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 (3)

Wed, March 6 2024: 19:00 UTC
Using DNA To Identify Irish Ancestral Locations
Wed, March 6 2024: 19:00 UTC
For many of us who have Irish ancestry, the major question is 'but where in Ireland?' Like millions of other descendants of Irish emigrants, Michelle Leonard has Irish ancestors who left Ireland in the 1840s-60s and on nearly all documents she can find for them their birthplaces were given simply as 'Ireland'. In many cases traditional research is not able to narrow down exactly where in Ireland our ancestors lived and trying to trace them across the seas is often a 'needle in a haystack' endeavour. In this personal case study, Michelle will outline how she managed to identify exact locations in Ireland for her Irish lines using the power of DNA testing and will provide strategies and top tips that could help you do the same.
For many of us who have Irish ancestry, the major question is 'but where in Ireland?' Like millions of other descendants of Irish emigrants, Michelle Leonard has Irish ancestors who left Ireland in the 1840s-60s and on nearly all documents she can find for them their birthplaces were given simply as 'Ireland'. In many cases traditional research is not able to narrow down exactly where in Ireland our ancestors lived and trying to trace them across the seas is often a 'needle in a haystack' endeavour. In this personal case study, Michelle will outline how she managed to identify exact locations in Ireland for her Irish lines using the power of DNA testing and will provide strategies and top tips that could help you do the same.
Wed, March 6 2024: 19:00 UTC
Thu, April 11 2024: 22:00 UTC
Clustering with MyHeritage Labels
Thu, April 11 2024: 22:00 UTC
This webinar will explain how you can use MyHeritage labels to organize and cluster your match list. Michelle will outline different clustering strategies that can be employed in different situations and will provide step-by-step guidance to help you on the path to a more organised MyHeritage match list!
This webinar will explain how you can use MyHeritage labels to organize and cluster your match list. Michelle will outline different clustering strategies that can be employed in different situations and will provide step-by-step guidance to help you on the path to a more organised MyHeritage match list!
Thu, April 11 2024: 22:00 UTC
Wed, December 4 2024: 19:00 UTC
DNA Case Study: Reconstructing A Family Tree Using DNA
Wed, December 4 2024: 19:00 UTC
This special case study will walk you through how to solve multiple unknown father mysteries within the same family tree. Where can you turn when both of your maternal and paternal grandfathers are unknown and both of your grandmothers' fathers are also unknown? It may seem far-fetched but this was the genuine situation my client was faced with - two mystery grandfathers and two mystery great grandfathers on the same tree! There were mysteries on top of mysteries in this amazing case with six out of eight great grandparents unknown and at least four mystery fathers to identify. This webinar will tell the story of how this tiny tree was reconstructed using a combination of DNA results analysis and traditional research methods.
This special case study will walk you through how to solve multiple unknown father mysteries within the same family tree. Where can you turn when both of your maternal and paternal grandfathers are unknown and both of your grandmothers' fathers are also unknown? It may seem far-fetched but this was the genuine situation my client was faced with - two mystery grandfathers and two mystery great grandfathers on the same tree! There were mysteries on top of mysteries in this amazing case with six out of eight great grandparents unknown and at least four mystery fathers to identify. This webinar will tell the story of how this tiny tree was reconstructed using a combination of DNA results analysis and traditional research methods.
Wed, December 4 2024: 19:00 UTC

Michelle's Webinars (31)