Research Like a Pro with DNA Study Group
with Diana Elder, AG®, Nicole Dyer, and Robin Wirthlin
Research Like a Pro with DNA is a study group to learn how to use DNA in your genealogical research. We will follow a step-by-step process to help you either confirm a relationship proven through traditional research or test a hypothesized ancestral relationship. The Research Like a Pro with DNA Study Group focuses on using autosomal DNA in your genealogical research. One of the prerequisites for the study group is to have access to your autosomal DNA test results. You may also wish to include evidence from Y-DNA and Mitochondrial DNA tests in your research project, but these tests are not required for the study group.
Lesson 1: Assess Your DNA Matches & Analyze Your Pedigree
Lesson 2: Organize Your DNA Results & Create a Research Objective
Lesson 3: Analyze Your Sources & DNA Matches
Lesson 4: Locality Research & Ethnicity
Lesson 5: Exploring DNA Tools & Methodology
Lesson 6: Research Planning – Selecting DNA Tools & Methodology
Lesson 7: Writing Source Citations for DNA & Traditional Sources
Lesson 8: Following Your Plan, Research Logging, & Writing
Lesson 9: Correlating Findings & Finishing the Research Report
Lesson 10: Organization, Productivity, & Further DNA Education
This is a fast moving study group, meeting weekly. The time you will spend on assignments will depend on the difficulty of your objective. For easy objectives, expect to spend about 10-15 hours per week; or about 1-2 hours per day. For more difficult objectives, you may spend 15-20 or more hours per week. You will also need to spend time each week on peer review.
When you choose your objective, please take into account how much time you have to spend on the assignments and the difficulty level of your chosen objective.
Easy: Confirm a known relationship in the last 3-4 generations that you have already researched with traditional genealogy records.
Harder: Test a hypothesized relationship in 3-6 generations that you may or may not have already researched with traditional genealogy records.
A. Genealogy Research Experience
1. Read Research Like a Pro: A Genealogists Guide and complete each assignment, or complete the Research Like a Pro eCourse.
2. Create a family tree that is built on original records to at least 3 generations of ancestors, if possible. We recognize that you may have an adoptee or brick wall somewhere in the first 3 generations.
B. DNA and Genetic Genealogy Experience
1. Take an autosomal DNA test and receive your results before the start of the study group. We recommend the following testing companies: Ancestry, MyHeritage, FamilyTree DNA, 23andMe, LivingDNA; or have access to someone else’s autosomal DNA test results (parent, grandparent, etc.). The family tree (requirement A 2) should correspond with the person whose DNA test you are using.
2. Gain a basic understanding of DNA inheritance. You may do this in a variety of ways. Choose one of the following options:
a. Read one of these three books: The Family Tree Guide to DNA Testing and Genetic Genealogy by Blaine T. Bettinger, Genetic Genealogy in Practice by Blaine T. Bettinger and Debbie Parker Wayne, or Tracing Your Ancestors Using DNA: A Guide for Family Historians edited by Graham S. Holton. (These are affiliate links. Thank you for the support!)
b. Join Blaine Bettinger’s DNA Central subscription website and complete at least one of the courses (which correspond with the DNA testing company you’ve tested with). For example, ANC101 – I’ve Tested at Ancestry DNA, Now What? Also, watch at least one webinar in the DNA Central library, including Jack and Jill: Can DNA Reveal The True Story on the Hill? by Diane Southard. (DNA Central costs $9.99 per month)
c. Watch the Legacy Family Tree Webinars Series DNA Course 1: Foundations – a five part series by Blaine Bettinger covering Genealogy and DNA, DNA overview, Y-DNA, Mitochondrial DNA, and Autosomal DNA. (Legacy Family Tree Webinars costs $10 per month)
d. Watch several of these free videos and webinars:
—- What is Inheritance? – Learn.Genetics by the University of Utah
—- Finding the Right DNA Test for You: Jim Brewster – RootsTech 2018
—- You’ve Taken a DNA Test, Now What?: Angie Bush – RootsTech 2018
—- My Ancestors are in MY DNA! Angie Bush – RootsTech 2017
—- Essential Considerations for DNA Evidence: Blaine Bettinger – Rootstech 2019
—- Videos by Blaine Bettinger – YouTube (clustering, Thrulines, MyHeritage AutoCluster, genetic networks, sharing different amounts of DNA, quick & dirty trees)
—- Family History Fanatics DNA Videos – YouTube
Diana Elder, AG
Diana Elder AGⓇ is a professional genealogist, author, and speaker. She is accredited in the Gulf South region of the United States through the International Commission for the Accreditation of Professional Genealogists (ICAPGen). Diana graduated from Brigham Young University with a degree in Elementary Education and has turned her passion for teaching to educating teens and adults in proven genealogy techniques. Diana is the author of Research Like a Pro: A Genealogists Guide and creator of the Research Like a Pro Study Group. She writes regular articles for FamilyLocket.com, the genealogy website created by her daughter, Nicole Dyer. She presents regularly at genealogy conferences, sharing the methods she uses every day to solve challenging genealogical problems.
Nicole Dyer is a professional genealogist, lecturer, and creator of FamilyLocket.com. She is the co-author of Research Like a Pro: A Genealogist’s Guide.Nicole speaks regularly at genealogy conferences and local events. She is the publicity chair and a steering committee member at the Pima County Genealogy Society. She specializes in Southern United States research.
Robin Wirthlin has a B.S. in Molecular Biology from BYU and a Certificate in Genealogical Research from Boston University. Robin loves to use genetic genealogy to solve family history mysteries and break through “brick walls.”
Use the links below to sign up for the study group. Choose either the 1pm or 7pm MT session: