Purpose and Vision Statement

The Utah Genealogical Association DNA seeks to provide genealogical information, sources and education through personal instruction and published media on family history topics while promoting high standards and ethical practices.

Upcoming Webinars

2019 Schedule Download the 2019 schedule for a quick overview of what's in store this year. The upcoming webinars are also available in our events calendar.

What Do DNA Percentages Really Mean?

Presented by Brian Sheffey on 27 Aug 2019.
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So you have taken the plunge and done a DNA test. You have your ethnicity percentages. But what do those percentages mean? Genealogy Adventures Live co-host Brian Sheffey steps you through his those estimates are calculated - as well as anthropological and geo-political factors you should consider when interpreting and working with your ethnicity estimates.

Brian SheffeyBrian has expertise in DNA, mid-Atlantic, and Southern research, with an emphasis on the intersection of white, black, and Native American genealogy. He has used his knowledge to solve cases of unknown parentage from Colonial America to the present day utilizing DNA and paper trail evidence. Brian has been, and continues to be, a popular speaker at genealogy conferences and seminars, as well as the popular international host of “Genealogy Adventures.”

Brian has deep family roots in colonial Virginia and the Carolinas: from his Jamestown-founding European ancestors to his earliest African ancestors who arrived in 1619 to the Powhatan, Choctaw, and Creek tribes...and his colonial Quaker ancestors in the mid-Atlantic region. His passion for genealogy was inspired by his father, and his father's drive and desire to discover the story of his family. This understanding inspires his work to help others uncover their own ancestral stories.

Brian combines years of experience in marketing research and academia with a passion for genealogical research - and a unique ability to solve seemingly impossible cases. His primary research interests include cases of unknown parentage, such as identifying the white progenitors of mulatto family lines; and triangulating answers to tough genealogical questions using traditional records and genetic evidence.

Behind his passion for research lies the belief that genealogy is an opportunity to connect with Americans from different backgrounds to enable them to connect with each other – and make connections around the globe.

2019 Virtual Conference

Presented by Blaine Bettinger, Kitty Cooper, and Patti Lee Hobbs on 24 Sep 2019.
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UGA Virtual Conference DNA Day

  • Blaine Bettinger “Dodging DNA Dangers”
  • Kitty Cooper “Solving Unknown Parentage with GWorks”
  • Patti Lee Hobbs “Problem Solving with DNA – a Case Study”

Triangulation: The Backbone of Autosomal DNA Testing

Presented by Ginger Smith on 22 Oct 2019.
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Triangulation can be used as a tool to help us determine how we are related to our DNA matches and to find common ancestors. Ths presentations covers triangulation from basics to advanced with examples of the following: triangulating with parents, grandparents, known relatives, & unknown matches. Triangulation tools offered by testing companies and third parties will also be discussed.

Ginger SmithGinger Smith, owner of Your DNA Diva, is a Genetic Genealogist specializing in genealogical research in the South and using DNA testing to learn more about family history. She holds a BS in Biology and an MLS in Library and Information Sciences. She has been doing family history research for several years and is a DNA consultant to adoptees and people interested in using DNA to break down their brick walls or learn more about their family history. In addition to performing genealogy research and DNA consulting, she also lectures and gives workshops on various topics.

An African-Canadian Family History Mystery

Presented by Mags Gaulden on 26 Nov 2019.
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A scientist in Ottawa, wants to know what his real last name is. The family lore? The great grandfather, Samuel, was adopted by an African-Canadian gentleman, Abraham. The adoptee, Samuel, was the son of Abraham’s wife’s sister. Family photographs of Samuel’s children reveal Anglo-Canadian boys. Taking all the information from a family Genealogy done previously and adding aspects of traditional, forensic and genetic genealogy we will extend the story, finding the truth to this family’s rich history. Along the way we will discover their real identity, and their story, beyond Samuel Gorge and into the dark history early African families in Ontario.

Mags GouldenMags is a Professional Genealogist specializing in Genetic Genealogy as founder of Grandma’s Genes in Ottawa. She earned her Bachelors Degree from Columbia College and became a Leader for WikiTree. She leads the United Empire Loyalist Project, the British Home Children Project, the Templeton and McElmoyle Name Studies, and the McElmoyle DNA Project. Work with WikiTree led to Mags starting Grandma’s Genes in 2016. Mags is a Genetic Genealogy Lecturer, Blogger and a Social Media Maven. She serves as Admin for Facebook groups including the ISOGG FaceBook Group. She is also a member of the Canadian Casualty Identification Team and an Honorary Teaching Fellow at the University of Dundee.

Hailing from a long line of teachers and professors, Richard carried on the family tradition throughout his Navy career during which he commanded a joint Japanese and U.S. technical training command near Tokyo, Japan. He retired after over 23 years of service including over 17 years assigned to ships at sea.

End-of-Year Planning Meeting

Facilitated by Alexa Corcoran and Irene Rossman on 10 Dec 2019.
Registration for this meeting is reserved for UGA Members only. Join now for this and other benefits.

Our annual UGA DNA End-of-Year Planning Meeting is a time that the volunteers and UGA membership get together to discuss what has been accomplished, what we hope to accomplish, and the people who helped us achieve so much! All UGA members will have an opportunity to give and voice their opinions as we discuss topics affecting the group’s activity for the upcoming year including our budget, advertising, presenters contacted, and future plans. Please join us so we can all work together to improve UGA DNA.

Please share this url with your friends and collegues who might be interested in attending:


Tell us who you want to hear from and what you want to hear about, using our survey!


The “UGA - DNA Special Interest Group” Facebook Group is here. The Facebook group is open to UGA members and non-members alike.

  • Gives regular updates on upcoming presentations and presenters and give a sneak peek at the handouts before the presentation!
  • Will soon have links to several great resources, tools, and blogs to help you further your genetic genealogy.
  • Provides the DNA Special Interest group a place to share information, resources and ask each other questions.

If you do not use then sign-up for the DNA Special Interest Group Mailing List to get the latest news on what’s happening with the DNA special Interest Group so that you will be able to attend and benefit from our webinars and resources.