Using DNA to Chip Away at Brick Wall Mysteries

Using DNA to Chip Away at Brick Wall Mysteries title=
Using DNA to Chip Away at Brick Wall Mysteries
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Saturday, November 18, 2017 - 11:00

Mary Hall, local Genealogy DNA expert, will present, “Using DNA to Chip Away at Brick Wall Mysteries” at the SB Genealogical Society’s monthly meeting, Saturday, November 18th, at the First Presbyterian Church, 21 E. Constance at State Street.

All family historians have an ancestor that is a complete mystery.  We’ve scoured all possible records and only have small pieces of evidence by which to put together who they were.  He or she doesn’t appear in census records when or where they should.  Nothing in their marriage records, obituary or family letters indicates where they were from or who their parents were.  Although serious genealogists never give up, we’re tempted to say, “I guess I’ll never know.”

Genetic genealogy – or DNA testing – is giving us brand new and, in many cases, very useful clues to uncover these long-standing mystery ancestors.  Since 2009, well over 6,000,000 people have provided DNA samples -- each representing unique and powerful ancestral clues -- to the rapidly growing databases of genetic test companies.   New genetic information is being made available to us every day, from the comfort of our home, via our computer screens and internet connections.  The new challenge is how do we use this new data to begin to unmask the origin of our recalcitrant ancestors?

Mary will profile stories of four individuals, all long-standing mysteries, and show how DNA test results opened windows to reveal new information into who they were, and where they came from.  She will review who should be tested to help solve our mysteries, the techniques and tools currently available to analyze DNA results, and look into the future of DNA testing for genealogists.

An avid genealogist for over 15 years she co-leads the monthly (every 4th Friday) DNA Interest Group for the SBCGS where she is a member and past President.  Mary is also a member numerous national and regional genealogical societies, and several lineage organizations including National Society Daughters of the American Revolution, National Society US Daughters 1812, United Daughters of the Confederacy, Daughters of Union Veterans of the Civil War, and Daughters of American Colonists.  

Special Interest Groups meet at 9:30 am for Beginning Genealogy, Civil War Genealogy, Writers' Support Group, German Ancestry, Italian Genealogy, French Canadian Genealogy, Computer Genealogy, DNA, and Jewish Genealogy.  The Society Monthly meeting starts at 10:30 and the featured speaker starts at 11:00am.

Come join us. You do not need to be a member to enjoy this wonderful free presentation.

A calendar of genealogical events can be found at the Society web site (

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