With participation by 23andMe and the three other major companies involved in DNA testing for ancestry, as well as talks from some of the most respected names in the field, it’s no wonder organizers are predicting the June 6th “Family History and DNA” conference in Burbank will sell out.
The event, planned in conjunction with the annual Southern California Genealogy Jamboree, will feature Professor Henry Louis Gates Jr., Spencer Wells, and 23andMe’s own Joanna Mountain to name just a few. Gates, the author of “Faces of America,” will give the luncheon address. The Alphonse Fletcher University Professor at Harvard University, Gates is also the director of the W. E. B. Du Bois Institute for African and African-American Research. He is known for both his literary and cultural criticism, but more recently has gained popular notice through his shows on PBS that focus on ancestry and genetics.
The line-up for the day will also have representatives from all four of the major consumer genetics companies involved in genetic genealogy – 23andMe, Ancestry.com, FamilyTree DNA, and the Genographic Project.
“This is the first genetic genealogy conference ever to bring together speakers from all of the major DNA testing companies that offer services to the genealogy community,” said CeCe Moore, the conference coordinator and co-chair.
CeCe has close working relationships with all the four major testing companies including 23andMe. She is also the Southern California Regional Coordinator for the International Society for Genetic Genealogy (ISOGG). The ISOGG and the Southern California Genealogical Society teamed up to make this inaugural event a reality.The conference is scheduled for the day before the three-day Genealogy Jamboree, which goes from Friday the 7th through Sunday the 9th.
The Family History and DNA conference is already 85 percent sold out, said CeCe. Beyond the great lineup of speakers, the conference comes just as the use of DNA to learn more about ancestry is becoming more and more a part of the zeitgeist, she said.
“My experience leads me to believe that we are on the brink of widespread interest in and acceptance of personal genomics,” said CeCe.
Some of that interest is because of the work of Prof. Gates and his popular television show Finding Your Roots, Dr. Wells’ Genographic Project, and the many stories coming out of 23andMe about people who made surprising discoveries about their family history using genetic testing.
All of that has helped open “the public’s eyes to what can be discovered from DNA testing,” CeCe said. “With the information age upon us, it is simply astounding what we can learn about ourselves and our family history.”
If you’re interested in going sign up now, tickets are going fast.