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. Given the ongoing level of interest in this topic is increasing, 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 DNA, Ancestry 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.


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 and 23andme etc all provide a range of educational products to assist with their product, all new users should gain familiarity with the relevant testing companies 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.


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. Whilst we welcome beginners, some 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 is a collaborative working group:-

  • 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.
  • 4 x two hour sessions will be held each year targeted for all skill levels. These sessions will aim to focus on a ‘key concept area’ providing a short overview of the ‘key concept’ to meet the needs of those just starting DNA research, then covering more intermediate and advanced applications.
  • 2 x 90 minute 'advanced user groups meetings', aimed at intermediate and advanced skill levels, are also held.

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


More Information

The Research Group has established a blog which is available for SAG members and 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 emailing the This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. quoting their membership number. If you would like to join the Society you'll find more details here.

Throughout 2018, we hope to be able to train more volunteers to assist members in the basic steps to get started as DNA researchers. We also hope to be able to publish links on the blog that will enable you to self pace your learning through individual topic areas, following Research Group sessions.

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: