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Researching Your Elusive DNA Matches

Thursday, February 15, 2024, 7:30 PM until 9:00 PM Eastern Time (US & Canada) (UTC-05:00)
Additional Info:
Event Contact(s):
Nathan Shepherd
Education Meeting
Registration is required
Payment In Full In Advance Only

Speaker: Janet Werner

“Researching Your Elusive DNA Matches” will cover various strategies for determining the identity of DNA matches and researching living people, which can be critical to getting the most out of your DNA results.  This will include using on-line people-finding databases, researching obituaries, using social media, and other “outside-the-box” strategies for determining identities of living people.  The session will also highlight little-known databases that include living people, and will provide examples of proven strategies for answering difficult identity questions.

Janet Hall Werner, J.D., is a professional genealogist, family historian, attorney and writer. She is a graduate of several courses at the Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh (GRIP) and the Salt Lake Institute for Genealogy (SLIG), and has over 20 years of experience in genealogical research. She serves on the Board of the Fairfax Genealogical Society (FxGS), and is the current coordinator of the FxGS Genetic Genealogy (DNA) Special Interest Group (SIG), where she makes presentations routinely. She served as FxGS’s Newsletter Editor for four years.


Janet is an expert in DNA analysis, and has developed cutting-edge ways to solve research problems using DNA. For example, she has used DNA analysis to find the ancestral villages of a client’s Irish ancestors who fled Ireland in 1848 during the Great Famine. She has also used DNA to prove and disprove many lineages, and she has found the birth parents of many adoptees, both present-day and historical.


In more traditional genealogical projects, Janet has found the descendants of enslaved people of particular enslavers and plantations to support education and reconciliation.  She is also an expert in Irish, Scots-Irish, German and English immigration, and in migration patterns within the United States. She specializes in finding the stories that are hidden in the records, and in putting a family’s history into the larger historical context.  Her own ancestry is overwhelmingly English, with most of her ancestors arriving in Massachusetts and Connecticut in the 1600’s.  She is a Mayflower descendant.  But she also has pair of Irish Famine 3x-great-grandparents from County Clare, and a pair of German great-grandparents who emigrated to Buffalo from Canada, where their ancestors had lived for a number of generations.

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Researching Your Elusive DNA Matches

Fairfax Genealogical Society

P.O. Box 2290

Merrifield, Virginia 22116-2290