Copyright 2020 - East Surrey FHS


DNA and Family History Discussion Group


This new Special Interest Group has just started. A trial meeting was held in August 2019, and further meetings in November 2019 and February 2020.

The Meeting Group has been formed as an opportunity to learn about DNA testing and how it can help to research family history, to share experiences and to discuss possibilities and results. This is a fast moving area of family history and there’s a lot to understand so what better than a group of fellow family historians to share experiences and knowledge on how to make best use of these new tools in our research.

DNAThe Group is lucky to have the help of one of the leading speakers and researchers in the DNA and Family History field – Donna Rutherford. Donna has spoken at many family history events (you may have heard her talk at the Sandown Family History Show in August last year), RootsTech and at the Society of Genealogists and she is the force behind the DNA Help for Genealogy (UK) Facebook Group

This is a Closed (restricted access) Facebook Group but you can ask to Join.

The DNA Special Interest Group meets at Colliers Wood Library in south west London and while this is a modern and well-equipped Library, the largest meeting room can only accommodate a group of up to 20 people, so places need to be booked in advance. There is a small room charge of £3 each (£5 non-ESFHS members) to cover the cost of room hire.

The address is Colliers Wood Library, 105-109 High Street, Colliers Wood, SW19 2HR; the Library is two minutes’ walk from Colliers Wood tube station and the area is well served by buses. The meetings are on Saturdays, usually for two hours, 1-3pm.

The next meeting will be on Saturday 29 February 2020 1-3pm.   Bring your laptop/phone and please remember there will be a small cost - £3 for Members, £5 for non-Members of East Surrey Family History Society.  This is needed only to cover the room hire, I hope you understand.


The meeting will include a Discussion on 'X-DNA' and how it indicates relationships.  This is Chromosome 23 , the sex-chromosome, where there are two genes YX for men and XX for women.  You might like to bring along a small diagram which shows you and your siblings, your Mother and Father and their parents (your grandparents).  I will be using the diagram attached which is on page 140 of Blaine Bettingers' 2nd edition, Guide to DNA Testing and Genetic Genealogy, ISBN 978-1-4403-0057-8

What do we do if there are no family trees for the people we DNA Match with?  Or if the tree is there but everone on it is 'Private'?  We touched on this last time and we can ask Donna for some more tips this time.  The links below should help.

I'm attaching a YouTube recording of a talk by two experts on the topic.  NB this is aimed at a US audience and will help you find American relationships.

“No tree, no problem”:

And this is Donna Rutherfords 'New Year FAQs', packed with useful advice, and includes a section on 'No Trees/Private Trees' and how to use UK and International sources to work out relationships for those with No Names.


XDNA family tree diagram

Bettinger diagram