With assorted schwag in hand, our team of elite 23andMers headed to Burbank last weekend to pass out a few free kits, some t-shirts and mingle with some of the most committed genealogists on the planet.
This year’s Southern California Genealogy Jamboree drew more than 1,700 people over three days. There are just a handful of other events around the country that attract such a large number of people who are so knowledgeable and focused on learning about their ancestry. It’s not the first time we’ve been there, but it was the first time we brought a posse.
While there, we were lucky to learn a little about what these ancestry experts wanted out of 23andMe’s tools. In turn, we gave them a sneak peek of a host of new ancestry features we’ll be launching in a test format in the coming weeks.
Mike Macpherson, one of our scientists, was on hand to answer questions. Mike helped develop this turbo charged package of new ancestry features we’ll soon be launching in a beta test. He was also there to participate on a panel discussion during the event put on by the International Society of Genetic Genealogy (ISOGG). With him on the panel were 23andMe Ancestry Ambassador CeCe Moore, whose blog is a go-to source for interesting stories and information about the use of genetics in genealogy, as well as Bennett Greenspan from Family Tree DNA, and Katherine Borges, the co-founder and director of ISOGG.
During the three days in Burbank, our team found that even among these experts at hunting down family histories — people who’ve focused for decades on assembling the lost stories of their ancestry — there were some folks who were new to the power of genetic genealogy.
With Mike to help answer some of those folks’ questions were creative manager Melissa del Sol, public relations manager Catherine Afarian, and our social media guru Rebecca Wolpinsky. During the conference the team, along with CeCe, hung out and filled in the attendees about what DNA could do to help them fill in the gaps in their ancestry hunts.
They let folks know that now with more than 150,000 genotyped customers; we have the world’s largest database for ancestry. With a full range of ancestry tools that take advantage of autosomal DNA as well as yDNA and mitochondrial DNA, 23andMe can give results not just from maternal and paternal lines but from all of your ancestors. And we do all of that, along with providing health results, for one price.