Tuesday, October 23, 2018

CVGS DNA Interest Group Summary

We had our first monthly meeting of the new Chula Vista Genealogical Society  DNA Interest Group on Wednesday, 17 October at the Chula Vista Civic Center Branch Library.  Our relatively small society of 86 had 29 in attendance, and all but two were members of the society.

There is tremendous interest in learning more about autosomal DNA in our membership - not everyone understands the science, the ethnicity estimates, how to find common ancestors or DNA matches, and so on.  In the monthly CVGS Research Group meetings this past year, DNA tests and matches have dominated the conversation.  So we started the interest group for our membership.  San Diego Genealogical Society started a DNA Group this past year, and the North San Diego County Genealogical Society in Carlsbad has had a DNA Group for several years.

Here is a photo of the group paying rapt attention to my presentation of "Overview of Autosomal DNA Testing and Analysis for Genealogy" (courtesy of Patricia Diane Godinez):  

I presented only the first half of it, which did not include going through each testing company and how to work with the results.  We will do one company at a time in future meetings.

The second part of the meeting was a polling of the 29 attendees as to how knowledgeable and experienced they were, and which testing companies they had used.  The results were:

1)  How knowledgeable and experienced are you in autosomal DNA testing:

*  Novice -- 17 (59%)
*  Basic -- 9 (31%)
*  Advanced -- 3 (10%)
*  Expert -- 0

2)  Which testing companies have you tested with (can be more than one)?

*  AncestryDNA -- 21 (72%)
*  23andMe -- 48%
*  MyHeritageDNA -- 7 (24%)
*  FamilyTreeDNA -- 5 (17%)
*  Living DNA -- 4 (14%)
*  None -- 2 (7%)

Neither poll surprised me, and reinforced my perception that CVGS needed to educate and help their members with autosomal DNA testing and analysis issues.

The third part of the class was to request issues that the attendees would like to see addressed in future monthly meetings.  We didn't get to all of the attendees, but the issues they raised fell into several categories:

*  How do I find common ancestors of close matches?

*  My relative was adopted, how do I find the birth family?

*  How do I download my raw data from one company and upload it to another company?

*  How do I use GEDMatch?

*  How can I use a spreadsheet in my DNA analysis?

These questions provide a great springboard for several years of monthly classes, I think!  I need to find online articles or papers that address these issues and provide links to them to the group.  Any help from my Genea-Musings readers?


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Susan said...

If you haven’t already checked out Blaine Bettinger‘s DNA-Central.com . lots of good resources for learning. Yes it’s a subscription site but well worth it for the money, imho.

Kitty Cooper said...

A few answers:
Using GEDmatch, many posts on my blog, start here
Help for adoptees
Roberta Estes' blog has a whole series on downloading and uploading your DNA results