Kelli Bergheimer, a genealogist and DNA expert from Powell, Ohio, presented a program entitled “Reliability, Privacy, and Ethics in the DNA Age” during the Nov. 18 meeting of the Fayette County Genealogical Society.
During her presentation she stated that the reliability of DNA testing proving family relationships is higher the closer the family relationship. For instance, parent/child and brother/sister relationships would be 100%. Proving common ancestry among first and second cousins would be almost 100%. As the family members get farther apart the percentage of DNA accuracy becomes lower.
DNA matches for individuals four or five generations apart could dip to 50% accuracy or less. Another question of reliability discussed was that of DNA testing for health reasons. This is DNA testing to predict if you have a family tendency towards certain diseases. The pros and cons of this type testing was presented. The GINA Health Insurance Law, a law to protect individuals from health insurance bias connected to DNA testing, was also a topic. The use of DNA in solving criminal cases was the final subject for this most interesting program. How issues of privacy and ethics arise with each of these topics were discussed throughout the presentation.
Bergheimer holds a bachelor’s degree in biology and a master’s degree in both education and business management, and is pursuing doctorate in industrial and organizational psychology. She is a member of the Association of Professional Genealogists and the Genealogical Speaking Guild.
Anyone wishing assistance in being inducted in any of the society’s three Linage Societies are invited to attend the Lineage Society Workshop. This workshop is offered annually prior to the Feb. 1 deadline for all forms and documentation. The three societies are First Families of Fayette County open to anyone who can prove to have had an ancestor(s) living in Fayette County by Dec. 31, 1820, Century Families of Fayette County is open to anyone who can prove to have had an ancestor living in Fayette County by Dec. 31, 1916, or Civil War Families of Fayette County. To be inducted into the Civil War Families of Fayette County you have to have had an ancestor(s) who served in the Civil War, either Union or Confederate, and who lived in or served from Fayette County. Dates of service must be between April 12, 1861 and April 18, 1865.
This workshop will be held in the Genealogical Department upstairs in the Carnegie Public Library at 127 S. North St., Washington Court House on Saturday, Dec. 14 from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. Any needed forms will be available.
The next meeting of the Fayette County Genealogical Society will be held Monday, Nov. 18 at 7 p.m. in the meeting room of the Carnegie Public Library, Washington Court House. Please use the doors on the Catholic Church side of the building. The speaker for evening will be Russ Pollitt, who is a trustee for Ohio Genealogical Society and director of special projects at the Columbus Metropolitan Library. His presentation is entitled “Finding Family Research, Tutorials, Webinars, and Tips Online.”
If you would like information concerning the Fayette County Genealogical Society, membership, its meetings, or the lineage workshop, contact Cathy Massie White at ReunionMassie@yahoo.com or 740-333-7227.