Michelle Leonard

The Beginner’s Guide to DNA Testing for Genealogy

This presentation will give an overview of the three main types of DNA tests available for ancestral research. It will explain how Y-DNA, Mitochondrial DNA and Autosomal DNA are inherited and how to use your DNA results to verify the accuracy of your family tree, connect with new cousins, break down brick walls and solve mysteries. Michelle will give practical advice, hints and tips on the best steps to take to succeed, show you how to use DNA testing in conjunction with traditional research and demonstrate what can be achieved using personal success stories. She will also cover the importance of X-chromosome matches and the use of third party tools.


Michelle Leonard is a Scottish professional genealogist, genetic genealogist, freelance researcher, speaker, author and historian. She runs her own genealogy business, Genes & Genealogy, and specialises in DNA Detective work solving adoption and all manner of unknown ancestor mysteries with the use of DNA testing. She also undertakes traditional family history research, living relative tracing, historical and television research, book, article and blog writing, tutoring, lecturing, webinars and speaking engagements. She is a regular speaker at major genealogy events including Who Do You Think You Are? Live and Genetic Genealogy Ireland.

Additionally, Michelle is the official genetic genealogist of www.ancestryhour.co.uk and is one of the hosts of the Twitter hour itself (Tuesdays 7-8pm GMT) during which she fields any #DNA queries that arise. She also spent several years working on the ground-breaking Fromelles Genealogy Project tracking down appropriate DNA donors to identify WWI soldiers buried in a mass grave in France and served as the Genealogical Consultant on the official Fromelles documentary. She regularly works on new historic soldier cases when battlefield remains are discovered.