The DNA of the people of the North of Ireland will be revealed during a conference in the Titanic Centre on Friday 16th and Saturday 17th February. Genetic Genealogy Ireland , which is a part of the Back To Our Past family/social history and genealogy event, brings together academics and hobbyists to demonstrate how DNA testing has revolutionised family history research and uncovered shocking surprises about who we think we are.
One of the highlights will Donna Rutherford’s talk as she takes the audience on a genetic romp into the world of Game of Thrones, revealing the surprises that DNA testing of the various characters would expose. So if you are a Game of Thrones fan, this is not to be missed.
DNA testing as a genealogical tool has really taken off in recent years and thousands of people across the North of Ireland have already tested, largely due to the outreach efforts of the North of Ireland Family History Society. The NIFHS holds regular classes on DNA testing and several DNA Interest Groups have sprung up all across the North of Ireland. More and more people are breaking through their genealogical ‘Brick Walls’ as a result of establishing genetic connections with distant cousins they never knew existed.
The free lectures run from 10.30 am to 4.30 pm each day and include ‘how to’ talks for those new to DNA testing, as well as talks of general interest and specialist topics.
Prof Jim Mallory from Queens University Belfast will summarise the archaeological, linguistic and genetic evidence that describes the origins of the people of Ireland & Britain. The Irish DNA Atlas project recently published the findings of their 6 years of research and Ed Gilbert (the lead author) will discuss the results, the ten distinct genetic groups they discovered within Ireland, and how these compare to genetic groups in the UK and Europe. Some of the groups are ‘ancient Irish’ whilst others reflect inflow of DNA from external groups, including the Vikings.
Several case studies will be presented illustrating how Y-DNA in particular lends itself to the study of surnames (e.g. Irvine, Kemp). There will be a particular focus on the most popular test with genealogists (autosomal DNA) and techniques to harness its power will be demonstrated. Brad Larkin will discuss what DNA reveals about Irish clans and the British monarchy, whilst Debbie Kennett gives an apt presentation on how DNA has solved several of the mysteries associated with the sinking of the Titanic.
Each day will end with an Ask the Experts session where the audience can ask any question they like to a panel of experts.
So whether you are a seasoned genealogist or simply have a passing interest in the topic, come and enjoy the fun. You will definitely learn something new about yourself!
The full DNA lecture programme is available on the Genetic Genealogy Ireland website at http://ggi2013.blogspot.co.uk
Genetic Genealogy Ireland (GGI) runs as part of Back to Our Past (BTOP) at the Titanic Centre, Feb 16-17. The lectures are free and anyone can attend. Admission to BTOP is € 10 per day.
If you are interested in visiting or exhibiting, further information on Back To Our Past is available from the organisers at 003531 4969028 or firstname.lastname@example.org
GGI is sponsored by FamilyTreeDNA and organised jointly by members of ISOGG (International Society of Genetic Genealogy) and NIFHS (North of Ireland Family History Society).