DNA as a Genealogical Tool
Maurice Gleeson, MB

Level: Beginning to Intermediate
Suggested prerequisites: None
**This course is 6 hours per day.**
DNA is rapidly expanding as a necessary component of genealogical research. This presentation will discuss the science of DNA, the application of that science to your family tree, and the various testing methods, their results, and how that information can be applied to your family research.
Covered material:
Monday (introduction and mitochondrial DNA)
  • Introduction to DNA - the 3 main types of DNA, the different types of test
  • Applying DNA to your genealogy - what each test can tell you, which test is best for your particular genealogical question, examples of the application of each type of test
  • A brief look at minor topics: Neanderthal DNA, Human Migration, Medical Applications
  • A comparison of the different companies and what they offer
  • A brief look at resources available to help the genetic genealogist (from beginner to advanced)
  • A closer look at mitochondrial DNA and how it can be used for genealogy - mtDNA and ancestral homeland localisation
Tuesday (Y-DNA - STR markers & SNP markers)
  • A deeper dive into Y-DNA 
  • How Y-DNA can help you locate your ancestral homeland
  • Surname Projects - what surname projects can tell you over and above your own Y-DNAresults - how they help identify ancestral homelands -  piggybacking onto the longest genealogies
  • A close look at the benefits of joining Y-DNA Haplogroup Projects, Geographic Projects, Special Interest Projects
  • Y-DNASNP marker testing - what it tells us about the human evolutionary tree - how it can be used to link in to the ancient genealogies - where it will be in 5 years
  • How to build family trees using Y-DNA STR markers and SNP markers when you have run out of people
Wednesday (Autosomal DNA)
  • What is atDNA? What is xDNA? Patterns of inheritance. Recombination. Independent assortment.
  • atDNA and ethnic makeup: What does it really tell us? A close look at the People of the British Isles project and the Irish DNA Atlas - can the results inform our own genealogy? How ethnic admixture results can help inform your own family history?
  • What is a match? When is a match not a match?
  • Using a step by step approach to analysing your atDNA matches
Thursday (Autosomal DNA)
  • Explaining ICW matches and the importance of overlapping segments
  • The significance of Triangulated Groups (TGs) - generating TGs using known cousins - generating TGs using unknown cousins
  • Using Third party tools to harness the power of your atDNA matches 
- Gedmatch
- DNAGedcom
- GenomeMate
- DNAadoption 
... and others
Friday (Practical Application of DNA to Genealogy)
  • Applying all types of DNA in practice using Adoptees as an example:
  • Using Y-DNAto predict the surname
  • Using close atDNA matches to identify probable close ancestors (great grandparents or closer)
  • Developing a testing strategy to narrow down candidates for birth parents
  • Other testing strategies for specific attendee problems
  • General Q&A Session