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HOW DO I USE DNA IN FAMILY HISTORY?


Curious about DNA? Thinking of Testing?

There are a number of sources of information about DNA testing on the web, including Facebook and YouTube. Major testing companies such as FamilyTree DNA, Ancestry DNA and 23andMe etc have useful resources, including webinars.

The SAG has an Introduction to DNA Testing Webinar available for purchase through the SAG online shop, which will introduce you to using DNA testing as a tool in your research. Learn the basics required to get started: the types of tests, who to test, where to test, how to test, how much it costs, what you get and practical applications. If you would prefer a live event where you can interact with the presenter and ask questions we also run a quarterly online session called Beginners Introduction to DNA where attendees can learn all about the different types of tests, which companies sell them and what to consider before testing.

The Federation of Family History Societies in the UK has released a paper to help family historians understand more about DNA testing. While Australian laws may operate differently it contains some worthwhile advice and is included here courtesy of the Federation.   

Tested and want to know what to do next?

To be effective in DNA research you firstly need to be familiar with the evaluation tools provided by your testing company, and secondly be aware of some of the key concepts that underpin the analysis process. Testing companies such as Family Tree DNA, AncestryDNA, 23andMe, My Heritage etc all provide a range of educational items to assist with their product and all new users should gain familiarity with the relevant testing company's site.

The SAG hosts lectures and group meetings focussed on practical applications using DNA sites and third party tools. Please check the Events Calendar for details of upcoming activities.

Want to dig deeper into your DNA results, expand your tree or break down a brick wall?

The SAG has two DNA Research Groups which you can attend to learn more about DNA.

Here is a list of upcoming DNA sessions 

Upcoming events

    • 20 Aug 2022
    • 10:30 AM - 12:30 PM
    • online via Zoom
    • 292
    Register

    Topic: Analysing your shared match groups at AncestryDNA

    Have you grouped your matches at AncestryDNA via the Leeds method or another grouping process? Have you been able to interpret the results? Do they align with your expected ethnicity estimates? Join the SAG DNA Research Groups next Tools in Practice (TiP) session where we will be discussing and analysing several examples from our members results.

    What do your results tell you? Are you getting matches on all your lines? Does the new ethnicity 'side view’ tool at AncestryDNA add value to your analysis? We will discuss attendee results as part of the session, if you would like to have your results included please email dnasydneydiscussion@gmail.com by 17 Aug 2022, these will be given priority. Others may be discussed on the day, if time permits.

    To read more about the Leeds Method and grouping your matches, the following blogs may be of interest:

    This is an online session. It will NOT be recorded due to privacy reasons, so you should only book if you can attend live.


    Skill level: Intermediate  Guest Facilitator: Veronica Williams   

     

    • 20 Aug 2022
    • 1:30 PM - 3:30 PM
    • online via Zoom
    • 299
    Register

    Discussion Topic:

    Catherine Theunissen will discuss her research paper "The effects of DNA test results on Biological and Family Identities" which can be read by clicking here. This will be followed by a discussion centred on the issues Catherine's research raises.

    Direct-to-consumer (DTC) DNA tests are increasingly being used for personal and genealogical purposes. This presentation delves into a study where 16 participants took DTC tests and found varying effects on their identities. Some had significant and life-changing effects, especially to their biological and family identities and overall feeling of belonging to their perceived social groups, whereas others had their identities solidified and reinforced. Further to this, the methodological approach, key findings, and potential implications will be discussed, with a focus on how DNA testing might impact future testers' perceptions of biological and family identities, especially with genealogical research

    SAG is home to a group of enthusiastic and knowledgeable genetic genealogists. The DNA Research Group is a forum for those who are highly experienced in using DNA research techniques  and would like to explore this exciting aspect of genealogy further with a group of likeminded people.

    About the presenter: Catherine A. Theunissen graduated from Auckland University of Technology with a Master of Communication Studies (First Class Honours). She currently works in the film industry as a Production Coordinator and is passionate about telling people's stories. Initially, her research was inspired by a short documentary she made about a young man finding out more about his biological family overseas (and the impact this had on his identity and sense of self, along with how his adoptive family felt about him exploring his biological identity). Combined with her interest in history and genealogy, she decided to investigate the relationship between DNA testing and identity in relation to people and communication.

    Please note: The topics and tools discussed at this group are pitched at an advanced level and the Research Discussion Group meetings are not recommended for those just beginning their DNA journey.

    This is an online session. It will NOT be recorded due to privacy reasons, so you should only book if you can attend live.

    Skill level: Advanced    Convenor: TBC

    • 31 Aug 2022
    • 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM
    • Your place
    • 18
    Register

    Christine will share her "Top 10" techniques for working with AncestryDNA. This session is ideal for those who are taking a first look at their AncestryDNA test or thinking about testing at AncestryDNA.

    Demonstrations and case studies will be featured in the session. There'll be plenty of time for questions. Reference material will be available after the session.

    Thanks to the Ancestry for supporting this event by donating an AncestryDNA test for one lucky participant.

    This session is limited to 25 participants.

    This session will conducted on through Zoom and will not be recorded. Participants should be available at the advertised time.


    Skill level: Beginner

    Presenter: Christine Woodlands 

    • 20 Nov 2022
    • 2:00 PM - 4:00 PM
    • Your place
    • 23
    Register

    The Society of Australian Genealogists has donated 20 tickets to this course as a raffle prize for the NSW & ACT Association of Family History Societies "Riding the Waves of History" conference on 16 & 17 September.

    Purchase raffle tickets here https://www.trybooking.com/events/landing/912590

    About the webinar:

    Christine will share her "Top 10" techniques for working with AncestryDNA. This session is ideal for those who are taking a first look at their AncestryDNA test or thinking about testing at AncestryDNA.

    Demonstrations and case studies will be featured in the session. There'll be plenty of time for questions. Reference material will be available after the session.

    This session will conducted on through Zoom and will not be recorded. Participants should be available at the advertised time.


    Skill level: Beginner

    Presenter: Christine Woodlands 

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