Master DNA and genealogy techniques from beginner to advanced

Genealogists and family history researchers everywhere have increasingly been taking advantage of genealogical DNA testing - are you one of them?

LivingDNA is a new company 
making big waves. Learn about 
their precise geographic pinpointing
in our recent blog here. Their experts
will be teaching sessions and will
be available in the exhibit hall.  

Along with the advent of digitally-accessible online records, genealogical DNA tests are inarguably one of the biggest breakthroughs of modern genealogy. 

The explosion of genetic genealogy companies, experts, and methods has led to an incalculable number of discoveries for millions of researchers worldwide - but it's also led to a lot of confusion! 

Those who want to get the absolute most they can out of their DNA test results will need to learn the ins and outs of this growing sub-discipline.  

The 2018 New York State Family History Conference - September 13 - 15 in Tarrytown, NY - is the perfect place for a crash-course on DNA and genealogy.

Anyone interested in learning more about the awesome power of genealogical DNA testing will benefit from the 10 hour-long sessions dedicated to DNA and genealogy.

These classes are taught by some of the foremost experts in the field - if you make it your mission to focus on DNA at NYSFHC, you'll be amazed at how much your skill and understanding will have improved by the end of the conference! 

The full conference program features 45 sessions on a wide range of topics. Read on for a full list and descriptions of all DNA sessions at NYSFHC 2018. 


Register for NYSFHC


DNA Sessions at the NY State Family History Conference

Thursday, September 13

Learn from MyHeritage in our DNA 101
session, and purchase testing kits and ask
questions at their booth in the exhibit hall.

DNA Testing for Genealogy: The Basics (1:15 pm)Janine Cloud, FamilyTreeDNA: If you aren't sure where to start with DNA testing, this is for you. We'll discuss—in plain language—the basics of Y-DNA, mitochondrial DNA, and autosomal DNA, including the what DNA testing can and cannot do, uses for each kind of test, who should test, and where to start when you get your results.

Behind the Scenes of DNA Testing and Living DNA (3:15 pm)David Nicholson and Katie Welka, Living DNA: With the rise in DNA testing this talks looks at what goes on with your DNA sample, the processes involved and how that impacts your results.


Friday, September 14

Blaine T. Bettinger, Ph.D., J.D., is a DNA
specialist and creator of the popular blog, 
The Genetic Genealogist. He has authored
several books on the subject as well and
will be teaching three classes at NYSFHC.

Plenary Session: The Future of Family History and DNA (8:00 am)David Nicholson and Katie Welka, Living DNA: Living DNA explores how to take the guesswork out of DNA relationships using their latest tools.

Tracing Your European Ancestry (9:45 am)David Nicholson and Katie Welka, Living DNA: Explore the next generation of DNA admixture testing and how it can help narrow down your European Ancestors.

DNA 101: From Taking the Test to Understanding the Results (11:15 am)Mike Mansfield, MyHeritage: Learn how genetic genealogy techniques have evolved to be important tools that every genealogist should understand how and when to employ to their maximum effect.

Are You Doing Everything to Identify Your DNA Matches? (2:00 pm) Blaine T. Bettinger: This lecture examines ways you can use a match’s profile to identify who they might be. We will also examine ways to use the In Common With and the Shared Matches tools to estimate how that elusive match is related to you.

Y-DNA and the Peopling of Europe (3:30 pm)Jim Brewster, FamilyTreeDNA: Tens of thousands of years ago, the earliest humans evolved in Africa then spread across the globe. Their mtDNA and Y-DNA lineages (haplogroups) reflect distinct migratory patterns. This talk on Y-DNA discusses waves of migration into Europe and the major Y-DNA haplogroups found in Europe.

DNA and the Genealogical Proof Standard (5:00 pm)Blaine T. Bettinger: How important is DNA evidence to your genealogical research? DNA alone can establish a genealogical relationship, but it cannot alone establish the common ancestor or identify the exact relationship. When should DNA evidence be considered? How should DNA evidence be incorporated into your non-DNA research? We will examine these and other questions in this session.


Register for NYSFHC

FamilyTreeDNA has been providing 
genealogical DNA testing for nearly 20
years! Learn from their experts in two
sessions, or chat with their team in the
exhibit hall. 


Saturday, September 15

Shared Matches and Genetic Networks (9:15 am)Blaine T. Bettinger: Shared matches and ICW are the most powerful tools that DNA testing companies provide. Together we will look at some of the ways to take advantage of these tools to work with our matches and break through brick walls.

The Science of Genetic Genealogy (11:00 am)David Nicholson and Katie Welka, Living DNA: Explore the science of all types of DNA testing from the popular autosomal DNA to mtDNA and Y-DNA.


Registration Closes August 31

NYSFHC 2018 will be here before you know it - don't miss out on reserving your spot, register today! Tickets are going fast, and may not last until the August 31 registration deadline.

This conference - which only happens once every two years - features a program full of fascinating classes that will improve your research skills and teach you all about the most important online record sets and genealogy repositories.

If you're trying to find more New York State ancestors, this is the place to learn how! 

The full conference program features 45 sessions. Click here to read a description
of each one

The conference features nationally-recognized experts in the field, who will equip you with the tools to make more discoveries in your family history research. 

Attendees look forward to more than just the 45 expert-led sessions - there is a vibrant exhibit hall, pre-conference tours and workshops, and lunches, dinners, and receptions where you can connect with fellow genealogy researchers with an interest in New York State families. 


Click here to register for NYSFHC


More Genealogy Reading


About the New York Genealogical and Biographical Society

The New York Genealogical and Biographical Society is 
a registered 501(c)(3) organization devoted to 
preserving, documenting, and sharing the history of
New York State families. Read more about our mission.  

Since 1869, our mission has been to help our thousands of worldwide members discover their family's New York story, and there has never been a better time to join.

The cost of an Individual Annual Membership is less than six dollars a month, and includes the following benefits: 

  • Access to over 50 exclusive digital record sets covering the entire state of New York, including the fully searchable archives of The Record
  • A complimentary subscription to all of Findmypast's North American records, as well as U.K. and Irish Census records.
  • Access to hundreds of expert-authored Knowledge Base articles and webinars to help you navigate the tricky New York research landscape. 
  • Exclusive discounts and advanced access to conferences, seminars, workshops and lectures to learn more about researching people and places across New York State. 

To learn more or join us, please visit our member benefits page