Tuesday 10 October 2017

GGI2017 - descriptions of each DNA Lecture

The table below, summarising this years DNA Lecture schedule, only gives you a tantalising taste of what is to come. But have a read of the descriptions of each of the talks below and you will truly appreciate what a great line-up of speakers and topics we have for you this year!

The Speaker Profiles for each of the presenters can be accessed via the Speaker Profiles page and give biographical information as well as further links & resources associated with each of the speakers and their particular topics. Bookmark this page if you are coming to the conference so you can refer to it during the day.

The DNA Lecture schedule in a nutshell
(click to enlarge)

Friday 20th October

11.15 - Introducing DNA for family research
Ann Marie Coghlan, ISOGG, IRL

Why should we add DNA to our personal genealogy toolkit? Ann Marie explains the basics of DNA testing and how we can use genetic genealogy research in understanding not only our own personal family history but also our community history. This is an excellent talk for complete beginners who have never tested before, and a great refresher for those who already have.

12.00 - Making the most of autosomal DNA
Debbie Kennett, ISOGG, UK

Autosomal DNA testing is a useful tool for the family historian. It can be used to confirm existing genealogical relationships and to reunite us with our long lost cousins. This talk will cover some of the basic concepts of autosomal DNA testing and look at strategies for working with your results. We will also look at some of the third-party tools and resources that are available to help you.

13.00 - What do your Y-DNA Results mean?
Maurice Gleeson, ISOGG, IRL

Y-DNA is extremely useful for learning more about a particular surname and where it came from. It can reconnect you with cousins on your direct male line, identify a place of ancestral origin, and even tie you in to specific genealogies in the ancient annals. In this talk, Maurice will take you through your Y-DNA results and help you understand what you are seeing. The next step will be to join the appropriate surname projects, haplogroup projects, and geographic projects. Maurice will discuss how Project Administrators analyse your results and how this can benefit your own genealogical research.

14.00 - Icelandic roots and identities: Genealogies, DNA, & personal names
Prof Gisli Palsson, UoI, Iceland

Gisli is Professor of Anthropology at the University of Iceland. He will be talking about the genealogical database The Book of Icelanders and the DNA testing of the people of Iceland. Interestingly, these have helped reconstruct the genome of a runaway Caribbean slave who became an Icelandic merchant in the early 1800s. Gisli will discuss the quest of his descendants for roots and identity, a common desire for many people interested in family history. Genetic research shows that there are significant Irish signatures in the genetic makeup of modern Icelanders, thanks to Norse travels through Ireland. Gisli will compare and contrast the approach to (and interest in) genealogy in Iceland and Ireland.

15.00 - The Genetics of the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade
Prof Hannes Schroeder, NHM, Denmark

Hannes is Assistant Professor of Archaeology at the University of Copenhagen and one of the lead investigators on the EUROTAST project which explores the genetics of the TransAtlantic Slave Trade.  Hannes will discuss the work of the project, why it was started in the first place, what we have learnt, and implications for future research. The project focused on three themes: Origins, Life Cycles, and Legacies, which led to further detail on the slave trading system, but also helped demonstrate how slavery fundamentally shaped the cultural and biological experiences of people of African descent around the world.

16.00 - Ancient DNA and the Genetic History of Europeans
Eppie Jones, TCD, IRL

Eppie is a Research Fellow at the Smurfit Institute of Genetics, Trinity College Dublin and will discuss how the ability to recover DNA from ancient human remains is transforming our understanding of the past. In this presentation we will look at how information from millenia-old bones is harnessed and what we can learn from studies using ancient DNA. In particular, we will explore how events which happened thousands of years ago have shaped the genes and traits of people living in Europe today.

17.00 - Prehistoric genomics at the Atlantic Edge
Prof Dan Bradley, TCD, IRL

It is now known from ancient genomic investigation that massive migrations were part of cultural transitions in European prehistory. It is interesting to discover if Ireland and Portugal underwent these massive migrations. This lecture explores the evidence for such migrations and discusses the implications of the results for understanding the origins of modern populations and the languages they speak.

This year, the four lectures on Friday afternoon were made possible by the kind support of CITIGEN, a HERA Project. CITIGEN is an international collaborative research project that looks at the uses of modern and ancient genomic data in shaping public understandings of the past and our individual and collective identities. 

Saturday 21st October

11.15 – Autosomal DNA testing for beginners
Donna Rutherford, ISOGG, UK

Understanding DNA results can be confusing and complex. If people can learn how to read and understand their results, they will get the maximum benefit from their investment in a DNA test. Donna’s 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.

12.00 - Using Y-SNP Tests in Surname & Family Projects
John Cleary, ISOGG, UK

It is 4 years since FTDNA introduced their new Y chromosome sequencing test, the Big Y. This talk will review how this popular test has transformed surname projects in this time, and how the ‘SNP tsunami’ has upended and transformed the shape and size of the Y chromosome haplotree.  Strategies and useful utilities for making sense of the results of Big Y testing will be presented and discussed through a variety of cases where breakthroughs have been made, or new questions answered, about families, names and their origins.

13.00 - The Power of Mitochondrial DNA – a Swedish perspective
Peter Sjölund, ISOGG, SWE

Mitochondrial DNA, the DNA of your mother’s mother’s line, is often underrated by genealogists but has proved very useful for genealogical research in Sweden and neighbouring countries. Peter is one of the founders of the highly successful Swedish Society for Genetic Genealogy and will present success stories from Scandinavian genealogy to show you how to use mtDNA effectively in your own genealogy and how to find your prehistoric relatives.

14.00 - Ask the Experts – topical issues in Genetic Genealogy
Panel Discussion  

Come and ask any question you want to our expert panel. Find out what are the hot topics in Irish genetic genealogy. Discover the face of the brave new world that is fast approaching and where we will be in 5 years time. Panellists include Gerard Corcoran, Katherine Borges, Debbie Kennett, John Cleary, Peter Sjölund, & Roberta Estes, among many others.

15.00 - Using Triangulation to Break through your Irish Brick Walls
Maurice Gleeson, ISOGG, IRL

Triangulation is a simple process whereby you focus on a particular ancestor and try to break through the Brick Wall at that particular level in your family tree. It simply means testing yourself and one or more cousins who are descended from that particular ancestor. Maurice will discuss the completely unexpected breakthrough that recently resulted from using the technique in his own family tree research, and will take you through a step-by-step approach to how you can use the technique in your own genealogical research.

16.00 - Family Trees with SAPP - Automated from STRs, SNPs & Genealogies
Dave Vance, ISOGG, USA

How can you continue building your family tree when your ancestors run out? Dave Vance explains how he is automating the process whereby STR markers, SNPs, & known genealogies can be used to build a "Mutation History Tree" within the context of a surname project. Soon every surname project administrator will be able to build such trees for the larger groups within their surname project. And for the individual genealogist, this means that for particular ancestral lines, the lineage will extend beyond your Brick Wall using DNA markers instead of named ancestors, potentially back to the origin of the surname itself.

17.00 - Nine Autosomal Tools at Family Tree DNA & How to Use Them
Roberta Estes, ISOGG, USA

Roberta is one of the most eminent genetic genealogy educators in the world. In this talk, she will cover tools to help you interpret your autosomal DNA results. Did you know that Family Tree DNA provides customers with 9 different tools for autosomal DNA matching and analysis? Did you know that you can use these in combination with each other for even more specific matches. Not only that, but within these tools there are lots of ways to utilize the various features. This talk will explore several different scenarios and different approaches to solving brick walls.

Sunday 22nd October

11.15 - DNA is Dynamite - How to Ignite your Ancestral Research
Michelle Leonard, ISOGG, UK

This will be a talk for beginners giving an overview of the basic information required to understand the three main types of DNA testing available for ancestral research.  Michelle will explain how each test works and talk you through the first steps you should take once your results arrive.  She will provide easy to follow hints and tips on how to get the most out of those results and apply them to your ancestral mysteries.  Practical real-life examples will illustrate how DNA testing can be used to connect with previously unknown cousins and confirm the accuracy of your family tree.  

12.00 - Genomic insights into the history of the Irish Travellers

Gianpiero is Associate Professor of Human Genetics at the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland. The Irish Travellers are a population with a history of nomadism; consanguineous unions are common and they are socially isolated from the surrounding, ‘settled’ Irish people. Previous work suggests a common Irish origin between the settled and the Traveller populations. What is not known, however, is the extent of population structure within the Irish Travellers and the time of divergence from the general Irish population. This talk will discuss how genetic data can shed light on these questions, with a presentation of results from recent analysis of large genetic datasets generated from Irish Travellers, European Roma, settled Irish, British and European or world-wide individuals. No photos during this presentation please.

13.00 - Y-DNA & the Ireland yDNA Project
Margaret Jordan, ISOGG, IRL

Margaret is one of the Administrators of the Ireland yDNA Project which has over 6000 members with reported Irish ancestry. This presentation will discuss the evolution of the Ireland yDNA Project and the data which we are now able to extract from it. The talk will look at the major Y-DNA haplogroups found in the project and some of the smaller ones as well. This presentation will show how this Y-Geographical Project links up with relevant Y-Haplogroup Projects, other Y-Geographical Projects and Irish Surname Projects, which are all run through FamilyTreeDNA.

14.00 - The Irish DNA Atlas Project
Edmund Gilbert, RCSI, IRL

Ed will be presenting the final results of the Irish DNA Atlas project, which has used genome-wide autosomal genetic data to reveal a fine scale population structure within Ireland, and found genetic evidence of historical migrations into Ireland. The Atlas is being run as a collaboration between the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland and the Genealogical Society of Ireland. This work has provided valuable information on the history of the Irish population and compares the genetic makeup of the Irish to that in neighbouring Britain, as well as mainland Europe. It also provides fresh insights into our understanding of the role of DNA in various diseases within Ireland. No photos during this presentation please.

15.00 - Autosomal DNA Through the Generations
Roberta Estes, ISOGG, USA

This talk will explore DNA through the ages - literally! What might you be able to do with DNA matching if you had 4 generations to work with? What could you learn? Looking at how DNA is inherited through multiple generations of the same family is the perfect way to learn about the principles of inheritance. It might also pique the interest of your children or grandchildren – what a fun project to undertake with them.

16.00 - Surname DNA Projects - a holistic approach
James Irvine, ISOGG, UK

James is the Project Administrator of a large surname project, the Clan Irwin Surname DNA Study. There are now 450 participants, including one subgroup of nearly 300 members who all share a common ancestor within the surname era, possibly the largest such branch in any surname project. Thanks to nearly 100 of these members taking Big Y or SNP Panel tests, the project has been able to use SNP data to define a branching structure for a “family tree” which extends down to and within some conventional Scottish and Irish family trees. James will illustrate the various lines of research that a Surname Project can promote by integrating data from Y-STR tests, Y-SNP tests (single SNP and SNP Pack), Big Y tests, autosomal DNA tests, surname diaspora and conventional family trees.

17.00 - Match Making in Clare using Y-DNA & atDNA
Paddy Waldron, ISOGG, IRL

Lisdoonvarna in County Clare is still famous for its annual matchmaking festival.  In previous centuries marriage in Clare and elsewhere was always an economic rather than a romantic transaction.  Paddy will talk about some of the surprising trends in arranged marriages revealed by genetic genealogy.  As co-administrator of the Clare Roots project, Paddy meets and greets members of the project when they visit Clare and introduces them, not to prospective spouses, but to long-lost cousins in Clare. Most of these meetings have provided new lessons about DNA matching which will feature in his talk.  Another type of match making that genetic genealogists engage in involves matching up (a) the oral traditions passed down through the generations, (b) the archival sources used by traditional genealogists and (c) the DNA evidence that often reconciles them, but sometimes refutes the oral tradition.  Paddy will include many examples illustrating these points, using both Y-DNA and autosomal DNA.

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

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