DNA testing has exploded onto the genealogy scene in recent years and is now one of the most important tools available to advance family tree research. In order to successfully use DNA testing for genealogy, however, it's essential to combine it with traditional research. This presentation will concentrate on several in-depth case studies that demonstrate what can be achieved when you combine long-established research methods with DNA test results. These case studies will cover verification of family tree lines, the breaking of brick walls, the testing of hypotheses and the solving of hitherto unfathomable mysteries.
Michelle Leonard is a Scottish professional genealogist, DNA detective, freelance researcher, speaker, author and historian. She runs her own genealogy and DNA consultancy business, Genes & Genealogy, and specialises in DNA Detective work particularly the solving of adoption, unknown parentage and all manner of unknown ancestor mysteries using a combination of DNA expertise and conventional research methods. She also undertakes traditional family history research, living relative tracing, historical and television research, media consultation, the creation of bespoke family history books, podcasts, article, blog and book writing, tutoring, lecturing, webinars and speaking engagements. She is a regular speaker at major genealogy events such as Rootstech, The Genealogy Show, Family Tree Live, Back To Our Past and Who Do You Think You Are? Live as well as a co-author of "Tracing Your Ancestors Using DNA: A Guide For Family Historians" which was published in June 2019.
Additionally Michelle is the official genetic genealogist of ancestryhour.co.uk and is one of the hosts of the hour itself: #AncestryHour takes place on Twitter each Tuesday evening from 7-8pm GMT and Michelle is usually on hand to answer any #DNA queries that arise. She also spent several years working on the ground-breaking Fromelles Genealogy Project tracking down appropriate DNA donors to identify WWI soldiers buried in a mass grave in France and served as the Genealogical Consultant on the official Fromelles documentary. She regularly works on new historic soldier cases when battlefield remains are found and DNA testing is conducted.
Michelle holds an M.A. in English and Modern History from the University of St Andrews and a PgCert in Genealogical, Palaeographic and Heraldic Studies from the University of Strathclyde. She is a member of the Association of Professional Genealogists (APG), the Scottish Genealogy Network (SGN), the Society of Genealogists (SOG) and the International Society of Genetic Genealogy (ISOGG). You can find out more about Michelle on her Genes & Genealogy Facebook page and you can follow her on Twitter.