I Got My DNA Test Results: Now What?

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I Got My DNA Test Results: Now What?

Monday, January 7, 2019

Philadelphia, PA (January 7, 2019) – By this time last year, AncestryDNA had reached an all-time sales record, having sold more than 1.7 million test kits over a single holiday season. As swabs and samples are sent off to companies like Ancestry and 23andMe in the coming weeks, professional genealogist Sydney Cruice Dixon has some words of wisdom for anyone eagerly awaiting the results: “DNA gives you more work to do, not less. This is just the beginning of your genealogy journey.”

It’s easy to see the appeal of the kits: you provide just a small sample of genetic material, and in a matter of weeks you receive a report that traces your ancient ancestry. The test results are deceptively simple and visually appealing, using maps and charts to display breakdowns of ethnicity by percentage and ancestry timelines.

But recipients often have questions and concerns. “The big stumbling block is ‘how do I interpret these results? And how do I trace my matches back to a common ancestor?’” Cruice Dixon explains. With more than 20 years of genealogy research experience, Cruice Dixon has seen it all. “I advise my clients when they get started: be prepared for what you might find. Every family has secrets, and you might just uncover one you weren’t expecting.”

Aspiring family historians can learn more about researching their past through upcoming genealogy courses at the Historical Society of Pennsylvania:

  • ·         Using DNA for Genealogy Research, starting on Tuesday, March 5
  • ·         Foundations of Genealogy I, starting on Wednesday, March 6
  • ·         Researching Your Irish Ancestors, starting on Tuesday, April 16
  • ·         Researching Family in Pennsylvania, starting on Monday, July 29

These courses are led by professional genealogists and enrollment is limited to 40 participants for a hands-on, personalized experience.

HSP holds more than 21 million items in its collections, and many of them (diaries and letters; deeds and directories) provide keys to unlocking a family’s past. HSP also offers workshops and one-on-one consultations for anyone researching their family history.

Genealogy Courses in Spring and Summer 2019

Using DNA for Genealogy Research
Tuesdays, March 5 - April 9 1:00-3:00 p.m. (skips March 26)
Admission: $250
Details and Registration
DNA is an amazing new tool that can help solve difficult genealogical questions, but it can be intimidating to master. In this 5-week course, we will help you to understand the basics of DNA and learn how you can use it for your genealogy research as well as its research value and limitations.

Foundations of Genealogy I
Wednesdays, March 6 - May 1, 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. (skips March 27)

Admission: $225 for Friends of HSP, $315 for General Admission
Details and Registration
For beginner and experienced genealogists alike, this 8-week course will help registrants learn proven research methods to root out their most elusive ancestors, as well as how to document research findings with reliable evidence.

Researching Your Irish Ancestors
Tuesdays, April 16–May 14, 1:00 to 3:00 p.m.

Admission: $250
Details and Registration
Researching Irish ancestors can be a challenge. However, there are ways around the record loss of the Emerald Isle. Discover the record sets that can be used in place of the documents burned in the Irish Civil War Fire of 1922, learn the best process for Irish research to get the maximum results for your research hours, and explore the free online websites that reveal where your Irish ancestors lived.

Researching Family in Pennsylvania
Monday, July 29–Friday, August 2, 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Admission: $450 for Friends of HSP, $490 for General Admission
Details and Registration
This week-long genealogy course is designed to explore the records and repositories available for researching ancestors in Pennsylvania. This is a complete “how to” course, training you to use the resources available at HSP and elsewhere to uncover your family’s story.

About Sydney Cruice Dixon

Sydney F. Cruice Dixon is a professional genealogist and lecturer in the Mid-Atlantic Region and currently serves as the President of the Greater Philadelphia Area Chapter of the Association of Professional Genealogists. She holds an MBA from Drexel University and a BA from Penn State University. She is a member of the faculty for the Researching Family in Pennsylvania Institute and she developed the curriculum and teaches the Foundations of Genealogy courses at the Historical Society of Pennsylvania. Sydney also serves on Genealogy Advisory Committee for the Historical Society of Pennsylvania. She has been actively researching family genealogies since 1995.

About the Historical Society of Pennsylvania

The Historical Society of Pennsylvania, founded in 1824, is one of the nation’s largest archives of historical documents. We are proud to serve as Philadelphia’s Library of American History, with over 21 million manuscripts, books, and graphic images encompassing centuries of US history. HSP serves more than 4,000 on-site researchers annually and millions more around the globe who use its online resources. HSP is also a leading center for the documentation and study of ethnic communities and immigrant experiences in the 20th century, and one of the largest family history libraries in the country. Through educator workshops, research opportunities, public programs and lectures throughout the year, we strive to make history relevant and exhilarating to all.