A Summer of DNA Conference – Dianah Southard, Kitty Cooper and More

DNA Virtual Conference 2018

I’ll admit, DNA confused me. Even though my husband recently found my biological 2nd great-grandfather and we have a YouTube Channel with 40+ videos about DNA, I still don’t understand it as well as I should.

I have questions like these:

  • How to use AncestryDNA tools now that I have taken a test (and sweet talked my relatives into it as well). 
  • How to solve DNA mysteries for adoption and unknown parents situations. My grandmother was adopted and Andy (the Nerdy Family History Fanatic) just puzzled out who her bio dad is. How did he do it?
  • How do I tell others to take a DNA test when they know all of their ancestors? Is it enough to say, “Hey, then you can help me, or others like me, find our kin by being tested”?
  • Finally, how do we triangulate? I thought I was doing that with MyHeritage DNA, but apparently not.
Do you have similar questions? 

If so, then join me as we learn at the feet of some amazing educators on August 4, 2018 – entirely online!!! And if you’re not free that day, register anyway and watch the replay.

Diahan Southard, Your DNA Guide and a Genealogy Gem, will start the conference at 9:00 AM CDT.

She’ll cover my third topic of interest. Diahan is so spunky and knowledgeable. I’ve enjoyed watching her genetic genealogy business grow and seeing her on live-streamed sessions of RootsTech. We’ll learn from her and then pick her brain on this topic and more. Check out her video above to get a flavor for her style!!!

Topic: Your Pedigree is Full, There is Still Room for DNA

Sam Williams will tackle AncestryDNA Tools at 10:15 AM CDT.

He is new to the genealogy speaking circuit, but he’s not new to educating. He has a degree in  International Affairs and Spanish with a dual focus on Latin America and the Middle East. That’s just plain cool! He’s worked as a youth director and is now a Pastoral Assistant at Saint Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church in Virginia Beach. This guy can talk, about so many things. And he’s a huge fan of AncestryDNA and the cool features that newbies and experienced researchers should be using to piece together the puzzle of their kindred connections!

Topic: Using AncestryDNA Tools

Michelle Leonard, Genes & Genealogy

Michelle Leonard, of Genes & Genealogy, will fill the 11:30 AM CDT time slot with Mystery Solving!

Michelle specializes in DNA detective work solving adoption and all manner of unknown ancestor mysteries with the use of DNA testing. Can I say, that’s exciting? Seriously. That’s AWESOME. If Andy didn’t solve my bio great-granddad’s case, then I was going to call her up!

So many folks ask Andy through our YouTube channel on how to solve adoption and family mystery cases. Michelle’s going to help me learn a ton and I can’t wait. And then there’s one more class to finish it all.

I’m also excited that she’ll be logging in from Scotland. Man, I love virtual conferences that can connect me to folks from around the country!

Topic: Using DNA to Solve Adoption and Unknown Parentage Mysteries

Kitty Cooper will finish the lectures at 12:45 PM CDT!

Kitty is your relaxed educator. She ‘fell’ into the world of presenting about DNA and is the go-to girl for all things DNA triangulation. She’s super friendly and smart. She has developed tools for graphing DNA relationships and then shared step-by step-pictorial explanations intended for her relatives, but the geneablog-o-sphere latched on for the knowledge she shared. With a background in programming, Triangulation will be a cinch for her. But, she’s also down-to-earth and is also a World Champion Bridge player. That makes me laugh.

Topic: DNA Segment Triangulation


After the lectures, we’re in for a treat. The four panelists will return for a “test your knowledge” competition with moderator Andy Lee. The panelists will play and we’ll see who is champ and who is stumped. And we’ll laugh through it all.

Genealogy UnScripted - Family History Fanatics
Genealogy Unscripted from a Previous eConference!

Once we have a little light-hearted fun, it will back to a full-panel Q&A. When Diahan, Sam, Michelle, and Kitty are presenting, I can key in my questions as they come. They may answer them throughout the presentation or at the end of their sessions.  If I think of more questions or my questions weren’t answered in the time allowed, this is my chance. How cool is that?


There are so many virtual genealogy conferences and webinars available. What makes this one different?

A combination of factors is the short answer.

First, I love virtual conferences that open the chat to all participants throughout the conference. We can see the questions others have. We might be able to share something we know that someone else wants to learn, or the presenter didn’t know. We can also have our questions answered during or at the end of the presentation (much like a live event).

Tammy Hepps - Family History Fanatics Virtual Conference
See the difference when you can see your presenter throughout the session!

Two, we can see our presenters throughout their webinars. Some presenters will be full-screen occasionally as they address lengthy points, but then drop to thumb-nail size to view their slides and demonstrations. Some presenters will be thumbnail size during their presentation and full-size during the Q&A. The key is, we’ll see who is talking to us, which is great because we can learn so much from their facial expressions in addition to their content.

Eric Wells - Family History Fanatics Virtual Conference
Some presenters will utilize the full-screen video feature!

Three, the fifth-hour panel discussion is focused on having fun and then making sure we pick the panelist’s brains on the things we still don’t understand. We can ask questions that are related, but off topic. Perhaps you want to ask each of them what their favorite DNA testing company is. They might not have answered that during their presentations, but we can cover that in the panel session!

Grab the Early Bird Special

Five hours of learning, fun, and getting my questions answered, with a replay of the conference and handouts from each presenter normally costs $24.99. I can attend from the comfort of my home in my pajamas no matter where I live in the world.

But, if we register by July 21st, we get the entire conference for only $19.99!!! 

What’s more, there will be door prizes! Who doesn’t love freebies? And many of the prizes are DNA related so someone could get a prize that’s worth more than the cost of the conference!!! Woot-woot.

Door prizes are from MyHeritage DNA, 23andMe, Family Tree DNA, Ancestry, and Family History Fanatics.

To learn more and register visit, www.familyhistoryfanatics.com/summerdna.

Family History Fanatics is a genealogy education company that is focused on putting the fun in online learning. See the difference the FHF Group puts together for you.

4 thoughts on “A Summer of DNA Conference – Dianah Southard, Kitty Cooper and More

  1. I posted the times are on Central Daylight Time (CDT). So on the west coast the opening session begins at 6:45 am.

    If that's too early, there will be a replay available within 24 hours of the broadcast.

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