Case Studies in Gray: Identifying Shared Ancestries Through DNA and Genealogy

Nicka Smith
Aug 7, 2019
Want to watch the full webinar?
Join now to access all 2,215 webinars and unlock all features.


Play. Playing.
1m 37s
Play. Playing.
Speaker's Introduction
1m 24s
Play. Playing.
10m 57s
Play. Playing.
Step 1 - Patterns
9m 18s
Play. Playing.
Step 2 - Triangulation
9m 33s
Play. Playing.
Step 3 - Examination
3m 55s
Play. Playing.
Step 4 - Analysis
1m 21s
Play. Playing.
Case Study: Track250
11m 19s
Play. Playing.
Case Study: John Lee
10m 43s
Play. Playing.
Case Study: Henry Daniels
9m 16s
Play. Playing.
Announcements / prizes
4m 25s
Play. Playing.
Questions / answers
10m 59s

About this webinar

You’ve identified a group of shared DNA matches, but you're stumped on how you’re all related. Learn how to let DNA take the lead in determining who and where to search to uncover the group’s most recent common ancestor.

About the speaker

About the speaker

Nicka Smith is a professional photographer, speaker, host, and documentarian with more than 20 years of experience as a genealogist. She has extensive experience in African ancestored genealogy, revers
Learn more...

Comments (4)

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

1000 characters remaining

Sort by Newest
Sort by Close.
  • Newest
  • Oldest
  • Likes
  1. Legacy Family Tree
    5 years ago

    5 plus! Nicka does outstanding presentations! I look forward to more! Thanks, Nicka

    A clear-cut presentation that directs me to watch her other presentation – THE FAMILY DNA PROJECT, which will help me to understand this presentation better. She showed how using DNA is easier than I thought!

    A very informative and entertaining presentation, by an excellent speaker!

    A wonderful talk, I learned a great deal.

    Absolutely AWESOME!!! I learned so much that will help immediately. I have been working with patterns and establishing inner groups. But, I have not worked as thoroughly as Nicka does in her methodology. Now, I will enhance my methodology using this webinar and the first webinar. I have been struggling to understand how two matches who appear to share DNA on a or multiple segments of a chromosome are related to me; but, not to each other. Now, I understand after watching this webinar. And proxy groups!

    Absolutely fantastic!! Can’t wait to get going…it will be a 2 AM nite for sure!! Thank you Nicka!

    Absolutely loved this presentation and Nicka! Thank you!

    Always enjoy Nikki. Most informative.

    Always LOVE her webinars as so much information in down to earth presentation to understand.

    Amazing 1, 2, 3 process explanations and case studies. Thanks.

    An excellent presentation – one of the best I have watched. Nicka is great. Extremely useful webinar.

    Awesome information for organizing to figure out relationships using dna for clues to research and get the confirming documentation.

    Awesome! Going to apply the strategies and do DNA research right now!!! Thank you!

    Bravo! Bravo! Bravo! One of the most enjoyable, informative & easy to understand webinars I’ve attended!

    Can we have a webinar about using a spreadsheet or for using Genome Mate Pro?

    Clear Concise and Precise. Easy step by step methods. Connecting African Americans across the Pond which rarely happens in Genealogy Webinars anywhere. Syllabus was very informative.

    Clear presenter. I now understand a little better how I can proceed to triangulate DNA matches and find out exactly which ancestor we have in common.

    Confirmed that I’m on the right track. I don’t have ANY close/identified 23&Me matches so that portion was not helpful for me. I would have preferred if she had used MyHeritage as examples since their DNA tools are superior.

    did a great job of explaining things…

    Everything was helpful.

    Excellent webinar

    Excellent information, loved Nicka’s sharing of case studies!

    Excellent presentation for anyone who has some background working with DNA matches.

    Excellent presentation with a concise description of the process and case examples. As always, Nicka showed a good command of the subject and used humor to illustrate her points. By the way, I like German Chocolate Cake – haha.

    Excellent presentation.

    Excellent presentation. Her examples for methodology and resources were very illustrative of what can be found and what to get busy searching for.

    Excellent speaker, very clear. Loved the case studies, well presented!

    Excellent webinar today. I cannot get enough knowledge on researching ancestors. Learning what others tips/tricks have been a godsend. Speaker provides a wealth of knowledge and presents in a fashion that is consumable. Cannot wait to apply to my research. Thank you

    Excellent webinar…learned a lot!!



    Excellent! My first time listening to Nicka and she was great. An excellent communicator! Please ask her back for another informative webinar.

    Excellent!!!!! DNA has been a major headache for me so any and all webinars on how to figure it out is great! One of these days it’ll click, right? 🙂

    Excellent. Glad I’m a member so I can review.

    Excellent. Great presenter.

    Explained everything without losing me. Nika explained everything in non complicated terms.

    Fabulous information and a great speaker.

    Fantastic presenter and presentation. Very clear and informative, and her voice is very expressive.


    First timer. Succinct and easy to follow. Look forward to others.

    Full of information and enjoyable. A truly gifted lady.

    Gets a little clearer with everyone of these DNA webinars.

    Gosh, this one was just excellent! Nicka Smith has a presentation style that really keeps attendees engaged. I really enjoy the case study type webinars, as well, and hope more are scheduled.


    Great case studies, illustrations, metaphors, analagies, and speed of talking. Superb!

    Great info, helpful.

    great job

    GREAT job. I am glad she uses GMP also.

    great need to watch beginning dna

    Great presentation!

  2. Legacy Family Tree
    5 years ago

    Great presentation! Thank you! : )

    Great presentation. Useful data on how to find the MRCA. Thanks!!

    Great presentation. Very informative.

    Great presenter! She’s upbeat, knowledgeable & tells a great story. Would love to hear more from her.

    Great presenter!

    Great seminar – learned a lot. Gave me some new ideas for hard to find ancestors.

    Great understanding of how to find common ancestor through DNA matches.

    great webinar

    Great webinar. Very clear and precise.

    Great webinar. Definitely want more from Nicka.



    Great, knowledgeable speaker.

    Helped me to better understand ways to triangulate matches and use groups to locate “missing” ancestors.

    Helpful & interesting.

    I am always amazed of the new things I learn when watching these webinars.

    I am aspiring to be a more experienced researcher. Thank you for providing inspiration.

    I can’t wait to use these methods to find my 90 year old aunt’s bio mother. I know that she was 17 in 1929. She probably had the surname of Arthur. I’ve used Ancestry’s colors to help. Now to use Nicki’s ideas to bring it all together. I have already identified the bio father. I really appreciate the answer Nicki gave to my question. Thanks for a wonderful webinar.

    I especially liked the information regarding 23andme with DNA looking like they are a match/overlap, the visual is not accurate. I will certainly be taking a closer look at the matches I have there!

    I figured out I am a intermediate level working with Genealogy. I know alot of what you were using in the webinar…I used the same things to search my tree.

    I got here late, but what I did hear was very interesting!

    I have always learned from case studies; now on on DNA is great.

    I loved it.

    I thought she was great! The topic is still a bit advanced for me, and Nicka was easy to understand, and explained things so well, I got a lot more out of the webinar, than I first thought I would. I’m going to watch some of her other webinars as well.

    I’m going to love rewatching this! She is such a great teacher and speaker!

    I’m just sorry I missed the 1st few minutes. Glad I have access to the recordings. good material

    I’m new to DNA research but was able to glean pertinent information for my research projects. Thanks!

    Im on Central time zone so by the time I get a break from work its always half finished! But I will still continue to be happy watching what i can. It still helps! And i am sooo excited to have won a month membership!!!! Thank you!

    Impressive. I will have to listen to this one again & again to before I attempt to utilize the methods, but it definitely is something I want to try.

    Interesting of course, as always! Though we in Sweden have excellent churchbooks and we can’t look at the surnames due to the ancient Swedish “patronymicon”. But, the webinar gave perspectives how to think in other ways. And, we have a lot of Swedes that emigrated to the US.

    Interesting perspective on how to approach DNA matches. Information I didn’t have before.

    It was great!!

    It was great. Need more like this – about using DNA groups.

    It was very helpful, thank you.

    Just confirmed what I am doing is correct. Awesome.

    Learned a lot, should look at Family DNA Project now.

    Learned so much about using various strategies to decipher DNA matches. Can’t wait to get started.

    Liked the case studies

    Liked the methodical way she explained her process.

    Logical, easy to follow step-by-step presentation. Thank you Nicka!!!

    Lots and lots of great information!

    Lots of good information. I plan to watch the webinar again in the future after doing more research.

    Lots of info, but she managed to keep everything simple and clear for us.

    Love her perseverance in keeping on with the search.

    Love the case studies! Thank you!

    loved the case studies, gives me hope that I will eventually find parents or siblings for my maternal great grandfather

    Loved the case studies. Great presenter.

    My being in New Zealand, your principles remain very valid. I learned a little to add to what I already do. Thanks for speeding up my process.

    Nicka is a great speaker — sorry I had to leave early, but will finish watching from the library!

    Nicka is a very dynamic speaker.

  3. Legacy Family Tree
    5 years ago

    Nicka is a very engaging presenter and made several good points that would be helpful for those with some experience using DNA for genealogy. The term “case studies” in the title led me to expect a presentation that dealt more with correlating evidence (i.e., more advanced practitioners), but I enjoyed it nonetheless. The two main takeaways for me were to look into Genome Mate (I’d heard of it but not used it) and that here was yet another example of communities staying together in widespread locations.

    Nicka is an engaging speaker. Her case studies were very helpful, as was her Q&A time after her talk.

    Nicka is fabulous and I wish I could afford her services personally. Glad I’m a member so I can go back and review all of her webinars!

    Nicka is outstanding!

    Nicka is so wonderful! Thank you!

    Nicka is terrific! I’ve been doing DNA and taking classes for a long while—have so much to learn! Her presentation is perhaps the BEST I’ve seen and heard!

    Nicka presents her points very clearly and in an easy to understand manner – overall very very helpful with those triangulated matches!!

    Nicka Smith is a great presenter! Easy to understand her research processes. Thanks so much!

    Nicka, Thank you so very much for showing us these case studies. So very practical! They give me hope.

    Nicka’s discussion about DNA research methodologies was excellent and seems like could apply to all genealogy research. I hope to speak to her directly one day soon, since I have an oral history about relations being from Louisiana.

    Nicki is SOOOO good. Enjoyed the class.

    Nika was spectacular, as usual.

    Not a 5, this was + 10. Nicka is a stellar presenter. I think this has been my favorite webinar to date. Thanks so much!

    Now back to tracking my dna matches with this great information to use.

    One of the best I’ve watched – DNA case studies are very helpful.

    One of the very best. Love case studies.


    Outstanding detail and understandability at the same time. Dazzling presentation. Excellent visuals.

    Outstanding webinar



    Outstandingly useful webinar, with very clear explanations and step by step strategies we can all use. Thanks!

    Please have more webinars on using DNA in genealogy!

    Presented in a really helpful way!

    presenter was well organized. Good job.

    Really enjoyed the case studies to follow her approach in a situation.

    Really enjoyed the presetnation of the deeper content and thought processes behind it. Nika has a special gift for presenting complicated material in a clear systematic way.
    She is great

    She makes this almost understandable. This will be a good one to watch and pause while working through a case from my own matches.

    She presented well what looks to be an easy-to-follow DNA matching methodology. I’m definitely going to try this!

    She was good but I was confused. I’ll have to watch more DNA webinars. Thanks.

    So easy to understand! I can’t wait to use this information on my own DNA matches!

    So helpful! Excellent! Thanks!

    So informative…one of the best, and easy to understand..i need to find out how to make groups

    standing ovation

    Terrific how-to information

    Thank you both! This was very helpful information.

    Thank you! This was absolutely the best DNA case study lecture I have heard! It was filled with hope and determination. I will revisit this one again and all of the other Nicka Smith webinars in the LegacyFamilyTree library, too!

    thank you. very encouraging.

    The BEST webinar – have her come again!!!!??

    The Best!

    The case studies really helped understand how she applied her process. I really got a lot out of this webinar.

    The disclaimer at the beginning was good and necessary. I listened even though I wasn’t sure about my knowledge level, and I do know now that I need to view the Family DNA Project webinar. Still, I got good information and was inspired to keep at this. Good personable lecturer.

    The presenter’s enthusiasm was infectious. Her case study of the connection between families in Virginia and Australia was inspiring that such a discovery could be made.

    This came at just the right time. Nicka is a good teacher, and I think I finally understand enough to use these techniques in more than a superficial way. Going to watch the video in short chunks and diagram everything out to make sure. Then jump in to see if I can sort my own family out and figure out who is who.

  4. Legacy Family Tree
    5 years ago

    This was a great webinar! Thank you!

    This was fascinating.

    Very Clear, good case studies that illustrated her points

    Very educational especially dealing with different regions of the world

    Very engaging speaker; great case studies

    Very good analogy. I learned that I was doing the right things in my genealogical research

    Very good webinar, with great examples.

    Very good, simple, helpful conceptual framework for working with DNA matches.

    Very helpful

    Very helpful and interesting!

    Very helpful. I use Ancestry DNA tools a lot [Throughlines, Circles] and this helped me understand how to make my own connections. It also validated my researching those very distant cousins with 10cm or less.

    Very high content, good examples.

    Very informative

    Very interesting and understandable. Good ideas on how to further research.

    Very understandable and helpful!

    Very well done, learned new tools to try

    Very well presented and it was great having 3 case studies which consolidates the understanding and the learning. Thank you

    Well organized, lively presentation. Gives me hope in my own research, as well as tools.

    Well organized. Presentation highlighted key issues. Well done.

    Went too quickly, but I still learned a great deal!

    What an engaging speaker! A+++

    What an organized mind! Need to watch this at least once more.

    Wonderful presenter! Will listen to again later.

    Wonderful webinar!

    Wonderful! Amazing! Very Informative!

    Wonderful! I was able to take away many tips to use on my own DNA brick walls. I would definitely take part in more Nicka’s webinars.

    Wow Nicka is amazing! Please have her give more webinars! Thanks


    Wow! Great information that is highly applicable.

    WOW! I have done a lot of triangulating, but not with my Australian links. I think after this I should try. It might help with some of my brick walls. I was certainly watch this again. Thank you so much.


Related Webinars