Select Page

So… you were busy this past week. You didn’t register in time. You couldn’t quite swing the cost then. Whatever the reason, you missed out on DNA at NGS — the 2021 LIVE! portion of the National Genealogical Society’s 2021 Family History Conference, held virtually over this past week.

If this describes you, never fear.

Because you can still get access to almost all of the NGS 2021 LIVE! sessions — plus a whole lot more in an on-demand format — from speakers like… well… The Legal Genealogist and a whole lot of others.

As explained on the NGS website:

The NGS 2021 On-Demand! lecture series is available to view from home on your computer or mobile device and offers you the opportunity to develop exceptional genealogy skills with a highly comprehensive set of on-demand webinars from NGS’s expert conference speakers. On-Demand! packages of audio-visual lectures will be available for purchase soon at

Select from the 20 or 40 On-Demand! lecture packages with over 85 sessions to choose from. Watch starting 15 June 2021 through 31 December 2021. Both packages come with access to two full days of NGS 2021 Live! from 19-20 May 2021, the virtual conference syllabus, and 20+ sponsored bonus sessions. Plus, view the sessions from NGS 2021 Live! and any sessions you did or did not choose from the breakouts beginning 15 June. All sessions will be closed captioned.

And if you do register for these on-demand packages — registration will open soon at the PlayBackNGS website — you can still get a terrific grounding in DNA-related topics.

NGS 2021

First off, there were two DNA-focused presentations during the NGS 2021 LIVE! event that will be included in the on-demand packages:

• Angie Bush, “Leveraging Genetic Networks to Break Down Brick Walls.” With millions of testers in genetic genealogy databases, learn how to identify groups of shared matches or networks to break through brick walls.

• Thomas W. Jones, PhD, CG, “Writing About and Documenting Genealogical Conclusions Using DNA Test Results.” Examples from peer-reviewed articles show how to integrate DNA and documentary evidence in genealogical writing and to address issues of documenting living people’s lineages.

And the NGS 2021 LIVE! also included a session by Ancestry’s Crista Cowan: “Putting Your DNA Results to Work to Further Your Research.” Learn how AncestryDNA® can power your research and help you discover your story. ThruLines and better matching tools help get more from your DNA information.

In the on-demand sessions, you can add 10 more:

• Shannon Combs-Bennett, “Creating a Research Plan for DNA Testing.” Have you tested your DNA, or are you thinking about it? Learn how to integrate those results into a genealogy research plan to unlock more clues to your family’s past.

• Libby Copeland, “How Home DNA Testing is Changing Family Histories and the Implications for American Culture.” Explore the impact of DNA testing on family histories, from individual seekers to communities including adoptees and the donor-conceived, and broadly on American culture at large.

• Patti Lee Hobbs, CG, “Extending DNA Evidence: More is Better.” Often passively observing DNA results to prove a relationship fails to yield sufficient evidence. Learn ways to identify more and make DNA evidence more robust.

• Renate Yarborough Sanders, “What’s Done in the Dark… DNA Doesn’t Lie! ” Following a brief overview of DNA test types and companies, real-life examples of how DNA has revealed truthful answers to genealogical questions will be shared.

• Diahan Southard, “The Power of the ‘Other’ DNA Tests: YDNA, mtDNA, and XDNA.” YDNA, mtDNA, and XDNA are three other DNA tests that may be just what you need to break down that brick wall.

• Diahan Southard, “Your DNA Research Log: How to Stay Organized.” A methodical approach to your DNA match list will save you hours of time and lead to faster discoveries.

• Karen Stanbary, CG, “Creation of a Meaningful Lump of Wax out of Teeny, Tiny Drips.” Creative use of DNA test results provides clues leading to additional records and a successful reconstruction of several early 19th century families.

• Karen Stanbary, CG, “Chasing Opportunity from Bas Rhin to Burlington, Iowa.” A deep dive into documentary records follows an Alsatian immigrant on a journey through three states accompanied by three wives. DNA accurately reconstructs his family.

• Paula Kay Williams, “Solving a Virginia Mystery Using DNA.” Family lore tells a different story than the records for the paternity of a southwest Virginia great-grandfather. Learn how DNA helps solve the mystery!

And last, but I hope not least, my own presentation, “‘To protect people who provide DNA samples’: The Ethics of DNA Testing.” Based on the changes to the Genealogist’s Code of Ethics, this talk explores how using DNA in genealogy means finding new-technology solutions for old-time ethical dilemmas. What are our ethical obligations when using this twenty-first century tool?

Not enough yet? You’ll also get five sponsored sessions. From Family Tree DNA’s Janine Cloud:

• “Why BigY? The Benefits of Advanced Y-DNA Testing.” A look at FamilyTreeDNA’s Big Y-700 sequenced Y-DNA test, its features, benefits, and challenges, with focus on how it’s useful in genealogical research.

• “Real Questions About DNA Testing.” Whether you’re a new tester, or have had results for a while, this talk answers common questions actual customers ask about DNA testing.

• “Y-DNA Testing for Genealogy.” From the basics to advanced testing, this talk looks at using Y-DNA for genealogical research.

• “Which DNA Test is Right for You?” Many people don’t realize there’s more than one type of DNA test. This talk provides an overview of autosomal, mitochondrial, X, and Y-DNA testing.

And from MyHeritage’s Daniel Horowitz, “Using the AutoCluster and Chromosome Browser to Understand Your MyHeritage DNA Matches.” Hear about the latest developments on MyHeritage integration between family history research, billions of records, and the powerful DNA Matching technology.

And … well … since this is my blog, after all, I’ll also mention that with any package you’ll get my own NGS 2021 LIVE! presentation, “Wilde Beasts, Sabbath Breakers, and Incorrigible Rogues: Early Virginia Laws.” The laws our ancestors lived by tell the story of earlier times and Virginia laws tell of Sunday frolics, wild animals, and those who needed humbling. And, in addition to my DNA ethics talk, your on-demand package can include:

• “May I Please Have Your Permission? Using the Work of Others.” Genealogists use other people’s work as building blocks in family histories. Learn the rules of using it in a way that’s legal, ethical, and smart.

• “The Common Law: From Mr. Justice Blackstone to Mr. Justice Tucker.” Understanding the common law and its role in shaping the principles underlying early legal records helps us correctly reconstruct our families.

So take a look at the PlayBackNGS website, download the Conference Program, consider what package you might want, and be prepared when the on-demand recordings become available June 15.


And a whole lot more.

Cite/link to this post: Judy G. Russell, “DNA at NGS 2021,” The Legal Genealogist ( : posted 23 May 2021).

Print Friendly, PDF & Email