Get Started with DNA: From Testing to Results - April 2023

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If you’ve ever wondered what your DNA says about your family history, this course is for you! You’ll discover just how you can solve family mysteries with the help of a DNA test. By the end of the course, you’ll be able to make strategic decisions on what tests you and your relatives should take so you can identify and track down your ancestors’ records.

Get Started with DNA: From Testing to Results

In this course, you’ll get lessons made up of a variety of written and video materials designed to make it easy to learn so you can start applying your DNA results to finding your family history right away. You’ll learn strategies for working with matches, ethnicity estimates, and even for organizing your results! Plus, you’ll have instructor Shannon Combs-Bennett there to answer your questions and guide you through each step of the way.

DATE: April 24, 2023 - May 23, 2023

You’ll love this course if you:

  • Have recently received or taken a DNA test
  • Want to understand what you can do with your DNA results
  • Like to practice what you’ve learned with easy exercises
  • Want to use DNA to solve family mysteries

Course Objectives

During the course, you’ll learn:

  1. What your test results will look like and what you can use your DNA results for - as well as what they won’t be used for
  2. The key roles and characteristics of autosomal DNA in genealogy
  3. How to start integrating your DNA results with your paper research
  4. Key ways you can use DNA results to break through brick walls and solve family mysteries
  5. All of the things you can do with your DNA results, including learning about third-party websites and tools you can use to unlock more solutions
  6. What those ethnicity results really indicate about your heritage so you can use them to explore your family history


Course Outline

Lesson 1: Why take a DNA test?

  • Common genetic genealogy myths
  • So what can I do with DNA testing?
  • What could go wrong?
  • Answering Genealogical Questions Using Autosomal DNA
  • Breaking Through the Brick Walls
  • Adoption and Unknown Parentage
  • Using Autosomal DNA in Your Research
  • Where do I test?

Lesson 2: DNA Basics

  • What is DNA?
  • Recombination – Why you, are you
  • You Have TWO Family Trees
  • Siblings Have Different Genetic Family Trees
  • Genealogical Cousins Are NOT Always Genetically Related
  • Ethnicity is Nearly Impossible to Predict
  • Ethics

Lesson 3: Tools for Analysis

  • Finding Genetic Cousins
  • X Inheritance
  • Identical by what?
  • Ok, I Have Matches. Now What?
  • Phasing and Triangulation
  • Third-Party Tools for Analysis

Lesson 4: Other Considerations

  • Investment = Success
  • Ways to communicate with your potential relatives
  • Organizing Your Data
  • Managing Your Matches
  • Keeping Track of Your Segments

About the Instructor

Shannon Combs-Bennett

Shannon Combs-Bennett, MSc, QG (Qualified Genealogist), PLCGS is an award-winning author and lecturer. She writes and speaks to groups across the US and internationally on a variety of topics, from genetic genealogy to methodology. Shannon earned her Bachelor of Science in biology with an emphasis in genetics from Indiana University and her Master of Science in Genealogic, Heraldic, and Paleographic Studies from the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow. She won the IBPA silver award for her book Genealogy Basics in 30 Minutes.

How do Family Tree University workshops work?

Take the course at your own pace! 

From the course start date, you’ll be able to log in to view and access your lessons and start interacting on the discussion boards. Your instructor will check in regularly to answer all of the questions and provide feedback. You will have access to your courses anytime, anywhere, with a computer, tablet or smartphone, and can study when it's most convenient for you.

After the course end date, the course will become read-only for one year. You will continue to have access through your dashboard to the materials, but the discussion boards will be closed. The materials are yours to keep. You can download them onto your desktop to access online or offline.

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