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)

Thu, April 13 2023: 21:00 UTC
Solving Unknown Parentage Mysteries with MyHeritage DNA
Thu, April 13 2023: 21:00 UTC
DNA testing has transformed the options available to people with unknown parentage or other unknown ancestor mysteries. This presentation will explain how to use DNA results from MyHeritage to help with solving these previously unsolvable enigmas. Michelle will guide you through how to use the tools and features provided by MyHeritage specifically for unknown parentage situations from investigating MyHeritage matches, utilising the detailed shared match lists on offer, building master research trees for your projects, using the 30 helpful color-coding labels to cluster and organise mystery matches right through to identifying links and obtaining solutions. She will provide practical demonstrations of the core techniques you should employ and genuine case studies and success stories will be included to show how DNA results from MyHeritage can be used in tandem with traditional research to solve mysteries and gain answers.
DNA testing has transformed the options available to people with unknown parentage or other unknown ancestor mysteries. This presentation will explain how to use DNA results from MyHeritage to help with solving these previously unsolvable enigmas. Michelle will guide you through how to use the tools and features provided by MyHeritage specifically for unknown parentage situations from investigating MyHeritage matches, utilising the detailed shared match lists on offer, building master research trees for your projects, using the 30 helpful color-coding labels to cluster and organise mystery matches right through to identifying links and obtaining solutions. She will provide practical demonstrations of the core techniques you should employ and genuine case studies and success stories will be included to show how DNA results from MyHeritage can be used in tandem with traditional research to solve mysteries and gain answers.
Thu, April 13 2023: 21:00 UTC
Wed, September 6 2023: 18:00 UTC
Understanding Predicted Relationships at the DNA Testing Sites
Wed, September 6 2023: 18:00 UTC
When you receive your results from any of the major testing sites you will see a relationship prediction such as 4th-6th cousin or 1st cousin twice removed-2nd cousin twice removed. What exactly do these predictions mean though? This presentation will explain all about these predictions and provide practical advice on how to interpret and make best use of them.
When you receive your results from any of the major testing sites you will see a relationship prediction such as 4th-6th cousin or 1st cousin twice removed-2nd cousin twice removed. What exactly do these predictions mean though? This presentation will explain all about these predictions and provide practical advice on how to interpret and make best use of them.
Wed, September 6 2023: 18:00 UTC

Michelle's Webinars (29)