Friday, June 9, 2017
A Can't-Miss-This Day
Yesterday was a day for genetic genealogy All-Stars to shine. The Southern California Genealogical Society always manages to make a spot for the best DNA speakers to assemble in one place at one time. Yesterday was that day.
With exceptions, of course (Judy Russell is still in New Zealand, not beautiful downtown Burbank), the speaker lineup was everything regular attendees have come to expect from DNA Day—with a few additional treats. For one, getting to listen to Debbie Kennett from London was a highlight—and oh, how I wish she had been given more time for her presentation!
I've benefited from classes by Blaine Bettinger, Angie Bush, and Paul Woodbury in the past, and am always grateful to absorb more of their insights. Blaine Bettinger, in particular, tackled a topic yesterday which I've hoped would become an ongoing source of dialog: the concept of how to deal with uncovered family secrets. Not that DNA is the only medium by which those hushed life episodes come to light, of course, but DNA testing has come to be seen as a potentially divisive device, simply on account of its powerful ability to tell about things as they really are.
Not that there aren't new faces in the presentation lineup. In addition to the regulars in the DNA constellation, some other favorites have come to add their expertise to this one-day event. I was pleased to see Michael Lacopo among the presenters this year; his longstanding blog favorite, Hoosier Daddy? not only catalogued his DNA-testing experiences in assisting his adoptee mother to find her birth parents, but has been a whopper of a story best appreciated from its beginning. Yesterday, he spoke on a project—talk about an exhaustive search!—utilizing mitochondrial DNA in a way no other genetic genealogy tool could provide. Perhaps it was because this was the last session presented in a very long day, but the presentation left even me feeling exhausted—and I only sat and took notes!
There were many other sessions offered during the day, as well—an impressive variety of subjects all centered around the field of genetic genealogy. The organizers did an impressive job with the wide array of choices. It is easy to see why so many consider this a one of its kind event. And yet, as we bridge the boundary between DNA Day and Jamboree proper with this morning's schedule, I've got another four hour block of DNA training to look forward to in this interim.