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Jewish Genealogical Society of Illinois

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DNA: Tests, Tools and Tales -- A one-day conference

  • 02 Jun 2019
  • 8:30 AM - 4:00 PM
  • Temple Beth-El, 3610 Dundee Road, Northbrook, IL


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DNA: Tests, Tools and Tales

A one-day conference presented by the Jewish Genealogical Society of Illinois.

Our Presenters

LARA DIAMOND has been researching her family for 25 years, starting as a middle school student. She has traced all branches of her family multiple generations back in Europe using Russian Empire-era and Austria-Hungarian Empire records. Most of her research is in modern-day Ukraine, with a smattering of Belarus and Poland. As she is an Ashkenazic Jew, she gets to have particular fun with her completely endogamous genome.

Lara is President of the Jewish Genealogy Society of Maryland, leads JewishGen’s Subcarpathian SIG, and is on JewishGen’s Ukraine SIG’s Board of Directors. She also runs multiple district and town-focused projects to collect documentation to assist all those researching ancestors from common towns. She blogs about DNA and her Eastern European research. 

GIL BARDIGE has been working on his genealogy since 1979 and now has nearly 1,400 people on his family tree including three branches traced back to his 5th-great-grandfathers born about 1740. His families arrived in Chicago in the early 20th century and were involved in founding Knesses Israel Nusach Sfard (K.I.N.S.), one of the oldest synagogues on the West Side of Chicago.

A member of the Columbus Jewish Historical Society in Ohio, Gil has spoken at a number of local events and international conferences and is a firm believer DNA results can be a valuable tool in genealogical research as it generates clues to help people confirm relationships. Most recently he has managed the mentoring program for IAJGS at its international Jewish genealogy conferences, allowing people to get one-on-one tutoring to help break through brick walls.

For the last 10+ years he has expanded his knowledge of genetic genealogy, testing at each of the major DNA companies. Gil currently manages three Y-DNA projects at FamilyTreeDNA as a volunteer administrator.

Sessions include:

  • Introduction to Genetic Genealogy: Y-DNA, mtDNA and Autosomal DNA, The Basics and Next Steps
  • Leveraging the Power of GedMatch
  • Introduction to Genetic Genealogy: Working with your DNA Results
  • Using Y-DNA and mtDNA: Genetic Genealogy As an Innovative Tool in your Research
  • Autosomal DNA Tools and Techniques: Beyond GEDMaTch


  • Mentoring Session
  • Work with volunteers at a computer help desk.
  • Explore and check out books in the JGSI library.
  • and lunch!
Full brochure available for download here.
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JGSI is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization.