Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. joins Dr. Spencer Wells as Headline Speakers for "Family HIstory and DNA: Genetic Genealogy in 2013"

I am so pleased to be able to say that the support for the inaugural independent genetic genealogy conference has exceeded my most ambitious aspirations. My appreciation goes out to Professor Gates, Dr. Wells and all of our wonderful speakers for graciously and enthusiastically accepting my invitation to be part of this groundbreaking event. (You can register here.) The press release announcing the exciting addition of Professor Gates to our schedule follows:


It’s rare that a new type of event is introduced to the genealogical community. The Southern California Genealogical Society and the International Society of Genetic Genealogy are proud to announce such an event.

“Family History and DNA: Genetic Genealogy in 2013” is a one-day conference designed to fully explore the application of genetic genealogy in researching family history. It will be held Thursday, June 6, 2013, at the Los Angeles Marriott Burbank Airport, Burbank, California. Registrations are open now and an early-bird registration discount is in place through April 30.

“We are so excited that this new conference will break new ground in genetic genealogy gatherings,” said SCGS president Alice Fairhurst, who helped to found the society’s DNA interest group and has been actively applying DNA in her own genealogy research. “Family History and DNA” differs from other DNA events in several ways.

First, speakers are among the most highly respected and knowledgeable professionals in the DNA and genetic genealogy universe.

The opening session will be conducted by Spencer Wells, Ph.D., an Explorer-in-Residence with the National Geographic Society. He leads The Genographic Project, which is collecting and analyzing hundreds of thousands of DNA samples from people around the world. Dr. Wells’ presentation is “The Genographic Project and the Rise of Citizen Science.” 

The luncheon speaker will be Professor Henry Louis Gates., Jr., Ph.D., director of the W.E.B. Du Bois Institute for African and African American Research at Harvard University. Dr. Gates is an American literary critic, educator, scholar, writer and film maker. His programs for PBS, including Finding Your Roots, African American Lives, Faces of America and Oprah’s Roots, explored family histories of a number of individuals through the use of DNA.

Other speakers include Judy G. Russell, JD, CG; Richard Hill; Emily D. Aulicino; Katherine Hope Borges; CeCe Moore; Tim Janzen, MD,; Blaine Bettinger, JD; and Debbie Parker-Wayne, CG. We are grateful for the enthusiastic support shown by all our speakers, especially Dr. Well and Dr. Gates, through their participation in this conference.

Second, “Family History and DNA: Genetic Genealogy in 2013” is produced by independent groups, not for-profit DNA organizations. The Southern California Genealogical Society (SCGS) and the International Society of Genetic Genealogy (ISOGG) have joined forces to offer this inaugural DNA event. While it is independent of financial support by any of the commercial DNA companies, the event will provide equal access to Family Tree DNA, 23andMe, and AncestryDNA.  

CeCe Moore, speaker, conference co-chair and Southern California Regional Coordinator for ISOGG explained, “I've dreamed of a genetic genealogy conference sponsored by ISOGG for a long time, and I am thrilled to be working in cooperation with SCGS on this inaugural event. Holding the conference in conjunction with the Genealogy Jamboree helps us reach many family historians who would otherwise not be able to attend.”

Finally, the event’s three session tracks are organized by the level of experience using genetic genealogy, and not based on the attendee’s knowledge of family history. Sessions include beginner basics, use of DNA in finding adoptee families, famous DNA, autosomal DNA, mitochondrial DNA, analyzing results and other topics. The final hour of the day will be a resource hour, with small-group discussions and supplier assistance.

Complete information about “Family History and DNA: Genetic Genealogy in 2013” and the Southern California Genealogical Society’s 44th Annual Southern California Genealogy Jamboree can be found on the Jamboree website,

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The Southern California Genealogical Society is located in Burbank, California. It sponsors the annual Southern California Genealogical Jamboree, which will be held June 7 through 9, 2013, at the Los Angeles Marriott Burbank, Burbank, California. The pre-event is the inaugural “Family History and DNA: Genetic Genealogy in 2013” conference.

1 comment:

  1. Are you going to have a similar conference in the eastern part of the country?
    Thank You
    Deidre Mercer