Saturday, 19 August 2017

DNA Workshop at the British Institute 2017 (Salt Lake City)

I will be running a week-long workshop on DNA at the British Institute 2017 in Salt lake City (Sep 18-22) and everyone is welcome to attend.

The workshop is for Beginners and Intermediates alike. It covers every aspect of DNA-testing for genealogy, including the basic science, the use of Y-DNA for surname research, and working with your DNA matches to break thru Brick Walls.

There are still places left so visit this link for full details and booking ...

Participants will also get a 150-page book to accompany the course.

See you there!

Maurice Gleeson
Aug 2017

Here is the schedule for the week.

Monday (introduction and mitochondrial DNA)
  • Introduction to DNA - the 3 main types of DNA, the different types of test
  • Applying DNA to your genealogy - what each test can tell you, which test is best for your particular genealogical question, examples of the application of each type of test
  • A brief look at minor topics: Neanderthal DNA, Human Migration, Medical Applications
  • A comparison of the different companies and what they offer
  • A brief look at resources available to help the genetic genealogist (from beginner to advanced)
  • A closer look at mitochondrial DNA and how it can be used for genealogy - mtDNA and ancestral homeland localisation
Tuesday (Y-DNA - STR markers & SNP markers)
  • A deeper dive into Y-DNA 
  • How Y-DNA can help you locate your ancestral homeland
  • Surname Projects - what surname projects can tell you over and above your own Y-DNAresults - how they help identify ancestral homelands -  piggybacking onto the longest genealogies
  • A close look at the benefits of joining Y-DNA Haplogroup Projects, Geographic Projects, Special Interest Projects
  • Y-DNASNP marker testing - what it tells us about the human evolutionary tree - how it can be used to link in to the ancient genealogies - where it will be in 5 years
  • How to build family trees using Y-DNA STR markers and SNP markers when you have run out of people
Wednesday (Autosomal DNA)
  • What is atDNA? What is xDNA? Patterns of inheritance. Recombination. Independent assortment.
  • atDNA and ethnic makeup: What does it really tell us? A close look at the People of the British Isles project and the Irish DNA Atlas - can the results inform our own genealogy? How ethnic admixture results can help inform your own family history?
  • What is a match? When is a match not a match?
  • Using a step by step approach to analysing your atDNA matches
Thursday (Autosomal DNA)
  • Explaining ICW matches and the importance of overlapping segments
  • The significance of Triangulated Groups (TGs) - generating TGs using known cousins - generating TGs using unknown cousins
  • Using Third party tools to harness the power of your atDNA matches 
- Gedmatch
- DNAGedcom
- GenomeMate
- DNAadoption 
... and others
Friday (Practical Application of DNA to Genealogy)
  • Applying all types of DNA in practice using Adoptees as an example:
  • Using Y-DNA to predict the surname
  • Using close atDNA matches to identify probable close ancestors (great grandparents or closer)
  • Developing a testing strategy to narrow down candidates for birth parents
  • Other testing strategies for specific attendee problems
  • General Q&A Session


  1. Thanks, Maurice. Glad you are back in London.

    1. Thank you, Gloria. I had such fun! It was a great week, meeting everybody, getting to know one another, and sharing our stories, our aspirations and our expertise. I am very much looking forward to the next one! :-)

  2. I have to admit that I am not scientific minded and was a bit worried about taking the dna course in Salt Lake City. I was happily surprised at how interesting you made the course and how much I learned. I also liked that you have youtube videos that I can watch later to refresh my new knowledge. Thank you, Maurice, for a great experience.

    1. Glad you enjoyed the workshop! And as you say, a lot of the material can be found on my YouTube Channel - DNA and Family Tree Research 👍

  3. Maurice is gifted with a natural teaching style which is most helpful with a technical subject like DNA. I was concerned about committing five days to a subject which might have been way over my head, but I walked away with some most useful tools and techniques.

    In addition, Maurice showed a personal interest in spending time with each course participant to help them with their own personal "brick walls". I am looking forward to the next time I can participate in a course or hear a lecture by Maurice.

    1. Thanks for your kind comments, John - it was great meeting you and hearing about Uncle Matt! Looking forward to getting an update when next we meet. :-)

  4. From Maureen:
    Just one word is needed to describe this course: terrific. Maurice may be the best teacher ever, excelling in both content and methods. He started at a general level and then delved deep into DNA as a genealogy tool. It was a great experience.

  5. From Barbara S:
    Thank you so much for coming to the British Institute in Salt Lake City. Having you teach for a whole week was fantastic! The class was small enough that everyone received personal questions answered every day. I have taken some DNA classes at the National Genealogy Conferences, but having a whole week to take a deep dive into DNA really helped me grasp so much more. One of my goals was to start a Y-DNA surname study for my husband's family. I was able to do this with your encouragement and help. Thank you so much Maurice!

  6. As a former teacher I loved Maurice's teaching style so much. He is funny and personable. He learned everyone's name the first day and called us by name all week. He knows how to show an intimidating chart packed with numbers, and then proceed to break it down until its data becomes clear to all. Several other students have commented already about the time he spent with individuals. This was exceptional - I noticed him staying late, sitting with students over lunch, and even on Friday afternoon he stayed to help class members. I second the value of his YouTube videos, but most of all if you ever get a chance to sit in one of his classes, don't miss it. Thanks to the British Institute Board for bringing him to the U.S.

    1. Thanks Sara, you are very kind. Looking forward to our next game of “Scramled Eggs”.

  7. The five days spent in this DNA course were remarkable, and the time seemed to fly by because every minute was interesting, informative, and well-presented. Maurice is a brilliant instructor who is able to reach out to all levels: beginner to advanced students, and now I feel more comfortable with DNA and can apply this new-found knowledge to the several DNA test results I'm monitoring for family.
    I'm looking forward to my next educational experience when Maurice comes to the Historical Society of Pennsylvania next summer.
    Thank you!

    1. Thanks Sandi - I’m looking forward to Philadelphia already! 😊