Monday, December 30, 2019

The Trujillo Adobe and Spanish Town Heritage Foundation January 5th 1:30 PM Riverside, CA

Inlandia Institute invites you to celebrate and learn about our area’s Native American connection and our genízaro pioneers, Sunday, January 5, 1:30 pm at the Culver Center.

Find out about the life and times of genízaro pioneers of La Placita/Agua Mansa, Alta California, Mexico, known today as Riverside and Colton, California, USA!

Who were genízaros? Why did they come to Alta California? What were they hoping to accomplish? How did they get here? Why here and not someplace else?

Join us with special guests: UCR Professor Emeritus Dr. Carlos Cortés and La Placita Descendants Leonard Trujillo and Nancy Melendez.

Learn about the Trujillo Adobe historical site, plans to restore it, and re-ignite the old Spanish Town settlement. Jot down your questions and join this illuminating conversation!

Dr. Carlos Cortés is a nationally known and award-winning author, teacher, consultant and speaker on a wide variety of issues related to diversity, multiculturalism, the impact of media, and cross-cultural understanding. He is Professor Emeritus of History at the University of California, Riverside. He served as the Creative/Cultural Advisor for Nickelodeon's award-winning children's television series, "Dora the Explorer" and "Go, Diego, Go!”

"Sometimes we become so distracted by national and world events that we overlook the historical dramas in our own backyard. It's nice to be able to participate in an event that brings our own local history to life." —Carlos Cortés

Leonard Trujillo is a direct descendant and a third great grandson of Lorenzo Trujillo & Maria Dolores Archuleta who settled in the San Bernardino Valley of Alta California in the early 1840’s. As a direct male descendant, Leonard was able to confirm through Y-DNA testing the Indigenous ancestry of his Trujillo family line in New Mexico. Freed by retirement, Leonard volunteers to help individuals trace their ancestry. He currently serves as president of the Southern California Chapter of the Genealogical Society of Hispanic America.

“And there were the intriguing stories of my paternal ancestors from New Mexico who established the first settlement in Riverside, California in the 1840’s and were described as Native Americans.” —Leonard Trujillo

Friday, December 27, 2019

US Birth Certificate Copies Exposed Online

This is a major security breach. An online company that allows users to obtain a copy of their birth and death certificates from U.S. state governments has exposed a massive cache of applications — including their personal information.

More than 752,000 applications for copies of birth certificates were found on an Amazon Web Services (AWS) storage bucket. The bucket, owned by a Barcelona-based company Onlinevitalus, wasn’t protected with a password, allowing anyone who knew the easy-to-guess web address access to the data.

The data exposed was for APPLICATIONS for birth certificate copies, not for copies of the birth certificates themselves. Even so, each application contained a lot of personal information that is not supposed to be exposed, including: the applicant’s name, date-of-birth, current home address, email address, phone number and historical personal information, including past addresses, names of family members and the reason for the application — such as applying for a passport or researching family history.

You can read more in an article by Zack Whittaker in the TechCrunch web site hit here.

Thursday, December 26, 2019

When a DNA Test Says You’re a Younger Man, Who Lives 5,000 Miles Away

After a bone marrow transplant, a man with leukemia found that his donor’s DNA traveled to unexpected parts of his body. A crime lab is now studying the case.

Three months after his bone marrow transplant, Chris Long of Reno, Nev., learned that the DNA in his blood had changed. It had all been replaced by the DNA of his donor, a German man he had exchanged just a handful of messages with.

He’d been encouraged to test his blood by a colleague at the Sheriff’s Office, where he worked. She had an inkling this might happen. It’s the goal of the procedure, after all: Weak blood is replaced by healthy blood, and with it, the DNA it contains.

But four years after his lifesaving procedure, it was not only Mr. Long’s blood that was affected. Swabs of his lips and cheeks contained his DNA — but also that of his donor. Even more surprising to Mr. Long and other colleagues at the crime lab, all of the DNA in his semen belonged to his donor. “I thought that it was pretty incredible that I can disappear and someone else can appear,” he said.

Mr. Long had become a chimera, the technical term for the rare person with two sets of DNA. The word takes its name from a fire-breathing creature in Greek mythology composed of lion, goat and serpent parts. Doctors and forensic scientists have long known that certain medical procedures turn people into chimeras, but where exactly a donor’s DNA shows up — beyond blood — has rarely been studied with criminal applications in mind.

Tens of thousands of people get bone marrow transplants every year, for blood cancers and other blood diseases including leukemia, lymphoma and sickle cell anemia. Though it’s unlikely that any of them would end up as the perpetrator or victim of a crime, the idea that they could intrigued Mr. Long’s colleagues at the Washoe County Sheriff’s Department, who have been using their (totally innocent) colleague in IT as a bit of a human guinea pig.

Where will the DNA go?

The implications of Mr. Long’s case, which was presented at an international forensic science conference in September, have now captured the interest of DNA analysts far beyond Nevada.

The average doctor does not need to know where a donor’s DNA will present itself within a patient. That’s because this type of chimerism is not likely to be harmful. Nor should it change a person. “Their brain and their personality should remain the same,” said Andrew Rezvani, the medical director of the inpatient Blood & Marrow Transplant Unit at Stanford University Medical Center.

He added that patients also sometimes ask him what it means for a man to have a woman’s chromosomes in their bloodstream or vice versa. “It doesn’t matter,” he said.

But for a forensic scientist, it’s a different story. The assumption among criminal investigators as they gather DNA evidence from a crime scene is that each victim and each perpetrator leaves behind a single identifying code — not two, including that of a fellow who is 10 years younger and lives thousands of miles away. And so Renee Romero, who ran the crime lab at the Washoe County Sheriff’s Office, saw an opportunity when her friend and colleague told her that his doctor had found a suitable match on a donor website and he would be undergoing a bone marrow transplant.

“We need to swab the heck out of you before you have this procedure to see how this DNA takes over your body,” she recalled telling him.

Mr. Long agreed. He welcomed an intriguing distraction from his diagnosis of acute myeloid leukemia and myelodysplastic syndromes, both of which impair the production of healthy blood cells.

To read more of this article hit here

Tuesday, December 24, 2019

The Genealogy Website That Helped Crack The Golden State Killer Case Has Been Bought By A Forensic Genetics Firm

Crime scene DNA sequencing company Verogen has just acquired GEDmatch, a genealogy database credited with helping to solve some 70 rapes and murders.

The transformation of genetic genealogy from a geeky pastime to a crime-fighting business opportunity has taken another leap forward.

Verogen, a San Diego-based company that provides equipment for high-tech sequencing of crime-scene DNA, today announced that it had acquired GEDmatch, a website that rose to fame after it led cops to the alleged Golden State Killer.

Since then, GEDmatch has been caught in the crossfire of a bitter argument between genealogists who believe the site has compromised its users’ privacy and those who want to work with law enforcement to help solve violent crimes.

“They have been pummelled by all sides,” said Margaret Press, co-founder of the DNA Doe Project, which uses genetic genealogy to put names to unidentified homicide victims.

Although GEDmatch’s new owner is a forensic science company, it is promising a firm line on protecting users who don’t want cops to access their genetic information. “We are very committed to privacy,” Verogen CEO Brett Williams told BuzzFeed News.

Launched by genealogy enthusiasts Curtis Rogers and John Olson in 2010, for years GEDmatch was an obscure website that allowed customers of DNA testing firms to expand their family trees by looking for relatives sharing matching stretches of DNA.

That all changed in April 2018 with the arrest of Joseph James DeAngelo, a former cop alleged to be the Golden State Killer, responsible for at least 13 murders and more than 50 rapes in California in the 1970s and 1980s.

Police in California and the FBI, working with a professional genealogist, Barbara Rae Venter, matched a crime-scene DNA sample to profiles in GEDmatch who were the killer’s third or fourth cousins.

Since then, GEDmatch has been used to help solve around 70 violent crimes. But the site’s new prominence as a crime-fighting tool has divided genealogists keen to work with law enforcement and those concerned that the practice has invaded users’ genetic privacy.

In May, there was an outcry from privacy advocates after Rogers allowed the site to be used to identify the perpetrator of a violent assault in Utah — bending rules put in place that were supposed to restrict cops to investigating homicides and sexual assaults.

Rogers and Olson responded by changing GEDmatch’s terms and conditions to require customers to explicitly opt-in for searching by law enforcement. The change drastically reduced the number of users who made their genetic information available for use by law enforcement, frustrating police and genealogists working with them.

Last month, the pendulum swung again when the New York Times reported that a Florida detective had obtained a warrant to search the entirety of GEDmatch — including the profiles of users who had not opted in for law enforcement searches.

GEDmatch quickly complied. But in a press release announcing its acquisition of the site, Verogen CEO Brett Williams indicated that his company would take a tougher line in future: “We are steadfast in our commitment to protecting users’ privacy and will fight any future attempts to access data of those who have not opted in.”

“You take each case on its merits,” Williams told BuzzFeed News. “But at the end of the day it’s important to have agreed terms of service.”

Verogen plans to make money by offering tools for DNA analysis and access to GEDmatch’s database. But Williams said it didn’t initially intend to employ its own genealogists — unlike Parabon NanoLabs, which has solved dozens of criminal cases, and Family Tree DNA, which hired Venter of the Golden State Killer team.

Rogers, who will remain involved with GEDmatch, did not immediately respond to queries from BuzzFeed News about the decision to sell up. But other genealogists say that they were not surprised that he and Olson decided it was time to relinquish control.

“I think that they’re too small and they’re tired of dealing with all of the hassle,” said Leah Larkin, a genealogist in Livermore, California. Larkin led the complaints that GEDmatch was sliding down a “slippery slope” after it allowed the investigation of the Utah assault.

The challenge for Verogen will be to convince users that a forensic science company will provide a useful service for genealogy enthusiasts while also serving law enforcement.

“It’s a delicate balance if they want to conserve this resource,” said Press.

Williams, Verogen’s CEO, said that the number of users who have opted in for law enforcement searches now stands at more than 200,000, and is growing.

“We’re not going to force people to opt in,” Williams said. “If I try that, I know I’ll undermine everything.”

Monday, December 23, 2019

Wishing all Happy Holidays

From your organization GSHA-SC, we want to thank you for your incredible support this year and wish you a very happy holidays. We look forward to seeing you at one of our upcoming meetings or tuning in to GoToMeeting this new year in 2020

Sunday, December 22, 2019

Friday, December 20, 2019

We’re Living In The DNA Future, But It’s Not The One We Were Promised

10 Years Ago, DNA Tests Were The Future Of Medicine. Now They’re A Social Network — And A Data Privacy Mess. We were offered personalized medicine. Instead, we got Facebook for our DNA.

“Genetics just got personal.” So boasted the website of 23andMe in 2008, just after launching its DNA testing service.

As we entered this decade, a small cohort of companies — 23andMe, its Silicon Valley neighbor Navigenics, and Icelandic competitor deCODE Genetics — were selling a future of personalized medicine: Patients would hold the keys to longer and healthier lives by understanding the risks written into their DNA and working with their doctors to reduce them.

“We all carry this information, and if we bring it together and democratize it, we could really change health care,” 23andMe cofounder Anne Wojcicki told Time magazine when it dubbed the company’s DNA test 2008’s “invention of the year,” beating out Elon Musk’s Tesla Roadster.

But in reality, the 2010s would be when genetics got social. As the decade comes to a close, few of us have discussed our genes with our doctors, but millions of us have uploaded our DNA profiles to online databases to fill in the details of our family trees, explore our ethnic roots, and find people who share overlapping sequences of DNA.

It’s become like Facebook for genes, driven by the same fundamental human desire to connect. And, as with Mark Zuckerberg’s social media behemoth, this is the decade we reckoned with what it really means to hand over some of our most personal data in the process.

It all panned out differently from the way I imagined in 2009, when I paid $985 to deCODE and $399 to 23andMe to put my DNA into the service of science journalism. (I spared my then-employer, New Scientist magazine, the $2,500 charge for the boutique service offered by Navigenics.)

I was intrigued by the potential of DNA testing for personalized medicine, but from the beginning, I was also concerned about privacy. I imagined a future in which people could steal our medical secrets by testing the DNA we leave lying around on discarded tissues and coffee cups. In 2009, a colleague and I showed that all it took to “hack” my genome in this way was a credit card, a private email account, a mailing address, and DNA testing companies willing to do business without asking questions.

Much of the rest of what I wrote about DNA testing back then reflected pushback from leading geneticists who argued that the companies’ visions of personalized medicine weren’t ready for primetime.

As I explored the reports offered by 23andMe and deCODE, I couldn’t help but agree — especially when deCODE wrongly concluded that I carry two copies of a variant of a gene that would give me a 40% lifetime chance of developing Alzheimer’s. (Luckily, it wasn’t cause for panic. I’d pored over my DNA in enough detail by then to know that I carry only one copy, giving me a still-elevated but much less scary lifetime risk of about 13%.)

Despite such glitches, it still seemed that medicine was where the payoffs of mainstream genetic testing were going to be. As costs to sequence the entire genome plummeted, I expected gene-testing firms to switch from using “gene chips” that scan hundreds of thousands of genetic markers to new sequencing technology that would allow them to record all 3 billion letters of our DNA.

So in 2012, eager to provide our readers with a preview of what was to come, New Scientist paid $999 for me to have my “exome” sequenced in a pilot project offered by 23andMe. This is the 1.5% of the genome that is “read” to make proteins — and is where the variants that affect our health are most likely to lurk.

Experts at the Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee analyzed my exome. While they weren’t at that point able to tell me much of medical significance that I didn’t already know, the article I wrote from the experience in 2013 predicted a future in which doctors would routinely scour their patients’ genomes for potential health problems and “prescribe drugs that have been specifically designed to correct the biochemical pathways concerned.”

I’m glad I included an important caveat: “This may take several decades.”

By then, the revolution promised by 23andMe and its competitors was faltering. Navigenics and deCODE had both been acquired by bigger companies and stopped selling DNA tests directly to the public.

23andMe, backed by the deep pockets of Google and other Silicon Valley investors, had enough cash to continue. But it fell foul of the FDA, which had decided that the company was selling “medical devices” that needed official approval to be put on the market. In a 2013 warning letter, the FDA said that 23andMe had failed to provide adequate evidence that its tests produced accurate results. By the end of 2013, 23andMe had stopped offering assessments of health risks to new customers.

Since then, the company has slowly clawed its way back into the business of health. In 2015, it was given FDA approval to tell customers whether they were carriers for a number of inherited diseases; in 2017, it started providing new customers with assessments of health risks once more.

I recently updated my 23andMe account, getting tested on the latest version of its chip. My results included reports on my genetic risk of experiencing 13 medical conditions. Back in 2013, there were more than 100 such reports, plus assessments of my likely responses to a couple dozen drugs.

In the lab, discovery has continued at a pace, but relatively few findings have found their way into the clinic.

To read more of this article hit here

Thursday, December 19, 2019

GEDMatch Message from Curtis Rogers

To GEDmatch users,

As you may know, on December 9 we shared the news that GEDmatch has been purchased by Verogen, Inc., a forensic genomics company whose focus is human ID. This sale took place only because I know it is a big step forward for GEDmatch, its users, and the genetic genealogical community. Since the announcement, there has been speculation about a number of things, much of it unfounded.

There has been concern that law enforcement will have greater access to GEDmatch user information. The opposite is true. Verogen has firmly and repeatedly stated that it will fight all unauthorized law enforcement use and any warrants that may be issued. This is a stronger position than GEDmatch was previously able to implement.

There has been concern that Verogen will eliminate GEDmatch free tools and raise Tier 1 rates. In fact, Verogen has made it clear that the free tools will remain, and there are no immediate plans to raise Tier 1 rates.

It has been reported on social media that there is a mass exodus of kits from the GEDmatch database. There has been a temporary drop in the database size only because privacy policies in place in the various countries where our users reside require citizens to specifically approve the transfer of their data to Verogen. As users grant permission, that data will again be visible on the site. We are proactively reaching out to these users to encourage them to consent to the transfer.

The sale to Verogen will be a tremendous benefit to genealogists. Verogen has pledged to continue the GEDmatch philosophy of providing free services. It recognizes that all information belongs to the users who have placed it on GEDmatch, that this information may be removed by the users at any time, and that strong privacy protections need to be in place. It is to Verogen's advantage to build the consumer database, meaning more and better matches for users. Verogen recognizes that law enforcement use of genetic genealogy is here to stay and is in a better position to prevent abuses and protect privacy than GEDmatch ever could have done on its own.

Bottom line: I am thrilled that the ideal company has purchased GEDmatch. The baby I created will now mature for the benefit of all involved. If anyone has any doubts, I may be reached at gedmatch@gmail.com. I will do my best to personally respond to all concerns.

Curtis Rogers

Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Genealogy Garage Schedule for the year 2020

Your GSHA-SC organization helps support the education of genealogy to its members and to the public at large. The diverse subject matter may not pertained to Hispanic research but the concepts of research is the same. Please take time and attend or suggest to your friends that education is available on the third Saturday of the month at the downtown Los Angeles Public Library. If you become a member of the library, the parking is negotiable and the genealogy library located within is a vast source of material that may help you in you search. Location of the Los Angeles Public Library is
630 W. Fifth St., Los Angeles, CA 90071

Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Genetic testing is an inexact science with real consequences

How flawed genetic testing could be used for more than screwing up your race.

Three years ago, I put my faith in a 23andMe DNA test and got burned.

While most of my results initially checked out — about 50 percent South Asian and what looked like a 50 percent hodgepodge of European — there was one glaring surprise. Where roughly 25 percent Italian was supposed to be, Middle Eastern stood in its place. The results shocked me.

Over the years, I had made a lot of the Italian portion of my heritage; I had learned the language, majored in Latin in college, and lived in Rome, Italy, for my semester abroad. Still, as a rational person, I believed the science. But my grandmother, whose parents moved from Sicily to Brooklyn, where she was born and grew up speaking Italian, refused to accept the findings.

Fast forward to this summer, when I got an email about new DNA relations on 23andMe and revisited my updated genetic results, only to find out that I am, in fact, about a quarter Italian (and generally southern European). But it was too late to tell my grandma. She’s dead now and I’m a liar.

This sort of thing happens a lot because ancestry DNA testing — and genetic testing in general — is an inexact science that’s prone to errors throughout almost every step of the process. As my Vox colleague Brian Resnick has explained, some small amount of error is unavoidable within the technical portion of analyzing your DNA.

Making the results of these tests even more unreliable is the fact that their whole ancestry component is based on self-reported surveys from people who say they belong to one ancestry or another — an inherently flawed practice. Sample sizes vary by location and by testing company, so there’s a big disparity in data quality, especially if you happen to not be white. That’s because Europeans are much more represented in DNA databases and therefore, much more exact information can be gleaned about their DNA.

Of course, what would be much more troubling than getting someone’s heritage or hair color wrong is using that information to inform decisions made about that person. And as more people submit their DNA to genetic testing companies, and more law enforcement and government agencies figure out ways to use this deeply personal genetic information, it could be used against us. Making matters more concerning is that there are very few legal safeguards on what companies and governments can and can’t do with data gleaned from direct-to-consumer genetic tests.

“Under existing law it would be legal to very broadly share consumer information if you disclose that that was happening in the privacy policy and terms of service with the customer,” James Hazel, a research fellow at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, who has done research on genetics test privacy policies, told Recode. And companies don’t have to stick with existing privacy policies, either. “Nearly every company reserves the right to change their privacy policies at any time.”

Of course, few people read privacy policies in the first place (under 10 percent always do so, according to a new Pew Research study). And the existing privacy policies for genetic testing aren’t necessarily clear or forthcoming. Hazel found that 39 percent of the 90 genetics testing companies he researched had “no readily accessible policy applicable to genetic data on their website.”

Hazel says some of the biggest genetics testing companies, like 23andMe and Ancestry, have signed on to a list of best practices, a policy framework created by the Future of Privacy Forum, which includes both consumer and industry advocacy groups. The practices include agreements to be transparent around data collection, to take strong security measures, and to use valid legal processes when working with law enforcement. While signing a pledge with these well-intentioned ideas is comforting, they’re ultimately vague and not legally mandated. Failing to live up to these tenets is a PR flub, rather than a legal burden.

He also warned that while large companies might be motivated by public opinion, consumer feedback, and media scrutiny, smaller companies tend to be overlooked and left to do what they want, under the radar.

“Just like the industry is very diverse in terms of tests offered, also the information and the quality of the privacy policies are all over the map,” he told Recode.

To read more of the article hit here

Friday, December 13, 2019

How Genetic Genealogy Helps Crack Cold Cases

Home DNA tests taken by criminals' unwitting family members have been key to many cases.

A Maryland beat cop with a knack for genealogy helped catch the suspected Potomac River Rapist 28 years after his first known attack.

Police said Thursday that genetic genealogy techniques were crucial to catching Giles Daniel Warrick. Now 60, Warrick is accused of raping 10 women in D.C. and Maryland in the 1990s and killing a 29-year-old victim in 1998.

As details on Warrick's specific case emerge, here's a step-by-step look at how genetic genealogy works. Home DNA tests taken by criminals' unwitting family members have been key to many cases.

Here's how it works:

1. DNA is taken from a crime scene. Investigators use the DNA to search for a match in criminal DNA databases.

2. Twenty genetic markers are used to search for an exact match in a criminal database.

3. If there's not an exact match, investigators can turn to public DNA databases. With 10 out of 20 markers matching, investigators can identify a close relative, such as a parent or sibling.

4. Once a familial connection is established, a genealogist can build a family tree to home in on possible suspects.

5. Using old-fashioned police work, the list of suspects can be further narrowed down. Investigators collect DNA samples from the top suspects to confirm.

6. An arrest is made.

For more information hit here

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Getting ready for the hoildays

With the holidays approaching and relatives possibly getting together, as genealogist we should ask the questions that will help later generations know who the individuals are if the answers are written down. Please use the following questions for your assistance in gathering information.

Questions to Ask Your Relatives

I hear it all the time: “I wish I had asked my grandmother (any older relative) more questions about our family!” It seems there are always vital pieces of information that we realize we need for our family history, after our relative’s funeral.

Perhaps you haven’t asked questions because you don’t know what to ask, or you may have so many questions that you don’t know where to begin. I’ve tried to simplify the task by creating the following list. I’ve grouped the questions by topic so you can ask them at different times and occasions. If you visit with your relative frequently you may want to ask 5-10 questions each time you visit. Or you might want to ask questions related to one topic. Family holiday gatherings may not be the best time to ask too many questions, although some answers would be entertaining and informative for the whole group. And remember, most people love to talk about themselves!

You may want to video the exchange, take notes by hand, or type answers on a laptop. Do whatever is most comfortable for you and for your relative. And be prepared for extended answers and stories. Once someone gets started on a topic you may be surprised by the memories that come flooding back.

These are just suggestions. You’ll want to adjust them according to your relative’s age, your relationship, and what you already know. But these should get you started. (I’ve included a few personal notes in parentheses.) Another suggestion: answer the questions about yourself so your children or grandchildren won’t have to ask YOU.


What is your full name? Why did your parents choose that name for you? Did you have a nickname? (My great-grandmother’s name was the last name of the doctor who delivered her.)

When and where were you born?

What is your earliest memory?

Who were your friends when you were growing up?

Who were your childhood heroes?

Did you have any pets? If so, what kind and what were their names? (My grandfather had a pet crow.)

Did you receive an allowance? How much? Did you save your money or spend it?

Were you ever mentioned in a newspaper?

What accomplishments were you the most proud of?

What is the one thing you most want people to remember about you?


What state did you live in as a child? Do you know why your parents lived there? Were there other family members in the area? Who? (Several members of my father’s family went to CA together to seek work.)

What is the first house you remember? What was it like? How many rooms? Bathrooms? Did it have electricity? Indoor plumbing? Telephones?

Were there any special items in the house that you remember?

What other homes did you live in as a child?

How did you end up living where you are now?


What do you know about your family surname?

Who was the oldest relative you remember as a child? What do you remember about them?

Did you have family chores? What were they? Which was your least favorite?

Describe a typical family dinner. Did you all eat together as a family? Who usually did the cooking? What were your favorite foods? What food did you hate? (My dad loved liver and onions and I hated it.)

How were holidays (birthdays, Christmas, etc.) celebrated in your family? Did your family have special traditions?

Is there a naming tradition in your family, such as always giving the firstborn son the name of his paternal grandfather?

What stories have come down to you about your parents? Grandparents? More distant ancestors?

Are there any stories about famous or infamous relatives your family?

Have any recipes been passed down to you from family members?

Are there any physical characteristics that run in your family?

Are there any special heirlooms, photos, bibles or other memorabilia that have been passed down in your family?


What was your religion growing up?

What church, if any, did you attend?

Do you have any special memories of a service, camp, or other church event?


Where did you attend grade school? High school? College?

What were your best and worst subjects?

What school activities and sports did you participate in?

Who were your best friends in school?

Did you ever get in trouble in school?

Did you receive any awards?


What kind of games did you play growing up?

What was your favorite toy and why?

What was your favorite thing to do for fun (movies, beach, etc.)?

What were your favorite songs and music?

Do you remember any fads from your youth? Popular hairstyles? Clothes?

Was there a favorite “hang out” place in your town?


What is/was your profession and how did you choose it?

What was your first job? How much were you paid?

If you could have had any other profession what would it have been? Why wasn't it your first choice?

What is the worst job you’ve ever had? Best?

Military Service

Were you in the military? What years? What branch of the military?

Did you volunteer or were you drafted?

Where did you serve?

What was your rank?

What were your duties?

What do you remember most about your time in the service?


When and how did you meet your spouse? Where did you go on dates?

What was the full name of your spouse? Siblings? Parents?

What was it like when you proposed (or were proposed to)? Where and when did it happen?

Where and when did you get married?

Where did you live when you got married?


What world events had the most impact on you while you were growing up? Did any of them personally affect your family? (My grandmother told many stories about the Depression years.)

How is the world today most different from what it was like when you were a child?

Sunday, December 8, 2019

I've taken DNA tests from Ancestry and 23andMe. Here's the one critical thing you need to know before you buy a kit.

About four years ago, I sent in my samples of spit to 23andMe and Ancestry to find out what my DNA could tell me about my family history and health. I've also taken the now discontinued test from National Geographic. At the time, I thought that the initial reports would be the only time I looked at my results. Instead, I've found myself turning back to them frequently and finding new updates. In one case, my ancestry results in one update looked completely different from the next one,

Read in Business Insider in hitting here

Saturday, December 7, 2019

GSHA-SC General Meeting and Potluck Lunch, December 7, 2019 10am to 2pm

GSHA Southern California Chapter Tamale meeting, Saturday, December 7, 2019, 10:00 am. Please come to the General meeting to hear Dr. Gloria Arjona presentation on De Armas Tomar: Women in the Mexican Revolution. Afterwards we will be celebrated a potluck and tamale lunch. Please bring a side dish, entree, or desert to help out with the participation of the lunch. A door prize drawing will take place to help the organization. Participants do not need to be present for some of the prizes. If you wish to enter, please send a check or money order to the mail box by December 1, 2019. The General Public is invited.

Friday, December 6, 2019

I Took DNA Tests in the U.S. and China. The Results Concern Me Privacy is big question, as governments seek access to DNA data.

Spitting into the plastic test tube, I felt nervous. I was offering up a piece of myself for decoding, and while this time there was no silver-haired sage, it reminded me of a visit to a fortune teller when I was 21.

Then, I offered the palm of my hand in a bid to divine what fate had planned for me. Now, it was DNA, with my saliva destined for a laboratory in southwest China, to the headquarters of Chengdu 23Mofang Biotechnology Co., a startup that’s seeking to tap a boom in consumer genetics in the world’s most populous nation.

Rising awareness of genetically-linked diseases like Alzheimer’s and a natural human curiosity for insight into the future is fueling a global market for direct-to-consumer DNA testing that’s predicted to triple over the next six years. In China, where the government has embraced genetics as part of its push to become a scientific superpower, the industry is expected to see $405 million in sales by 2022, according to Beijing research firm EO Intelligence, an eight-fold increase from 2018. Some 4 million people will send away test tubes of spit in China this year, and I had just become one of them.

To read more of this article , hit here

Monday, December 2, 2019

8 Best Ancestry DNA Test Kits On Amazon

(This article was written by Latin Times. The kits ar not listed in preference order. GSHA-SC does not endorse any product over another. To read more of the article hit here)

A DNA test kit is a fun yet informative way of achieving self-discovery. Some focus on how your genes can affect your well-being; others map a family tree that might help you discover distant relatives online. We have listed some of the most popular at-home DNA test kits that are geared for your specific needs. Try out 8 of the best ancestry DNA test kits on Amazon:...

1. AncestryDNA Genetic Ethnicity Test
The AncestryDNA Genetic Ethnicity Test includes a saliva collection tube with a 15-digit activation code that identifies your sample for analysis that lasts six to eight weeks. The results are then posted online to be accessed through an Ancestry.com account

2. 23andMe Ancestry+Traits Service
23andMe’s Ancestry+Traits Service, which includes a special saliva collection tube kit that is sent back to 23andMe’s labs for analysis, features an Automatic Family Tree that gives you a complete view of your lineage as well as a DNA Relative Finder for connecting to those in your family tree.

3. 23andMe Health+Ancestry Service
23andMe’s Health+Ancestry Service, which comes with a saliva-collecting tube to be returned for analysis at 23andMe’s labs, has four unique tests that include your health dispositions, how your genes can affect overall wellness, carrier status of inherited conditions, and how DNA influences your traits – like whether you prefer salty or sweet food.

4. MyHeritage DNA Test Kit
The MyHeritage DNA Test Kit comes with two cheek swabs that are then sent back to the MyHeritage labs for analysis. The results, available online at the MyHeritage website, will reveal your ancestors’ origins from among 42 ethnic groups along with an updated list of people around the world who share your DNA.

5. AncestryDNA Genetic Ethnicity+Traits Test
Aside from your family tree and a list of people holding your DNA, the AncestryDNA Genetic Ethnicity+Traits Test lets you discover 26 of your most interesting traits that allow you to discover how your genes influence your appearance, senses and personality.

6. Vitagene DNA Test Kit
The Vitagene DNA Test Kit delivers complete results at an affordable price! The results, requiring a saliva sample for analysis, are unique because it lets you know exactly which food, exercises and vitamins are good for you alongside a detailed breakdown of your ancestry.

7. TellmeGen DNA Test Kit
The TellmeGen DNA Test Kit delivers cost-free (yes, cost-free) results that not only let you know your ancestry, but also if you are a carrier of certain inherited conditions (with 75+ analyzed inherited disorders), your predisposition to health conditions (with 100+ analyzed health conditions) and also your personal traits.

8. FamilyTreeDNA Family Finder Test
FamilyTreeDNA’s Family Finder Test Kit comes with a cheek swab that is then sent to FamilyTreeDNA’s labs for analysis. The results not only show a breakdown of your geographical origins, but also the amount of autosomal DNA carried from either the Neolithic hunter-gatherers, the early farmers, or Bronze Age metal invaders.