Thomas is available to present on a variety of genealogical topics. The following prepared lectures can be presented in-person, or via webinar for societies that have appropriate software.
- Autosomal DNA Testing for Adoptees
Autosomal DNA testing is a valuable new resource for adoptees and others who are researching issues of unknown parentage. Learn what kinds of tests are available to consumers, what information they can provide, and how to identify genetic ancestors using DNA matches.
- Beginner’s Guide to GEDmatch
Individuals who have purchased an autosomal DNA test from any company can upload their data to GEDmatch, a third-party database. Find out how to create an account and take advantage of free tools including DNA matching and comparison, ethnicity estimates, a chromosome browser, and more! Premium features such as matching segment and triangulation tools are also discussed.
- Correlating DNA Evidence
An overview of genetic inheritance and the different types of DNA testing that can be used to support or refute a hypothesis—autosomal, mitochondrial, X-, and Y-DNA. Learn about evaluating and comparing evidence from DNA tests against all other evidence to ensure a reliable conclusion. This presentation is intended for genealogists with an intermediate-level understanding of DNA.
- Ethnicity Estimates: The Science Behind the ‘Pie Chart’
A popular component of autosomal DNA testing is an analysis of the test-taker’s estimated genetic ethnicity. Learn how DNA testing companies use genetic data to provide these estimates and about third-party tools which use different population data sets. Includes an overview of AncestryDNA’s Genetic Communities feature.
- Third-Party Tools for Exploring Autosomal DNA
An overview of the underlying concepts of human genetics and how autosomal DNA testing is useful in combination with traditional genealogical research. Learn about third-party tools available for exploring autosomal DNA data, finding additional genetic matches, and learning about potential health risks.
General Genealogy Topics
- 10 Mistakes of a Rookie Genealogist
Learn to avoid assumptions, bad habits, and ‘shortcuts’ that will cause headaches in the long run. This selection of mistakes contributed by users of the FamilySearch Wiki will help new researchers learn from the experiences of others and understand how applying the Genealogical Proof Standard ensures sound conclusions.
- Beyond the Index: Hidden Clues in the U.S. Census
A census has been taken in the United States every ten years since 1790. Find hidden information not captured by index records to help put your ancestors’ lives in context. Incorporate timelines and ‘cluster’ methodology into your research practices to gain valuable insight into other potential sources. This presentation is well-suited for genealogists who are just getting started with research.
- Finding Living Family Members
Connecting with cousins and other family members can often lead to new discoveries, and locating living relatives can be essential to resolving a “brick wall” research challenge. Put on your “detective’s hat” and learn how to develop a profile, organize your search, and locate relevant records on the internet and elsewhere.
- Cousin Bait: Connecting to Relatives on the Web
Social media has transformed the way in which people approach genealogy. Families spread far across the globe can now share and connect unlike ever before. Learn not only how to find relatives, but how to help relatives find you!
- Evernote: A Genealogist’s Best Friend
Though often described simply as a “note-taking app,” Evernote is packed with features that genealogists love. Organize research, digitize paper files, “clip” content from the internet, and keep it all safe in the cloud.
- Genealogy On-The-Go: Mobile Apps for Research
Discover and explore family history on the road using your mobile phone! This presentation is packed with recommendations, including apps for cemeteries, navigation, notes, organization, photos, and so much more.