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DNA Conference- Oct 13

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  • DNA Conference- Oct 13

    Experts to delve into DNA’s role in genealogy
    By James M. Beidler
    Lebanon Daily News

    The use of DNA in genealogy has captured the imagination of hobbyists and professionals in the field for several years.
    Where once the documentation provided by paper documents was considered “the last word” as far as proving genealogical links, the technology of DNA now has become useful in sorting through conflicting evidence — as well as occasionally disproving an otherwise perfect “paper” genealogy.

    Charles Kerchner of Emmaus, one of the founders of the International Society of Genetic Genealogy, will be the lead-off speaker at the fall conference of the Pennsylvania Chapter, Palatines to America, on Oct. 13 at Yoder’s Restaurant, New Holland, Lancaster County.

    The entire conference will be devoted to presentations about genetic genealogy. In addition to an introductory lecture, Kerchner will also detail the DNA project he runs about his own surname.

    Other topics will include “Y-DNA Projects in Genealogy” and “mtDNA Projects in Genealogy.”

    The Y-DNA presenter will be Steven Perkins, a law librarian and former law professor who has been doing genealogy research for 40 years.
    Y-DNA traces the “surname line” of a father, paternal grandfather, etc., because it analyzes the DNA of the Y chromosome that is passed only among males from father to son. (Women can utilize the research by using the DNA of a “surrogate” such as a brother or father).

    William Hurst, a retired executive who has been involved in genealogy for six years, will talk about mtDNA, which is short for mitochondrial DNA. He is co-administrator for the Hurst Surname DNA Project and founder and administrator of the mtDNA Haplogroup K Project. He is a published author on both mtDNA and Y-DNA topics.

    Mitochondrial DNA is passed through maternal lines, from a mother to her children — but only the daughters can pass it on. It can be used to help identify ancestors in the so-called “umbilical line” — the one that appears at the bottom of a traditional pedigree chart.

    More information about the conference, including a printable registration form, is available from the Pennsylvania Chapter Web site at (click on “Fall Meeting” on the left side of the page).

    The Pennsylvania Chapter began in October 1977 when 14 people who were interested in forming a state chapter of the National Society, Palatines to America, met to organize. Six of them volunteered to serve on a steering committee to help guide the new chapter.

    The chapter has members throughout the country and in several nations around the world. Membership information is available on the Web site or by writing to PA Chapter, Palatines to America, P.O. Box 280, Strasburg, PA 17579-0280.