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A DNA conference and a Methodology for Adoptees

The i4GG genetic genealogy conference is coming to San Diego next weekend and it features a track for adoptees as well as one for genealogists. For those of you who want to hear me speak, I will be doing a talk about the tools at GEDmatch on Saturday morning.

DNA testing has broken many brick walls for family historians and has been a miracle for the adopted, helping them find their biological families where traditional methods have failed.

drozcece3Cece Moore, the i4gg conference organizer, has pioneered this field and has developed a methodology that succeeds over and over again. She described this in her cameo appearance on a recent Dr. Oz episode that featured an adoptee who found her birth family with Cece’s help. Click the image to the left to go to the online clip of the episode.

A simple explanation of the methodology is as follows. An adoptee tests their autosomal DNA at all three major companies (see my DNA testing page) and then uploads those results to all the free third party sites as well. Sometimes they get lucky and find a close family member who has tested and who is willing to help. More often they must look at the family trees of their 2nd and 3rd cousin matches to see what ancestors are in common. Once a shared ancestral couple is found, they build a family tree forward in time, looking to see if one of the couple’s descendants was in the right place at the right time to be the adoptee’s parent.

To learn more about this methodology come to the conference, or buy the videos of it, or go to DNAadoption.com or join DNA detectives at Facebook and read through the files there. Or do all of those things.
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Snippets from the SCGS Jamboree

Going to a conference about your passion can be a really fun experience. It is wonderful to finally meet people who you have been emailing with and discussing important issues with online. Another favorite for me is the exhibit hall with vendors showing off their new and old stuff.

I had a great time at the SCGS Jamboree this year. Since I came home early, I am watching a talk streamed live about organizing my work space as I write this! The live stream is really well done. A small live image of the person is on the left and their slide is shown, much larger, on the right. Plus you can chat with the other folk watching. The live stream is available free, thanks to Ancestry.com, until July 5 see http://genealogyjamboree.blogspot.com/2016/05/jamboree-2016-registration-now-open-for.html

Richard and Kalani at the ISOGG booth

Richard and Kalani at the ISOGG booth

In order to pace myself at a conference, I try to limit myself to attending two presentations a day and spend the rest of the time schmoozing in the exhibit hall.

Two people who I have communicated extensively with online are pictured on the left in front of the ISOGG table.

Kalani Mondoy blogs about Polynesian DNA, which is tricky because it is so endogamous. His mother was adopted so he turned to DNA to find her biological family. Richard Weiss is a search angel and adoptee who is involved with DNAadoption.com including the building of their relationship calculator. Each has now found their biological families and both are Mayflower descendants!

Read on for some of my favorite snippets from the conference.

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It’s almost time for Jamboree!

The Southern California Genealogical Society puts on a wonderful genealogy conference every year in Burbank in early June. There are only a few days left to register so, unless you have done so already, head over to http://genealogyjamboree.com/2016/about.html by May 22.

Thursday June 2 is DNA day and there are many terrific presenters and topics: Tim Janzten, Blaine Bettinger, Diahan Southard, Emily D. Aulicino, Katherine Borges, Jim Bartlett, David Dowell, Paul Woodbury and me to name a few. I will be giving my updated talk on DNA Triangulation as well as my Breaking Brick Walls talk. The full schedule is at http://genealogyjamboree.com/2016/schedule-dna.html

Friday morning there are a number of FREE events, including round tables led by experienced researchers both for DNA and genealogy. I will be hosting a DNA table about Triangulation.

The rest of the conference has numerous genealogy talks and a few more DNA presentations plus an exhibit hall of vendors (always one of my favorite parts). Since this is the year I plan to master German genealogy I was pleased to see that it is one of this year’s themes.

A particularly good feature is that you can sign up for a one-to-one consultation with an experienced researcher to help you with one of your genealogical problems, described towards the bottom of this page: http://genealogyjamboree.com/2016/special-events.html

Hope to see you at Jamboree!

Talking about Triangulation

Next Thursday, July 16, I will give my presentation on using triangulation with autosomal DNA test results over in Carlsbad for DIG, the DNA Interest Group of the North San Diego County Genealogical Society (click here for the where and when). This was last given at the Jamboree and might be given at the next Rootstech.

TriangulationSlidesMy slides are online, but without my speech, they are not much use. However I have written up the words that are meant to accompany them in my downloads area

I like to use examples from my own research in my talks to illustrate the “how tos.” My blog post on triangulation from earlier this year does just that, specifically discussing the case of a possible third cousin once removed, postulated from the paper trail, and then proven with DNA triangulation. Other cases discussed include unknown DNA relatives matching at the same spots.

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