Heritage Florida Jewish News - Central Florida's Independent Jewish Voice

Find DNA ancestorsm, cousins, and searching Holocaust records


Start on a family discovery journey with the Jewish Genealogical Society of Greater Orlando (JGSGO) as it continues “My Jewish Roots” a JGSGO Workshop Roadshow.

Each participant’s family discovery journey will include directed hands-on labs that will lead to extending their family tree—adding newly discovered ancestors and living cousins.

The November “My Jewish Roots” workshop, “Find DNA Ancestors and Cousins,” will cover: YDNA, mtDNA, and autosomal DNA. Family Tree DNA, 23andMe, and AncestryDNA. Does three test types + three testing companies = three times the confusion? In this accessible lecture we will cover only exactly what you need to know about this exciting science and how it can lead to important discoveries in your family history. Through interactive activities and real examples we will answer important questions: Who should be tested? Which test should I take? What will I receive? Will the DNA results help me? You will be entertained and enlightened, and leave with a better understanding of your next steps. JGSGO President Jerry Kurland noted, “Genetic genealogy can break down brick walls where documents don’t exist.”

As a bonus topic, the workshop will also include “Searching Holocaust Records”—an interactive session to explore several search methods for finding relatives documented in Holocaust records. Kenneth Hanson, UCF Judaic Studies Program director and associate professor observed, “The UCF Judaic Studies Program is delighted to be co-sponsoring this amazing workshop, to help you find your family connections in Holocaust records. There’s nothing more powerful than discovering those who survived as well as those who perished.” 

Diahan Southard holds a degree in microbiology and worked at Sorenson Molecular Genealogy Foundation. All of her knowledge and experience have culminated into her current position as Your DNA Guide where she provides personalized, interactive experiences to assist individuals and families in interpreting their genetic results in the context of their genealogical information. She has written quick sheets to aid in DNA testing, and produced an online DNA tutorial series on genetic genealogy. She writes for Family Tree Magazine, Your Genealogy Today and is the Genetic Gem at Lisa Louise Cooke’s Genealogy Gems, where she blogs about DNA and genealogy. Southard’s lectures are always fun, upbeat, and full of energy. She has a passion for genetic genealogy, a genuine love for people, and a gift for making the technical understandable.

“Find DNA Ancestors and Cousins” with Diahan Southard will be held Thursday, Nov. 10, from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Central Florida Hillel Center for UCF Jewish Life, 3925 Lockwood Blvd, Oviedo, FL 32765. The workshop is free and open to the public. Bring your own laptop to participate in the lab portion. It is also possible to attend via the Internet. Pre-registration is required. Pre-register for either in-person or online participation at http://www.jgsgo.org/MyJewishRoots.


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