15 August 2019

Why we enjoyed DNA Down Under (genealogy conference)

If you're interested in why and how I've used DNA tests as a tool for family history, see this page (it opens in a new window).

Yesterday's DNA Down Under conference in Brisbane (which will be followed by similar events in Perth, Adelaide, Melbourne, Canberra and Sydney) was a great success. I found it enjoyable, informative and inspiring, and I now feel even more enthusiastic about using DNA as a tool for family history. The conference also gave me a chance to chat to friends and clients... and, as a bonus, I met the wife of one of my DNA matches!

If you're going to DNA Down Under, you're in for a treat. On a scale from one to ten, Blaine Bettinger (the keynote speaker) is definitely a ten. He explains what you need to know to get started with DNA, and how to make the most of your results, but he does not overwhelm beginners with scientific details that they really don't need to know.

If any of my DNA matches were amongst the audience, I hope they were paying close attention when Blaine explained the benefits of adding a surname list and 'earliest known ancestors' in FamilyTreeDNA (under 'Account settings - Genealogy'). He also encouraged us to link at least a 'skeleton' family tree to our DNA results at each testing company. At AncestryDNA, I'd linked a tree that is private but searchable - and that does allow me to use 'Thrulines' and other features... but I now intend to link a smaller 'skeleton' tree, showing names, dates and birth places for my direct ancestors, and I will make that tree public.

This is what one of my clients (Keith) said about DNA Down Under:
The day was a real eye-opener for me. I've had DNA done - first by Ancestry and 23andMe and most recently by FamilyTreeDNA and still waiting for LivingDNA. However, I've done little with the results. Yesterday was excellent for opening my eyes to how to use DNA as part of a structured investigation of problems and hypotheses. I have also booked for the 3-day event in Sydney. Blaine is not only a great speaker but completely on top of his subject. It was a great day.

Note that the Sydney programme includes many talks that are different from those in the other five cities. Programmes and speaker profiles for each city are on the DNA Down Under web site.

(This post first appeared on https://uk-australia.blogspot.com/2019/08/why-we-enjoyed-dna-down-under-genealogy.html.)

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