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The Genealogical Research Division of

DNA I: Introduction to Genetic Genealogy

Learn about genetic genealogy and how to use genetic testing to augment your traditional genealogy research. You will learn what types of tests are available, where to test, and the basics of how to interpret DNA results.

Course Outline

  • What is Genetic Genealogy?
  • What are the pros and cons of this type of testing?
  • What are the three types of tests (autosomal, Y DNA, and mtDNA)?
  • Which companies provide these tests?
  • How to transform your family tree into a format to facilitate genetic genealogy research.
  • Introduction to the capabilities of the DNA testing sites.

Skills you will learn

The goal of the DNA I class is to introduce the topic of genetic genealogy to those who have not yet started or are just beginning the testing process. We describe the advantages and disadvantages of doing genetic genealogy. We will discuss the types of available tests and lay out a strategy for how best to test your DNA to locate possible relatives. We will outline the introductory analysis steps for the test results that you receive.


The main interaction will be through two 1 hour teleconferences on successive Sundays. ZOOM Meetings are August 4 and 11 (Sundays at 10 AM Pacific Time / 1 PM Eastern Time). There will be another 2-3 hours of homework during the week and 1-2 hours of reading. We will use that homework to discuss research goals and build a condensed family tree to optimize your testing strategy. A class bulletin board will support a written conversation about the course topics.


  • Must be familiar with using computers;
  • Willing to participate via Zoom;
  • No DNA testing is required to take this introductory course.

Note: We will be analyzing your family tree but will not be analyzing your specific DNA results in this class.


Tuition for this class is $50, or $32 if you are VAS eligible.

Contact Information

For any questions, email the instructor at

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