9:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. – Blaine Bettinger, Ph.D., JD – The Danger of Distant Genetic Matches
Those distant genetic matches are exciting, but they can be dangerous! Evidence shows that distant matches sharing a small amount of DNA are often false positives and fail to match either of our parents. Together will examine the problems that can arise when reviewing distant genetic matches at your testing company. We will also examine ways to evaluate these matches and use them in ways that avoid these potential issues.
Blaine Bettinger, Ph.D., J.D., is a professional genealogist specializing in DNA evidence. He is the author of the long-running blog The Genetic Genealogist
, and frequently gives presentations and webinars to educate others about the use of DNA to explore their ancestry.
10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. – Diahan Southard – The YDNA Test Should be Your Favorite
The Y chromosome DNA, with its direct paternal line inheritance pattern, is a powerful tool for any genealogist, male or female, seeking to extend or verify a genealogical line. This lecture will cover basic and intermediate principles of using YDNA verify and extend your pedigree chart. We will cover the YDNA test at Family Tree DNA in detail and discuss options for researching your deep paternal roots. We will also discuss how surname projects can accelerate your research by looking for patterns in YDNA matching. In short, this is everything you actually need to know about the YDNA.
Frustrated with your genealogy research? Diahan is the teacher you need. Her 18 years of experience in genetic genealogy shows as after just one class you will find yourself believing that you can understand this science, and likely will even be excited to go home and try it out. Diahan lectures internationally, owns Your DNA Guide, and writes for Family Tree Magazine and Your Genealogy Today. She has a passion for this work, a love for people, and the best husband ever.
12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. – Angie Bush, MS – Your Cousins are Your Secret Weapon
Do you have a brick wall? Is there a skeleton in the family closet? Dicover how to use cousins’ DNA to answer these questions.
Angie Bush, MS is the Region 1 Director for the National Genealogical Society, and the chair of the Genetic Genealogy committee. Her day job is as Genetic Genealogist Researcher with Ancestry ProGenealogists in Salt Lake City. Angie has been interested in her genealogy since she was very young. After college, she spent several years working in biotech while continuing to pursue her genealogy hobby. With the growing popularity and introduction of autosomal DNA testing in 2012, she decided to combine her two loves into one career. Although she spends a lot of time working on recent unknown parentage cases (adoptions, unknown fathers), her favorite type of research to do involves solving decades old “brick-walls” using a combination traditional records and genetic evidence. She is a popular speaker and presenter, and enjoys attending conferences where she can connect with others who share her passion for genealogy. Angie is a Utah native and lives with her husband and two descendants in Sandy, Utah.
2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. – Mary Eberle, JD – GEDMatch – Tools to Interpret DNA Matches and Find More Matches
GEDMatch is a free, third-party website offering additional tools to interpret your DNA results. It accepts DNA test results from Ancestry, FTDNA, 23andMe, and more. Thus, it can be a great way to find new matches. GEDMatch also has a paid version (Tier 1) with additional tools. This talk covers setting up a GEDMatch account. It will also discuss how to use its free and paid tools that are most helpful to genealogists. GEDMatch has been in the news with its use by law enforcement (LE) to identify criminal suspects and victims. GEDMatch recently opted all users out of LE’s use. We’ll discuss how to change this—if you want—and how to gain informed consent from others whose GEDMatch kits you manage.
Mary Eberle, JD is an educator, an international speaker, and the author of “23 Best Tips for DNA Testing and Family History.” Mary is excited to help people understand DNA by speaking at genealogical events. Attendees say she "conveys complex info in an easy to understand way." Mary is DNA expert who founded DNA Hunters®, LLC in 2015. The DNA Hunters team finds people’s biological parents and grandparents. She is a retired patent attorney with extensive DNA experience. Over 30 years ago, she began her scientific career. Mary developed DNA tests for transplant patients. Today, she leads the DNA Hunters team.
3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. – Judy G. Russell, JD, CG, CGL – Doing DNA Right: The Ethical Side of Testing
Ethical dilemmas are nothing new in genealogy. Researching families has always raised the risk of revealing secrets from the past, some of them difficult and painful. But the immediacy of DNA testing and its implications for disclosing the secrets of those living now--whether they have tested or not--creates unique ethical challenges for family history in the twenty-first century: how do we use this new tool in a way that lives up to the ethical standards of our field?
The Legal Genealogist
Judy G. Russell is a genealogist with a law degree who writes and lectures on topics ranging from using court records in family history to understanding DNA testing. On the faculty of numerous genealogy institutes, she is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Board for Certification of Genealogists®
, from which she holds credentials as a Certified Genealogist®
and Certified Genealogical Lecturer℠. Her award-winning blog is at http://www.legalgenealogist.com