Saturday, November 28, 2020

GSHA Annual Meeting December 19, 5pm PST

Though GSHA had to forgo the annual conference this year due to Covid 19, they are still required to have an annual business meeting per the bylaws. 

Therefore, the Board of Directors has agreed to a date of December 19th. Saturday, 2020, time 5 pm PST, 6 pm MST, 7 pm CST and 8 pm EST. Meeting will be on Zoom, and an invitation will be sent on December 17th. Please download the ZOOM app, on computer and/or phone, if you wish to attend the meeting.

If you have an item to be added to the agenda or you wish to receive an invitation to zoom, please send to: president@gshaa.org and gsha.secretary@gmail.com, by December 10th.

Thursday, November 26, 2020

Finding Women's Maiden Names

One of the most difficult things a family historian faces is tracking the women in their family. To watch the video, hit here

Join Crista Cowan as she shares tips to discover the maiden names of the women in your family!

Bringing together science and self-discovery, Ancestry helps everyone, everywhere discover the story of what led to them. Our sophisticated engineering and technology harnesses family history and consumer genomics, combining billions of rich historical records, millions of family trees, and samples from almost 10 million people in the AncestryDNA database to provide people with deeply meaningful insights about who they are and where they come from. What will you discover about your personal history with Ancestry?  

Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Family Secrets Emerge as DNA Testing Gains Popularity

Two families with lifelong secrets unearthed because of home DNA test kits are now dealing with the truth. Here's what their stories tell us about the shock that can come from new ancestry technology, and how to deal with it. To watch the video, hit here

Friday, November 20, 2020

GSHA-SC Writer's Workshop Nov 22, 2020 2-4pm

 Please see attached flyer for more information

Wednesday, November 18, 2020

DNA testing can share all your family secrets. Are you ready for that?

 To watch the video, hit here

DNA testing is all about unlocking secrets. But sometimes surrendering your saliva may also mean surrendering a bit of privacy – yours or someone else's. 

“I think people need to be prepared and warned that they might find out something that could make them very uncomfortable," said Jeff Hettinger, one of the growing number of people who submitted a sample and discovered a sibling he never knew existed. His dad had never told him.

DNA testing from the likes of leading services 23andMe and Ancestry, among others, has always boiled down to risk and reward, a fascination and curiosity about one’s roots and/or predispositions to disease, balanced against trepidations around privacy, security, and, for sure, the possibility of an awkward or identity-altering discovery.

It also has some of the top DNA testing companies in the industry banding together to put privacy front and center.

Tuesday, November 17, 2020

Hispanic Genealogy Talk


Hispanic Genealogy Talk is a podcast that will encourage others who are looking for their Hispanic ancestors. The episodes will include book recommendations, articles, History, interviews with Hispanic genealogists and others who have tips for the subscribers to help them on their journey of discovery.
Listen on Spotify

If you are unaware of one of our member's from GSHA-SC Cynthia A Rodriquez. To listen to her many podcast, please hit here

A LONG JOURNEY The Hidden Jews of the Southwest

 A new documentary to air on PBS telling story of the hidden Jews of New Mexico and the US Southwest, including history, genealogy, etc.

Please check with your local PBS schedule to determine when it will air.

For more info:, hit here

Monday, November 16, 2020

Tales, Tools, and Tips of the Trade: Using Spanish Documents in your Genealogy December 5, 2020 10:00-10:45am PST

Tales, Tools, and Tips of the Trade: Using Spanish Documents in your Genealogy

Please join Aaron C. Taylor, Ph.D., President of Taylor Translation Services by emailing your request to taylortranslationsnm@gmail.com and state you wish to view his presentation. Remember our general meeting will begin at 11:00 AM PST.

December 5, 2020 10:00 – 10:45 AM PST (Please note that flyer is for Mountain Standard Time)

· How can you go beyond just extracting of the name, dates, and places for your family tree?

· What online resources are available to improve your reading skills at historical Spanish documents?

· What online sources can you use to find more Spanish-language documents connected to your ancestors?

Would you like answers to these questions?

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 881 9936 4414
Passcode: 071711
One tap mobile
+12532158782,,88199364414# US (Tacoma)
+13462487799,,88199364414# US (Houston)

Dial by your location
        +1 253 215 8782 US (Tacoma)
        +1 346 248 7799 US (Houston)
        +1 669 900 6833 US (San Jose)
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        +1 312 626 6799 US (Chicago)
        +1 929 436 2866 US (New York)
Meeting ID: 881 9936 4414
Find your local number: https://us02web.zoom.us/u/kc5eE03PTT

Unete / Join Up! Exploring Charro Culture in Colorado


from Kathy DeHerrera (FACC member) by way of History Colorado.

"Exploring Charro Culture in Colorado" and can be found at 


(The actual program starts about 10 minutes into the video.)

It features three 15 minute presentations by:

 1. Geraldo (Jerry) Diaz, 4th generation charro, showing charro gear, demonstrating skills, and discussing charro values and his work with the Great Western Stock Show in Denver

2.  Dr. Santiago Guerra of Colorado College discussing the origins of ranching traditions in Spain and Mexico, and the beginning of charros in Mexico

3.  Dr. Laura Barraclough of Yale U. detailing the birth of charro associations in the U.S., and how charros were active in their communities, especially Pueblo and Denver.

This is followed by a Q&A.

Friday, November 13, 2020

Two presentations from John Schmal are available to our members. Nov 14th at 1pm and Dec 5 at 1pm.

John Schmal will conduct an Indigenous Mexico presentation on Saturday, Nov. 14th, at 1:P.M. via Zoom. A flyer is attached, but you can also register at this link (no charge for attending) To register, please hit here

And Indigenous Jalisco presentation by zoom will follow on Saturday, December 5th. It is also on the calendar.

In the meantime, John wants to remind you that you can access information about Indigenous Mexico at the following links:



He recently updated this part of the website with presentations on how to find your indigenous roots in Mexico:


He also updated the census link with new data about Michoacán, Jalisco, San Luis Potosí, Nayarit, Chihuahua and Sonora.

Tuesday, November 10, 2020

FACC Membership meeting Speaker Presentation: Hispanic Women in the Military (A Personal story) 11am, Business meeting 12 pm Time: Nov 14, 2020 11:00 AM Mountain Time (US and Canada)

FACC Membership meeting

Speaker Presentation: Hispanic Women in the Military (A Personal story) 11am, Business meeting 12 pm

Time: Nov 14, 2020 11:00 AM Mountain Time 10:00AM Pacific Time (US and Canada)

To join the Zoom Meeting Hit here


Meeting ID: 810 5710 9590

Passcode: 585276

One tap mobile

+12532158782,,81057109590# US (Tacoma)

+13462487799,,81057109590# US (Houston)

Dial by your location

        +1 253 215 8782 US (Tacoma)

        +1 346 248 7799 US (Houston)

        +1 669 900 6833 US (San Jose)

        +1 301 715 8592 US (Washington D.C)

        +1 312 626 6799 US (Chicago)

        +1 929 436 2866 US (New York)

Meeting ID: 810 5710 9590

Find your local number: https://us02web.zoom.us/u/kyciqaLBL

Monday, November 9, 2020

GSHA-SC Zoom Presentation on Mexico's Early Cookbooks at 11am on Saturday, December 5, 2020

Please RSVP to gshasocal@gmail.com to receive a zoom link to hear presenter Maite Gomez-Rejoin on her examination of early Mexican cuisine. Please stay afterwards to hear the organization general meeting on business and election of officers. 


Saturday, November 7, 2020

Two Sisters Took a DNA Test. It Revealed That Everything They Knew About Their Family Was Wrong.

 It also solved a heartbreaking, decades-long kidnapping mystery.

It all started out innocently enough. In 2017, Audrey Bell, a 51-year-old mother of triplets from Long Island, hopped on the internet to purchase a 23andMe testing kit to help her figure out which of her triplets were the identical siblings and which was the fraternal sibling. But when she received the results weeks later, they revealed something curious.

The testing was able to correctly identify which of her triplets was the fraternal sibling, but while their heritage was categorized as Southern European, the ancestry composition didn’t mention anything specifically about Italy. That struck Bell as odd, since her father, Richard Palmadesso, had always been so proud of his Italian ancestry. She mentioned the results to her twin, Cynthia McFadden, her younger sister, Stephanie Palmadesso, and her parents, who were also confused about the lack of Italian ancestry. (Cynthia and Audrey are twin sisters who go by their married last names.) Still, no one thought much of it at the time.

Then, at the end of 2019, Cynthia also decided to take a 23andMe test. Similarly, she was surprised to see that she had no Italian heritage. The sisters didn’t know what to make of their results, and grew more suspect this time around. Their father had passed away in 2017, so by this point, they couldn’t ask him any questions or have him take his own DNA test.

To read moreof the article, hit here

Thursday, November 5, 2020

Telling the Entire Story of Mexico’s Indigenous People A One-Stop Resource for Information on Mexico's Indigenous People

 If you have not discover John Schmal's new website "Telling the Entire Story of Mexico’s Indigenous People, A One-Stop Resource for Information on Mexico's Indigenous People" hit here

If you do not know about John Schmal, here is a short bio. 

John P. Schmal is a historian, genealogist, and lecturer. He was born and raised in Los Angeles, California. After graduating from high school, John attended Loyola-Marymount University in Los Angeles and St. Cloud State University in Minnesota, where he studied Geography, History and Earth Sciences and received two BA degrees.

John specializes in the genealogical research and Indigenous history of several Mexican states, especially Chihuahua, Nayarit Zacatecas, Jalisco and Guanajuato. He is also the author of several books, including Mexican-American Genealogical Research: Following the Paper Trail to Mexico (Heritage Books, 2002) and The Journey to Latino Political Representation (Heritage Books, 2007). In addition to being a GSHA member, he serves on the board of the Society of Hispanic Historical Ancestral Research (SHHAR).

Tuesday, November 3, 2020

Should you be worried about your DNA privacy?

 I've always been wary of at-home DNA tests, and I don't think I'm alone in that. There are a lot of things I regularly do that might compromise my personal information-online shopping, banking, and healthcare communications spring to mind-but sending off a sample of my DNA to some huge corporation? No, thank you.

So when my editor floated the idea of doing a deep-dive into the privacy and security practices of at-home DNA kits, I was first in line to volunteer. I was genuinely curious to find out just how well these companies protect their users' information, and some of the things I found during my research surprised me.

For this article, we’re going to focus on a few key privacy concerns, including:

Data storage

Third-party information access

Biospecimen handling

And law enforcement probes

However, you should always carefully review the terms and conditions of any DNA testing service to ensure you fully understand your rights and how the company plans to protect your privacy.

One of the first issues that comes to my mind with any type of sensitive information is whether it’s susceptible to a data breach. After all, if huge corporations such as Equifax can be compromised by cybercriminals, what’s stopping hackers from going after a DNA testing company?

In fact, it’s happened before. Just last year, DNA-testing firm Veritas Genetics experienced a data breach, according to Bloomberg, and security experts aren’t surprised: “Any data repository with rich personal data in it will be a target for cybercriminals,” explains cybersecurity expert Tony Anscombe, Chief Security Evangelist at internet security company ESET.

“The potential for sensitive information, such as genealogy, to be used by cybercriminals in extortion campaigns is highly probable if the information was to be compromised in a data breach,” Anscombe continues. “While regulation is no guarantee of security, it would seem logical for genetic data to be covered under a regulation such as HIPAA or something similar to ensure that companies provide adequate cybersecurity measures to protect the data.”

HIPAA is the common term used for the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, which sets strict national standards for the protection of sensitive patient health information—chances are you’ve had to sign HIPAA forms at your annual doctor’s appointments. However, these standards have yet to be extended to DNA testing services, despite the fact that genetic information is health information.

So what, exactly, are DNA companies doing to protect your information? We reached out to two of the biggest companies in the at-home DNA testing industry—AncestryDNA and 23andMe—to ask.

“Personal information and genetic information are stored separately in secured, segmented databases,” explained a 23andMe spokesperson. “We employ the highest industry standards for authentication, encryption, and authorization to our systems … We also use the highest industry-standard security measures to encrypt sensitive information both at rest, in transit, and while processing in our databases. Access to sensitive information is limited to authorized personnel, based on job function and administrative need. 23andMe access combines token-based, multi-factor authentication, and strict least-privileged authorization controls.”

To read the rest of the article, hit here

Monday, November 2, 2020

La Sierra: A discussion on the struggle for land rights


Coming Thursday: A discussion on the struggle for land rights

Coming Thursday: A discussion on the struggle for land rights


5 November Thursday / 6 pm
Zoom Video Conferencing / Suggested donation $5

La Llorona: Myth, Memory, and Imagination

Join us on Zoom on Thursday, November 5, at 6 pm, for our next Borderlands of Southern Colorado online lecture. This panel discussion will feature Shirley Romero Otero, Juanita Martinez, Jose Martinez, Rocky Madrid, Roy Esquibel, and Ronnie Cordova and will include an introduction by artist Shelby Head.

For 150 years descendants of Mexican settlers in Costilla County, Colorado have claimed communal rights to graze livestock, hunt and fish, and gather firewood on La Sierra, the mountain tract in the Culebra Valley above the village of San Luis. Hear from members of the Land Rights Council tell their stories related to the ongoing struggle to guarantee access to La Sierra, originally granted through the 1844 Sangre de Cristo Land Grant.

The Borderlands of Southern Colorado Lecture Series is generously supported by the Sangre de Cristo National Heritage Area and Colorado State University-Pueblo.

Sunday, November 1, 2020

Día de Muertos

 The Day of the Dead is a Mexican holiday celebrated in Mexico and elsewhere associated with the Catholic celebrations of All Saints' Day and All Souls' Day. The multi-day holiday involves family and friends gathering to pray for and to remember friends and family members who have died. Sun, Nov 1, 2020 – Mon, Nov 2, 2020.