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RootsTech is the perfect place to learn more about the fascinating world of DNA, and this year’s conference will have plenty of classes available on the subject. Come learn how people from all over the world are combining DNA findings with traditional research to discover their roots.
This post highlights just 13 of the many classes offered on DNA throughout the four-day conference:
Wednesday, Feb. 28
A DNA Match with No Tree? No Problem!
Have you been frustrated by finding a DNA match only to discover they have not linked their family tree? Their tree is probably not the only tree that includes their matching ancestor, and with some creative and persistent sleuthing, it can be found.
Join us as we walk through the case study of a DNA match without a tree, and learn the techniques to not only find a tree, but then incorporate additional strategic techniques to possibly uncover the connection between you and the match. Join DNA expert Diahan Southard and Google guru Lisa Louise Cooke for this ground-breaking session.
Time: 9:30 a.m. Location: Ballroom I
DNA—One Family, One World
There seems to be so much division in the world, but at RootsTech, we’re all about breaking down barriers. Come learn about the one thing that connects us all—our DNA! Instructor David Nicholson of Living DNA has prepared an entire session describing how we’re all connected. Attend this session to learn all about the project that is breaking down the concept of separate human races and how it might impact your own family history research.
Time: 11:00 a.m. Location: Ballroom A
How Close Are We Really? Evaluating Shared DNA
Are you ready to get into the nitty-gritty of DNA? In this course, instructor Paul Woodbury of Legacy Tree Genealogists will teach beginners how to discover exactly how much DNA they share with others in order to reveal likely relationships. Join this session to develop foundational skills that will prepare you to interpret important information and help you tackle common genetic genealogy research problems with greater confidence.
Time: 11:00 a.m. Location: Ballroom J
Thursday, March 1
Advancing Your Genealogy Research with DNA
You’ve scoured the census, dug through probates, and even visited the county courthouse. What’s left? DNA. It’s the oldest record of your family, and technology and science are coming up with more ways for you to use it. Come learn from Anna Swayne what new tools AncestryDNA has developed to advance your research and discover how to get the most out of your own DNA results.
Time: 11:00 a.m. Location: Room 251 E
MyHeritage DNA 101: From Test to Results
Learn what you have to gain from taking a MyHeritage DNA test and how the process works, from taking the test to the lab analysis. Find out more about MyHeritage DNA's over 40 ethnicities and how to optimise your DNA matches. We will also look at adding new DNA information to your family tree and discuss the future of DNA testing and new features in development. This session is sponsored by MyHeritage.
Time: 11:00 a.m. Location: Room 251B
Your DNA Support System
There are a plethora of online and offline resources out there designed to be used with your DNA test results. Some of these tools are “for fun,” some may help you understand health outcomes in light of your DNA test results, while others are very useful for furthering genealogical research goals. Learn about the pros and cons of these tools and where to go to continue to learn more about how to use them to make breakthroughs in your genealogical research.
Time: 1:30 p.m. Location: 155 E
High Definition DNA Testing
One of the challenges for family historians is identifying the regional locations of our ancestors. Where did they come from before they ended up in the United States? Instructor David Nicholson of Living DNA will explain how recent technology is helping people hone in on ancestral locations like never before. This session will explore the fundamental principles behind the new wave in high-definition DNA testing, how the process works, and how this can help your research.
Time: 4:30 p.m. Location: Ballroom J
Friday, March 2
Tracing Slavery with DNA and Genealogy
The history of slavery in America has made many people’s DNA a complex cultural stew. In this session, instructor Nicka Smith will teach how to combine traditional genealogy and DNA research to confirm or deny slave, slaveholder, and ancestral ties to one of history's most peculiar institutions.
Time: 11:00 a.m. Location: Room 251A
The DNA of the Jewish People
Do you have Jewish ancestry? Now’s your chance to shed some light on your roots. In this session, Bennett Greenspan will discuss the DNA of the Jewish people, focusing on the Ashkenazim. He will also compare DNA typically found among Jews with that of purported cousins in the Middle East and of the Europeans among whom the Jews have lived for the past 2,000 years. Come learn what DNA is telling us about Jewish ancestry.
Time: 1:30 p.m. Location: Room 251A
“Looks Like We’re Cousins”: DNA Collaboration
Interacting with your genetic cousins can provide clues regarding your family relationships. In this session, Paul Woodbury of Legacy Tree Genealogists will explore tips and tricks to successfully collaborate with others. Learn some best practices for gathering information and requesting assistance from your genetic cousins, and discover reasons you shouldn’t limit your genetic genealogy correspondence to names and surnames only. Tap into the full power of DNA test results by improving collaboration with your genetic cousins.
Time: 4:30 p.m. Location: Ballroom F
Saturday, March 3
Behind Your DNA Results
Go under the hood of your DNA results with instructor Ross Curtis to discover fascinating details about your roots and why you have so many cousin matches. This session will arm you with a firmer grasp of the underlying science behind ethnicity estimation, genetic communities, DNA matching, and other helpful genetic genealogy tools. Get ready to go behind the scenes of your DNA results.
Time: 11:00 a.m. Location: Room 250A
Organizing Your DNA Testing
DNA testing has become an essential part of most genealogical research, but keeping track of the details can be complicated. In this session, Drew Smith will discuss how to manage the testing process for multiple individuals, how to save DNA data so it can be uploaded to other websites, and how to keep track of correspondence with other DNA testers.
Time: 11:00 a.m. Location: Room 151
Getting the Most Out of Your AncestryDNA Results
After a brief review of the tools available on AncestryDNA, we will dive into the techniques used by professional genetic genealogists to discover the connections between you and your pages of AncestryDNA matches. We will immediately apply these techniques in the workshop with hands-on instruction and assistance from members of the Ancestry Research Team who work on the TV show, Long Lost Family.
Time: 11:00 a.m. Location: 250E - LAB