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DNA Interest Group

Purpose:  Explore the role of DNA testing in your genealogical research. Meeting topics may include:

• Understanding results of DNA tests from the testing companies
• The use of third-party tools to enhance the value of DNA test results
• Identifying ancestors by combining DNA results with traditional genealogical research
• DNA Ethnicity estimates

Status: The DNA SIG met for almost five years from 2017 through 2022.  Although it is no longer active, some the material discussed at meetings is given below.
Please send an email with any questions to webmaster@hgftx.org .


HGF DNA Interest Group (DIG) Presentations:



Resources for DNA Analysis:

Testing Companies

The ISOGG Wiki maintains a detailed comparison between testing companies on the page Autosomal DNA Testing Comparison Chart.

  • 23AndMe - Only offers autosomal DNA tests. Second largest DNA database with about 5 million people tested.
  • Ancestry - Offers autosomal DNA tests, records-based research, and creation of family trees.  Has the largest DNA database with over 9 million people tested.  Requires an Ancestry subscription to see family trees related to DNA matches.
  • Family Tree DNA - Only company to offer Y-DNA and mitochondrial DNA tests as well as autosomal.  Fourth largest DNA database. 
  • MyHeritage - Offers autosomal DNA tests, records-based research, and creation of family trees. Large international user base.

Third Party Tools

These websites and web browser extensions provide capabilities for examining your DNA test results which go beyond that provided by the testing companies.

  • GEDMatch.com - GEDmatch provides DNA and genealogical analytic tools. Most tools are free, but Tier 1 tools are fee-based.   The GEDMatch.com chromosome browser and matrices are some of the most useful tools for DNA analysis. Requires that Ancestry raw DNA data be downloaded from Ancestry and then uploaded into GEDMatch.
  •  dnaGEDcom.com - provides tools for DNA segment analysis.  Also has tool to download Ancestry matches to Excel.
  • DNAPainter.com - helps to identify and track DNA segments from individual ancestors.  To use with Ancestry tests, requires that Ancestry raw DNA data file be loaded into GEDMatch and then the GEDMatch chromosome data be pasted into DNAPainter.
  • HAPI-DNA -  Amy WIlliams, an associate professor in the Department of Computational Biology at Cornel University, focuses her research on using large genetic databases to improve the accuracy of inferring relationships between paris of samples.  This website has made some initial tools available and is developing new ones for genetic genealogists.


  • "The Family Tree Guide to DNA Testing and Genetic Genealogy" by Blaine T. Bettinger.  Available from Amazon in both book and Kindle formats.  Very good introduction to basics of DNA for genealogy, selecting a DNA test, and analyzing and applying test results.
  • "Genetic Genealogy in Practice" by Blaine T. Bettinger and Debbie Parker Wayne.  Available from National Genealogical Society store  (NGS members receive a discount) and from Amazon.  Detailed descriptions of use of DNA analysis in family research; includes exercises with answers.  Explains how to apply the rules of the Genealogical Proof Standard (GPS) to genealogical research using DNA.
  • "Swabbed & Found: An Adopted Man's DNA Journey to Discover his Family Tree" by Frank Billingsley.  Available from Amazon and Barnes & Noble. The story of an adoptee's search for his biological parents using DNA and other genealogical evidence.  Good review in the Houston Chronicle.   Houston-area residents will recognize Frank Billingsley as the long-time KPRC weatherman.


  • The Genetic Genealogist - Blaine Bettinger's, Ph.D., JD, occasional blogs on DNA analysis.  Posts results of Shared CM Projet.
  •  YourDNAGuide - Diahan Southard's blog include great explanations of basic DNA analysis for beginners to updates on the latest tools from the testing companies.
  • DNAeXplained – Genetic Genealogy - Roberta Estes' blog on DNA analysis and case studies using DNA in genealogical research.
  • The Legal Genealogist - Judy Russel's, JD, CG, CGL, blog covers the wide intersection of genealogy and the legal system.   She's recently written quite a bit on the use of genealogy DNA databases by law enforcement.
  • The International Society of Genetic Genealogists (ISOGG) Wiki -   Comprehensive collection of articles on all aspect of genetic genealogy from basics to advanced analysis.
  • Kitty Cooper's Blog - Explanations and case studies demonstrating the use of DNA testing for genealogical research
  • Deb's Delvings in Genealogy - Debbie Wayne Parker's blog on DNA analysis and other topics in genealogy.
  • Your Genetic Genealogist - CeCe Moore's articles on DNA testing
  • The DNA Geek - Leah Larkin's blog.  Recent posts include updates on the size of the testing companies DNA databases and the status of autosomal raw data transfers between companies.  In a transfer, the DNA raw data file from one company is uploaded to the database of a different company.  This allows persons who test with different companies to compare their results.