Below is a sampling of just a few of my most popular lectures. But I do take requests as well!
Genetic Genealogy: Begin at the Beginning
It seems to be all the rage, this DNA testing for genealogy. But what can it really tell you? Perhaps even more importantly, what CANíT it tell you? Come learn the basics behind DNA testing and genealogy, and walk away with confidence in this new area of research.
In this back to basics lecture we will cover the three main kinds of DNA testing for genealogy: mtDNA, YDNA and autosomal DNA. We will cover the strengths and weaknesses of each, we will talk about who should be tested, and with which company. If you are new to genetic genealogy, this is the lecture for you. If you are thinking of giving up on genetic genealogy, thinking that you will never understand it- TRY THIS FIRST! I think you will find out you can understand more than you think you can, and start putting it to use in your genealogy.
Ruling the World with Mitochondrial DNA
The mitochondrial DNA, with its direct maternal line inheritance pattern, is a powerful tool for any genealogist, male or female, seeking to extend or verify a genealogical line. In a fun and entertaining lecture you will learn the basic and intermediate principles of using mtDNA to examine your past using mtDNA testing.
Each mtDNA test will produce two kinds of information: A mtDNA profile, or haplotype, and a prediction of your deep ancestral group, or haplogroup. One can help you research your ancestral connections, and the other your deep ancestral heritage.
This lecture will help you understand how to identify a good match, how to use your profile as a map to your haplogroup, and how to use both kinds of information to enlarge and expand your knowledge of your direct maternal line. We will also touch on the health information contained in your mtDNA, and provide guidance on how that can effect your decision to pursue mtDNA testing as a source of family history information.
YDNA Testing is for EVERYONE (yes you!)
The Y chromosome DNA, with its direct paternal line inheritance pattern, is a powerful tool for any genealogist, male or female, seeking to extend or verify a genealogical line. This interactive lecture will cover basic and intermediate principles of using YDNA verify and extend your pedigree chart.
YDNA testing should be the first genetic tool in every genealogistís toolbox. The YDNA test will produce two kinds of information: A YDNA profile, and a prediction of your deep ancestral group, or haplogroup. One can help you research your ancestral connections, and the other your deep ancestral heritage (and learn how the two are working together better than ever before to strengthen your pedigree chart!).
How can all that help be contained in a list of numbers? Come learn how these numbers are the key to your genealogical success. Be prepared to be surprised as you CAN learn how to use them. We will cover database searching, SNP testing, and project membership, to name just a few topics, in an exciting and interactive experience like no DNA class you have ever attended.
Give your pedigree a jump start with YDNA.
Charting Your Course through Autosomal DNA Testing
So you have had your autosomal DNA tested- now what?! Come learn in 45 minutes what would take you hours to read about online, and leave armed with enough information to start making your DNA work for you.
At some point in the recent past you were convinced that DNA testing could help with your genealogy, so you went through with the testing. But now you are faced with confusing results and a long list of matches. This lecture will refresh your biology knowledge, create the foundation of genetic genealogy knowledge, and most importantly, teach you how to get started using your autosomal DNA testing in your genealogy.
We will cover results from all three major testing companies, Ancestry.com, 23andMe, and Family Tree DNA. We will cover the topics of percentage shared, phasing, centimorgans, cousins, identical by descent (IBD), and much more.
We will most certainly cover the common situation of: ďI donít see any overlapping surnames or locations with my matches! What now?Ē A fun, upbeat, interactive lecture for those who have, or have not been tested, come learn how to dig into your genetics to find answers in your genealogy.
A microbiology graduate, Diahan Southard worked before and after graduation for the Sorenson Molecular Genealogy Foundation.
Growing up with the budding genetic genealogy industry lead her to her current position as Your DNA Guide, where she writes and lectures about genetic genealogy as well as provides personalized, interactive experiences to assist individuals and families in interpreting their genetic results in the context of their genealogical information.
Diahan's lectures are always fun, upbeat, and full of energy. She has a passion for genetic genealogy, a genuine love for people, and a gift for making the technical understandable.