2021 Online Summer Speaker Series—
Digital Recordings Now Available


Navigating DNA Testing Websites

Featured Speaker:

Diahan Southard, noted author and lecturer on genetic genealogy


Martin Blythe and Emily Gordon, Living DNA

Janine Cloud, FamilyTreeDNA

Lisa Elzey, AncestryDNA

Daniel Horowitz, MyHeritage


Learn about DNA with noted DNA expert, Diahan Southard, and specialists from four of the largest DNA testing companies.


All sessions from the conference held 17 and 18 July 2021 have been digitally recorded. You can watch the lectures as they were presented. Diahan Southard’s two lectures will be available until 18 August 2021 only and the others will be online for ninety days.


Registration for the Summer Speaker Series continues to be open in our online store.


    • StLGS members: $50
    • Non-members: $60
    • If you prefer to register by check, click here for a registration form you can mail in.
    • Registrants will receive an email with a link to a page on our website containing links to the handouts and links to view the digital recordings.

Original Schedule

All of our featured speakers are experienced presenters with expertise in DNA testing and their individual companies. They will help you to decide which tests are right for you and how their websites can be helpful in your DNA studies.


Saturday, 17 July: (All times for both days are Central Time Zone.)

8:50 a.m.–9:00 a.m.: Opening Remarks

9:00 a.m.–10:30 a.m.

          • 3 DNA Tests = 3 Times the Fun (Diahan Southard): Three kinds of DNA tests, five testing companies, and many different outcomes. Learn the basics and emerge with confidence in this new area of research.

11:30 a.m.–1:00 p.m.

          • All About Living DNA (Martin Blythe and Emily Gordon): In this presentation, explore everything you need to know about DNA testing with Living DNA. Learn how your Living DNA results will be presented, how you can upload your data to Living DNA for free, and what makes Living DNA unique.

2:00 p.m.–3:30 p.m.

          • Making Family History Discoveries with AncestryDNA (Lisa Elzey): Walk through your first steps toward personal discovery with AncestryDNA, including information about genetic inheritance, your Ancestry DNA Story, additional communities, ThruLines, and DNA matches.


Sunday, 18 July:

9:50 a.m.–10:00 a.m.: Opening Remarks

10:00 a.m.–11:30 a.m.

          • Integrating DNA and Family History Research at MyHeritage (Daniel Horowitz): A MyHeritage DNA test can reveal valuable history information and tell you more about your origins. MyHeritage DNA provides two main features: The DNA Matching service enables you to enjoy the site’s matching capabilities, and a detailed ethnicity report allows you to see the percentage of your DNA that comes from different populations around the world, together with your family events.

12:30 p.m.–2:00 p.m.

          • Behind the Scenes at FamilyTreeDNA (Janine Cloud): FamilyTreeDNA took DNA testing for genealogy directly to consumers in 2000 and was the first company to do so. It remains the only company that offers a full complement of tests with matching databases. This talk will give an overview of the company’s history, the types of tests offered, and the testing process, including a brief look at using your results.

2:30 p.m.–4:00 p.m.

          • Comparing the Big 5 Genetic Genealogy Companies (Diahan Southard): With more companies joining the ranks of autosomal DNA testing, and without unlimited resources, how can you choose the best company to fit your needs? We will cover the five main autosomal DNA testing companies, as well as other smaller companies vying for your business.


Questions: Email to .


For information about the history of the StLGS Speaker Series, click here.


Biographical Information on the Speakers:


Diahan Southard is a leading voice for consumer DNA testing from her position as founder of Your DNA Guide. Diahan teaches internationally and consults with leading testing companies and forensics experts. Her company, Your DNA Guide (yourdnaguide.com), deploys a team of scientists who provide one-on-one genetic genealogy education and research services. She has a passion for genetic genealogy and a gift for making the technical understandable.


Martin Blythe is senior bioinformatician at the British company, Living DNA.
Janine Cloud has worked for FamilyTreeDNA for ten years. She is a fifth-generation Texan and a member of the Cherokee Nation. She is the creator of the Group Projects-Events team she now manages, has given presentations at national conferences in the U.S. and England, and has lectured for numerous local organizations.
Lisa Elzey is a senior family history researcher at Ancestry and a genealogist and consulting and story producer for a number of television shows. She has led the Ancestry corporate research team on various family history projects on television and for several national publications, working with some major celebrities, such as Dr. Henry Louis Gates Jr. and Anderson Cooper. Lisa specializes in family history DNA cases combined with genealogical evidence, believing there is a story in every family tree waiting to be discovered.
Daniel Horowitz has been dedicated to genealogy since 1986. He was the teacher and study guide editor of the family history project “Searching for My Roots” in Venezuela for fifteen years. he was a board member of the International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies (IAJGS) for ten years and is now involved in several crowdsourced digitization and transcription projects and holds a board position in the Israel Genealogy Research Association (IGRA). He has worked at MyHeritage since 2006, liaising with genealogy societies, bloggers, and media as well as lecturing and attending genealogy conferences around the world.



Emily Gordon is a customer service supervisor at the British company, Living DNA.

Last modified: 19-Jul-2021 15:40