Monday 4 September 2017

Donna Rutherford - Speaker Profile

Talk Title - Introducing Y-DNA for autosomal DNA testers

Background - I'm a New Zealander with English, Scottish and Irish ancestry. Many of my family were New Zealand pioneers.


Day Job - I work in the Technology Industry as a Global Business Operations Manager, currently working mostly in the Cloud Technology space. I'm professionally an Accountant, but worked mostly in IT Management during my career.

Night Job - Running our DNA facebook group, writing blogs, and chasing down those DNA matches. I co-admin the Rutherford Project and have a Rutherford one-name study. I manage DNA kits for several friends and family.

How did you get into genealogy?

As a teenager I loved the stories from my great aunt about her early life in New Zealand and why our family had left England. Many family members passed down handwritten genealogies and family bibles that were invaluable in starting my own research. In the 90s I wrote my own family tree database and whilst it wasn't a particularly good bit of software, by today's standards, it did the job and got me more interested in the technology side of genealogy.

What about your involvement with genetic genealogy?

At the beginning of 2015 I decided to take an Ancestry DNA test. Once I got the results I spent all my spare time immersing myself in YouTube videos, blogs and facebook groups learning about DNA for Genealogy. It basically changed my life, as I then set about testing on other sites and testing all my family. Since then I've become co-owner and admin of a DNA facebook group where I've been helping people with questions about their own results. Last year I became co-admin in a Y DNA project (the Rutherford project). I now manage Big Y tests, MtDNA and many many autosomal kits. I specialise in trying to make the complex side of DNA testing easy to understand for people who are new to genetic genealogy.

So what will you be talking about?

Many DNA testers have started with autosomal DNA testing. For these people Y-DNA is still a mystery. This talk is aimed at those already using genetic genealogy but are curious about Y-DNA testing. I will explain the Y-DNA test and results in basic terms to help those starting out.

What DNA tests will be discussed?

The talk will cover all three basic DNA tests - Y-DNA, mtDNA, and atDNA.

Where can people get more information about you or your topic?

My Blog:
My Facebook DNA group:

Previous talks by Donna at Genetic Genealogy Ireland

GGI2019 Belfast: Managing your DNA Matches ... Our DNA matches have been rapidly increasing. We are uploading to other sites, testing more of our family, and getting more matches as the databases grow. It's all good news, but we need to be able to manage all these matches to get the maximum benefit from our DNA test. This talk will look at the increasing database sizes, how we can upload to other sites for more matches, and then how to manage all our information. We will look at the tools on the test site that help us manage matches, and also how to use other tools like spreadsheets, DNA Painter, and even our own family tree to keep all our information in order.

GGI2018 DublinDNA testing for Genealogy – The Basics ... This introductory talk on DNA for genealogy outlines how the different type of DNA tests can help your research and which one is best for the particular research question you have in mind. I cover how to get started, how the tests work, and which test is best for you, using case studies of each type of test.

GGI2018 BelfastGame of Genes: DNA of characters from Game of Thrones - The genetics of the Game of Thrones characters. This will be a unique presentation that delves into the DNA results of characters from the Game of Thrones TV show. Although the characters are fictitious, details about their DNA can be applied to our research and understanding of our own genetics. What could we find out if we distributed DNA kits across Westeros, the Iron Islands, Essos and even beyond the Wall.

GGI2017Autosomal DNA testing for beginners. Understanding DNA results can be confusing and complex. If people can learn how to read and understand their results, they will get the maximum use of their investment in a DNA test. My talk will breakdown what a DNA test is, how it works, and how to interpret the results. This will be an easy to understand overview that beginners can feel comfortable attending without any previous experience with DNA. Experienced users most welcome, and hopefully they may pick up some tips and tricks too.

These lectures are sponsored by FamilyTreeDNA and organised by ISOGG (International Society of Genetic Genealogy).

1 comment:

  1. Just to say that I really enjoyed your Game of Thrones lecture. Gave me a better insight into how DNA knowledge is applied, as well as being a bit lighthearted. Thanks