Michelle Leonard

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.

Michelle's Upcoming Live Webinars (2)

Wed, April 6 2022: 18:00 UTC
The Beginner’s Guide To DNA Testing For Genealogy
Wed, April 6 2022: 18:00 UTC
This presentation will give an overview of the three main types of DNA tests available for family history purposes. It will explain how Y-DNA, Mitochondrial DNA and Autosomal DNA are inherited and how to use your DNA results to verify the accuracy of your family tree, connect with new cousins, break down brick walls and solve mysteries. Michelle will give practical advice, hints and tips on the best steps to take to succeed and demonstrate what can be achieved using success stories.
This presentation will give an overview of the three main types of DNA tests available for family history purposes. It will explain how Y-DNA, Mitochondrial DNA and Autosomal DNA are inherited and how to use your DNA results to verify the accuracy of your family tree, connect with new cousins, break down brick walls and solve mysteries. Michelle will give practical advice, hints and tips on the best steps to take to succeed and demonstrate what can be achieved using success stories.
Wed, April 6 2022: 18:00 UTC
Wed, June 1 2022: 18:00 UTC
Using DNA To Solve Interlinked Mysteries
Wed, June 1 2022: 18:00 UTC
Sometimes when trying to solve family mysteries using DNA, we discover that the best matches on the mystery line also have recent mysteries of their own and the connection between the two lies on their respective mystery lines. It's exciting when there are close DNA matches on a mystery line but, equally, it can be frustrating if those matches also have recent blanks or brick walls and it's tempting to treat these kinds of matches as dead ends. In this presentation, Michelle will outline some extraordinary case studies where multiple mysteries linked together and only by investigating them all could answers ultimately be uncovered. She will demonstrate the best techniques for navigating these tricky situations and provide her top hints and tips for working with interlinked mysteries. Often if you can solve one interlinked mystery, you can solve them all!
Sometimes when trying to solve family mysteries using DNA, we discover that the best matches on the mystery line also have recent mysteries of their own and the connection between the two lies on their respective mystery lines. It's exciting when there are close DNA matches on a mystery line but, equally, it can be frustrating if those matches also have recent blanks or brick walls and it's tempting to treat these kinds of matches as dead ends. In this presentation, Michelle will outline some extraordinary case studies where multiple mysteries linked together and only by investigating them all could answers ultimately be uncovered. She will demonstrate the best techniques for navigating these tricky situations and provide her top hints and tips for working with interlinked mysteries. Often if you can solve one interlinked mystery, you can solve them all!
Wed, June 1 2022: 18:00 UTC

Michelle's Webinars (26)