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 the new Mesa AZ Family Discovery Center opens and we move “back.”  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.

June 4 and 5, 2021

Southern California Genetic Genealogy 2021:

The Genes in Your Family (Virtual COnference)

“So You Wanna be a Search Angel? Volunteer to Help Adoptees”

New content! New case study!

Jamboree and the Genetic Genealogy Conference that precedes it will be virtual in 2021.

Sponsored by the Southern California Genealogical Society and Family Research Library.

Registration is not open yet, but will be found at GenealogyJamboree.com

Members receive a discount for the conference. Join the Southern California Genealogical Society at scgsgenealogy.com

March 23, 2021, 7 pm

Gilbert Historical Museum, Gilbert, Arizona

DNA Basics – Four Things to Know

10 S. Gilbert Road, Gilbert (Enter the parking lot on Elliott Road west of Gilbert Road and follow the signs to the side door)

Free event, but please pre-register: https://hdsouth.org/programs/history-cafes/

Monday, December 14, 2020, 7 pm (online Zoom)

Family History Society of Arizona, Tempe Chapter

Let’s Start at the Very Beginning! A, B, Cs of DNA

November 5, 2020 DNA Interest Group

Mckell Keeney will be presenting a case study on Zoom. The meeting ID and password will be emailed to our Phoenix East Valley DNA Special Interest Group list, and posted in our Facebook group.

October 1, 2020 DNA Interest Group

Alyson Johnson presented a case study on Zoom.. She recently helped a foundling with his DNA matches and building his family tree. He was left in a train station as an infant in 1942.

September 3, 2020 DNA Interest Group

Ken Waters presented on Zoom. Topic: GEDmatch tree. Presentation slides are available on Ken’s DNA website. familytreeaz.com

August 6, 2020 DNA Interest Group

“Where in the World? Exploring Ethnicity Estimates” Mckell Keeney presented on Zoom. 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.

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. Moderator: Mckell Keeney

June 6, 2020

Phoenix East Valley DNA Interest Group

7 pm – 8:30 pm

Finding Elusive Ancestors with DNA

Presenters: Therese Beckman and Mckell Keeney

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 on Zoom

7 pm – 8 pm

Organizing DNA matches. Presenter: Mckell Keeney

  • 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

March 5, 2020

Phoenix East Valley DNA Special Interest Group

Our last in-person meeting for 2020, unbeknownst to us!)

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”

Presenter: Mckell Keeney

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

Adoptee seated in the middle with her adoptive mother and birth mother on the news in Salt Lake City. Mckell worked with the birth mother to get her DNA in all the databases to look for a match with a descendant.

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!