Tenth Annual Family Tree DNA Conference Opening Reception


One of the best things about the Family Tree DNA Conference each year is visiting with old friends, and making new ones.  This picture just warms my heart, because Marja from Finland and Mike from Virginia are meeting in person for the first time here in Houston.  They found each other through DNA testing, and I originally met both of them as clients.  Indeed, if DNA testing has shown us anything at all, it’s how small the world really is and how interrelated we are to the rest of humanity.

This is the 10th year of the conference, and it’s much more like a homecoming or a family reunion that a typical conference.  We’ve been in the same trench for a decade now!

Aside from lots of hugs, one of the things that happens from the time you find your first genetic genealogist on the hotel bus until your ride back to the airport is collaboration. Laptops abound and sharing is continual. It’s such a rich environment.

Tomorrow’s agenda includes:

  • Welcome by Max Blankfeld and Bennett Greenspan
  • DNA Ethics: Why We Can’t Cover Our Eyes by Blaine Bettinger
  • Genographic – Consumer Genomics: The 30,000 Foot View by Spencer Wells
  • Family Finder, How to Succeed with Autosomal DNA by Jim Bartlett
  • Your Origins, Their Origins by Razib Kahn
  • Update on Surname Journal by Brad Larkin
  • An Autosomal DNA Advocate’s Newfound Appreciation for Mitochondrial DNA by CeCe Moore
  • Discovering and Verifying your Ancestry Using Family Finder by Tim Janzen
  • Deep Clade 2.0 by Bennett Greenspan



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9 thoughts on “Tenth Annual Family Tree DNA Conference Opening Reception

  1. I’m soooo grateful that I have found my father’s family with FamilyTree “Family Finder”! I met them in Toronto, Canada, and I have also many in the U.S.! My father was born in Philadelphia, his name was James Edward Madden! I also did the test mtDNA but no close relatives yet! It seems that on my mother side it’s more German, Polish, etc… I got some names like Schindler, Cohen, Friederich, Lubinsky, Rudnic, Poore, Mason, etc.. I was born in Montreal, Quebec, Canada in 1944! It’s not easy to find something on the mother’s side but I am confident with FamilyTree that I will get some results one day! Thank you, Nicole Stephens

      • Thank you Roberta for your fast reply!!

        I was tested Full Sequence Level! Roberta, do you mean that with the Full Sequence, there were 4 mismatches? I have many HVR1 & HVR2, and a few Full Sequence! So, which one is better?

        I found a nephew in England whose name is Glenn Swarbrick, he is genealogist also! He said that he will write to you because there are few things which he doesn’t understand! He’s the one who found me, and he continues to help me now!! He’s a very nice man! I will meet him next year in Toronto with his wife!

        Bye for now, take care, Nicole

  2. Let’s talk about ethics since that’s on the agenda. If you get a chance to attend and report on that, I look forward to it. I agree with everything you’ve ever said about ethics. We must remember, though, we only hear from the good guys, like you. The bad ones don’t have blogs. We must remember also that we all believe most others think like we do. If we’re ethical, we think most people are ethical. It isn’t easy for an ethical person to think like an unethical person. That makes us targets.

    As project admins, we need to be taught what NOT to do so we can teach others as well as to avoid making mistakes in our own projects. I think a good start, for small projects anyway, is in letting each patron determine how much information they want to disclose. Though FTDNA.com and WorldFamilies.net can’t be that individualized, they’re both good models. They caution admins to be smart. They allow patrons the choice of signing a release. They both refuse to disclose vital information such as names and addresses for any reason. They warn admins to do the same.

    In addition, we need to know the latest even if it scares us. Problem is, if Family Tree DNA told us all the details about every attack, they would frighten everyone off and make everyone paranoid. As a retired computer data center professional, I know our data providers walk a fine line between educating us about current threats and giving out too much information. Still, I hope they can tell us enough for us to arm ourselves against terrible mistakes.

  3. Roberta – our planet would be a more peaceful place if everyone realized how we are ALL related to one another. Your work and that of other genetic genealogists will help spread that word! Better media coverage would help – also better TV programming about genetics would help. It is such a fascinating science. Thanks for sharing all you do with all of us. Linda

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