Monday, 8 September 2014

DNA Lecture schedule announced

The schedule of DNA Lectures at Genetic Genealogy Ireland 2014 has been announced. This years schedule is even more packed than last year. With presenters from Ireland, the UK, the US, and Canada, this event is truly international reflecting the diaspora of the 80 million people of Irish descent worldwide. All levels of knowledge are catered for, from beginner to advanced, with representatives from academia as well as citizen science.

Click to enlarge - and see full schedule for each day at the end of this blog
The first lecture each day is devoted to the complete beginner and will help you understand the three main types of DNA test, what they can do for you, and how they can help you break through some of the Brick Walls and Dead Ends in your own family tree research. 

The most popular test at last year's Back to Our Past was autosomal DNA (atDNA, the Family Finder test). This helps you connect with genetic cousins to whom you are related within about 7 generations (i.e. you share one of your 64 4x great grandparents in common). Emily Aulicino takes a closer look at this powerful DNA test and gives examples of how successful it can be at connecting people, while Maurice Gleeson discusses how it can be used to solve adoption mysteries in your family tree. Adoption is also the topic of Rob Warthen's talk - Rob is using DNA to find his wife's biological family and in the process has created tools that have benefitted not only US adoptees but the entire global genetic genealogy community. His is a riveting story that will have you on the edge of your seat.


The keynote address is by Dr Spencer Wells from the National Genographic Project. This ground-breaking research project is mapping the migration of various human groups out of Africa and is telling the story of how Man inhabited every corner of this planet. It is a great honour to have Dr Wells at our meeting and his presentation is not to be missed!

Complimenting the story of human migrations, Gerard Corcoran will give a general overview of migrations into Ireland, whilst Cynthia Wells will discuss the challenges reconstructing the movement of people out of Ireland and into the Caribbean. Dr Daniel Crouch will provide the latest update on the People of the British Isles project which will revolutionise the way atDNA is used to define where in the British Isles your ancestry came from, and Tyrone Bowes will discuss how Y-DNA results can be used to localise Irish ancestral homelands.

In keeping with the millennial celebrations of the Battle of Clontarf, Prof Catherine Swift of Limerick will present on the genetic legacy of Brian Boru. Other Ancient Gaelic dynasties will be discussed by Brad Larkin, Paul Burns (Leinster), Patrick Guinness (North West), and Gerard Corcoran. Genetic Genealogy in Ireland is fast approaching the stage where a DNA test can connect you with a specific ancient genealogy.


This year marks the centenary of the start of World War One during which 49,000 Irish men died. Michelle Leonard will discuss how, 100 years later, the identities of some of the 500,000 men who still lie on the battlefield are being uncovered.

Dr Kirsten Bos will give a fascinating insight into the genetics of Plague, the Black Death, the Irish Potato Famine, and Tuberculosis, all of which killed so many of our ancestors over the centuries. And Paul Burns will discuss the Byrne/Burns/Beirne Surname Project and the Clan O'Byrne of Leinster. Every Irish family tree has a Byrne if you look hard enough!

The future of genetic genealogy will be discussed by Brad Larkin - if you think it is exciting today, wait till you hear where we will be in five years time.


The full schedule of lectures is below. The type of DNA test which will be covered in each lecture is indicated by a Y for Y-DNA, an M for mitochondrial DNA, and an A for autosomal DNA.

2014
FRIDAY 
17 October
Speaker’s summary

Opens at 12.00

11.30
No lecture (opens at noon)

12.30
Which DNA Test is best for you?
Dr Maurice Gleeson,
ISOGG
YMA
Y-DNA traces your father’s father’s father’s line, mitochondrial DNA traces your mother’s mother’s mother’s line, and autosomal DNA traces everything in between. With the help of practical examples of how DNA solved mysteries related to the Spearin family of Limerick, the bones of Richard III, and a Wedding Memento from the Australian desert, you can decide which test is best suited to solve your own individual genealogical conundrums.
13.30
DNA versus The Irish Annals
Brad Larkin,
SurnameDNA Journal
Y
The topic for discussion will be the major Irish genealogical groups from Irish annals such as high kings, the Uí Néill, and the provincial kings of Connacht, Munster, Leinster, and Ulster as well as Norman lineages.  A brief review of how much modern DNA linked to these lineages has been sampled and how consistent the DNA findings match the ancient genealogies.  This presentation is well suited for those who like to connect historical figures to their genetic genealogy research.
14.30
The Byrne / Burns / Beirne Surname Project
Paul Burns,
ISOGG
Y
This lecture will discuss the history of our Y-DNA project, the many unrelated lineages and clusters discovered along the way, the importance (or lack of) name variations/spellings, and the inaccuracies and mistaken local beliefs that DNA is correcting. It will show how we are using DNA to determine relationships between those with our surnames, and how far along we are tracing the ancient roots of each of our clusters.

15.30
Emerging dynasties in a maritime world – hunting for Brian Boru’s genetic legacy
Dr Catherine Swift,
University of Limerick
Y

The internet is revolutionising academic research, breaking down many pre-existing barriers between university life and the wider world.  Nowhere is this more true than in the field of genetic genealogy and it is local geographic and surname projects, and associated websites, run by citizen scientists, as well as university papers which are forcing the pace of change. This work is characterised by growing expertise in genetics and family history but the key research challenge for medieval historians is to investigate the origin and development of surnames in Ireland and Western Europe. This paper investigates the processes of surname adoption through the pivotal figure of Brian Boru.
16.30
Who’s Your Cousin? atDNA Knows!
Emily Aulicino,
ISOGG
A
Do you know all your cousins?  Autosomal DNA testing matches you with cousins descending from your 4th great-grandparents. This test helps adoptees find family and genealogists resolve lineage problems by finding cousins who can assist with your research. Understand how atDNA is inherited, including the X-chromosome, which differs for each gender.  Discover how to find common ancestors you share with matches using a five-step process.  Learn about others successes. A handout is available. My book Genetic Genealogy: The Basics and Beyond is for sale.  Free draw for the e-book version at the FTDNA stand. Three winners drawn at the presentation.
17.30
How to enhance your Y-DNA results through surname and haplogroup projects
John Cleary,
ISOGG
Y
You gain more value from Y-DNA tests when you join various kinds of group projects, and increase your chances of finding genetic matches.  This talk will present ways in which a surname project (featuring the surname Kemp and two Irish lineages of this name) and a haplogroup project (R1a) have extended what test-takers can understand from their results.  The talk will demonstrate the steps for developing a small surname lineage project, and will introduce two other types of project – geographical and heritage projects (with a Scottish focus) – that provide further ways to explore and compare your test results.
19.00
Closes at 7pm



2014
SATURDAY 
18 October
Speaker’s summary

Opens at 11.00

11.30
DNA for Beginners
Debbie Kennett,
University College London
YMA
This lecture will provide an easy-to-understand introduction to the use of DNA testing as part of your family history research. The cost of DNA testing has dropped dramatically in the last few years and is now affordable for everyone. The Y-chromosome DNA test is widely used in surname projects and explores the direct male line. The mitochondrial DNA test follows the motherline. Both Y-DNA and mtDNA tests can also provide insights into your deep ancestry. Autosomal DNA tests can be used to find matches with genetic cousins within the last five or six generations.
12.30
The Future of Genetic Genealogy
Brad Larkin,
SurnameDNA Journal
YMA
The growth of genetic genealogy has been rapid but exciting new possibilities are forecast from several major developments:  1) continued expansion of the number of markers commercially feasible to test; 2) sampling coverage to approach 100% of the genetic lineages of Ireland and the British Isles; 3) growth of reference databases with phased results and related tools.  These elements in combination will one day allow an individual's raw test results to be linked to an established genetic lineage and its ancestral geography in a matter of moments.  This study is intended for those interested in science, technology, and how genetic genealogy will develop as a field.
13.30
The Clan O'Byrne of Leinster as Defined by its DNA
Paul Burns &
Richard M Byrne,
ISOGG
Y
This lecture on the Clan O'Byrne of Leinster will discuss its ancient history from the tribal era when it provided kings of Leinster, its reemergence in the Wicklow Mountains as a close-knit clan, and its dispersal in the 1600s. It will describe its relations to other Leinster clans, and its possible ties to groups abroad--as indicated by DNA. We will show that the clan is not entirely patrilineal, but that it does have a large core that descends from a single ancestor. We will show how DNA has confirmed much of our knowledge of this clan, but also how it also has demolished some beliefs.
14.30
Reconstructing Irish-Caribbean Ancestry
Cynthia Wells,
iCARA
Y A
The middle decades of the 17th century witnessed countless Irish men and women shipped off to an island life of indentured servitude and forced labor never to return to their homeland. While many died quickly working under the harsh conditions of the sugar plantation others melted into a diverse culture that included AmerIndians and Africans. Historian Maurice Ashley wrote “The Caribbean was an area where Europe’s frontiers met”. The West Indies were also part of lucrative trade routes that brought many Caribbean Irish to the British colonies of Rhode Island, Virginia, and the Carolinas. Their descendants are now scattered throughout the United States. Reconstructing Irish Caribbean ancestry through the use of genetic genealogy combined with historical records is the long-term goal of iCARA. Our presentation will discuss where are and what the historical records reveal, and where the DNA can lead us.

15.30
Keynote Address:
The National Genographic Project
Dr Spencer Wells,
National Geographic
YMA
The Genographic Project is a multiyear research initiative led by National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence Dr. Spencer Wells. Dr. Wells and a team of renowned international scientists are using cutting-edge genetic and computational technologies to analyze historical patterns in DNA from participants around the world to better understand our human genetic roots. The three components of the project are: 1) to gather and analyze research data in collaboration with indigenous and traditional peoples around the world; 2) to invite the general public to join this real-time scientific project and to learn about their own deep ancestry by purchasing a Genographic Project Participation and DNA Ancestry Kit, Geno 2.0; and 3) to use a portion of the proceeds from Geno 2.0 kit sales to further research and the Genographic Legacy Fund, which in turn supports community-led indigenous conservation and revitalization projects. Dr Wells gives the latest update from this fascinating project that is changing the way we think about who we are and where we come from.
16.30
Plagues of our Ancestors as revealed through Ancient DNA
Dr Kirsten Bos,
Universitat Tubingen
YMA
The recovery of ancient DNA from archeological tissues gives us an important window into the past.  Old bones hold secrets to the lives of our ancestors - who they were, what they ate, where they traveled, and what illnesses they had. Using state of the art biological techniques, we can now get an idea of what pathogens were plaguing people hundreds of years ago. Secrets about the Black Death, the Irish Potato Famine, and tuberculosis will be revealed in exciting detail.
17.30
Solving adoption mysteries in your family tree
Dr Maurice Gleeson,
ISOGG
YA
In some cases, DNA results can instantly connect birth parents with their long since adopted children, or adoptees with their long sought for birth families. Although this is the exception rather than the rule, it makes DNA testing a very attractive prospect for adoptees who have tried every other avenue of enquiry. In addition, DNA testing can be used to help identify the birth father’s surname for male adoptees, and for all adoptees autosomal DNA testing can identify birth families on both the maternal and paternal sides. This presentation explores the new techniques that are making reconnection and reunion an exciting and realistic prospect for adoptees and their biological families.
19.00
Closes at 7pm



2014
SUNDAY 
19 October
Speaker’s summary

Opens at 11.00

11.30
DNA Testing Basics
Katherine Borges,
ISOGG (Director)
YMA
If you are new to DNA testing, this presentation will tell you all you need to know. The three main tests are explained in simple terms so that you can easily see what each can do for you, helping you decide which one would be best to help you in your own family tree research.
12.30
Pinpointing your Irish Origin & beyond
Dr Tyrone Bowes,
IrishOrigenes
Y
A simple painless commercial ancestral Y-DNA test will reveal the names of people (who have also tested) with whom one shares a common male ancestor. But the surnames of those people are not random! Find out what those surnames reveal about your ancestors, how they can be used to pinpoint precisely where your direct male ancestor lived 1000 years ago and how they can be used to reconstruct one’s paternal ancestral journey over many thousands of years. 
13.30
Genetic analysis of the People of the British Isles yields historical and physiological insights
Dr Daniel Crouch,
University of Oxford
A
This presentation discusses recent work on the genetic history of Britain and Ireland, and how it is becoming possible to localise your DNA to specific subregions within the two islands. In addition, analysis of facial features, and the specific genes that control our appearance, will be discussed. This presentation addresses several important questions: How were Britain and Ireland populated, and can this question be answered by a genetic analysis using the DNA of living people? What are the genetic relationships between the different regions of the British Isles? What are the genes that control differences in appearance between the people of the British Isles? 
14.30
The Clans of the North West and their DNA profiles
Patrick Guinness,
Author & Historian
Y
In 2006 the oldest male-line lineage provable by DNA was revealed to the press and was widely reported around the world. Niall of the Nine Hostage's DNA profile became known as "N9H". However it also was clear that the profile had been around for centuries before he lived, and is found in 5% of men in Britain. Sadly, but informatively, it did not overlap as expected with the Ui Neill clans. This talk explains the context and reveals that some amateur sleuths nearly pipped the academics to the post. 
15.30
Finding Sue – How one quest grew into the DNAGedcom & DNAadoption websites
Rob Warthen,
DNAGedcom
YMA
I will be taking you on a journey of discovery.  You will learn more about our DNA Adoption group and all the people who help out.  I will tell you more about Sue’s story and other stories of success and let down. During this journey, I will tell you about the methodology that we use to successfully find birth family.  I will also show you some of the tools that we use to make things easier for you.  The methodologies and tools I will talk about are helpful whether your brick wall is your biological parents or your ancestors from the 1800s. So sit back and enjoy the journey.  Savor every new item and know that each discovery and each failure brings you just one more step towards your goal.

16.30
Identifying the Fallen Soldiers of WW1 – DNA on the battlefield
Michelle Leonard,
Fromelles Project
YM
Every year, the remains of soldiers who fell during WW1 are uncovered during farm work or road widening projects on what was the Western Front. In 2008, the discovery of a mass grave at Fromelles, containing 250 soldiers, led to the establishment of an identification process in which DNA played a crucial role. This presentation reveals how 144 of these 250 men have been positively identified so far, giving these soldiers back their names. In a year that commemorates the centenary of the start of WW1, DNA testing has helped the remembrance process, allowing these men to have gravestones with inscriptions that carry their true identity, rather than the anonymous phrase “Known Unto God”.
17.30
Using Genetic Genealogy to Map Irish Migrations
Gerard Corcoran,
ISOGG (Ireland)
YMA

The presentation will trace the history of migrations into and out of Ireland from the Mesolithic, Neolithic, Copper, Bronze, Iron Ages through Early Christianity, The Celtic Monastic Movement, Vikings, Normans, Gaelic, Tudor, Elizabethan, Cromwellian, Williamite periods, The Wild Geese, The Penal Laws, The Great Famine, Georgian, Victorian and Modern periods. We will look at how the latest Next Generation Sequencing Tests and Ancient Genealogies can help tell these stories. Finally we will look at concrete projects that will help connect the 70 million strong Irish Diaspora to its homeland.

19.00
Closes at 7pm









Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Dr Spencer Wells to give Keynote Address

Dr Spencer Wells of the National Genographic Project is to give the Keynote Address at Genetic Genealogy Ireland 2014. Dr Wells is is a leading population geneticist and director of the Genographic Project from National Geographic. 

The Genographic Project is the brainchild of Spencer Wells. First started in 2005, Dr. Wells heads a team of renowned international scientists and uses cutting-edge genetic and computational technologies to analyze historical patterns in DNA from participants around the world to better understand the genetic roots of all humanity. 

The project has three components:
  1. To collaborate with indigenous and traditional peoples around the world in the collection and analysis of research data
  2. To involve the general public in this real-time scientific project and to learn about their own deep ancestry in the process (by purchasing the DNA Ancestry Kit, Geno 2.0)
  3. To support community-led indigenous conservation and revitalization projects
Dr Wells's own personal journey of discovery led him to enrol at the University of Texas aged only 16 years old. After graduating 3 years later, he pursued his Ph.D. at Harvard University under the tutelage of distinguished evolutionary geneticist Richard Lewontin. Beginning in 1994, Wells conducted postdoctoral training at Stanford University's School of Medicine with famed geneticist Luca Cavalli-Sforza, considered the "father of anthropological genetics." At Oxford University, he served as director of the Population Genetics Research Group of the Wellcome Trust Centre for Human Genetics at Oxford.

In 2001, he shifted his focus to communicating his scientific discovery through books and documentary films. From that was born The Journey of Man: A Genetic Odyssey, an award-winning book and documentary that aired on PBS in the U.S. and National Geographic Channel internationally. Written and presented by Wells, the film chronicled his globe-circling, DNA-gathering expeditions in 2001-02 and laid the groundwork for the Genographic Project.

Since the Genographic Project began, Wells's work has taken him to over three dozen countries, including Chad, Tajikistan, Morocco, Papua New Guinea, and French Polynesia, and he recently published his second book, Deep Ancestry: Inside the Genographic Project. 

Dr Wells will present an overview of the Genographic Project and the latest developments in his research. Not to be missed!



Dr Spencer Wells describes how DNA is helping to map human migrations out of Africa, going back over 200,000 years, and how a simple cheek swab can reveal amazing information about your deep ancestry and ethnic makeup.




Tuesday, 19 August 2014

I4GG's First International Conference on Genetic Genealogy (Aug 15-17)

The last few days have seen an excellent turnout at the first International Conference organised by the Institute for Genetic Genealogy in Washington. This was the first international conference of its kind and a Big Thank You has to go to the far-sighted Tim Janzen and CeCe Moore for organising this fabulous event. 



Over 400 people attended this event, the first of its kind, and what struck a lot of us on the first day was the high level of discussion and debate that occurred amongst the audience both during and after the lectures (in the Question and Answer sessions). Whilst there were beginners there, and the conference certainly catered for them admirably, the majority of the attendees were intermediate to advanced in terms of their knowledge and experience of genetic genealogy. This allowed more high level debate than one sees at general public events and it was a nice and necessary change. So much was learnt from the Q&A sessions after each lecture.

The incredible team from the Maine Gaeltacht Project - they are sending volunteers to swab people from the Galway Gaeltacht area and have over 250 people in their project - this is probably the largest group of native Irish to be tested from the Galway area.
I was particularly enthused, excited and motivated by the sharing of information, experience, and knowledge - this was peer-to-peer discussion at a level never previously seen in the Genetic Genealogy Community. Judging by the deluge of positive comments on Facebook, the conference has left a sizeable impact on all who attended. One is left with the sense that there has been a major evolutionary advance in the field of Genetic Genealogy over the weekend, and we are connected now as a community in a way that few would have anticipated last week!

If you missed it this year, you have to go next year.

The agenda had topics on every aspect of genetic genealogy and there was truly something for everyone. If anything, the conference was too short and 3 days was not enough time to see everyone, socialise, network, and share thoughts and ideas. I was talking so much I almost missed my plane!

Jim Barlett gave an excellent presentation about organising your autosomal matches into Triangulated Groups and using spreadsheets to keep track of what you've done.
Shannon Christmas gave a wonderful talk, peppered with his own inimitable humour, about DNA in African American family tree research, which, like Irish research, is plagued by Brick Walls in the mid-1800's.
The Commercial Companies were well represented. Here we have Joanna Mountain and Christine Moschella from 23andme - both fielded challenging questions from an enthusiastic audience and gave excellent responses.
Dr Spencer Wells of the National Genographic Project gave a very motivating key note speech about human migrations. The great news for us in Ireland is that he will be coming to Dublin in October to speak at Genetic Genealogy Ireland!
The presentations and accompanying handouts will be available online in the near future from the Institute for Genetic Genealogy website. My presentation on the challenges faced when using autosomal DNA in Irish family tree research is now available on YouTube here ... http://youtu.be/h5CQsmu8HMA


This discusses a lot of the challenges that I (and many other Irish folk) have encountered in the use of autosomal DNA to break through those Brick Walls in our own family tree, many of which are of general applicability. Various solutions are proposed to help overcome these challenges:
  • Close matches are few
  • People don't share their trees
  • Most matches are distant (and further back than expected)
  • Many people doing Irish Ancestral Research hit a Brick Wall at 1800-1850
  • When is a match not a match?
  • Chromosome Mapping and the importance of inference
  • "Lost in Spreadsheets"
  • the need for "enrichment strategies" to boost the numbers in Triangulated Groups
A lot of people were interested in attending Genetic Genealogy Ireland in Dublin and hopefully we will have a large US contingent. I had a fabulous dinner with some of the DNAadoption community who have done some incredible work helping adoptees reunite with their birth families. In the last year they have used DNA to reconnect 125 individuals. Hopefully one of them will be coming over to Ireland to share their unique experience with us.

Marian Rogers and Karin Corbeil of DNAadoption - successfully reconnecting adoptees with their birth families.

This was a good time to be a Genetic Genealogist.

No ... a great time.








Monday, 11 August 2014

Speakers announced for GGI2014

The genetic genealogy community is well represented at this year’s Genetic Genealogy Ireland. The good news is that this year every possible speaker slot has been used up and the packed lecture schedule promises to be both informative and exhilarating. 

Returning speakers include some very familiar names:
  • Katherine Borges (US), director of ISOGG (International Society of Genetic Genealogy
  • Gerard Corcoran (IRL), ISOGG Ireland regional representative
  • Debbie Kennett (UK), author, blogger, project administrator, & Honorary Clinical Research Associate at University College London 
  • Cynthia Wells (US), project administrator, Assistant Director of the Reedy Creek Family History Centre
  • Tyrone Bowes (IRL), director of IrishOrigenes
  • Maurice Gleeson (IRL), project administrator and coordinator of Genetic Genealogy Ireland

New speakers from our genetic genealogy community include:

In addition there will be at least five academic speakers to complete the full presentation schedule, which will be announced in several weeks. All in all, the line up of international speakers promises to make this a very engaging conference with topics of wide appeal to the general Irish public and indeed to anyone with Irish ancestry. Like last year, many of the DNA Lectures will be recorded and can be viewed for free on the Genetic Genealogy Ireland YouTube Channel. You can expect exciting revelations, the latest scientific discoveries, and genealogy news “hot off the press”.

The DNA Lectures are run in conjunction with Back to Our Past (BTOP), Ireland’s national genealogical exhibition, and there will be something for everyone at the event, whether you are an advanced genetic genealogist or only just starting out with your family tree research. 
  • A host of genealogical companies display their products & services and offer hands-on demonstrations and free use of their websites and software programmes. 
  • There are two sets of traditional genealogy lectures that nicely compliment the DNA Lectures and provide excellent practical information about researching your Irish genealogy. 
  • Last year saw the introduction of free consultation sessions with professional genealogists from APGI (Association of Professional Genealogists of Ireland) so expert individual advice is on hand to help with your specific queries and questions.
  • In addition, BTOP is a great place to socialise, make new friends, and network with genealogy colleagues – there is no better way to spur on your own research. 
  • There will be a special Social Programme for ISOGG members, and this will be announced in a subsequent post.
  • And DNA testing will be available at the FamilyTreeDNA stand with free DNA tests available for some lucky people - check out the Free DNA Tests page on the ISOGG wiki to see if you qualify.



And if you needed another reason to come to this year’s event, Dublin is a great place to consult primary sources, many of which are not available outside of Dublin. All the main repositories are not that far from each other, making it easy to access them:

What would you like to visit?

There is no better time to give your Irish genealogical research a real boost, and no better place than Back to Our Past in Dublin this October. 

See you there!





Monday, 21 July 2014

The Return of Genetic Genealogy Ireland (17-19 Oct 2014, Dublin)


Following its successful launch event in Dublin last year, Genetic Genealogy Ireland returns for a second year of DNA Lectures at the Back to Our Past event in Dublin, once again kindly sponsored by FamilyTreeDNA and organised by volunteers from ISOGG.


Last year's event was a great success and videos of many of the presentations have been viewed on the dedicated GGI YouTube Channel by almost 9000 people for about 100,000 minutes (that's over 67 days). So this 3-day event has already left quite a legacy.

This year in Dublin we have two commemorations of intense historical significance - the Battle of Clontarf in 1014, and the start of World War 1 in 1914. Both these historic events are reflected in the lecture schedule for the event, which promises to make this an occasion to remember.

Now is the time to make your arrangements for coming to this year's event and below you will find all the information you need to plan your travel and accomodation.

In a nutshell …


Location: the RDS (Royal Dublin Society), Merrion Road, Ballsbridge, Dublin 4

Event: Genetic Genealogy Ireland 2014 – a series of DNA Lectures, held in conjunction with Back to Our Past, Ireland’s only national genealogical exhibition.

Date: 17th – 19th October 2014 (Friday to Sunday)

Times: 11.30 – 19.00 each day (12.30-19.00 on Friday; last lecture starts at 17.30)

Admission Fee: 10 euro (about £8, $13.50) per day, but 30% discount if booked in advance at http://www.backtoourpast.com/mysitecaddy/site3/visitortickets.htm, so 21 euro (£17, $28) for all three days. This gives you access to EVERYTHING including the DNA Lectures. No other genealogical exhibition offers you so much for so little. The only real costs involved are getting there and staying there.

The Venue


The RDS (Royal Dublin Society) is Ireland's premier exhibition venue. Founded in 1731, the RDS hosts the famous Dublin Horse Show each year and its Exhibition Centre is equivalent to London's Olympia (where Who Do You Think You Are? Live is hosted each year). It is surrounded by parks, restaurants and affordable accommodation, from Bed & Breakfasts to reasonably-priced hotels. The venue is 15 minutes from Dublin's historic city centre, 5 minutes from Lansdowne Road Football Stadium, and is easily accessible by public transport (both bus and DART). Click here for a link to the RDS on Google Maps.


Back to Our Past – general info


This is the fifth year of Back to Our Past. It is run in association with the Over-50’s Show and the Coin & Stamp Fair. Attendance was 20,000 people in 2012. The exhibition consists of a multitude of stands/booths publicising the activities of organisations and businesses associated with genealogy and family tree research. The BTOP website is at http://www.backtoourpast.com/mysitecaddy/site3/

There are also several series of lectures, dealing with both traditional genealogy and genetic genealogy. Last years lecture schedule is still available on the website and will give you an idea of both the traditional genealogical programme … http://www.backtoourpast.com/mysitecaddy/site3/visitorschedule.htm

- and the DNA Lectures ... http://www.backtoourpast.com/mysitecaddy/site3/dnaschedule.htm.

This year’s traditional genealogy programme should be available 4-6 weeks prior to the event and we will notify you of this in due course.


Genetic Genealogy Ireland 2014 – the DNA Lectures 


The DNA lecture schedule will include a panel of international speakers from Ireland, the UK, the US, and Europe. Provisional topics for the lecture schedule include the following:
  • The basics of DNA testing 
  • DNA and Ancient Genealogies (including Brian Boru) 
  • DNA & the fallen soldiers of World War I 
  • Regional Irish DNA signatures (including Ulster & Leinster) 
  • Irish-Caribbean DNA 
  • The People of the British Isles Project 
  • Using DNA to help adoptees find their biological family 
  • Working with autosomal DNA 
  • Plague, the Potato Famine, and other ancient pandemics 
  • Next Generation Sequencing and the future of genetic genealogy 

The final schedule should be available in August and will be posted on this GGI website. The lectures will run from 11.30 to 18.30 each day (12.30 to 18.30 on Friday). The last lecture of the day starts at 17.30. Thus there will be 7 lectures each day (6 on Friday), 20 lectures in total.



Accomodation & Travel


A variety of Bed & Breakfast and hotel accomodation is close by. Click the links below to explore further. Last year, several US colleagues stayed in the Glenogra Bed & Breakfast which is a 4 minute walk to the venue. Two deluxe hotels are almost opposite the Glenogra, namely the Four Seasons Hotel and Bewley’s Hotel. The more reasonably priced Sandymount Hotel (formerly the Mount Herbert Hotel) is also quite close.

- Bed & Breakfasts

- Reasonably-Priced Hotels


There is plenty to do and see in and around Dublin, and many things are very centrally located so you can see a lot of things on foot. There is a host of activities surrounding the millennial anniversary of the Battle of Clontarf in 1014 and these can be found here - http://www.clontarf.ie/2014

The First World War claimed the lives of over 49,000 Irish soldiers and their contribution is remembered at the War Memorial Gardens. A variety of events related to the centenary commemoration are ongoing in Dublin throughout the year.