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DNA Day at Jamboree

Updated: Dec 29, 2018

   I’m just back from Jamboree and my head is spinning with all the new information.  Thursday was DNA day and with seven concurrent session in six time slots there was something for everyone. The biggest problem was deciding which session to attend. I don’t consider myself a DNA expert by any means, and the lecture I gave was on My DNA Journey, a non-technical discussion for beginners on why test, how to filter your results and a case study on using DNA to solve an Irish problem.  My lecture was scheduled at the end of the day and I thought with all of the great speakers there wouldn’t be much interest.  I had a good group that hung in there for the 5 pm lecture and the feedback from some was, “That's the first lecture all day I’ve understood.”  I feel your pain (at the end of one lecture I walked out with my eyes glazed over).  For many years I would attend DNA lectures and come out more confused than when I went in.  That’s where my lecture came from. 

   Since my lecture was so late in the day, I had a chance to attend other sessions.  Paul Woodbury gave an excellent lecture titled From Chance to Design: Planning for Successful Genetic Genealogy Research.  The point, genetic genealogy is no different from our traditional genealogy…you need a plan.  What’s the research question you are trying to solve?

   I attended a couple of lectures by Diahan Southard, Your DNA Guide, as well as her banquet presentation.  Diahan’s lectures are always understandable (with great graphics).  Her lecture, Shoulda, Coulda, Woulda: A Look at Ethics in DNA Testing discussed the stakeholders in genealogical genetic testing and she focused on honesty, respect and kindness.  If you discover an unexpected result do you need to share it?  If so, with whom?  A thought provoking lecture.

   I also attended a lecture by David Nicholson and Hannah Morden, of Living DNA.  If you’re not familiar with this company, they are a British company and their initial focus has been on isolating the DNA of various geographies in the UK.  In 2016 they announced a project to map Ireland’s genetic history, using individuals whose four grandparents were born within 50 miles of each other.  They are currently working on projects in other areas of the world as well.  Later this year, Living DNA will begin offering family matches.  

   Some of the lectures were recorded and you can find them here.

   Pricing for DNA testing kits is a moving target.  I had a number of specials listed under Current Promotions for Mother’s Day, and the Father’s Day promos are starting now.  You can take advantage of the pricing here.

   My next trip is to the Celtic Connections Conference in Massachusetts (August 10 and 11).  Hope I’ll see you there.

   Happy Hunting!

Are you looking for additional information on how to find your ancestor’s place of origin in Ireland? Or do you need additional information on how to use civil and church records?  Are you confused by Griffith’s Valuation?  Check out my Irish Quick Reference Guides.

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