PRACTICAL GENETIC GENEALOGY
(Offered in Pittsburgh)
Course Coordinator: Debbie Parker Wayne, CG, CGL
Instructors: CeCe Moore, Blaine Bettinger, Ph.D., J.D.
These texts are not required for the course, but the students will learn more from the course if they are already familiar with the techniques covered in these publications:
Bettinger, Blaine, PhD (Biochemistry), JD. I Have the Results of My Genetic Genealogy Test, Now What? (self-published, 2008); v2.0 download at http://www.thegeneticgenealogist.com/wp-content/uploads/InterpretingTheResultsofGeneticGenealogyTests.PDF covers Y-DNA and mtDNA. A v2.1 version with atDNA added is available from http://www.familytreedna.com/pdf-docs/Interpreting-Genetic-Genealogy-Results_web_optimized.pdf.
Hill, Richard. Finding Family: My Search for Roots and the Secrets in My DNA. n.p.: self-published, 2012.
Kennett, Debbie. DNA and Social Networking: A Guide to Genealogy in the Twenty-first Century. Gloucestershire, UK: The History Press, 2011. This book has the most up-to-ate information available in print on Y-DNA, mtDNA, and atDNA.
Smolenyak, Megan Smolenyak and Ann Turner. Trace Your Roots with DNA. Emmaus, Penn., Rodale Press, 2004. Primarily covers Y-DNA and mtDNA.
This course has two sections that will experience the same presentations in a slightly altered order in order to facilitate both sections. The first lecture on Monday and the last one on Friday will be held jointly in a large classroom. The other lectures will be experienced in a smaller setting.
See lecture descriptions below for a full description of each lecture.
Introduction and Basic Genetics – Part 1 (Wayne)
This session introduces the course, the objectives, and student activities. Basic DNA inheritance patterns are described in an easy-to-understand way to lay a foundation for later sessions. Inheritance of all four types of DNA are covered: Y (direct paternal line), X (unique inheritance for males and females), mitochondrial (direct maternal line), and autosomal (inherited from all ancestral lines).
Y-DNA Basics (Bettinger)
Y-DNA inheritance patterns are reviewed with tips on choosing who should be tested. Case studies demonstrate use of Y-DNA to prove whether results indicate a common ancestor or not, whether a particular ethnicity is included in the paternal line, how to determine when additional testing is indicated, and incorporation of analysis of fast- and slow-mutating markers.
mtDNA Basics (Wayne)
Mitochondrial DNA inheritance patterns are reviewed with tips on choosing who should be tested. Case studies demonstrate the use of mtDNA to prove whether results indicate a common ancestor or not and whether a particular ethnicity is included in the maternal line.
atDNA Basics (Moore)
Autosomal DNA inheritance patterns are reviewed with tips on choosing who should be tested and how the results can be applied to genealogical research. Case studies demonstrate use of atDNA to prove whether results indicate a common ancestor or not and how far back in time the common ancestor is likely to be. Commonly used terms are defined.
Basic Genetics – Part 2 (Bettinger)
More of the basic genetic concepts needed for genetic genealogy are illustrated. These include genetic distance, calculating Most Recent Common Ancestor (MRCA) and how this changes when correlated with the documented traditional research, fast and slow mutation of markers, and more.
Y-DNA Intermediate Analysis (Bettinger)
This session builds on the Y-DNA basics already covered. More advanced analysis techniques and tools are covered along with specific conditions possibly revealed by Y-DNA testing.
X-DNA Basics and mtDNA Intermediate Analysis (Wayne)
X-DNA inheritance patterns are reviewed with tips on choosing who should be tested. Case studies demonstrate use of X-DNA and mtDNA to prove whether results indicate a common ancestor or not.
atDNA Intermediate Analysis (Moore)
This session builds on the atDNA basics already covered. Differences between the tools offered by the testing companies are discussed. Detailed step-by-step procedures for analysis are included. Spreadsheets and other tools for advanced analysis are demonstrated.
atDNA Advanced Analysis – Part 1 (Moore)
This session covers what happens when you find a really close match and what makes a “good” match. Detailed use of chromosome browsers and “in common with” tools are used to explore overlapping DNA segments. Tools to help efficiently handle the massive amount of data used in atDNA analysis are discussed.
atDNA Advanced Analysis – Part 2 (Bettinger)
This session demonstrates how to use autosomal DNA third party tools and sites such as GEDmatch, DNAGedcom, and others. An explanation of DNA phasing and a discussion of “The Future of atDNA: Universal Genetic Family Tree” are included.
atDNA Advanced Analysis – Part 3 (Moore)
This session uses case studies to demonstrate the applications of atDNA research in real-world applications.
DNA and the Genealogical Proof Standard Project – Part 1 (Wayne)
DNA alone can prove two people are related, but cannot prove who the common ancestor is or what the exact relationship is. DNA will not be useful as evidence for every genealogical research question, for others DNA evidence will be bedrock upon which a soundly reasoned, coherently written conclusion rests. Case studies illustrate methods to incorporate DNA analysis into a narrative.
DNA and the Genealogical Proof Standard Project – Part 2 (Wayne)
Case studies illustrate additional methods to incorporate DNA analysis into a narrative.
Adoption and Other Brick Walls (Moore)
This session demonstrates how to use the techniques already covered for cases such as adoption and other brick walls where little or nothing is known of the ancestral origins of the DNA testers.
Ethnicity and Admixture and Kinship Analysis; Advanced Tools and Public Databases (Bettinger)
The advances made and the limits of what can be learned about ethnicity and deep ancestry (admixture) with current tests and the currently available population databases is demonstrated. This session also demonstrates pros and cons of useful tools and sites for advanced analysis that have not been covered in earlier sessions.
Project Administration; Privacy; Ethical Issues; Regulation (Bettinger)
This session includes discussions on cultural attitudes to DNA testing, privacy and ethical issues related to project administration activities and personal projects, and issues every genealogist should consider before sharing genetic information.
Company Offerings and Comparisons (Moore)
This session includes a discussion of major differences between the tests offered as far as number of markers, differences in markers, customer service, access to DNA data, and cautions. This includes detailed instructions on navigation of the company sites.
Wrap-up: Further Education; Projects and Groups of Interest; Anthropology and Advancements in DNA (Wayne)
This session explores online educational resources the attendee can use to advance their genetic genealogy knowledge. This is a constantly changing field and we must keep abreast of new discoveries.
Monday Exercise: Y-DNA and mtDNA exercises to be completed by students. Each includes a genealogical tree and a research goal discussed in class; student determines who to test, which test to perform, initial conclusion based on given findings.
Tuesday Exercise: atDNA and X-DNA exercises to be completed by students. Each includes a genealogical tree and a research goal discussed in class; student determines who to test, which test to perform, initial conclusion based on given findings
Wednesday exercise: Class discussion of GPS project to correlate documentary evidence from traditional research with DNA test results (Y-DNA, mtDNA, atDNA, and X-DNA).
Thursday exercise: Class discussion of GPS project to correlate documentary evidence from traditional research with DNA test results (Y-DNA, mtDNA, atDNA, and X-DNA)
FRIDAY 11:30 a.m.: Course Wrap-Up and Certificates before Lunch