Find Your Roots Through DNA
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Teachers and Assistants

We are appreciative of our volunteers.

Teachers and Assistants


Gale French

Gale teaches our Basic Y-DNA class. He has been interested in genealogy for over 25 years. He has lived in Texas all his life and worked for IBM in the U.S. Space program at NASA's Johnson Space Center for 26 years and is now retired. His work with commercial imaging technology and document management has enhanced his genealogy organization and presentation.

He has researched and published a 600 page family history book on his grandmother's Elliott family line that came from England to Texas, fought in the Texas Revolution and received land for their service. He is currently writing another book on his paternal FRENCH line including numerous DNA tests for the French family (that include the dreaded 'NPE').

He presented at the 2014 Roots Tech conference in Salt Lake City and again in February 2015. He recently received the Pioneers in Space Technical Achievement Award from the United Daughters of the Confederacy.

Barbara Taylor

Barbara helps support the DNA classes.  Her business background includes software development, computer center management, management consulting and training. She has authored numerous published articles, corporate training programs and several books.  An active member of the South Orange County Genealogical Society, she also volunteers at her library’s genealogy desk to help people searching for their family roots.  Her own family tree is still a work in progress and she has been using DNA testing to help fill in some of the missing pieces.  She took the class from Karin and Diane.

 Barbara Rae-Venter


Barbara Rae-Venter, J.D., Ph.D., is a retired intellectual property attorney who specialized in the patenting of biotechnology inventions. She also taught classes in bioethics at Stanford University and at Santa Clara Law School. She earned a J.D. from the University of Texas at Austin Law School and a B.A. double major in Psychology and Biochemistry and a Ph.D. in Biology at the University of California at San Diego.

Prior to attending law school, Barbara was an assistant professor at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston where she taught Endocrinology and Biochemistry in the medical school and is the coauthor of several scientific papers in the field of cancer research. She has completed the four course Family History series offered by Karen Clifford through Monterey Peninsula Col-lege.

Originally from New Zealand, Barbara has worked for about ten years on her own family history, which spans the globe from the British Isles to Canada, Australia and New Zealand. She uses primarily online research tools. Additionally, she has made extensive use of genetic testing of herself and multiple family members to supplement and/or verify her traditional research results starting in 2008. She has tested at FTDNA, 23andMe, ancestryDNA, and the National Geograph-ic Geno 2 Project. Barbara set up and administers the Normanites DNA Project on Family Tree DNA for people whose ancestors or their relatives were followers of the Reverend Norman McLeod. The Rever-end led his flock from Sutherlandshire, Scotland to Pictou and St. Ann's, Nova Scotia, Canada and three decades later to Adelaide, Australia and Waipu, New Zealand.

Barbara volunteers her services at the Monterey Family History Center where, in addition to assisting with traditional research, she advises people on the use of genetic genealogy testing and assists with analysis of test results. 

Robin Grantham

 Robin is a new researcher, but in less than two years found her mother’s birth families using techniques taught in our classes. She now enthusiastically coaches others to achieve their goals. Retired from the military, she had a career spanning public relations, human resources, and teaching. Post retirement, she taught college online.

She was introduced to genealogy decades ago, listening to her uncle who began researching the family tree in the 1960s. She developed her interest, though, once she saw how DNA could solve mysteries. She is also interested in helping others preserve memories, and volunteered for several years with the Women in Military Service to America foundation in collecting oral histories.

 Pamela Tabor 



Christine Kahr

 Chris is a retired civil/environmental engineer and helps support the DNA classes and the Yahoo Group DNAAdoption.  Using the techniques she originally learned here, she assisted an adopted family member in the search for his birth father.  She is now involved in a second search for the birth parents of an adopted family friend.  Chris is relatively new to both genealogy (2013) and DNA (2016).  Both have quickly grown from “hobby” to “passion” in her retirement.  

After moving around the country during her working career, Chris now lives in Oregon.  She is an active member of the Genealogical Forum of Oregon and participates in the regular DNA workshops offered there.