Centre for Lifelong Learning
Genetic Genealogy Courses & Research
We have had a long-standing commitment to the study of genetic genealogy as an essential component of our postgraduate courses and believe that its importance will grow as the size of databases of test results increase and knowledge and skill in the interpretation of these results develops. The wealth of knowledge and expertise of our staff in this area ensures continual refreshment of course content which also benefits from research such as the Battle of Bannockburn Family History Project. Education in genetic genealogy is provided not only as part of our postgraduate courses, but also through the delivery of specialist short courses.
Battle of Bannockburn Family History Project
To mark the 700th anniversary of the Battle of Bannockburn in 2014, we ran a Bannockburn Project, to throw light on the participants in the Battle from a genealogical point of view. The project examined the combatants and their families, which featured biographical information and coats of arms of 70 of the combatants as well as genealogies of their families over four generations.
The project also incorporated the use of genetic genealogy in the research, to help reveal living descendants of combatants in the Battle. This involved the identification of several male-line descendants of combatants, using documentary sources. These descendants were subsequently invited to take a DNA test, with the results being used to help find another individual who closely matched each testee. Visit the Battle of Bannockburn Family History Project website to learn more about this project.
Declaration of Arbroath Family History Project
The University of Strathclyde Genealogical Studies Postgraduate Programme launched the Declaration of Arbroath Family History Project in association with the Foundation for Medieval Genealogy in October 2018. The Project will see both students and staff carry out research into these individuals and their families, culminating in an exhibition which it is hoped will tour several venues. It will also involve a genetic genealogy strand, to discover previously unknown descents from these individuals through DNA testing. Visit the Declaration of Arbroath Family History Project website to find out more.
Ancient DNA (aDNA), genetic genealogy and biohistory
We are interested in how biohistorical techniques - in particular the analysis of ancient DNA - can be used to investigate and help us understand the lives and familial relationships of medieval and modern historical people. Find out more about our work in this field.
Scottish Clans and Families
This area of research consists of continuing research on the families focussed on in the Declaration of Arbroath Family History Project plus a number of other well-known Scottish surnames. Find out more.
The estimation of when stable genetic markers known as single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs – pronounced ‘snips’) were formed in the Y-DNA of ancestral lines is of great importance to genetic genealogists, as they attempt to establish when different lines of descent were formed. Learn more.
Scottish Kindred Groups
Genetic genealogy holds the potential to validate or refute traditional accounts of the early origins of historically significant families and clans, and thereby contribute to our understanding of kin-based societies. Learn more.
Our short online courses run for 8 weeks and are suitable for beginner to intermediate level. Classes commence at various dates throughout the year and are a fantastic starting point to develop your interest in Genetic Genealogy.
Online learning allows students to study anywhere at a time that suits, whilst providing access to an online community where students can interact and share resources with other budding genealogists.
Successful completion of class assessments will also enable students to gain credits at level SCQF7 and the opportunity to study towards an Open Certificate in Genealogical Studies.
How to Book - you can 'Browse & Book Online' using our new online booking system - MyCLL - accessed via the red 'Browse & Book Online' box on right hand side of this page.
10 credit points (at Level SCQF 7)
There has been an increasing interest in genetic genealogy as the technology of DNA testing has developed and the potential for genealogical applications has become clear. However, the scientific and technological complexities of the subject can make it challenging for genealogists and family historians who are more likely to feel an affinity with the field of arts and humanities rather than that of science and technology.
This course aims to impart a basic knowledge of the scientific and technological aspects of genetic genealogy and teach the skills needed to interpret Y, Mt-DNA and autosomal DNA test results for genealogical purposes. Roughly half of this course focuses on aspects of Y-DNA testing, including using STRs and SNPs.
The course aims to develop an understanding of the meaning of DNA test results and what further tests and/or genealogical research might prove worthwhile. It illustrates that genetic genealogy is an important tool in the field of genealogical studies.
The course is also suitable all, whether they have taken a test or not. For those interested in taking a Y-DNA test before coming onto the course, the only provider of these which offer a results-matching database is Family Tree DNA.
10 credit points (at Level SCQF 7)
This class aims to impart knowledge of the scientific basis of autosomal testing and teach the skills needed to interpret DNA test results for genealogy. There has been an increasing interest in genetic genealogy as the technology of DNA testing has developed and the potential for genealogical applications has become clearer.
Autosomal tests are now the most popular type of DNA test as they can be taken by men and women, are relatively cheap and results can be linked to online family trees. However, the theoretical complexities of the subject can make it challenging for genealogists and family historians, who are more likely to feel an affinity with the field of arts and humanities, rather than that of science and technology. Many individuals who have a DNA test carried out find it difficult to fully understand the relevance of their matching to other testees and what further testing or research may be required to corroborate their matches.
This class addresses these issues by providing the theoretical and methodological framework to interpret your own testing results. We then identify scenarios where autosomal testing might be applied and make sense of the various reports which accompany test results. You will also understand how to work with third party utilities such as Gedmatch.
This class is most suitable for those who have already taken an autosomal DNA test.
The Centre also delivers part-time and full-time postgraduate qualifications in Genealogical Studies by distance learning. The courses are online and learning is self-directed, with tutor support and feedback provided throughout. Find out more.
Our team are all passionate about Genetic Genealogy and their wealth of knowledge and expertise support the development and delivery of our short courses, postgraduate learning and further research in this field;
Alasdair is an administrator for a number of surname, haplogroup and geographical projects and utilises genetic genealogy to resolve genealogical puzzles particularly for surname and lineage research. He has a particular research interest in Scottish Clans, families and kindreds. He is also active in providing support and assistance to adoptees or individuals who have a disconnect between documentary and genetic evidence in their recent ancestry.
Graham has a long term interest in the field of genetic genealogy and leads the Battle of Bannockburn Family History Project, the concept behind which has potentially major implications for tracing early descents using documentary and genetic evidence. He has given a number of presentations relating to the Project and the methodologies of Y-DNA research.
Dr Maurice Gleeson (Honorary Research Fellow)
Maurice brings extensive knowledge and expertise in the field of genetic genealogy to the department and his own personal research interests include Genetic Genealogy, Clan research, surname research and unknown parentage.
If you would like to contact us in relation to our research and learning opportunities, please email email@example.com