Course #3: Applied Genetic Genealogy

Instructor: Leah Larkin
Dates offered: April 11, 18, 25, May 2
Time: 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm PT, 4:00 to 7:00 pm ET
Cost: $300

This course is designed for intermediate to advance genealogists who want a consistent, efficient approach to problem-solving as well as guidance for writing about their DNA conclusions. In-class lectures, scripted assignments, and discussions set the stage for students to work on their own DNA-based research questions as homework. The end goal is a researcher who can evaluate a problem, design a testing plan to solve it, and explain the conclusions in clear language.

Students who have a specific research question that can be addressed primarily with autosomal DNA will get the most out of this class. An appropriate question might be the identity of an unknown parent, grandparent, or great grandparent. If a student doesn’t have an appropriate research question, I will pair them with someone outside the class that needs help. Other types of DNA may be used to supplement the autosomal DNA evidence.

Course will be closed captioned.

Skill-based pre-requisites:

Students must have autosomal DNA results in at least two databases.
Students should understand basic terminology, like centimorgan, segment, predicted relationship, cluster analysis and quick-and-dirty trees.

Required subscriptions

  • Ancestry
  • DNAGedcom Client (preferred) or Genetic Affairs
  • DNAPainter (free account is fine)

Class Agenda

The pre-assignment is due 24 hours before class starts. Instructor will comment on the pre-assignment and all other submissions if submitted 48 hours before class starts. Class schedule is subject to change.

Session 1:

  • Overview of class objectives, introduction of class members
  • Lecture: “Asking the Right Question”
  • In-class exercise
  • Discussion of exercise
  • Introduction to Homework #1

Session 2:

  • Class Discussion based on Homework #1
  • Lecture: “Madness to Method”
  • Breakout groups for in-class assignment
  • Discussion of exercise
  • Introduction to Homework #2

Session 3:

  • Class Discussion based on Homework #3
  • Lecture: “What are the Odds?”
  • Breakout groups for in-class assignment
  • Discussion of exercise
  • Introduction to Homework #4

Session 4:

  • Class Discussion based on Homework #4
  • Lecture/Discussion: “Writing DNA”
  • Breakout groups for in-class assignment
  • Discussion of exercise
  • Wrap up

Within two weeks of the end of the course, student may submit the DNA component of a written report for feedback (up to 15 pages).