In 2014, when the very first institute on Practical Genetic Genealogy was offered at the Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh, I managed to get into the 2nd class (opened because the 1st class filled in a matter of seconds). I learned a tremendous amount in that class, which was taught by Debbie Parker Wayne, Blaine Bettinger and CeCe Moore, but I found that every afternoon about 2:30 pm my brain shut off and informed me that it Could Not Take Any More Information.
Since then, I have watched every DNA webinar offered by Legacy Family Tree Webinars, especially those offered by Blaine Bettinger. Through Feedly, I subscribe to every blog post written by Blaine Bettinger, Debbie Parker Wayne, CeCe Moore, Kitty Cooper, Roberta Estes, and many others.I've also watched webinars on DNA offered by the Association of Professional Genealogists, the Board for Certification of Genealogists, and the Virtual Institute of Genealogy. For the past two years, I have ordered and watched the entire set of videos from the International Institute for Genetic Genealogy annual conference, held in San Diego, CA in 2016 and 2017.
All along, I have practiced what I've learned. In 2012 I finally did a Family Finder test at FamilyTreeDNA, and last (but not least) did an Ancestry DNA test a couple of years later. As I could afford it, I tested other family members: my brother Craig Reed did a Y-12 test at FamilyTreeDNA before he died in 2014 (note: I need to upgrade that....); my husband Richard did the Y-37 test, and then the Ancestry test (which held a huge ethnicity surprise); my nephew Jason Reed did the Y DNA test at Ancestry before it was discontinued (which I transferred to FTDNA and upgraded to Y-37), and my son-in-law Perry did the Y-37 test at FTDNA, which revealed his Sage ancestors.
The test which (for me) was worth its weight in gold was the Y-37 test my cousin Marvin Prosser took at my request, which proved that we are descendants of John Prosser of Rhode Island. A couple of years later, in 2015, he took the Ancestry DNA test, which led to the discovery of our Wiltse ancestors, and last December, to the Prosser DNA matches proving our link to Louis/Lewis Prosser of LaPorte County, Indiana.
About the same time I broke through my 43-year brick wall, I solved my first unknown parentage case. Since the beginning of this year, I've solved or come close to solving six unknown parent or unknown grandparent cases, in two of which the father or grandfather changed his name.
At this point, I needed more education, and lots of it. I needed something beyond the basics, namely how to use chromosome browsers and segment data, to help me work with clients and my own research. It took me about ten seconds to sign up for Blaine Bettinger's new endeavor, DNA-Central. I began reading and watching the courses there, and as always, no matter how much I thought I knew, I always learn something more. I've been learning how to use DNAPainter, and just today began the tutorials on how to use GenomeMate Pro.
One of the tools I have learned how to use is LucidChart. Here is a chart I made that displays convincing evidence that Louis Prosser was my 2nd great-grandfather and the father of my great-grandmother Ruth Prosser Chase:
There is always something more to learn.
There has never been a better time to be a genealogist!