Saturday, October 15, 2016

Off the Shelf:
The Family Tree Guide to
DNA Testing and Genetic Genealogy

While my purpose in blogging about books is to encourage myself to get busy reading the books I already have, for this month's review, the shelf can hardly be said to have had the book resting there long at all. In fact, this one arrived at our home just last week, and I'm already busy reading it.

Making its official debut among the holdings at Family Tree Books just this month, Blaine Bettinger's The Family Tree Guide to DNA Testing and Genetic Genealogy gives me a handy source to revisit all the concepts, definitions and methodology I learned from the author at last year's Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy.

Sometimes, even a forty-hour-long class is just not enough to pound all these concepts into one, limited mind. So I need a review. This volume is just the companion piece to fill the bill.

Especially since I launched a DNA Special Interest Group for our local genealogical society, whose members are clamoring to learn more about what to do with those test results they've just gotten from Family Tree DNA, AncestryDNA or 23 & Me, I need to be prepared with specific segments of this broad expanse of interrelated concepts. As a teacher, Blaine has been so generous to share his many diagrams, charts, and other instructional tools over the yearsespecially those found, before the issue of his book, on his helpful blog, The Genetic Genealogistgranting me permission to use them with the customary attribution. This I've gladly done, since the Bettinger touch is to succinctly explain complex topics in clear terms for members of our group.

His book, of course, furthers this understanding by his systematic coverage of the terms and concepts needed to put this powerful genealogical tool to work in our family history quest. Just as Blaine is an excellent instructor in the many presentations of his that I've attended, he transfers that same teaching skill to his written presentation.

The Guide comes in handy, in my case, for yet another reason: I've just received word that I'm now registered for the DNA class at SLIG 2017this time with lead instructor CeCe Moore, another genetic genealogy expert from whom I appreciate learning more on this topicand I've got to brush up on everything before I head to Salt Lake City next January.



  1. :) You are going make to Salt Lake City! Are the Mormon family materials available to the public there?

    1. Yes, Iggy, there is ample material there to keep a researcher happy for longer than the most generous vacation stay! One of the bonuses to having a genealogical training program or conference in Salt Lake City is the proximity to the Family History Library there. In fact, SLIG runs bus service there every evening of their week-long institute. I should have plenty of opportunities to do research.


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