GRIP

Getting ready to spend time with some genetic genealogists

When I discovered an interest in genetic genealogy for my own personal/family purposes, I never imagined I would happen into a group as interesting and passionate as genetic genealogists.

Most people who become "genetic" genealogists start out as genealogists with no knowledge of DNA, genetic inheritance, or chromosomes. Over time, they gather knowledge about the science behind DNA and how the molecule links people together. Analyzing and comparing DNA between people (whether they are "family" that is close or distant) can fill in information and connect dots. It is only natural that consumer genomics and direct-to-consumer tests have made DNA testing commonplace in genealogical research in recent years.

There are a number of gatherings of genealogists each year -- too many to mention as genealogy has become the second most popular hobby in the United States, behind gardening.

For those with a special interest in the application of genetics to genealogy, there are a few special times when focused education is available in-person. The Salt Lake City-based SLIG course is one, and the Pittsburgh-centered GRIP course is another. Since I am East Coast-based, GRIP has been an easier location.

Some genealogy enthusiasts attend these courses to learn more about traditional genealogical research (i.e. non-DNA stuff). There are intro level courses and some for the advanced. These institutes have a little of something for everybody. 

I won't be attending GRIP for the full week this year as I did in 2016, but I am excitedly anticipating the one day I get to spend with CeCe Moore and the Advanced DNA course attendees. 

I look forward to that time together to present cases, explore questions, and learn as much (or more!) from attendees as they do from me.

Everything about the intersection of genetics, genealogy, family history, and health GRIPS my attention (ha! pun intended!). Each chance I get to improve the way I communicate about DNA is welcome.

Look forward to seeing some of you in Pittsburgh in a few weeks!

 

Time to get a GRIP again

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania has been a bit of a DNA hotspot in the past few years.

The NSGC meeting of 2015 was in held in Pittsburgh. Each summer for the past few years (including last summer), genealogy gurus and gurus-in-training descend on the LaRoche College campus near Pittsburgh for a week of intensive classes. The institute is run by the Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh, and more information is available at www.gripitt.org. Finally, the University of Pittsburgh graduates a new set of genetic counselors each spring. Congratulations Robin Grubs, Andrea Durst, and your new graduates, class of 2017! Pitt has a very active human genetics department, offering up many degrees in genetics, in addition to their MS in Genetic Counseling.

The genealogy classes GRIP offers cover both DNA and non-DNA genealogy topics, but the special courses with a DNA focuses are always popular. There is an introductory course for DNA beginners and an advanced course for those wishing to fine tune knowledge and skills. 

The DNA classes of summer 2017 are full, but I have it on good authority that the waitlists are either nil or short and those on the wait list have a great chance of attending. So if you're interested, head over to online registration.  This link takes you to a description of the summer 2017 courses: http://www.gripitt.org/courses/.  

I will present one lecture during CeCe Moore's Advanced Genetic Genealogy class in July. It will focus on practical advice for the genetic genealogist in situations that arise at the intersection of genetic counseling and genealogy. Following the lecture will be a period of discussion before class wraps up for the day.  

In 2018, GRIP will expand to include three sessions with one session taking place in Amherst, New York. 

 

 

DNA & Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh

The popular week-long Advanced Genetic Genealogy summer course at Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh (GRIP) is upon us again! If "genetic genealogy" is a new term to you, check out this helpful source with info about a field of family history discovery that gains new participants daily.  

This year, Watershed DNA founder Brianne Kirkpatrick will attend the course, coordinated by genetic genealogist CeCe Moore (founder of DNA Detectives), and will present a session on genetic counseling to other attendees, alongside fellow genetic counselor Beth Balkite. 

Looking forward to it, GRIP-pers! We're excited to share about the profession of genetic counseling and brainstorm ways we can partner.