Genetic Genealogy and Your Family Tree

“Researching Your Family Tree Using DNA” is the topic for the Madison County Historical Society’s August Speaker Series program. The presenter, Debi Burgess, working through the DNA Detectives Facebook page, has assisted hundreds of families with finding their birth relatives. The program will be held at 2 p.m. on Sunday, August 7 in the lower level of Immanuel United Methodist Church at 800 N. Main St., Edwardsville, directly across the street from the MCHS Library.

DNA Detectives was founded and is administered by one of the country’s foremost genetic genealogist, Cece Moore. It is a resource where persons with questions about their birth family can reach out for assistance. Some are individuals who took a DNA test to learn their ethnicity, only to find they are not related to the people they thought were their birth family. Others have been on a life-long search to connect with birth families.

Burgess is one of many “search angels” connected to the page. These are people who have developed a high level of expertise and agree to help families in their search. They are not permitted to accept payment for their work. For the Speaker program, Burgess will discuss how you can use DNA to discover your ancestors, the websites to help in your search, and methods available. The information will be useful for beginners, as well as interesting for people with a curiosity about how DNA is being used in these searches. She will also discuss some of the recent cold cases which have been solved using genetic genealogy techniques.

MCHS Speaker Series programs are free and open to the public. Regular hours at the Madison County History Museum and Library are Wed – Fri, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. and Sun, 1 p.m. – 4 p.m. Although the museum building is closed for renovations, museum exhibits can be found at the library and online at For additional information, call 618-656-7569.