I wasn’t familiar with the name Blaine Bettinger, but I expect to know a lot more about him by April 23, which is the date when he will give the keynote address and three other talks plus take part in a question-and-answer panel during the Maine Genealogical Society’s spring workshop on “DNA Genetic Genealogy” at the Elks Club in Augusta.
Bettinger, who has two doctorates, including one in law, is an intellectual property attorney who since 2007 has written The Genetic Genealogist blog at thegeneticgenealogist.com. I gave the blog a quick look as I write this, and I hope to read up on as many of his blog topics as I can before hearing him speak.
If there were any doubt in my mind that I need to learn a lot more about DNA and genealogy, it was erased forever when I got the AncestryDNA ethnicity estimate of my Franco-American husband, which reported a good chunk of British ancestry, and Spanish, but no “Europe West,” which would encompass France and Germany.
I realize these $99 ethnicity reports are not the same thing as a complete human genome, which would be quite pricey to have done.
And I do understand that a genealogical pedigree compiled from historical records and such is not the same thing as a DNA study.
But I forgot something important. Each of us gets our genes from the same parents as our full siblings, but each sibling is put together from a different recipe of genes — unless we are identical twins, triplets, etc.
I didn’t remember this until a friend shared some thoughts a DNA-savvy cousin of his had sent along after seeing my column about my husband’s ethnic report.
Blaine Bettinger’s presentations at the MGS workshop April 23 will include “Introduction to DNA,” including Y-DNA, mitochondrial DNA from the mother’s mother’s mother’s mother’s line, and autosomal DNA; “Using Y-DNA and mtDNA to Explore Your Genealogy”; “Using Autosomal DNA for 18th and 19th Century Mysteries”; “Using Free Third-Party Tools to Analyze Your Autosomal DNA”; and time for questions and answers.
The cost for the one-day program, including luncheon, is $40 for MGS members, and $50 for nonmembers. Checks should be payable in U.S. funds and postmarked by April 1. Send to Maine Genealogical Society, Deborah Nowers, 72 Achorn Road, Belfast, ME 04915.
Or, you can register online at maineroots.org.
If you are not a member of Maine Genealogical Society, you can join online in order to receive the discount, or mail $25 dues in the U.S. to Maine Genealogical Society, P.O. Box 2602, Waterville, ME 04903.
Membership also allows you to purchase Maine Genealogical Society publications at discount, including “Maine Families in 1790 Vol. 11” and many vital records books for Maine.
On that note, I have some entries in The Genetic Genealogist to start reading.
I have read in several places that learning something new in your senior years can help ward off memory loss such as Alzheimer’s disease. I think we’re in business.
For information on researching family history in Maine, see Genealogy Resources under Family Ties at bangordailynews.com/browse/family-ties. Send genealogy queries to Family Ties, Bangor Daily News, P.O. Box 1329, Bangor, ME 04402, or email email@example.com.