My name is Michael Cooley.
The arts were my principal life's motivation during my later childhood and early adult years. I played the drums for eleven years and performed in thirty some-odd plays. Like so many of my generation, I traveled the country, played the guitar and scribbled poetry for a year or so. I studied computer programming at Control Data Institute in 1971 and '72 but ended up piddling around with photography and staring for ten years at an artist's easel—generally living a casual, Bohemian lifestyle.
I moved to Santa Cruz, California (from Long Beach) on June 11, 1975.
My grandmother gave me a copy of The Harts of Randolph (an expert account of the descendants of signer John Hart) sometime in the late 1970s. Although I found the connections the author made between our family and others rather suspicious, I soon discovered the local genealogy collection from whence I set out to prove or disprove the veracity of the author's claims. I was hooked. (Click here to see my ahnentafel.)
Running became a big part of my life beginning in 1994. That was a surprise to me—and to my friends and family—as I had never been athletic. (I'd always gotten C's and D's in P.E. class.) The benefits to my health were enormous, but a torn disk and CAD (etc., etc.) ended my running "career" in 2006.
I began publication of The Pettit Correspondent in 1988 and took up computer programming again. Publication of the National Queries Forum began in 1989 after leaving my management job at the Nickelodeon Theatres in Santa Cruz (now owned by Landmark Theatres). NQF was sold to another publisher in the summer of 1994 and Genealogy Online hit the Net in November of that year. After a great deal of development and exposure, I sold the website to Rootsweb in March, 2000. I was the technical support manager for zNET Internet Services (now defunct) for five years beginning in 1995 and joined DSL.net (now MegaPath) in July 2000. I managed its "legacy" tech support department (read tycho.net) and performed the standard 9 to 6 gig until being laid off (along with the rest of the Santa Cruz office) only one week before my first anniversary date. Over the next five and a half years I worked at Cruzio and I served on the Santa Cruz Track Club's board of directors from 1998 to about 2002, for which I hosted and maintained the club's web page for several years. I worked intermittently with Santa Cruz County Elections between January, 2008 and June 2009 and later served on the board for the Cooley Family Association of America (2011-2014).
I moved to Humboldt county, California on July 3, 2009, returned to school, received two A.A. degrees from College of the Redwoods and a B.A. in history from Humboldt State University. In December 2017, I earned an MA in English (with an emphasis in creative nonfiction writing) from Southern New Hampshire University. Since 2012, I've worked as an instructor for the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at HSU where I offer classes in genealogy, genetic genealogy, history, and cinema. I'm also the admin for eleven surname DNA projects through FamilyTreeDNA and began blogging on the subject in April 2016. I've just finished writing a suite of perl scripts that parses SAM files, spitting out both known and novel SNPs. . . . Really, this is good stuff. :-)
More than you will ever care to know. -->