2015-01-12 09.44.44I’ve got to admit. I signed up with a bit of trepidation for the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy [SLIG] class, “Getting Started with Genetic Genealogy.” The fact is, I dropped out of high school chemistry two times! When it came to molecules, I struggled. So up until now, genetic genealogy and I haven’t formally met in a week long, intensive classroom.

I had to take the leap though. I needed to understand how to use DNA in genealogy research and how to use it to augment a paper trail proof argument. So, putting fear aside, I signed up, had my DNA tested with the three big companies, then spent some time watching Family Tree DNA videos trying to get an understanding of the terms, results, etc., so I wouldn’t be totally overwhelmed in the class.

Fast forward to today, the first day with Debbie Parker Wayne, CG, CGL, as the course coordinator.  Her goal for the week is to help the us learn where to go to find the answers to our DNA questions.

Good, because THAT’s my goal, too!2015-01-12 15.08.35

Wayne opened the day, and invited us to share a little background so we could get to know each other. We range from those who have not had any DNA tests done, to one who had quite a bit of experience but wanted to “fill in the holes” in her education.

This was good for Wayne to do, because it gave her a heads up as to how to tailor her instruction to the class.

Wayne jumped into her PowerPoint of multicolored gingerbread men as she taught us about X’s and Y’s and who gets what, and who passes it on.  It may have seemed simplistic, but I got it, probably because it WAS about gingerbread men instead of molecules!

Wayne filled our heads with thoughts of Y-DNA, X-DNA, mitochondrial DNA, autosomal DNA, haplogroups, and A’s, and T’s, and C’s, and G’s, and SNP’s, and STR’s, dancing in our heads.  I learned that A’s go with T’s, and C’s go with G’s. It’s definitely a new way of spelling and a new language.

Bottom line? Wayne’s a great teacher. I learned a lot, and I won’t be dropping out of class this time!


Photos used with permission granted to Susan Bankhead by Debbie Parker Wayne, 12 January 2015.