Our Phoenix East Valley DNA Special Interest Group will be meeting virtually, 7 pm (AZ time) each 1st Thursday until further notice, possibly until January 2021 or whenever we feel safe meeting in our rather large group (35 average attendance).  If you would like us to cover a particular DNA topic, let us know! We have a Facebook group you can join for more interaction.

August 6, 2020 meeting

“Where in the World? Exploring Ethnicity Estimates” Mckell Keeney will be presenting. We are more alike than we are different.  But we do genealogy to identify our unique ancestors. Mckell will go over different estimates at each of the testing sites, showing you how hers have changed at Ancestry since she first tested and looking at a few other people’s estimates – some Jewish, some Native American, some African American and so on…We’ll look at how to compare matches’ ethnicity estimates to our own at the different sites if we need clues about our common ancestors. We will look at how to run Admixtures (Ethnicities) on GEDmatch. Also, we will look at ethnicity estimates on Living DNA, MyHeritage and FamilyTreeDNA.

September 3, 2020 meeting

Alyson Johnson will be presenting a case study. She recently helped a foundling with his DNA matches and building his family tree. He was left in  train station as an infant.

Previous presentations:

July 2, 2020

Phoenix East Valley DNA Interest Group

Virtual meeting on Zoom (meeting link and password will be emailed and in our Facebook group)

7 pm – 8:30 pm

Topic: Navigating a cluster of Donor-conceived siblings

One of the first members of a very large cluster of donor-conceived siblings will join us virtually to share how she has moved forward embracing her many new siblings.

June 6, 2020

Phoenix East Valley DNA Interest Group

Virtual meeting on Zoom (meeting link and password will be emailed and in our Facebook group)

7 pm – 8:30 pm

Finding Elusive Ancestors with DNA

Presenters: Therese Beckman and Mckell Keeney

Log-in: Meeting ID: 969 2196 9348

(Call or email for the password, or if you are in our private Facebook group, find it there)

Therese will share how she found her mother’s father.
After that, we will take another look at group member Carla’s mystery. Carla had a “misattributed” father. Although I identified her biological father as a McNamara and showed those steps in one of our meetings some time ago, things did not totally add up for the common ancestor(s) of some of her other matches.
Recently Carla got a new high match and she found out one of the three (all-deceased) McNamara brothers was a half-brother, not a full brother. This is the one who was her bio-father! He was a McNamara in name only! Now we could place all of Carla’s “rogue” Nelson/Nilsson matches in the correct spots in a “What Are the Odds?” Tree and get a clearer picture of which Nelson brother was likeliest to be the father of her bio-father now that she was also looking to identify her biological grandfather. Are you with me so far? It’s a great story on how to follow the DNA and sort matches to find ancestors.
Carla plans to be with us in the Zoom meeting so she can help answer questions. Kudos to her for working on the Swedish paper trail a lot to fill out her tree and for telling me, “There’s something not making sense,” when I thought my work was done.

May 7, 2020

Phoenix East Valley DNA Interest Group

Virtual meeting on Zoom (meeting link and password will be emailed and in our Facebook group)

7 pm – 8 pm (or later, if we are still having a discussion)

Organizing DNA matches

  • Why make a separate list of your matches? Options
  • Why use Ancestry group dots? Options and examples
  • How to use notes sections for your matches in MyHeritage and 23andMe and FamilyTreeDNA
  • Group members may share their favorite method of organizing matches

April 2, 2020

Phoenix East Valley DNA Interest Group

Short virtual meeting on Facebook Live

March 16, 2020

Copper Springs Family Night, Gilbert, Arizona

What to do with your DNA results

Open to all residents

Canceled because of social distancing for COVID-19

February 26-29, 2020

RootsTech 2020, 10-Year Anniversary, Salt Palace, Salt Lake City, Utah

“Search Angel Secrets”

Wednesday, February 26th, 3 pm, Room 255D

Saturday, February 29th, 3 pm, Room 255F

Come to Mckell’s presentation (same presentation; two choices on the date) to find out how you can use *search angel techniques to help yourself or others solve DNA mysteries. (*volunteering to find unknown parents)

February 6, 2020

Phoenix East Valley DNA Interest Group, 7 pm, Mesa, Arizona

“Helping Adoptees: Case Study of an Intermediate Case”

See how traditional search techniques and working with DNA results quickly came together to identify birth parents. The “What are the Odds?” tool from DNApainter.com will be demonstrated, as used for this case.

November 11, 2019

(Monday) 12:30 pm: What’s in your DNA? “Saving Golden Spike: The Story of Bernice Gibbs Anderson,” a look at what Mckell has learned about herself by learning more about her grandmother this past year through in-depth research into her archives. West Valley Genealogical Society, Sun City, Arizona.

October 30, 2019

(Wednesday) 3 pm. Private presentation for members of Las Palmas Sendas genealogy club, Mesa, Arizona: Working with your DNA matches.

October 2, 2019

(Wednesday) 6:30 pm – 8 pm: “DNA in Family History Research,” at HD South, the Gilbert Heritage District South Historical Museum, 10 S. Gilbert Road, Gilbert, AZ. Follow the signs to the presentation room and park on the north side of the museum (not on Gilbert Road).

Adoptive mom, daughter, birthmother on KSL news

Family History

Families are important! Mckell believes that people don’t have to choose between their known family and new family members. It’s not a competition! People can expand their circle of family with great emotional healing to all.

Casual consultations

Mckell is available to speak to you by phone, email or on Facetime.


Next Steps…

  • Check the FAQ page
  • Email for more information!