Barbara Rae-Venter

Search Angel // DNAAdoption.com

Barbara Rae-Venter, J.D., Ph.D., is a retired intellectual property attorney who specialized in the patenting of biotechnology inventions. 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 (Biochemistry) at the University of California at San Diego. She is licensed to practice before the US Patent and Trademark Office and the State Bar of California (inactive).

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 well known genealogist Karen Clifford through Monterey Peninsula College.

Originally from New Zealand, Barbara has worked for about ten years on her own family history. Of special interest is researching her paternal grandmother’s ancestors who were subject to the Highland Clearances. This ancestry is difficult to research using traditional methodology, so Barbara set up the Normanites DNA Project on Family Tree DNA for people whose ancestors or their relatives were followers of the Reverend Norman McLeod who led his flock, which included Barbara’s ancestors, from Sutherlandshire in the North of Scotland to Pictou and St. Ann’s in Nova Scotia, Canada and three decades later to Waipu, New Zealand.

Barbara is a Search Angel with DNAAdoption.com helping adoptees find their birth parents and also helps teach the autosomal DNA classes DNAadoption.com offers to help adoptees use their DNA to find birth relatives. As a volunteer with DNAadoption.com, Barbara volunteered her time to work on a project for the San Bernardino Sheriff’s Department Crimes Against Children Detail to identify, successfully, the immediate family of “Lisa”, a woman now in her 30s, who was abducted as an infant and did not know either who she was or where she was from. Barbara was an invited speaker at the 2016 i4GG conference in San Diego, CA Oct 22-23, 2016 http://i4gg.org/event-information/ where she discussed the techniques she used to identify Lisa.

Barbara is a volunteer with the Family History Center in Monterey, California and a frequent presenter to Family History Societies in Northern California on the use of DNA in Family History research. She also offers fee based consulting and can be reached at GenealogyConsult@gmail.com.

My Sessions

Catching the Golden State Killer: Barbara Rae-Venter’s Second Act

Lumpkins Ballroom

The golden state killer terrorized Californians in the 70s and 80s but remained uncaught until August 2018, when an unusual combination of DNA science and genealogy led an amateur sleuth to James DeAngelo. The volunteer genealogical sleuth who proved to be invaluable in cracking the case is a retiree who until recently was effectively in […]