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This event has been rescheduled to August 8 and 9

Spring Seminar: Solve Puzzles with DNA with Karen Stanbary

Saturday 10a-4:30p
Sunday 9:30a-noon


If you registered for the April 4-5 event, your registration and payment will be applied automatically to the new date. If you cannot attend on the new date, please email to cancel.

This is a two-day event. You can register for one or both days. You can register and pay online, or download the flyer/registration form from the link below and send in payment. Note: Your registration is not complete until we receive payment. If the workshop is sold out before we receive your payment, you will be put on a waiting list.

Paper copies of the syllabus are no longer available for advance purchase, but will be available for $3 cash at the door. An electronic copy of the syllabus is included with your registration.

Meet Our Speaker

Karen Stanbary, MS, LCSW, CG® is an author and national lecturer focusing on topics related to using genetic evidence correlated with documentary evidence to solve genealogical brick walls. She holds a Master’s Degree in Clinical Social Work from the University of Chicago and has completed advanced graduate study in Social Anthropology at the Colegio de Michoacán, Mexico.

She is a course coordinator and faculty member at three national genealogical institutes: GRIP (Chromosome Mapping), IGHR (Intermediate DNA), and SLIG (Meeting Standards Using DNA Evidence).

Karen received the NGSQ Award for Excellence for her complex evidence case study incorporating traditional documentary research and autosomal DNA analysis in the June 2016 issue. She holds the credential Certified Genealogist from the Board for Certification of Genealogists where she serves as a Trustee and is chair of the standing DNA Committee.

Saturday Full-Day Seminar:

Saturday, August 8
Center for Self Enhancement (SEI)
3920 N. Kerby Ave.
Portland, Oregon
10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

  • Saturday Lunch: Bring your own lunch or order from GG's Deli. A lunch selection form will be sent with your confirmation. Lunches must be ordered by noon on Aug. 5. Lunch break 12:30 - 1:30 p.m.
  • Saturday Seminar Features: Books for sale from Heritage Quest; raffle; coffee, tea, and snacks provided
  • Syllabus: electronic copy included for both days

Saturday Classes

  • Clinical Tips to Manage Conversations about Unexpected DNA Results: Karen, trained in advanced psychotherapy techniques with 30 years of clinical practice, helps people manage negative emotions upon receiving unexpected news. She offers tips to reduce stress and change the outcome of difficult conversations about unexpected DNA results. The tips are designed to change the cognitive frame from a discussion of rights to a discussion of respect and resiliency.
  • The DNA You Need - Elements of Creating a Testing Plan: Who to Test and Why: Targeted testing is far more efficient to solve genealogical problems than simply “fishing in the cousin pond.” Case examples illustrate efficient and focused targeted testing as part of the overall research plan to answer specific research questions.
  • Avoiding Common Mistakes When Working with atDNA: This lecture provides awareness of common analysis mistakes using atDNA test results that may lead to inaccurate relationship conclusions. Concepts include segment size, pedigree evaluation, blind trust, reasonably exhaustive research, confirmation bias, the myth of the triangulated segment and more.
  • Spit and You Shall Find! Autosomal DNA Identifies a Charming Scoundrel: This entertaining lecture is a case study integrating traditional documentary research and analysis of atDNA and X-DNA test results to identify the biological father of Karen's paternal great-grandmother. Skill demonstration includes: creation of a targeted DNA testing plan, reasonably exhaustive research in both documentary and genetic sources, correlation of shared DNA among members of a focal study group of genetic matches, elimination of competing hypotheses using inferential reasoning, X-DNA analysis, and evaluation of match pedigrees.

Sunday Half-Day Seminar:

Sunday, August 9
Center for Self Enhancement (SEI)
3920 N. Kerby Ave.
Portland, Oregon
9:30 a.m. - noon

Sunday Classes

  • Rafael Arriaga, A Mexican Father in Michigan: Autosomal DNA Helps Identify Paternity: Combining DNA test results with documentary research identifies an unknown biological relationship. This case study illustrates the dynamic research process, gradually narrowing the possibilities until the evidence points to just one answer. The case is set in both Mexico and Grand Rapids, Michigan. It was published in the June 2016 issue of the National Genealogical Society Quarterly and won the 2016 NGSQ Award for Excellence.
  • A BIG Research Project—The Dalton Case: Learn how Karen collaborates with a colleague to solve a long-standing genealogical problem set in the 18th century in Birmingham, England. She will discuss integrating genetic evidence into the existing body of documentary evidence to confirm biological siblings for a proven traced ancestor. Karen will illustrate the creation of a speculative descendant tree using DNA matches across five countries which will lead to a new phase of research planned to hypothesize the unknown biological parents of that ancestor.

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