeCe Moore.

·       Visual Phasing How-To – Blaine Bettinger, Ph.D., J.D.

  I took a few photos of the two-day event

CeCe Moore during the Keynote

Debby Anderson and Diane Hall - Bloggers and fellow SDGS members.

Two bass players! Myself and Jake Fletcher from Ancestry ProGenealogists

Packed house!

CeCe Moore of the DNA Detectives

Blaine Bettinger and Linda Okazaki

My friend from Arizona and fellow SLIG alumni - Mckell Keeney

Says it all!

Author of Genetic Genealogy in Practice, Blaine Bettinger!

The always entertaining, Kitty Cooper! Check out her blog!

The awesome Angie Bush of Ancestry ProGenealogists

I met my friend Janine Cloud from FTDNA finally! 

Panel with CeCe Moore, Carol Rolnick, and Michelle Trostler.

My friend and fellow SLIG alumni, Lara Diamond!

With the awesome Bonnie Schrack of DNA RootSearch

Blaine let us take photos! 

i4GG 2017 was a success!
Until next time!

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Jamboree 2017; Day 3

Sunday, 11 June 2017

 Last day! I hate the last day of conferences, plus I must drive two hours south to get home. Because of that, like last year and the year before, I skipped the last session, which I really wanted to attend! It was called, “Using the Bureau of Land Management Tract Books” by Michael John Neill. Well, at least I have the syllabus. Today, I attended another breakfast with Janet Hovorka of Family ChartMasters. Her talk was called, “Saving What’s in Your Attic” and was very helpful and informative talk of preservation. Later in the morning, I got a one on one with Diane Richard concerning some questions I had with my North Carolina ancestors. She was extremely helpful and even offered to email me some info on record repositories concerning the two counties I was interested in. Jamboree 2017 was definitely another success this year! I learned a lot, met new friends, saw old friends, and had a great time. I will be back in 2018!

Today’s classes I attended:

·       Breakfast: “Saving What’s in Your Attic” – Janet Hovorka, MLIS.

·       Two States, Multiple Counties – What’s a Border?” – Diane L. Richard.

·       Did Your Ancestors Own Slaves?” – Janice Lovelace, PhD..

  Here are some pictures from this day: 

Mark Olsen of  Mackiev Software donated these for my society!

Diane L. Richard - All things North Carolina!

Thanks for the pic Janet Hovorka! Love my DNA chart!

Thanks to SCGS and Jamboree! You guys are the best!!!

Official photo from the NextGen Genealogy Network meet-up.

Thanks again to all the wonderful people who put Jamboree together. You guys do so much work all year round to make this happen. A special thanks to Lise Harding and Kathy Holland - the social gurus of Jamboree - You guys rock!

See you next year!

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Jamboree 2017; Day 2

Saturday, 10 June 2017

 I started off by going to a breakfast sponsored by FamilySearch and featuring Michael Provard speaking about some lesser known search techniques on FamilySearch’s website. Mr. Provard was very knowledgeable and a down to earth speaker. Off to classes next with George Morgan and Gena Ortega. Just before lunch I attended a panel discussion on young genealogists and your local society. The panel brought up some interesting questions concerning how young genealogist feel when they attend a local genealogical meeting with mostly retired-age people. That was followed by most of the panelist having lunch together with the NextGen Genealogy Network, which I am a founding member.

 The afternoon consisted of three more classes with Drew Smith, DoctorMichaelLacopo (inside joke), and Miss Peggy Lauritzen. The day was capped off with a dinner banquet with the Reverend David McDonald. Before he went on, Denise Levenick presented the “Suzanne Winsor Freeman Memorial Genealogy Grant” to a young genealogist from Utah, Mindy Jacox. Next, Rev. Dave went on with his presentation, “If I’da Known the Future, I’da Got Here Sooner”. I believe I heard this before, probably at SLIG, but to hear it again blew my doors off! I am glad we have him in the genealogical community.

Today’s classes I attended:

·       Breakfast: “Using FamilySearch to Hunt Your Heritage: Advanced Research Tips” – Michael Provard.

·       Extend Your Research Using Digital Special Collections” – George G. Morgan.

·       Wives, Girlfriends, Widows, Exes and Mistresses: Documenting Women” –Gena Philibert-Ortega, MA, MAR.

·       Panel: “The Next Generation: Young Genealogists and Your Society” – Melanie Frick, MLS, Lisa Medina, Deborah Sweeney, Eric Wells (Construction Master), Paul A. Woodbury, Randy Whited.

·       Your Ancestor’s FAN Club: Using Cluster Research” – Drew Smith, MLS.

·       She Came from Nowhere… A Case Study Approach to a Complex Genealogical Problem” – Michael D. Lacopo, DVM.

·       Away, I’m Bound Away… Migration into the Shenandoah Valley” – Peggy Clemens Lauritzen, AG.

  Here are some pictures from this day: 

In the morning with Michael L. Strauss, AG.

Michael Provard at the FamilySearch breakfast.

George G. Morgan's sold out class!

The guys behind the live stream.

Getting ready for Gena Ortega's class.

Panel discussion led by Melanie Frick.

Paul Woodbury, Randy Whited, and Lisa Medina.

Eric Wells and Deborah Sweeney.

Melanie Frick did a great job with all the questions!

The NextGen Genealogy Network get together.

Mary Roddy and Miss Peggy.

TNGGN lunch.

Drew Smith gave a great presentation today!

The Linkpendium gurus - Wolf & Karen Leverich!

Dr. Michael Lacopo - Always takes a great photo!

Drew Smith popped into the Genealogy Gems booth.

Peggy Lauritzen's presentation on the Shenandoah was excellent!

Dinner banquet.

A present for my dad from Jane Van Tour. He loved them!

Mindy Jacox with Denise Levenick.

Rev. David McDonald - Awesome!