Relocating from Southern California, I sometimes feel that Tucson is kind of out there in the hinterlands, not close to much of anything. However, I have to say that with three genealogy societies active in Phoenix, Green Valley and Tucson, there are some great seminars on offer.
Pima County Genealogy Society, led by President Amy Urman, has hosted terrific two-day seminars for the last few years. This past weekend, CeCe Moore of The DNA Detectives and TV shows Finding Your Roots and Genealogy Roadshow came to town.
The first of the two-day seminar was a workshop, which I didn’t attend, as I just got back from RootsTech 2018 in Salt Lake City and had a lot of catching up to do at home.
However, I did attend Saturday’s class sessions, which were excellent.
The turnout was excellent and quite a few tables were filled. We had visitors from Phoenix and towns to the south of Tucson and lots of attendees who are members of the Pima County Genealogy Society.
The room was so large that three big screens were used so everyone had a great seat.
There were several tables of genealogically related books and magazines for sale:.
I looked carefully, but didn’t find any related to places or people in my tree, but some people were lucky as these books disappeared quickly.
Quite a few items were to be raffled off, too. There were lots of DNA kits, subscriptions to Ancestry, a photography basket of goodies and a patriotic basket, Val Greenwood’s 4th Edition of The Researcher’s Guide to American Genealogy, a free class with the National Institute of Genealogical Studies and lots more. (No, I didn’t win anything, much to my disappointment.)
There was plenty of time to browse, shop and add our raffle tickets to the products we each hoped to win. Then we settled down to two talks before lunch and two more sessions in the afternoon.
The syllabus was a full twenty pages packed with information. The morning began with a quick overview of the science of DNA as it relates to genealogical research and continued with mtDNA and X-DNA’s places in the family history world.
After lunch, during which we had time to get to know the others at our tables and chat – about genealogy, of course – CeCe went into autosomal DNA. This session was the longest, understandably so, because of the huge amount of information that can be gleaned from its results.
The finale was a really interesting talk about Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings and the surprising way it tied into her extended family.
Sometimes, my brain goes numb with too much talk about science and DNA, but I really enjoyed each session. I think I’ve learned enough about the basics that I could follow along and understand the concepts and examples that Cece used to explain how DNA is applied to family research. Each class was well-paced and built somewhat on the knowledge imparted in the sessions before.
There was just enough time at the end for questions. It seemed to me that everyone who had a question was able to get an answer. I can’t imagine how many times she has given the same presentations, but CeCe’s passion for what she does is evident.
If you have an opportunity to hear CeCe Moore, I strongly recommend that you take advantage of it.
All in all, it was a fun day that passed very quickly. Thanks again to the Pima County Genealogical Society officers and volunteers for another excellent seminar.