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 (www.rootsweb.com/~chevaud).