27 September 2015

Hands-on DNA Workshop and Lectures at TxSGS Conference - 30 October to 1 November 2015

After presentations at conferences many people still have questions on how to analyze their DNA test results. Most of us need hands-on experience to understand how to apply the concepts taught in a lecture.

The Texas State Genealogical Society (TxSGS) 2015 Family History Conference has both a great lineup of DNA lectures and a two-hour hands-on workshop for those who already have some basic knowledge.

Friday afternoon I will lead a two-hour intermediate level DNA workshop from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. The workshop will be repeated from 3:00 to 5:00 p.m. Each workshop requires registration and a fee above the conference registration. This genetic genealogy workshop is for researchers who are a step beyond the beginner level. DNA beginners may have difficulty with some concepts and tasks.

If you aren't already "a step beyond the beginner level" you can learn more in this workshop by studying before attending the workshop. A good place to start would be the following course and articles.

DNA sessions in the regular conference schedule include:

  • Saturday, 1 p.m., Debbie Parker Wayne, CG, CGL, "GATA GACC! DNA and Genetic Genealogy Today"
  • Saturday, 2:30 p.m., Diahan Southard, "What now? Your Next Steps With Autosomal DNA Testing"
  • Saturday, 4:00 p.m., Debbie Parker Wayne, CG, CGL, "Correlating atDNA with GenomeMate"
  • Sunday, 1 p.m., Diahan Southard, "A Beginners Guide To Genetic Genealogy"
  • Sunday, 2:30 p.m., Deena Coutant, "DNA Third-Party Tools And Databases"
  • Sunday, 4:00 p.m. Diahan Southard, "An Outsiders Look Inside AncestryDNA"

In addition to the great DNA line-up, the alternating keynote speakers are the ever-popular J. Mark Lowe, CG, and Lisa Louise Cooke. Presenters on non-DNA topics include Susan Ball; Dr. Jose Barragan; Becky Broadbent; H. M. Christmas; Deena Coutant; Schelly Talalay Dardashti; Teri Flack; Sharon Gillins; Connie Gray; Sara Gredler; Colleen Greene; James Harkins (Texas General Land Office); Dr. Martha Everman Jones; Janice Lovelace; Bernard N. Meisner; Kelvin L. Meyers; Laurel Neuman; Paula Perkins; Cari Taplin, CG; Patricia G. Taylor; Randy Whited; Ari Wilkins; and Sharon Wolff.

Check out the conference page for more specifics on all the exciting activities and presentations and for registration information. TxSGS has organized this conference a little differently than in the past where one keynote speaker presented all day on Saturday. Be sure to check the schedule so you don't miss anything.

To cite this blog post:
Debbie Parker Wayne, "Hands-on DNA Workshop and Lectures at TxSGS Conference - 30 October to 1 November 2015," Deb's Delvings Blog, posted 27 September 2015 (http://debsdelvings.blogspot.com/ : accessed [date]).

​Certified Genealogist, CG, Certified Genealogical Lecturer, and CGL are proprietary service marks of the Board for Certification of Genealogists®, used under license by board certificants after periodic evaluations for genealogical competence.

© 2015, Debbie Parker Wayne, CG, CGL, All Rights Reserved

TSLAC Genealogy After Dark - 16 October 2015

The Texas State Library and Archives Commission (TSLAC) is hosting another Genealogy After Dark program. The announcement is included below. This is one of my favorite genealogy events in Texas. A chance to view materials at the archives, after work hours for those with a day job, when parking is easier to find in downtown Austin, and with the archivists and librarians completely devoted to helping you learn more about the wonderful and unique resources available at this repository.

The Texas State Library and Archives Commission will host our next Genealogy After Dark event on Friday, October 16, 2015 from 5:45 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. Optional programming will be provided throughout the evening.

Registration is limited to 30 participants and the deadline to register is October 9, 2015. A link to the registration form is available at:

The State Library will close at 5:00 p.m. and reopen at 5:45 p.m. for Genealogy After Dark participants. The building will be locked at 6:30 p.m. and no participants will be admitted after that time.

The evening schedule is:
  • 5:45 — Sign-in, All reading rooms open for research
  • 7:00 — Light refreshments in Lobby
  • 10:45 — Microfilm and photocopy rooms close
  • 11:00 — Building secured
If you have questions, please do not hesitate to contact [Ashley Stevens]. [Her] information is located below.


Ashley D. Stevens, Education & Outreach Coordinator
Archives and Information Services Division
Texas State Library and Archives Commission
512-463-9807 | astevens@tsl.texas.gov

To cite this blog post:
Debbie Parker Wayne, "TSLAC Genealogy After Dark - 16 October 2015," Deb's Delvings Blog, posted 27 September 2015 (http://debsdelvings.blogspot.com/ : accessed [date]).

© 2015, Debbie Parker Wayne, CG, CGL, All Rights Reserved

15 March 2015

Family Stories from a 'Library of Souls'

In the midst of all the depressing stories on cable news, CNN's Fareed Zakaria's Global Public Square had an inspiring special show today that I wish could be mandatory viewing for all voting Americans and all American politicians. The show encourages support of research "to power America's future." And the show even has a genealogy angle, while all of the segments focus on my other favorite subjects, science and technology. "Moonshots for the 21st Century" is the title of the special. I highly recommend watching this when it repeats or using the podcast / iTunes links at the bottom of the show's webpage.

Each segment focuses on a new idea that might make the future of America and our world better in the same way as the things we learned preparing for the trip to the moon did in the 1960s. I found all of the segments interesting, but was fascinated by the one that applies to family history.

The segments are
  1. Sending Astronauts to Mars
  2. 3-D Printing a Human Heart
  3. Creating a Star on Earth
  4. Flying from New York to London in One Hour
  5. Mapping the Human Brain

In the segment on mapping the human brain, Dr. Michio Kaku, theoretical physicist and author of The Future of the Mind (and one of my favorite living scientists), talked about the challenges in mapping the human brain the way we have mapped the human genome.

Kaku said, "we've learned more about the brain in the last ten and fifteen years than in all of human history combined." He went on to say we can now do things that were thought preposterous ten or fifteen years ago. After discussing some of the ideas seen in recent science fiction movies and how those things may become possible, Kaku said, "someday we may have a library of souls ... One day our descendants may have a conversation with us because we live forever in a library of souls."

I'm not sure if I think that is more creepy or exciting—it is both of those things to me. So now I have to add to my to-do list not only creating a book about my ancestors that will be interesting enough to get my descendants to read—I have to think about how I want my mind to present this to my descendants from my captured brain after I am gone. Hmmm. I can edit what I put in a book or article. How do I edit my brain to be sure my thoughts are presented the way I want after my body is gone and my brain is stored in a computer?

To cite this blog post:
Debbie Parker Wayne, "Family Stories from a 'Library of Souls'," Deb's Delvings Blog, posted 15 March 2015 (http://debsdelvings.blogspot.com/ : accessed [date]).

© 2015, Debbie Parker Wayne, CG, CGL, All Rights Reserved

09 March 2015

All-day Intermediate DNA Workshop

On March 21st I will be doing an all-day DNA workshop for Dallas (Texas) Genealogical Society. I will begin with a brief review of genetic genealogy basics and advice about choosing a DNA testing company. The remaining sessions will provide in-depth information about tools and applications for mitochondrial DNA, Y-DNA, and autosomal DNA studies. Attendees will get more from these sessions if you already understand the basics of DNA covered in one hour sessions or have read some of the publications in the "Foundational Knowledge" section of my DNA bibliography page. Each session will include a real-life case study which uses the latest tools and techniques to analyze these DNA types. Sessions include:
  • Genetic Genealogy Today: Review and Updates - A brief review of genetic genealogy basics such as the inheritance patterns of each type of DNA used for genealogy. This includes an introduction to some of the tools to be illustrated in later sessions.
  • Genetic Genealogy Company Comparisons - Information on how to choose a DNA testing company, the pros and cons of each company's offerings, and the tests available today.
  • Tools and Applications for mtDNA - Illustration of a real-life case study using the latest tools and techniques to analyze mitochondrial DNA (passed along the matrilineal line).
  • Tools and Applications for Y-DNA - Illustration of a real-life case study using the latest tools and techniques to analyze Y-DNA (passed along the patrilineal line).
  • Tools and Applications for atDNA - Illustration of a real-life case study using the latest tools and techniques to analyze autosomal DNA (inherited through all ancestral lines).
Check here for more information and registration links.

I hope to see you there!

To cite this blog post:
Debbie Parker Wayne, "All-day Intermediate DNA Workshop," Deb's Delvings Blog, posted 9 March 2015 (http://debsdelvings.blogspot.com/ : accessed [date]).

© 2015, Debbie Parker Wayne, CG, CGL, All Rights Reserved

Free Genealogy Seminar, Tyler, Texas

The Tyler FamilySearch Center and the East Texas Genealogical Society join once again to provide the 15th Annual Family History Fair. This is free and open to all, but you must pre-register to reserve a syllabus packet. Download Pre-Registration form at ETGS website at www.etgs.org OR at Event Blogspot at http://2015-fhf-tylertx.blogspot.com. Registration starts at 8:30a.m. Welcome and Introductions start at 9:00a.m. followed by the first session.

The featured speaker is Susan D. Kaufman, B.S. In the morning she will present two sessions:
  • Using Criminal Records for Genealogical Research
  • Unusual Source Records for Genealogical Research
In the afternoon there will be multiple 45-minute sessions offered:
  • Clayton Library: The Gem of the Gulf Coast - Susan Kaufman
  • Quilts & Their Stories: Binding Generations Together - Debbie Burkett
  • DNA and Genetic Genealogy - Debbie Parker Wayne, CG,CGL
  • Sound Census Strategy - Debbie Parker Wayne, CG,CGL
  • Getting Started with FamilySearch-FREE Resource for Family History - V. W. 'Web' Freeman, MMS, MA
  • Storytelling: making genealogy come to life by telling 'the Rest of the Story' - John Connally
  • Beginning Genealogy & other courses for Youth - Angie Johnston, Youth Track

To cite this blog post:
Debbie Parker Wayne, "Free Genealogy Seminar, Tyler, Texas," Deb's Delvings Blog, posted 9 March 2015 (http://debsdelvings.blogspot.com/ : accessed [date]).

© 2015, Debbie Parker Wayne, CG, CGL, All Rights Reserved

26 February 2015

Apostille or certification of DNA Test results

I have received several private e-mail messages from Europeans asking me to provide an apostille for DNA test results. This question may come up more often as DNA testing becomes more common, but some may be using the test results in ways not intended or easily supported with our current handling methods for genetic genealogy tests.

Open Clip Art http://openclipart.org/, designed by Anonymous, modified by Debbie Parker Wayne, 2015

An apostille is a a certificate that authenticates a document for use in another country. Genealogists who do research for and in European countries often deal with the need for an apostille authenticating the documents they provide.

While I would be willing to attest to the contents of my own reports or proof arguments, I do so with many caveats. I cannot attest to who provided a particular DNA sample—and neither can any genealogical DNA testing company that receives the sample via postal service. I cannot attest to the validity of the test results—only the testing company can do that. I cannot attest to the interpretation of those results unless I do the interpretation myself.

Anyone who needs authentication of DNA test results should contact the testing company to determine if the company can provide such authentication and what rules for chain of custody might be required. It would be best to determine the needed authentication is available before taking the test as special circumstances may be needed to verify the sample came from a particular person.

To cite this blog post:
Debbie Parker Wayne, "Apostille or certification of DNA Test results," Deb's Delvings Blog, posted 26 February 2015 (http://debsdelvings.blogspot.com/ : accessed [date]).

© 2015, Debbie Parker Wayne, CG, CGL, All Rights Reserved

23 February 2015

Genetic Genealogy at GRIP 2015

The availability of genetic genealogy education this past year or two has soared. In addition to many regular conference sessions and one-day pre-conference offerings focused on genetic genealogy, last year saw the first week-long courses in genetic genealogy offered at the Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh (GRIP). We filled two sessions. Then in January at Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy (SLIG) we filled a getting started course and an advanced course.

Registration for GRIP 2015 has started. This year GRIP is offering courses on two dates, (1) June 28 to July 3, 2015, and (2) July 19 to July 24, 2015. We still have openings for "Practical Genetic Genealogy" in both sessions.

Sessions offered starting June 28th include:
  • Writing Your Immigrant Families’ Stories: From Research to Publishing with John P. Colletta, PhD and Michael Hait, CG
  • Determining Kinship Reliably with the Genealogical Proof Standard with Thomas W. Jones, PhD, CG, CGL
  • Research in New York State: Resources and Strategies with Karen Mauer Jones, CG, FGBS (formerly Green)
  • Problem Solving with Church Records with Rev. Dr. David McDonald, CG
  • Advanced Research Tools: Land Records with Richard G. Sayre, CG, CGL and Pamela Boyer Sayre, CG, CGL
  • Practical Genetic Genealogy with Debbie Parker Wayne, CG, CGL, CeCe Moore and Blaine Bettinger, PhD, JD

Sessions offered starting July 19th include:
  • Intermediate Genealogy: Tools for Digging Deeper with Paula Stuart-Warren, CG, FMGS, FUGA
  • Advanced Research Methods with Thomas W. Jones, PhD, CG, CGL
  • Refresh, Rebuild and Recharge Your Genealogy Career with D. Joshua Taylor, MA, MLS
  • Pennsylvania: Research in the Keystone State with Sharon Cook MacInnes, PhD and Michael D. Lacopo, DVM
  • Law School for Genealogists with Judy G. Russell, JD, CG, CGL and Richard G. “Rick” Sayre, CG, CGL
  • Practical Genetic Genealogy with Debbie Parker Wayne, CG, CGL, Patti Hobbs, CG, and Blaine Bettinger, PhD, JD

The 2015 "Practical Genetic Genealogy" course has been modified based on our experience and on suggestions from 2014 attendees. The GRIP course still goes more in-depth than the getting started course did at SLIG. Several topics have been compressed or removed, without removing any critical content. This makes time for two new sessions illustrating genealogical problem solving using genetic genealogy tools such as GenomeMate, Genetic Genealogy Kit (GGK), utilities on DNAgedcom or GEDmatch, or other useful tools.

CeCe Moore, Blaine Bettinger, and I will speak again at GRIP. We are also adding a new speaker.

Patti Hobbs will be joining us this year at GRIP in July. She has been focused on completing her portfolio for the Board for Certification of Genealogists. I was able to convince her to attend the 2014 "Practical Genetic Genealogy" course with the idea she would help teach once she completed her portfolio. It was not a surprise to anyone who knows her when we saw the announcement that Patricia Lee Hobbs was now a board-certified genealogist. Her knowledge of biology helps her understand more than many of us about how DNA can be used in genealogy, her teaching and speaking skills help her explain complex concepts in an easy to understand way, her credentials demonstrate she knows traditional research. Patti will be a great addition as we focus on correlating genetics and documentary evidence to solve genealogical problems.

CeCe Moore is well-known as the genetic genealogy consultant for Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates, Jr. and Genealogy Roadshow, both on PBS. She has worked many high-profile cases that used DNA to trace family history, seen on television on 20/20, CBS This Morning, and The Doctors. She also works extensively with individuals of unknown parentage to help them learn about their genealogy through DNA, often reuniting them with biological family members. CeCe uses case studies from her work to illustrate how autosomal DNA can help solve genealogical problems.

Blaine Bettinger, PhD (Biochemistry), JD, is also well-known in the genetic genealogy community. Blaine is an intellectual property attorney and blogs as The Genetic Genealogist. He chaired a committee that formed Genetic Genealogy Standards to help us all as we navigate this exciting field of research. Blaine's experience as a project administrator and in using genetic genealogy for his own research provide useful examples for students.

I am a full-time, professional genealogist experienced using DNA analysis, as well as more traditional techniques, for genealogical research. My client projects include both documentary research and DNA analysis. My family research incorporates both. I performed research for television shows such as the Canadian series Ancestors in the Attic, the PBS series Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates Jr., and The Learning Channel’s Who Do You Think You Are?.

Between the four of us, we have wide-ranging experience in documentary research and genetic genealogy. We all enjoy showing others how exciting it can be to solve genealogical problems with DNA test results. We want all of our students to leave with knowledge they can immediately put to use, gained from hands-on experience using DNA evidence from real family history stories.

Because genetic genealogy is a complex topic some concepts are best retained when heard more than once. Our reading list includes some books that will give you a head start. My online bibliography also has links to some articles freely available online and to some videos.

We'd love to have you join us. The GRIP registration page is here.

To cite this blog post:
Debbie Parker Wayne, "Genetic Genealogy at GRIP 2015," Deb's Delvings Blog, posted 23 February 2015 (http://debsdelvings.blogspot.com/ : accessed [date]).

© 2015, Debbie Parker Wayne, CG, CGL, All Rights Reserved