DNA research

About our DNA Research Group


The SAG DNA Research Group was established in 2015 to assist Society members increase their knowledge of DNA research. Since that time it has covered a variety of topics that set the foundation skills for group members. The Society has developed a range of activities aimed at the wide spectrum of needs, from those just wanting to know what DNA is all about, to the advanced user.


Curious about DNA? Thinking of Testing?

There are a number of sources of information about DNA testing on the web, including Facebook and YouTube. Major testing companies such as FamilyTree DNAAncestry DNA and 23andMe etc have useful resources, including webinars.

The Society has an Introduction to DNA Testing Webinar available aimed to introduce you to using DNA testing as a tool in your research. Learn the basics required to get started: the types of tests, who to test, where to test, how to test, how much it costs, what you get and practical applications.

The Federation of Family History Societies in the UK has released a paper to help family historians understand more about DNA testing.  While Australian laws may operate differently it contains some worthwhile advice and is included here courtesy of the Fed FHS.    


Tested and want to know what to do next?

To be effective in DNA research you firstly need to be familiar with the evaluation tools provided by your testing company, and secondly to be aware of some of the key concepts that underpin the analysis process. Testing companies such as Family Tree DNA, AncestryDNA, 23andMe, My Heritage etc all provide a range of educational products to assist with their product, all new users should gain familiarity with the relevant testing company's site.

To assist members the Society also has the following webinars available which are considered the base skills needed for those wishing to undertake DNA research.

  • DNA: I've done my test, what's next? webinar. This webinar discusses how to start using DNA test results to make contact with others and look for living relatives; and
  • DNA Research, Key Concepts webinar.  This webinar aims to summarise some of the underlying key concepts that DNA researchers need to understand to be effective. Research Group members should be familiar with these concepts.

In addition to webinars, the Society as part of its ‘Hands On @379’ program also includes sessions focussed on practical applications using DNA sites and third party tools.  Please check the Events Calendar.

Our new Beginners' Group will be of benefit to all those who are new to DNA Research. Details of when it next meets will be in the Events Calendar


Want to dig deeper into your DNA results, expand your tree or break down a brick wall?

Those who are serious about interrogating their results further are welcome to join our DNA Research Group, which meets 4 times per year.  Pre-knowledge of basic DNA concepts is presumed as this is a collaborative working group.  Before you attend a Research Group meeting you should have at least a basic awareness of the concepts covered in the DNA Research, Key Concepts webinar.  This quick guide helps you determine your level of expertise.

The DNA Research Group meets four times a year and has sessions targeted for both intermediate and advanced DNA researchers.

  • We expect members to contribute their own issues to help form the agenda for each meeting.
  • We work together to analyse and (hopefully) solve genealogical questions through the use of DNA research.
  • The intermediate group meets in the mornings. These session focus on the application of a range of DNA tools in practice, so participants need to understand basic DNA concepts.  
  • The advanced group meets in the afternoon. It is a discussion group and participants are generally required to undertake preparation work.

You'll find details of upcoming DNA Research Group meetings here.  


More Information

The DNA Research Group has established a blog which is available for SAG members and DNA Research Group attendees. It consolidates various information sources that DNA researchers might find useful and provides an avenue for members to ask questions. Members of the society can gain access to our DNA blog by This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and quoting their membership number and join our Sydney DNA Facebook group. If you would like to join the Society you'll find more details here.

In the future, we hope to be able to train more volunteers to assist members in the basic steps to get started as DNA researchers. Links to a range of resources are available on the blog that will help you self pace your learning through individual topic areas.

You’ll find more details about the DNA webinars on the SAG website – click on the Events shortcut on the home page at www.sag.org.au. Our online shop also stocks a range of DNA titles.

The following links may also be of interest: