Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Using DNA to Identify German Connections

Who: Members of the Hamilton County Genealogical Society are invited.

What: A zoom webinar on "Using DNA to Identify German Connections"

This presentation will be given for the San Diego German Interest Group. Spaces will be available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Presenter: Kathy Reed

When: Wednesday, March 17th from 4:00 - 6:00 PM EST

Note that the webinar is scheduled from 1:00 - 3:00 PST. Given the time difference, we will not begin until 4:00 PM EST.

You must register in advance for this webinar:

 After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.  

We hope to post a link to the presentation at a later date.

Here is a link to the handout: Making German Connections Using Y-DNA Handout.docx

Questions? Contact Kathy Reed 


Thursday, February 4, 2021

DNA Happenings - SWOHDNA Update


It's been nearly a year since we were able to meet in person, and what a year it has been. Some of you may be aware that I have been largely "out of the picture" for the past six months due to significant health issues, including major surgery for breast cancer. I am doing MUCH better now and I'm ready to get back to my passion. For those of you who are interested in the "nitty-gritty" of my venture into the world of health care, I've included a couple of links at the end of this post. Please feel free to ignore.

Kelli Bergheimer

HCGS member and frequent speaker for our DNA Interest Group, Kelli Bergheimer, has a virtual DNA group. She has asked me to share information on how to participate in this group and access programs for February and March. I've copied her email below.

Email: In Feb and March, I'm working with my virtual DNA group on building lists of inferred matches. Blaine Bettinger and Jonny Perl (DNAPainter) have done some speaking and writing on this over the last 6 months or so. 

Blaine Bettinger did a great webinar on Advanced DNA Techniques: Deductive Chromosome Mapping.

Jonny Perl (DNA Painter creator) wrote a great blog post about the basics of inferred matching.

More tips for inferred chromosome mapping | DNA Painter Blog

Over the weekend I'm going to send out some instructions and prep work for the group. If you want to ask anyone on your list if they want to come, it's free.

I have figured out a way to take my MyHeritage clusters with my siblings and build one spreadsheet of clusters that my sibs and I share. We will do a similar process with Ancestry Shared matches, FTDNA In Common With, and 23andMe match lists. 

2021 Meetings: Sundays from 5-7 pm EST on Zoom

Feb 21- Monopolizing on Inferred Matches- Part 1 [building your chart]

Mar 21- Monopolizing on Inferred Matches- Part 2 [customizing and teasing out clusters]

If your group members would like to be added to the list, they can email me! 

Kelli's email address is:


Upcoming Talk:

I have been asked to give a talk to the San Diego German Interest Group on March 17th from 4:00 - 6:00 EST. The topic is: "Making German Connections Using Y-DNA." The first half of the talk will discuss an overview of the main DNA companies and the tools that may be used to make connections with other Germans in their database. The second half will be a discussion of how Y-DNA may be a better choice than autosomal. There will also be a discussion of why many Germans are reluctant to test. This part is based on emails from Germans who wanted to help me with this.

This is going to be a Zoom webinar. I will be sending out details in March as to how to register and participate. They have graciously agreed to allow our members to join. It will be very interactive. So take out your calendar and save a spot for all things German on the day we celebrate all things Irish. (The irony has not been lost on me).

As my health continues to improve, I hope to make other opportunities available to this group. So stay tuned. 


So for the curious, I'm including links to my family blog where I have been recording my health care adventure since last April. I find it therapeutic to write about it and wanted to have a record of my experience in "real time" for my family. The two links below discuss my recent adventure with pulmonary embolisms followed up three weeks later with congestive heart failure. Know that I have some fantastic doctors and I am definitely on the road to recovery.

A Curve Ball - November 20th to December 28th

What Else Could Happen? - December 29th to January 20th

Submitted by: Kathy Reed


Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Video of Clustering Tools Now Online

On Tuesday, February 11th, Jo Roth spoke at the Southwest Ohio DNA Interest Group. Jo discussed how to use the latest clustering tools for organizing DNA matches. Included were the autoclustering tools that are a part of Gedmatch and DNAPainter.

The presentation was recorded and can be found at these links:
and on YouTube If you'd like, you can choose to "subscribe" and watch other videos produced by the Hamilton County Genealogical Society.

Submitted by: Kathy Reed

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

German Connections

It's a great time to have German heritage and live in Cincinnati. This summer Palatines to America is holding their national conference in Cincinnati from June 17th-20th. Check out their website. I am proud to be among the presenters who will be speaking at this event.

The International German Genealogy Partnership will hold an international conference in Cincinnati from July 16-18 2021. The Hamilton County Genealogical Society is the local host. You can read more about the conference here.

In anticipation of these events, and my love of DNA and its potential to make connections between Germans and their American descendants, I created an Ancestor Project that is housed on Gedmatch. I'm proud to say that in a very short period of time, 851 kits have been submitted. In addition, the facebook group has 133 members in one week. This is open to anyone with German ancestry and allows participants to use powerful Gedmatch tools to try to find connections both in the U.S. and abroad.

It became apparent that members did not understand how to use some of the tools. To this end, I created a facebook group for members who wanted to share results, connect with "cousins" and get suggestions from other members about the tools and techniques that have worked for them. It is listed as a "private" group because it is a violation of the Gedmatch Terms of Service to post DNA results in a public forum. In order to join the "German Connections" facebook group, you must supply your Gedmatch kit number to the moderator. Use the facebook link listed in the project.

I am excited about the possibilities of collaboration. Already I've received a great deal of assistance and encouragement from Tanja Bals. Tanja has also started an Ancestor Project called the Former Duchy of Oldenburg (Lower Saxony) that you can join if you have ancestors from Oldenburg. There are also several other regional German Ancestor Projects, as well as other ethnic groups, that may be of interest to you.

If you have questions, please don't hesitate to email me at

Submitted by Kathy Reed

Friday, January 24, 2020

SWOHDNA News - Jo Roth Discusses "Clustering" Tools

What: Meeting of the Southwest Ohio DNA Interest Group (SWOHDNA)
Where:  West Chester Mid-Pointe Library
Who: Guest Speaker - Jo Roth
When: Tuesday, February 11th
Time: 7:00 - 8:45 pm


About Jo:
How did I miss out on Jo? Based on Jo's picture, I know I've seen her at several events, including our DNA Interest Group meetings. I knew from Nancy Chouteau that Jo has largely assumed the responsibility of managing the Cincinnati/Dayton Roots Magic User Group. I did not know what an incredible talent was right under my nose.

Jo has been involved in family history and genealogy since 1980. She is a lifetime member of the Hamilton County Genealogical Society, as well as the Clermont and Warren County Societies. She has her own website  that lists her many accomplishments and services.

Jo has agreed to discuss one of the newest tools available to genetic genealogists -- the AutoCluster tool. Clustering is based on the method developed by Dana Leeds to organize your matches into groups that share a common ancestor or ancestral couple.  The GEDmatch Clustering Tool does the analyzing for you and gives you a visual chart showing those who match each other.  

Jo will demonstrate the use of this tool, how to change the search parameters (and how that affects your results), and what to do with the results will be discussed and demonstrated. She will also discuss the clustering tool available through DNAPainter. 

Clustering Tool

Note: For those of you who may have concerns about the purchase of GedMatch by Verogen, a forensic genealogy company, I suggest you check out the webinar with the new owner, Brett Williams.

Hope to see you there.

Submitted by Kathy Reed

Thursday, October 31, 2019

Next Meeting of the Southwest Ohio DNA Interest Group - Debra Renard Presenter

The next meeting of the Southwest Ohio DNA Interest Group will be held on Tuesday, December 10th at the West Chester MidPointe Library.

Debra Renard, the founder of Eureka! Genealogy, is a full-time Genetic Genealogist with Legacy Tree Genealogists. She is co-leader of the Louisville, Kentucky, Genetic Genealogy Special Interest Group, a board member of the Louisville Genealogical Society, and is Secretary of the Kentucky Chapter of the Association of Professional Genealogists.

She is a frequent speaker at the local, regional and national level with a particular interest in the midwest. Debra has Ohio roots but makes her home in Louisville, KY.


In this presentation, "Hunting the Hunters" -- Hot on the Trail with DNA Strategies" Debra will discuss how she used Y-DNA, autosomal DNA, FAN club research and newspapers to reveal her family's truth. A hefty dose of scandal comes together resulting in the truth being WAY stranger than fiction. This presentation is designed for genealogists of all skill levels.

Debra gave this presentation at the OGS Conference 2019. It promises to be just what we need as we begin the holiday season. Hope to see you there.

Submitted by Kathy Reed

Monday, October 7, 2019

Tour of the Cincinnati History and Library Archives

After a three-year closure while the Cincinnati Museum Center underwent a complete renovation, many patrons anxiously awaited the reopening of the Cincinnati History Library and Archives (CHLA). Now a few months in, the staff of the library has graciously agreed to host two tours of the new facility. Visitors will learn of the many resources available to them and get tips on how best to access them.

CHLA will sponsor two tours for HCGS members on Tuesday, November 12th and Saturday, November 16th. Both tours will take place at 10:30 am.

Both tours require a reservation and are limited to 20 people each. Complete the reservation form
and select your preferred date. Once the tours are filled, you will be put on a waiting list for possible future tours based on demand.

To learn more about the library, visit their website:
CHLA Website.

Submitted by: Kathy Reed