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​In addition to bringing a DNA & family history event closer to home, the main purpose of the symposium is to increase the level of understanding about how DNA can be used to support genealogical research and to increase tester-participation in this new area of citizen science.

Many people have tested “for fun” (typically out of curiosity about their ethnicity or have been given test kits as gifts) but don’t know about how they can take their DNA results to the next level and learn even more about their origins. Genetic genealogy progresses only through the goodwill of people sharing results.

This is particularly important in Ireland and West Cork, due to a combination of the lack of early church records and a higher degree of intermarriage that naturally results from remote rural locations. As a result, the genetic picture is more complex to resolve, requiring a higher number of participants.

The opening presentation by Dr Penny Walters will be "Which Test Should I Take?" and provides the basic information for those new to DNA testing for genealogical purposes. For “newbies” there will also be plenty of opportunity to ask the most basic of questions after this presentation and throughout the day. There will also be an extensive Q&A session later in the day. A number of presentations will discuss actual cases histories and the practical use of DNA matching.

Confirmed speakers include Dr. Penny Walters (ISOGG, UK), Mark Grace (The Geneal Geologist, Ireland), Michael Collins (Collins Y-DNA, USA), Fiona Forde (The Irish Family Detective, Ireland) as well as others to be confirmed. Speaker bio and event updates (including the final programme as it develops) can be found on Facebook page “My Irish Genealogy”.

This all-day event is being held at the Fernhill House Hotel in Clonakilty, West Cork, on Monday 8th June 2020. It is a ticket-only event limited to the first 120 registrations. Admission includes a light buffet lunch. Tickets can be obtained via

All registered attendees will enter a prize draw that includes discount membership and free DNA test kits (sponsored by MyHeritage) as well as other prizes.

The event is being organised by Ballynoe House & the Clonakilty Chamber of Commerce. The event is timed to dovetail into the international O’Donovan Clan Gathering commencing in West Cork on 10th June 2020.

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