03 May 2016

New Book Coming Soon: Genetic Genealogy in Practice

Added 30 September 2016: Latest updates and order information available at http://debbiewayne.com/ggip/index.php.

Added after initial post: See Blaine's post at http://thegeneticgenealogist.com/2016/05/03/announcing-genetic-genealogy-in-practice-a-new-book-providing-genealogists-with-the-skills-to-understand-and-apply-dna/ — Announcing “Genetic Genealogy in Practice” – A New Book Providing Genealogists with the Skills to Understand and Apply DNA. See the NGS announcement at http://upfront.ngsgenealogy.org/2016/05/coming-soon-from-ngs-genetic-genealogy.html.

I am excited that I can finally talk publicly about the newest genetic genealogy book which was announced today at the National Genealogical Society Conference in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. The book will be available for purchase in mid-summer so please wait patiently for the printed and electronic versions to be available. I will post again once the book can be ordered. The book is
Bettinger, Blaine T. and Debbie Parker Wayne. Genetic Genealogy in Practice. Arlington, Va.: National Genealogical Society, 2016.

This is the first genetic genealogy workbook. This book covers the biological basics, types of DNA testing that are useful for genealogy, and analysis techniques needed for successful genetic genealogy. No matter which company a person tested at or which tools are used for data collection and analysis, the information in this book will help a researcher correlate DNA evidence into a family study.

After presenting the concepts of genetic genealogy and the techniques used to analyze the test results, each chapter concludes with typical genealogical questions as exercises. An answer key provides immediate feedback to the reader as to whether he or she arrived at the expected conclusion and what concepts, evidence, and analysis techniques should have been considered while working the problem. Readers will be able to apply the knowledge gained to their own family history to make credible conclusions using DNA test results.

This extracted paragraph explains why all genealogists need to understand DNA, even if you aren't yet using it yourself (but why aren't you?!).
The current generation of genealogists faces a new challenge, namely incorporating the discussion of DNA evidence into genealogical writings. Genealogists must understand how to correlate DNA evidence with documentary evidence to analyze a genealogical question, and they must also understand how to present DNA evidence as one of the elements supporting a conclusion. Genealogists who are not yet using DNA in their own writings must grasp enough of the subject to be able to evaluate the writings of peers who are incorporating DNA.
DNA can seem complex to many of us, but this book will guide you and help build your knowledge level one step at a time. The researcher who is new to genetic genealogy may want to come back to the book and review more advanced concepts after gaining some experience with the basic techniques. The amount of time you can devote to studying is limited only by yourself, not a conference or institute schedule. And you can do it all from home.

Topics covered include
  • an introduction to biology basics and DNA inheritance patterns, only as much as needed for genetic genealogy
  • ethics and standards (the Genealogical Proof Standard as applied to DNA and Genetic Genealogy Standards)
  • Y-DNA STR and SNP tests, test result analysis, and application to genealogical problems
  • mtDNA tests, test result analysis, and application to genealogical problems
  • atDNA tests, test result analysis, and application to genealogical problems
  • X-DNA test result analysis, and application to genealogical problems
  • useful tools for analysis (tool usage and access information, not transitory step-by-step guides)
  • incorporating multiple types of DNA into a family study
  • supporting or refuting a paper trail with DNA
  • incorporating DNA into a written conclusion
  • exercises testing understanding of the concepts covered and application of those associated techniques to answer real genealogical problems
  • an answer key to give the reader immediate feedback on the exercises
  • a glossary explaining the terminology in plain language
  • a list of references for additional study

Blaine and I have been planning for and working on this book for almost two years. After our week-long genetic genealogy courses at the Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh (GRIP), Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research (IGHR), and Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy (SLIG), students want more hands-on time to practice what they have learned. Teaching important concepts limits the time available to devote to exercises. This book provides new and real genealogical problems those students, and all researchers, can practice on at their own pace. After mastering an application, the knowledge can immediately be applied to your own family history project.

We think this book brings together the genetic and the genealogy concepts and techniques needed to solve family history problems using DNA as one more tool in the genealogy toolbox. We hope you enjoy the book and learn more about genetic genealogy. Our goal is to see more researchers effectively using DNA in a family study and publishing those findings for all genealogists to learn from.

P.S. An aside for my family, the middle photograph on the book cover is Allie Perry Richards and Emma Everette Johnson (Granny and Pappy to me) on their wedding day, 23 June 1912. The Johnson family lived in Angelina County; the Richards family lived in Nacogdoches County; and the marriage took place in Sabine County, Texas.

Added 12 September 2016: For a list of chapter titles and topics see 'Genetic Genealogy in Practice' topics and sub-topics.

Edited 14 September 2016: changed publisher place to Va.

To cite this blog post:
Debbie Parker Wayne, "New Book Coming Soon: Genetic Genealogy in Practice," Deb's Delvings Blog, posted 3 May 2016 (http://debsdelvings.blogspot.com/ : accessed [date]).

© 2016, Debbie Parker Wayne, Certified Genealogist®, All Rights Reserved


  1. I'm TRYING to be patient. Thanks so much for this--it will be sooooo helpful to me.

    1. Thanks, Tex. It won't be too long a wait period until book-in-hand - just a few weeks.

  2. I can't wait to get a copy of this. Will it be available at GRIP Advanced Genealogy?

    1. Kathy, thanks for your interest in the book. We don't have availability dates from NGS yet. As soon as we know we will post more. We are waiting as anxiously as everyone else.

    2. Debbie Drinning Vietor10 July, 2016 23:03

      So exciting for you Debbie I would love to have a copy of your book how did u become interested in this field? I made my career in nursing so dabbled a very small at in genetics , by the way I'm your child hood friend Debbie my mom Freddie was your mom's friend have thought a lot oy yall over the years.Congradulations and good luck

    3. Hi Debbie, it is always nice to make contact with a childhood friend. My direct e-mail address is on my website at http://debbiewayne.com/ near the bottom of the page. Please e-mail me so we can talk privately and maybe visit in person if we are close enough to do so.

  3. As I posted on Blaine's post ('cause I read his post 1st):

    SUPER!! — was just thinking during the Excelsior webinar that what I’d really REALLY love next, more than a class (having done GRIP class last summer with you & Debbie), was a workbook… and VOILA! – here you two have been off developing already! thanks so much ��

    (…now I’m thinking, when working through workbook when available, next need might be a consulting service? — if/when readers have unusual results trying to use… if you two busy people have any time left in your respective days!)

    1. Finding time to work all of the consulting projects that seem interesting is a challenge.

  4. Congrats Blaine and Debbie! This is wonderful!!!

    1. Thanks, Emily. Now, like you, we know how much work goes into creating a book. It is so much more than writing the initial manuscript. But so rewarding.

  5. Replies
    1. Thank you, Nicole. I hope the book meets your expectations and helps you with genetic genealogy.

  6. I want to order this book! But for the life of me I haven't found a place to order it. Please send me a link.

    1. Hello Iowa Comfort, I added a link at the top of each blog post that is about this book. That link takes you to a page where Blaine and I will keep the latest information on ordering and links to reviews available. Thanks for letting me know you were having trouble finding the order links.