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

Monday, September 30, 2019

2019 HCGS Heritage Luncheon Reservations Close October 2nd

Wednesday, October 2nd is the last day to make a reservation for this year's Heritage Luncheon!   It will be held on Saturday October 12th.  Clovernook County Club will again be our venue. This year marks the 200th anniversary of Ohio Medical College (University of Cincinnati.) With this in mind, our speaker will again be interpreter, Joyce Browning, this time as  "Mary Cunningham, the Body Snatcher's wife."  It is a funny/sad tale of how the earliest doctors became educated. Ms. Browning plays an amazing role!
Registration opens at 10:45 a.m. New member recognition will begin at 11:30 with a welcome and the presentation of awards. Lunch will be served at noon followed by Ms. Browning’s program.  Reservations are required with payment and are due by 2 October 2019.  The reservation form for the Heritage Luncheon is available:

Saturday, September 28, 2019

Reliability, Ethics and Privacy in the DNA Age with Kelli Bergheimer

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


At this next meeting, Kelli Bergheimer will lead us in a discussion about some of the timely issues facing genetic genealogists. Topics discussed will include the reliability of DNA testing, ethics and privacy concerns. We will learn about the laws and terms of service that apply to this ever-changing field. Catch up on the DNA cases making the news.

In addition, Kathy Reed will discuss a proposed study that she plans to use as the basis of lectures for  the PALAM Conference – Palatines to America National Conference (June 17-20, 2020) and possibly the IGGP – International German Genealogy Partnership Conference (July 16-18, 2021) The focus of these talks will be on making DNA connections between Americans of German descent and their German ancestors. Find out how you can play a role. Don't have German ancestors? No problem. The techniques used will be applicable to any family study regardless of ethnicity.

We hope to see you at what promises to be a very interesting meeting. This meeting is especially appropriate for those new to DNA testing.

Submitted by Kathy Reed