DNA expert talks ancestry at Genealogical Society meeting


Kelli Bergheimer, DNA expert from Powell, Ohio, was the speaker for the Oct. 16 meeting of the Fayette County Genealogical Society.

Using the DNA matches of two unknown cousins from DNA listing on Ancestry of two Society members, Bergheimer presented her program entitled “Unknown Cousin to Known Cousin.” First an unknown second cousin match for Cathy Massie White was used for a research demonstration. By using the family tree listed in the Ancestry of this unknown cousin and White’s tree, some possible family ties and mutual family members were discovered. Then the family histories of the individuals in these family ties were discussed to discover how this unknown cousin would be connected to these mutual family members.

Where individuals live or have lived can play a part in this research as well to see if they were connected by time and place. Other research resources such as Google, other genealogical databases, and military records, to name a few, may be used as well.

A cousin in Jill Roberts’s match list was used to show how Thru-lines are used to place a once unknown cousin correctly into your family tree. Thru-lines uses information based on family trees of you and other people in Ancestry. The Thru-lines are based on the amount of DNA you share with the person in trying to place him or her in your tree and how the person is related to other members of your family and ancestors. Thru-lines use generations in family trees going back to fifth generation grandparents.

Bergheimer is a writer, teacher, editor, and national genealogical speaker. She holds a bachelor’s degree in biology, master’s in education: curriculum and instruction, and a master’s in business management. She owns two small businesses, Geo-centric Learning and Mess on Your Desk, a genealogical organizational company with a YouTube and online store.

Bergheimer is the facilitator of “Genetics, Genealogy, and You,” an online interest group. She is a member of the Association of Genealogists and the Genealogical Speaker’s Guild. The Society is very fortunate to have someone with her credentials and knowledge to present each October.

The next meeting of the Society will be held Monday, Nov. 20 at 7 p.m. in the downstairs room of the Fayette County Economic Development Building, 101 E. East St., Washington Court House. The program will be the second-annual Fayette County Trivia Night. Members and guests will enjoy a friendly competition of answering questions based on the ancestry of the people of Fayette County, Fayette County historical events, and landmarks. Besides being fun, it’s truly a learning experience of our heritage.

For information concerning this meeting, Society membership, Lineage Societies inductions, or research, please contact president Sue Rodgers Gilmore at 614-864-9609 or [email protected], lineage chair Cathy Massie White at 740-333-7227 or [email protected], or research chair Peggy Lester at 740-495-5720 or [email protected].

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