Monday 8 October 2018

Finalised DNA Lecture schedule (with talk descriptions) - Dublin, 19-21 Oct 2018

GGI2018 takes place over the weekend of October 19th-21st2018 at the RDS (Royal Dublin Society) in Ballsbridge, Dublin. Below is the final schedule for the DNA Lectures. These will take place upstairs in Dodder Suite 5A (the same room as in previous years) and will be well sign-posted from the floor of the exhibition hall (just follow the signs for DNA Lectures).

It is planned to record the lectures and make them available on the Genetic Genealogy Ireland YouTube channel. A new lecture will be posted each few days following the end of the conference, so that by the end of November all the lectures will be available online.

Friday 19th Oct 2018

11.30   DNA for Beginners (Debbie Kennett, ISOGG, UK)
Thinking of taking a DNA test? Wondering how DNA can help your family tree research? Just got your results and wondering how to interpret them? Then this beginner’s talk is for you.

12.30   How DNA can help at Tuam (Maurice Gleeson, ISOGG, IRL)
Almost 800 children died at the Tuam Mothers & Babies home between 1925 & 1961. Many of them may be buried in a pit discovered on the old site of the home. This talk reviews how DNA can help identify the skeletal remains found in the pit, and explores some of the ethical issues involved.

13.30   Cold Case Solved: The Use of Autosomal DNA in Identifying Offenders and Victims of Violent Crime (Barbara Rae-Venter, ISOGG, US)
This talk explores how the powerful combination of DNA & genealogy has helped adoptees reconnect with their birth families, and more recently has been used to identify murder victims and violent offenders (such as the Golden State Killer).

14.30   Ethical issues & the social application of DNA (Panel Discussion)
A public discussion of recent developments in the use of Gedmatch by law enforcement agencies to identify victims of crime as well as serial rapists and killers. Will the use of this public database make society safer? But at what cost to the average member of the public?

15.30   A Genomic Compendium of an Island: Documenting Continuity and Change across Irish Human Prehistory (Lara Cassidy, TCD, Dublin)
Lara’s recent thesis interprets the DNA results from 93 ancient skeletons found in Ireland dating from about 5000 BC forward. These analyses have helped shape a new exciting history of Ireland’s ancient past and provide the most comprehensive assessment to date of how waves of migration into Ancient Ireland have shaped the people who live in Ireland today.

16.30   Introducing DNA Painter (Katherine Borges, ISOGG, US)
This user-friendly website is packed with tools to help you analyse your DNA matches (no matter which company you have tested with). Katherine reviews the tools available and how they can help you in practice.

Saturday 20th Oct 2018

11.30   DNA testing for Genealogy – The Basics (Donna Rutherford, ISOGG, UK)
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. Donna covers how to get started, how the tests work, and which test is best for you, using case studies of each type of test.

12.30   Unusual use of Third Party Tools (Cathal McElgunn, ISOGG, IRL)
One of the third party tools that can be used with your DNA results predicts physical traits and even propensity to medical conditions (e.g. Coeliac’s Disease). This talk provides an overview of what is (and is not) possible, how to interpret the results (with caution), and ethical issues raised by these tools. 

13.30   The North East Galway DNA Project (Martin Curley, ISOGG, IRL)
Using Facebook as a communication tool, the NE Galway DNA Project has had great success in connecting people within the greater Galway area and has reunited Diaspora Irish families with their Local Irish relatives, culminating in a major gathering of families this past summer. These successes have major implications for other similar projects.

14.30   Running successful atDNA Projects in Ireland(Panel Discussion)
A public discussion on localised geographical projects in Ireland (usually county-based), how they are run in different parts of the country, what lessons can be learned, and what does the future hold for these projects.

15.30   Developments in O’Neill Clan Genealogy (O’Neill Project Team, ISOGG, US)
The O’Neill Clan is one of the biggest clans in Ireland, famous for its legendary progenitor, Niall of the Nine Hostages. Conclusions based on the most recent Y-DNA results will be presented and discussed, including the relevance to families related to the O’Neill clan.

16.30   Finding Missing Persons with DNA (Debbie Kennett, ISOGG, UK)
Use of Gedmatch has led to the identification of at least ten “missing persons” in the US, and there are an additional 70-90 people awaiting identification within the Gedmatch database. This novel use of DNA & Genealogy in combination will be reviewed and ethical issues discussed. 

Sunday 21st Oct 2018

11.30   Raising the Dead (Martin McDowell, ISOGG, IRL)
Martin gives a few practical examples of how autosomal DNA can be used to identify specific ancestors and explains how ancestor reconstruction can be used easily as a constructive tool to further your DNA research. This is something that isn't as complicated as it sounds and might just help you to break through that Brick Wall that refuses to come down.

12.30   WATO – the latest tool for your atDNA (Andrew Millard, Uni of Durham, UK)
Ever wonder how a DNA match fits into your tree? Andrew discusses the new WATO tool and how to apply it in practice to identify where in your tree a match is likely to sit. This is an indispensible tool for those working with adoptees.

13.30   GDPR, Privacy & Data Protection (James Irvine, ISOGG, UK)
These are hot topics in genealogy as well as elsewhere. James presents an overview of recent refinements in privacy & data protection and how these are helping to safeguard your DNA.

14.30   DNA, Privacy & Data Protection (Panel Discussion)
How can you maximize your privacy & data protection? This facilitated public discussion will give you tips and pointers so that you can easily achieve the level of protection with which you are personally comfortable.

15.30   Untangling a Tumbleweed Branch of the Y-DNA Tree (John Brazil, ISOGG, IRL)
As more people test with the Big Y, many branches of the Tree of Mankind are growing further downstream and approaching the surname era (roughly the past 1000 years). However, the journey is sometimes far from easy. This talk explores the challenges faced in exploring one particular branch, deriving lessons applicable to many others. 

16.30   Big Y, WGS, & the future of Y-DNA (John Cleary, ISOGG, UK)
The recent introduction of the Big Y-500 has made a significant impact on Y-DNA family history projects. The future of recreational DNA testing will hold some major surprises in particular for the evolution of the Tree of Mankind. This talk explores what we can expect in the next few years.
Maurice Gleeson
8 Oct 2018


  1. Looks like another great event. I hope to see new people attending and in particular those outside the Dublin urban area who may not have attended before.

  2. I would love to go but I am on the wrong side of the pond