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Our February meeting

Sunday, February 17, 2019

With a Little Help from My Friends with Tina McKillip and Becky Moore

Imagine being adopted and not having any information about your birth parents because you were abandoned as a baby.

Becky and Tina will take you on a journey of DNA and genealogy research to find the biological parents of Daniel. Together with a DNA expert and the inclusion of Daniel’s help, this mystery was solved. How do you start with nothing but DNA matches to come to a conclusion? Come to the February meeting to find out.

Christina “Tina” McKillip is a native of Lynwood and lives in Long Beach. She has been doing family research for 30 years after being intrigued by her own mother’s estranged family. In the early 1990s she did a birth parent search for a coworker and found that this type of research was very rewarding. After 25 years of doing adoption research, the power of DNA has made these searches more accurate and sometimes easier to solve. Tina recently solved a 20-year-old case that would have been impossible if not for DNA. As far as education, Tina relied on genealogy meetings, her curiosity and tenacity and the help of her various mentors in the adoption search community. Lately she has teamed up with Becky Moore and a few researchers to help adoptees who are searching for their biological families. Tina also has her own business of viewing and extracting vital records in Los Angeles County for various clients.

Becky Moore intuitively knew the man raising her was not her biological father. The path to discovering who her biological father was began with very little information and pre-internet. Finally, at the age of 37 after spending hours, reading, researching jumping over hurdles, and contacting agencies, Becky found her dad, living mere blocks away from her and thus began her passion for locating biological family members. Becky is very resourceful, possessing a wide base of knowledge to draw upon. She is observant, creative, detail oriented, dependable and can do anything she sets her mind to. In addition to being a self- motivated, she works efficiently, effectively and competently. Becky believes meeting Tina in court, while on Jury Duty was part of a divine plan from a higher power. Their passion for connecting families has intensified with the discovery of DNA testing, the use of multiple databases and most importantly teamwork. Together they are dedicated, and very committed to finding the missing link, for adoptees and biological family.

Bad Handwriting Day: Why Every Genealogist Needs to Be a Paleographer! with John McCoy

Genealogists encounter all sorts of handwritten documents that are difficult to read. Paleography is the art of reading old handwriting. The principles of paleography are easy to grasp, and excellent tutorials can be found on the internet. The same principles apply to the problem of reading bad handwriting from all periods. The real work consists of studying enough samples of various handwriting styles to be able to read them fluently. We will present examples of English and American handwriting from a variety of sources and periods. Bring your own favorite examples of illegible genealogical documents, which we will discuss during the program as time permits.

John McCoy is Past President of Questing Heirs Genealogical Society in Long Beach, CA. He has well over 50 years of research experience covering six centuries and many countries. Since 1994, he has devoted most of his efforts to his French and Swiss ancestry. He is site coordinator for the Swiss Canton of Vaud in the World GenWeb project (

Our December Meeting: Installation of Officers, Potluck and Genealogy Bingo

Sunday, December 16, 2018, 1:15pm

Come and share one of your favorite dishes with your Questing Heirs friends at our annual potluck. In December, we will gather to install our new QHGS officers, share stories and eat great food.

For the potluck, please bring a dish corresponding to the first letter of your last name. Plates and utensils will be provided.

A to F
G to LAppetizers
M to RSalads
S to ZHot Dishes

After dessert is served, we will install our new officers for 2019.

We will end our meeting with Genealogy Bingo. If you have not yet participated in this QHGS phenomenon, you are in for a treat.

Our November Meeting: Annual Meeting and Our Members Present

Sunday, November 18, 2018

First on the agenda is our annual meeting, where members will elect new officers for the coming year.

After that, we will be celebrating our ancestors who served in the military and what information we have found on them. Some of this information was recently found in the National Archives in St. Louis by two of our members who visited there this summer. Not only is the information different for each vet, but each presenter will be free to present it in their own way.

For some servicemen, we may learn something about them from before or after their service or hear of unique training that they had. Where were they sent? Were they in a conflict zone? Did they share their stories when they returned? Maybe something will be said to give you a new idea for expanding your own research.

Since this sharing session will be open to all members and to give everyone time to speak, please contact Christine Elia  at with how much speaking time you think you will need by November 11, Veterans Day!

Our October Speaker: Linda Serna

Sunday, October 21, 2018

I have been involved with genealogy in researching and writing family stories for over 35 years and was privileged to work as a genealogist for the first season of the PBS Genealogy Roadshow program. Currently, I belong to several genealogical organizations and societies, as well as having served in the past for the Southern California Chapter of the Association of Professional Genealogists and the Orange County California Genealogical Society. Over the last 9 years, I’ve spoken on various topics for different groups in California and New Mexico. My loves, in addition to public speaking, include history, writing, and traveling. I especially like seeing how individual family stories fit in and make up the fabric of history.

“Native American Research” addresses looking at your Native American ancestors, including DNA’s role, identifying tribe, and finding records. Examples of record groups and how to use them are given.

“What Do You Do When Your DNA Doesn’t Match Your Paper Trail: A Case Study” follows the steps Linda took when she discovered through DNA that her husband’s ethnicity wasn’t what they thought it was. Even though this is one family’s story, it should have ideas for anyone who finds themselves in this situation by touching on DNA and how a case is pursued.

Our September Speaker: Donna Railsback-Braly

Sunday, September 16, 2018

Donna caught the genealogy bug in junior college when the class assignment was to write down what you know about your family. That was 30+ years ago. She has documented her ancestry for DAR, UDC, FFTT, and DUVCW 1861-1865*. Her favorite genealogy office was Registrar for her Long Beach UDC group.

1:15pm and

Come see and hear how these sites can help you with your research,
preserve it, hopefully hook some cousins and engage the next generation!

Vital Records and How to Cite Them

A plan of attack for finding them: where to look, what’s available, what’s in them, how to cite them and how to stay organized.

* DAR: Daughters of the American Revolution
UDC: United Daughters of the Confederacy
FFTT: First Families of the Twin Territories
DUVCW 1861-1865: Daughters of Union Veterans of the Civil War 1861-1865

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