Category Archives: Genetic Genealogy

TGP 63 – Careers in Genetic Genealogy with Angie Bush, Blaine Bettinger and Diahan Southard

Featured Guests

Angie Bush, Blaine Bettinger and Diahan Southard

Blaine Bettinger, Diahan Southard and Angie Bush (photo courtesy of Diahan Southard)

In this episode we’re having a panel discussion on the topic of careers in genetic genealogy featuring three genetic genealogy experts Angie Bush, Blaine Bettinger and Diahan Southard.

Angie Bush is a genetic genealogist at AncestryProGenealogists and the Board of Directors for the National Genealogical Society.

Diahan Southard is a leading voice for consumer DNA testing from her position as Founder of Your DNA Guide. She is also the author of Your DNA Guide the Book.

Blaine Bettinger is the founder of DNA Central, the blogger behind The Genetic Genealogist, and the author of The Family Tree Guide to DNA Testing and Genetic Genealogy.  All three are sought after speakers in the United States and internationally.

Mentioned in the Podcast

DNA Central –
The Genetic Genealogist –
Your DNA Guide –
Your DNA Guide The Academy –
Genetic Genealogy Standards –
Genetic Genealogy Tips & Techniques (Blaine’s group on Facebook) –


In the News– Next month on March 3, 2021 I’ll be doing a webinar for the Western Massachusetts Genealogical Society. So if you’re a member of that organization I look forward to talking to you in March.

You can follow the Genealogy Professional podcast page on Facebook. And if you’re not on Facebook, Follow the Genealogy Professional on LinkedIn. You can get new episode notices there.

And of course don’t forget you can now find The Genealogy Professional podcast on Spotify and YouTube. I’ve recently updated all the episodes on YouTube. Those are scheduled to be released over the next few weeks.

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TGP 47 – Megan Smolenyak

Featured Guest

Megan Smolenyak

Megan Smolenyak2 is a real life history detective who loves to solve mysteries. You might Megan Smolenyakhave spotted Megan or her handiwork on Top Chef, Who Do You Think You Are?, Finding Your Roots, Faces of America, Good Morning America, the Today Show, The Early Show, CNN, PBS and NPR.

Her news-making discoveries include uncovering Michelle Obama’s family tree, revealing the true story of Annie Moore, the first immigrant through Ellis Island, and tracing Barack Obama’s roots to Moneygall, Ireland. Formerly Chief Family Historian for, she also founded Unclaimed Persons.

Megan is the author of 6 books, including Hey, America, Your Roots Are Showing and Who Do You Think You Are? (companion to the TV series), and conducts forensic research for the Army, BIA, coroners, NCIS and the FBI.

Contact Links

Websites – Megan Smolenyak and Honoring Our Ancestors

Facebook – Megan Smolenyak

Twitter – @megansmolenyak

Pinterest – Megan Smolenyak

Other Links   

Unclaimed Persons

Seton Shields Genealogy Grant

Megan Smolenyak at The Huffington Post

One Action Genealogists Can Take Right Now

I got myself a virtual assistant right out of the gate . . . Even if you don’t think you’re ready for one yet, explore the possibility.

Recommended Book

Take Time for Your Life by Cheryl Richardson

Productivity Tool



“In terms of genealogical careers, do what excites you.

Action Item

For your action item today I want you to think about where your career is going to be in 5 or 10 years. What will the world of genealogy look like then? How would your services change if all records were online? Or if all genealogy clients asked for DNA interpretation along with their researched family tree? What if the main demand was for heir research or perhaps mineral rights?  What other directions might genealogy go in that might not be obvious now? Also, think about your interests and your passions. If you research, for example, colonial Pennsylvania, what can you do to ensure that your business will continue to grow and make use of new technology? Can you harness photos or videos to find a new way to share the results of the research you’ve done? Or perhaps can you find new ways to work with professionals from other disciplines such as archeologists, biographers, or k-12 text book writers.

So what I’m suggesting is that you take a morning or evening walk and allow your mind to consider the future, your future. Think about it now so you can be ready to create it for yourself or to grab opportunity when it comes.

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TGP 47 Megan Smolenyak






TGP 39 – Blaine Bettinger, The Genetic Genealogist

Featured Guest

Blaine Bettinger

In this episode we hear from a leading expert in genetic genealogy. Blaine Bettinger, Ph.D., J.D., is an intellectual property attorney by day and a genetic genealogist by night. In 2007 he started The Genetic Genealogist, oBlaine Bettingerne of the earliest blogs on the topic. Dr. Bettinger has been interviewed and quoted on personal genomics topics in NewsweekNew Scientist, Wired, and others. He authored I Have the Results of My Genetic Genealogy Test, Now What? in 2008, which is distributed by Family Tree DNA to all of their new customers.

Blaine frequently authors articles and gives presentations to educate others about the use of DNA to explore their ancestry. He is an instructor for genetic genealogy courses at the Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research (IGHR), Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy (SLIG), Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh (GRIP), Virtual Institute of Genealogical Research, and Family Tree University. Blaine was also recently elected to the New York Genealogical and Biographical Society’s Board of Trustees, and graduated from ProGen Study Group 21 in 2015.

Contact Links

Facebook – Blaine T. Bettinger

Twitter – Blaine T. Bettinger

Website –  The Genetic Genealogist

One Action Genealogists Can Take Right Now

“If you haven’t taken a DNA test, consider taking one.  If you have taken it, consider finding an educational resource to help you understand it because if you’re going to be working with clients, you are absolutely going to encounter clients who either want to do DNA testing or need DNA testing as a piece of evidence.”

Recommended Book

The Invisible History of the Human Race: How DNA and History Shape Our Identities and Our Futures by Christine Kenneally

International Society of Genetic Genealogy (ISOGG) Wiki 

Productivity Tool

Starting to dive into Evernote


“Beware the naysayers.”

Action Item

For your action item for this episode I want us to focus on setting Client Expectations. Setting client expectations is one of the most important steps you can take to ensuring clients success.


Take a look at your website, your client reports and your clients communication (both email and consider phone conversations). Have you detailed how your project process works? Does the client know what to expect, what results you are likely or not likely to find, what they will receive as an end product and when you will communicate with them and how? If you see any gaps – make some changes. Provide existing and potential clients with the information they need up front.

If you’re a public speaker, revisit the titles and descriptions of your talk. Do they provide enough information to set the expectation of the audience to know whether it is an appropriate level for them? Does the content of your talk match the description? If not, it’s time to revise.

Direct Link to this post: TGP 39 – Blaine Bettinger, Genetic Genealogy