News & Events

Our event calendar is at the bottom of this page.


Genetic Genealogy News

26 March 2018

A follow-up to our March 8th DNA-SIG meeting has been posted to the DNA discussion forum at the Jewish Genealogical Society of Toronto main website. If you have questions about the content of the meeting, please ask there.

Our meeting included a presentation on DNA and Chromosomes, and some detailed class notes on the subject have been prepared. Our DNA discussion forum is a good place to ask more questions about this topic.

Our next meeting will be at 7:30pm on March 12th, at the Family History Centre (map) in the Upper Classroom—posted signs will guide you. Building entry is via the south (left-side) door as you face the front (east/Ferrand Dr. side) of the building. Ring the intercom buzzer for entry. Parking is available in lots on the south and west sides of the building.

An agenda will be provided ahead of the meeting. For the educational part of the meeting we'll be exploring the section "Chromosome Inheritance and Assortment" from the Foundations of Genetic Genealogy page. If you have questions about the upcoming meeting, please contact Eric at dna-sig@jgstoronto.ca.


9 February 2018

Our next monthly DNA special interest group meeting will be held from 7:30-9pm on Thursday, March 8, at the Family History Centre (map). We expect to meet regularly on the 2nd Thursday of each month.

At the March meeting, our agenda will include:

  • An introduction to our SIG's online discussion forum and our mini-website (where you are reading this now!).
  • A short presentation and discussion in our foundations of genetic genealogy series. We'll cover the section DNA and Chromosomes from our DNA-SIG website's Foundations page.
  • A review of the recommended process for getting your DNA tested, as described here.
  • A group workshop, reviewing the DNA test results of one person at the meeting, with analysis and recommendations.
  • An open discussion period at the end, to answer some of your burning questions about genetic genealogy and your research.

We meet at the Family History Centre (map) in the Upper Classroom—posted signs will guide you. Building entry is via the south (left-side) door as you face the front (east/Ferrand Dr. side) of the building. Ring the intercom buzzer for entry. Parking is available in lots on the south and west sides of the building.


2 February 2018

We had a fine start to our DNA-SIG, with our first meeting last night. We reviewed and discussed the goals of our special interest group, some of the activities we’ll be engaged in, what what we feel is going to help us the most as our group unfolds. I proposed that we keep our meetings lively by including several different types of activity in each:

1. Open with a short educational presentation.

2. Have a member of the group briefly present an example from their genetic genealogy research that they found interesting.

3. Do a review of one of the attending members’ genetic genealogy results, to workshop as a group and provide insight and suggestions.

4. After the formal part of the meeting is over, those who wish can engage in open questions and discussion until the Family History Centre closes at 9:30 pm.

Although at this meeting we focused on organizational tasks and not genetic genealogy, we ended with an open discussion that drew a lot of great genetic genealogy questions. I suspect the post-meeting discussions might turn out to be as interesting as the main meetings!

A question was asked about the educational presentations, because if you have to miss a meeting then you’ll have a gap in material that builds on past presentations. We are going to address that in two ways. First, after each meeting a review will be posted at our SIG website News page and on our discussion forum that will briefly summarize what was presented. Second, that summary will include a link to our DNA-SIG website (dna.jgstoronto.ca), which will always provide a section that covers the presentation material. This way you can catch up on whatever you missed, and even those who were at the meeting will benefit from being able to review it again later. If you have questions about that week’s educational presentation between meetings, the JGST website’s DNA discussion forum is ready and waiting.

Another question was about providing a more step-by-step process than is currently found online or in books for people with new DNA test results. Also, those instructions need to be updated a needed, and especially to accommodate the specific challenges of Jewish genetic genealogy. We’ll be addressing that in several ways. Our meetings will include personal case studies where you’ll see how other people have proceeded with their own results. We will also do group workshopping for members at the meetings, especially for people who are at that exact place in their research: I’ve got my test results and now what? Finally, over time we’ll develop a written step-by-step guide at our DNA-SIG website, based on the best practices we learn at our meetings.

We’ll have a confirmed date for our next meetings soon, and plan to meet monthly. See you at the next meeting!


31 January 2018

The purpose of our first Jewish Genealogical Society of Toronto DNA-SIG meeting the evening of Feb 1 will be for orientation, to discuss the goals of the group, and to consider what sorts of things we'd like to do to achieve those goals.

We aren't going to be talking about or doing any actual genetic genealogy, so if the organizational stuff isn't of interest then it's OK to start with our next meeting. This first meeting's purpose is mostly to hear about what YOU want to get out of the group, so it'd be helpful to hear from many voices. The agenda is online.

Our meeting will be at the Family History Centre, 24 Ferrand Dr, North York (MAP), starting at 7:30 pm. We'll be meeting in the Upper Classroom. Building entry is via the south (left-side) door on the east/Ferrand Dr. side, which is the front of the building. Ring the buzzer for entry. Parking is available on the south and west sides of the building.


30 November 2017

We have scheduled a date and location for our first DNA-SIG meeting. This will primarily be an organizational meeting for interested members of the Jewish Genealogical Society of Toronto, especially to discuss what people would like to get from our group. We will be meeting at 7:30pm on February 1, 2018 at the Family History Centre, 24 Ferrand Dr., North York (MAP) (more event details here). Our DNA-SIG has an online calendar here, and more materials are being preparing for sharing ahead of the meeting. If you haven't already done so, please help our planning by letting us know if you plan to attend.

The JGST's January meeting topic will be "Different DNA Tests: The Companies, and the Follow-up" presented by Linda Reid at 10am on January 21, at Temple Sinai. Linda leads the Advanced Genetic Genealogy SIG for the Toronto Branch, Ontario Genealogical Society, and has extensive experience using and teaching genetic genealogy. The event is free for JGST members, and $5 for guests.

Linda Reid, of the Toronto Branch, Ontario Genealogical Society, will be presenting a three-part "Introduction to Genetic Genealogy" course at the Toronto Reference Library. The dates are January 10, 17, & 24, registration is required, and you can learn more here. Note: This event is not affiliated with the JGST, but may be of interest to our DNA-SIG members.

The Toronto Branch of the Ontario Genealogical Society is hosting two special genetic genealogy presentations by Blaine Bettinger, author of "The Genetic Genealogist" blog and the book "The Family Tree Guide to DNA Testing and Genetic Genealogy." One presentation will be at an intermediate level, and the other advanced, on April 6 & 7, 2018. You can learn more here. Note: This event is not affiliated with the JGST, but may be of interest to our DNA-SIG members.

Genetic Genealogy Event Calendar

DNA Special Interest Group