Our Phoenix East Valley DNA Special Interest Group usually meets at 7 pm (PST/AZ time) each 1st Thursday in the FamilySearch Center classrooms upstairs in the Mesa Temple Visitors’ Center, 455 E Main Street, Mesa (Main Street and LeSueur). Everyone is welcome! If you would like us to cover a particular DNA topic in future meetings, let us know! The level is usually Intermediate, sometimes Advanced. We have a Facebook group you can join for more frequent updates and interaction. I also offer Beginning DNA presentations at this location and other locations (see Calendar below).
Upcoming meetings and presentations:
Thursday, February 2, 2023, 7 pm, Monthly DNA Interest Group in the FamilySearch classrooms upstairs at the Mesa Temple Visitors’ Center, 455 E Main Street, Mesa, and on Zoom.
NO monthly DNA Interest Group in March, as you can tune in to numerous DNA presentations in person or online March 2 – 4 for RootsTech in Salt Lake City! In person registration is $98 for three days of classes, keynote speakers and Expo Hall access. If you are not attending in person, there is no charge to register for online access. As a RootsTech Influencer, I have one three-day registration to give away in January 2023. Please check my home page for instructions on how to enter.
Thursday, March 3, 2023, 9:30 am – 10:30 am RootsTech panel in Salt Lake City, Utah. I am facilitating a discussion on Investigative Genetic Genealogy with Industry Leaders CeCe Moore and Mitch Morrissey. Our session will be live streamed for those who cannot make it in person. We are scheduled for Ballrooms B, D and F. Seating is first come, first seated. I hope you can join us in person or online!
CHANGE IN DATE FOR APRIL MEETING: Due to the Mesa Easter Pageant on the Mesa Temple grounds, instead of meeting on the 1st Thursday in April, we will meet on the second Thursday, April 13, 2023, 7 pm, Monthly DNA Interest Group in the FamilySearch classrooms upstairs at the Mesa Temple Visitors’ Center, 455 E Main Street, Mesa, and on Zoom.
Past meetings & Presentations
Thursday, January 5, 2023, 7 pm, Monthly DNA Interest Group in the FamilySearch classrooms upstairs at the Mesa Temple Visitors’ Center, 455 E Main Street, Mesa, and on Zoom. Guest presenter: Linda Magellan with a case study. LInda is a co-founder of ISOGG, the International Society of Genetic Genealogy. This meeting will be followed by our annual social in the kitchen. If you wish, bring an appetizer or dessert representing one of your ethnicities to share! We always have plenty of food, so please join us in the kitchen!
Our December 2022 Monthly DNA Interest Group meeting was canceled.
Thursday, November 3, 2022, Monthly DNA Interest Group in the FamilySearch classrooms upstairs at the Mesa Temple Visitors’ Center, 455 E Main Street, Mesa, and on Zoom. Presenter: Ken Waters.
Thursday, October 6, 2022, Monthly DNA Interest Group in the FamilySearch classrooms upstairs at the Mesa Temple Visitors’ Center, 455 E Main Street, Mesa, and on Zoom.
Thursday, September 1, 2022, Monthly DNA Interest Group in the FamilySearch classrooms upstairs at the Mesa Temple Visitors’ Center, 455 E Main Street, Mesa, and on Zoom.
Thursday, August 4, 2022, Monthly DNA Interest Group in the FamilySearch classrooms upstairs at the Mesa Temple Visitors’ Center, 455 E Main Street, Mesa, and on Zoom.
Thursday, July 7, 2022, Monthly DNA Interest Group in the FamilySearch classrooms upstairs at the Mesa Temple Visitors’ Center, 455 E Main Street, Mesa, and on Zoom.
Thursday, June 2, 2022, Monthly DNA Interest Group in the FamilySearch classrooms upstairs at the Mesa Temple Visitors’ Center, 455 E Main Street, Mesa, and on Zoom.
Thursday, May 5, 2022, 7 pm, DNA Interest Group in the FamilySearch classrooms upstairs at the Mesa Temple Visitors’ Center, 455 E Main Street, Mesa, and on Zoom (message me for the link). Presenter Bonnie Bossert will show us how to use the diagramming software Scapple to sketch DNA match charts. Scapple is from Literature and Latte ($18 one time purchase). It is not necessary to have Scapple to learn how to diagram. Intermediate to advanced.
Wednesday, May 18, 2022, 7 pm, Beginning DNA presentation for the Phoenix East Family History Center at 18th Street and Missouri. On Zoom. Message for link. (This event will be rescheduled).
Thursday, April 7, 2022, 7 pm DNA Interest Group in the FamilySearch classrooms upstairs at the Mesa Temple Visitors’ Center, 455 E Main Street, Mesa. Topic: Many DNA Tips & Tricks. Presenter: Ken Waters.
(FYI: The i4GG Conference in San Diego scheduled for April 9-10, 2022 is back on and about 10 or more of us always attend that in person. This is CeCe Moore’s “annual” genetic genealogy conference which will also be available on Vimeo).
Saturday, March 5, 2022, 12 pm – 1pm MST online only, tune in to a live panel discussion for RootsTech Connect on “Bring Your Community Family History Project to Life.” Join in to hear a brief recap and next steps for the Connected Tempe project! Follow Connected Tempe on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube. Other panelists include Dr. Joe Price of the BYU Record Linking Labs, Taneya Koonce, Taralyn Parker, Rachel Trotter, Heather Jacobs, Miles Meyer, Alisha Chang and Mary Anderson.
Friday, March 4, 2022 6 pm – 7 pm MST online only, tune in to my live discussion for RootsTech Connect on “Searching for Close Relatives with Your DNA Results.” To find my RootsTech sessions, enter my name in the Speakers field, or under Menu, click Calendar, then click Sessions for each day and look for my name. The Sessions under Calendar are only the Live Sessions for the three days of RootsTech. There are about 60 live sessions that were not pre-recorded.
Thursday, March 3, 2022 6 pm- 6:30 pm MST ONLINE ONLY, tune in to my live discussion for RootsTech Connect on “DNA Interest Groups That Keep ’em Coming Back.” This will take the place of our usual monthly meeting. (Bonus tip: You can go to the Mesa Family HIstory Library Thursday, March 3rd at 10 am through 8:45 pm, Friday, 10 am through 8:45 pm, Saturday, March 5th at 10 am through about 4 pm to watch Keynote Speakers and Main Stage entertainment with other RootsTech enthusiasts.)
Thursday, February 3, 2022, 7 pm, DNA Interest Group in the FamilySearch classrooms upstairs at the Mesa Temple Visitors’ Center. In person and on Zoom. Presenter: Mckell Keeney. Topic: Focus on 23andMe DNA Results. Intermediate level.
Tuesday, January 11, 2022, 7 pm, Beginning DNA in the FamilySearch classrooms upstairs at the Mesa Temple Visitors’ Center. In person only. Presenter: Mckell Keeney.
Thursday, January 6, 2022, 7 pm, DNA Interest Group in the FamilySearch classrooms upstairs at the Mesa Temple Visitors’ Center. In person and on Zoom. Presenter: Mckell Keeney. Topic: Focus on MyHeritage DNA Results. Intermediate level.
Thursday, Dec. 2, 2021, 7 pm, DNA Interest Group in the FamilySearch classrooms upstairs at the Mesa Temple Visitors’ Center, 455 E Main Street, Mesa, Arizona. We will have a 25 minute or so mini-class by Ken Waters on a new system he has for using Ancestry dots/DNA groups, which will be available to watch on Zoom, also. Then we’ll have appetizers/desserts down in the kitchen area. Bring a favorite food to share from one of your family traditions or from one of your ethnicities.
(No November 2021 DNA Interest Group meeting, folks! Come to our December 2nd social or tune in then)
November 14, 2021, 7 pm, Gilbert Historical Museum—HD South, What Does Your DNA Say About You? 10 S Gilbert Road, Gilbert. Presenter: Mckell Keeney. Beginning level.
Friday, Oct. 1, 2021, 7 pm, DNA Interest Group
Mesa FamilySearch Center, 455 E Main Street, Mesa
Topic: Part 2 of Steps in the book, Your DNA Guide-the book, step by step plans to connect you with your family using DNA by Diahan Southard. You do not need to have the book in order to learn from this class. If you would like to order the book, it is available on Amazon and on Diahan’s website: Your DNA Guide.
Presenter: Mckell Keeney
Please join us in person upstairs in the FamilySearch classrooms, or join us on Zoom. Everyone is welcome, and as always, there are no dues to participate in our Interest Group.
September 2, 2021, 7 pm Pacific/AZ, DNA Interest Group
Mesa Visitor’s Center/FamilySearch classrooms: 455 E Main Street, Mesa, AZ 85203
Park along LeSueur or in the 400 space Light Rail Park and Ride Lot on the north side of Main Street. Please use caution in the crosswalk walking across the light rail tracks. Watch the lighted pedestrian signal and of course, look both ways. It’s a wide street.
Go to the second floor (there is an elevator option)l; turn right to find the Family History classrooms.
Topic: “Work Your Plan: Part 1” Guidance in using the first steps of Diahan Southard’s book, “your DNA guide, the book: step by step plans”
Please RSVP, as space is limited! Also available on Zoom (message for the link)
September 18, 2021
Private presentation for the DAR Anasazi Chapter in Peoria, Arizona (west Phoenix)
“What’s in your DNA?”
Find out how personality traits, characteristics and experiences of your Patriot(s) can be passed down to their descendants, and how you can capitalize on the positive aspects to enrich your life and your family history. Presenter: Mckell Keeney
No DNA Interest Group this month. Enjoy a short break before we go back to in-person meetings!
July 1, 2021, 7 pm Pacific/AZ (available to watch on Zoom)
Phoenix East Valley DNA Interest Group
What are the Odds? updates on DNApainter.com – Y-DNA – mitoDNA
Presented by Bonnie Bossert
June 4 and 5, 2021
Southern California Genealogical Society Genealogy Jamboree
The Genes in Your Family (Virtual conference the weekend before Jamboree: The Stars in Your Family)
Mckell’s recorded presentation “So You Wanna be a Search Angel? Volunteer to Help Adoptees” will be available to registered attendees on June 5, 2021 at 9 am Pacific Time/AZ time. Go to details for the handout.
New content! New case study!
Sponsored by the Southern California Genealogical Society and Family Research Library.
Standard registration includes a social hour, six live presentations (one Friday evening and five on Saturday), plus 10 recorded sessions of your choice. Plus registration gives you the option of all recorded sessions for an additional $80 for members. Registration opens January 11, 2021 at GenealogyJamboree.com.
Early registration through April 26, 2021: $150 for the Genetic Genealogy two-day conference. If you are only registering for the Genetic Genealogy conference and not Jamboree the following weekend, registration is an additional $20.
SCGS Members receive the discounted price above for the conference. If you are not a SCGS member, registration is an additional $20. Join the Southern California Genealogical Society at scgsgenealogy.com
Here’s the schedule of presentations: Jamboree 2021
June 3, 2021, 7 pm Pacific/AZ, DNA Interest Group
DNA Islands, presented by Ken Waters. Message for Zoom link.
May 6, 2021, 6 pm Pacific and AZ time; 7 pm Mountain; 8 pm Central; 9 pm Eastern
DNA Interest Group, Zoom Meeting with Special Guest, Libby Copeland
The Cultural Phenomenon of Home DNA Testing
Discussion leader: Libby Copeland, author of The Lost Family; How DNA Testing is Upending Who We Are
The presentation will explore the extraordinary cultural phenomenon of home DNA testing, which is redefining family history. It will draw on Libby Copeland’s years of research for her new book The Lost Family: How DNA Testing is Upending Who We Are (Abrams, 2020), which The Wall Street Journal calls “a fascinating account of lives dramatically affected by genetic sleuthing.” With more than 37 million people having been tested, a tipping point has been reached. Virtually all Americans are affected whether they have been tested or not, and millions have been impacted by significant revelations in their immediate families.
Libby Copeland is an award-winning journalist who has written for the Washington Post, New York magazine, the New York Times, the Atlantic, and many other publications. She specializes in the intersection of science and culture. Copeland was a reporter and editor at the Post for eleven years, has been a media fellow and guest lecturer, and has made numerous appearances on television and radio.
The Lost Family explores the rapidly evolving phenomenon of home DNA testing, its implications for how we think about family and ourselves, and its ramifications for American culture broadly. The Washington Post says The Lost Family “reads like an Agatha Christie mystery” and “wrestles with some of the biggest questions in life: Who are we? What is family? Are we defined by nature, nurture or both?”
Availability of Signed and Personalized Copies
Copies of The Lost Family, signed and personalized by Libby Copeland, can be purchased through The Village Bookstore in Pleasantville, NY (Attention: Jennifer Kohn, 914-769-8322).
Tuesday, March 23, 2021, 6:30-8 pm
Gilbert Historical Museum—HD South, Gilbert, Arizona
Find Amazing Stories in Your DNA. Presenter: Mckell Keeney
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/
February 25-27, 2021
RootsTech Connect 2021 was free this year and accessible to everyone in the world! Go to Rootstech.org: choose from hundreds of classes on a wide range of genealogy topics from numerous countries. Join a global genealogy community.
Mckell was in the virtual booth “Let’s Do Good Together” in the exhibit hall and led a live Zoom discussion on DNA Interest Groups on Thursday, Feb. 25th at 2 pm MST and a live Zoom discussion about Search Angel volunteering on Friday, Feb. 26 at 2 pm MST. The meetings were not recorded, but a lot of people were helped by many search angels and received information from DNA Interest Group veterans.
DATE and Time CHANGE!
Saturday, February 6, 2021 at NOON
Thursday, January 7, 2021, 7 pm
Thursday, January 7th, 7 pm
Thursday, December 3, 2020, 7 pm
DNA Interest Group virtual meeting:
Round Robin “social.” Take a minute or three to share something about your DNA (Are you in a surname study? Did you take a Y-DNA test? Are you using a new DNA tool?)
E-mail for the link or find it in the Phoenix East Valley DNA Facebook group.
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
Ken Waters presented a case study that used traditional genealogy research and DNA analysis. The meeting ID and password was 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
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).
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.
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.
Mckell is available to speak to you by phone, email or on Facetime.
- Check the FAQ page
- Email for more information!