Advancements in genetic genealogy to be profiled at international conference

Advancements in genetic genealogy and research are to be the focus of a groundbreaking international conference at the University of Strathclyde.

Leading experts in the fields from around the world will be among the speakers at the two-day event hosted by the Strathclyde Institute for Genealogical Studies (SIGS).

The first academic genetic genealogy conference to be held in the UK, the interdisciplinary conference will have a particular focus on the use of autosomal DNA and Y-DNA and the themes of bioarchaeology, genetics, and investigative genetic genealogy. The importance of these themes to genetic genealogy will be explored.

Subjects covered will include:

  • ancestry in Northern Europe, from the Iron Age to today
  • what genetic genealogy can reveal about Scottish noble families in the Anglo-Norman era, from the late 11th to late 13th centuries
  • the ancestry of descendants of Scots who settled in Poland in the 16th to 19th centuries
  • discrepancies between legal and biological kinship in western Europe between the 15th and 19th centuries. This presentation stems from an international study which discovered that DNA from the hair of composer Ludwig van Beethoven had no male Y-chromosomal match with people alleged to have been his distant relatives.

The conference, titled Advancing Genetic Genealogy: How the Past is Informing the Present Through Revolutions in Genetic Research, will be held at Strathclyde on 7-8 June. 

Graham Holton, Principal Tutor at SIGS said:

This groundbreaking conference provides a rare opportunity for genetic genealogists beyond the beginner stage to increase their knowledge and understanding of more advanced aspects of the field and how it might develop in the short to medium term.

Online access will be available for the conference, for which registration is now open through Strathclyde’s Centre for Lifelong Learning. In-person participants will have the opportunity to visit the Forensic Genomics Laboratory at Strathclyde’s Centre for Forensic Science; places are limited and separate booking will be required.

The conference is sponsored by Ancestry and the Halsted Trust.

SIGS was established in 2023 to bring together a growing network of individuals and organisations to share knowledge and build a thriving academic genealogy community for all.