Your DNA Guide - The Book

Your DNA Guide - The Book

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Your DNA Guide - the book - Step-by-Step plans to connect you with your family using your DNA; by Diahan Southard; 2020; full color throughout; 6x9; 238 pp+iv; ISBN: 978-1-7346139-0-2; Item # DS01

You don't have to learn everything about genetic genealogy before asking specific questions of your DNA! That’s the premise of Diahan Southard’s brand new book, Your DNA Guide - the book.

DNA test results from AncestryDNA, 23andMe MyHeritage, and other companies can reveal more than ethnicity percentages. They may be key to finding your unknown relatives from biological parents to 2X great grandparents.

Your DNA Guide—the book takes you on a step-by-step journey of discovery, providing clear explanations to help you find answers. You’ll follow concrete plans, learning important DNA concepts--in plain English—as you go. Do you want to learn who your 2X great grandmother is? Turn to page 23. Do you want to know how you are related to one of your DNA matches? Page 37. As you proceed, you check your progress and get new guidance based on your specific results at each stage. (Including troubleshooting, like when your matches just aren’t responding or your great-grandparents turn out to be first cousins.)

This powerful, hands-on approach is based on Diahan’s 20 years of experience in the genetic genealogy industry and especially in the past five years, as she helps clients one-on-one make DNA discoveries. It became clear to her that while each client’s situation may be unique, there are patterns in how you can find solutions that you can apply yourself.

Your DNA Guide - the book is for anyone who has taken a DNA test and wants to learn more. It helps genealogists reconstruct family trees. It helps adoptees identify biological relatives. It can help you identify a specific DNA match. In short, it helps anyone explore what their DNA—and their DNA matches—can tell them about their origins.

The following is from the Table of Contents


  • Things you need to know
  • An overview
  • Family Tree
  • Ancestral ethnicity results
  • Staying Organized
  • Tips

Working Your Plan

  • The map
  • The basic process
  • Choose your research goal
  • Searching for biological parents
  • Searching for grandparents
  • Searching for greats
  • Searching for 2X greats
  • Searching for 3X greats
  • identifying a DNA match
  • Step-by-step plans

Learning Guides

  • Centimorgans: what you need to know
  • Cheating tools
  • Checking genetics vs. genealogy
  • Chromosome browsers
  • Communicating with your matches
  • Confirmation bias
  • Discovering close family relationships
  • Drawing on your match's tree
  • Endogamy
  • Expanding your genetic network
  • Expanding your genetic network, part II
  • Family groups
  • Finding living people
  • Finding the generation of connection
  • Finding the generation of connection the hard way
  • Genealogy: building your own family tree
  • Genealogy: descendancy research
  • Genealogy: quick and simple tree
  • Generating trees for groups of DNA matches
  • Getting unstuck
  • Half relationships
  • Labeling matches
  • Match blocks
  • mtDNA basics
  • Pedigree collapse
  • Removed cousins
  • Research log
  • Segment size
  • Shared centimorgan project
  • Shared matches tool
  • Strategy: ask the wife
  • Strategy: bottoms up
  • Strategy: cousin categories
  • Strategy: leftovers
  • Targeted DNA testing
  • Tell your story
  • Unless
  • XDNA
  • YDNA basic
  • Glossary

Praise for Your DNA Guide - the book

"It's definitely not a 'big overview of DNA testing' book, but instead a 'let's get down and dirty and solve a brickwall problem' book. And we definitely need a book like this." - Drew Smith, The Genealogy Guys Podcast and Genealogy Connection Podcast

“Diahan Southard is…funny and down to earth. Her presentations are always filled with color and graphics and explain the sometimes overwhelming topic in a simple and easy way to understand. She's put her style into her first book on DNA.

This book is unique. My first thought was this is just like the choose your own adventure books I used to read as a kid. It's almost like having Diahan there to hold your and while you work your way through your matches and find your family!” - Cheri Hudson Passey, Carolina Girl Genealogy

"There is a lot of information and it is a book that one would read over and over again! You have covered so many topics that will help [readers'] discover their DNA matches." - Christine Ellin, everyday genealogist

"I love the format, the informal writing style, and wanted to let you know that it’s being well-studied!" - Ellen