All sessions are approximately an hour in duration. Significant question and answer time is recommended. Our most popular sessions are those focused on basics and are noted with an asterisk (*).

Cumberland Gap Migrations - Who were the pioneers who settled in the Cumberland Gap area? Where did they come from? Who stayed and who used the Gap as a gateway to the west? What does the DNA of the members of the Cumberland Gap group tell us about those hearty pioneers, where they came from, and who they really were??? Join us on our journey along the Wilderness Road to discover their history.

*DNA and Genealogy Introduction – Come and learn about how DNA can be used for genealogical research. You’ll learn about how DNA testing works for both males and females. We’ll make science understandable, and by the end of this lecture, you’ll be putting together your own genealogical DNA test plan. Bring your pedigree chart along for quick reference.

The Lost Colony – What twists and turns of history and fate would cause 115 English colonists to become stranded in the Virginia wilderness in 1587? Who were those colonists and why were they here? How are pirates involved? What became of the colonists? Where are their descendants today? What can DNA do to help us solve the mystery? Come and learn about the greatest unsolved mystery in America today and what we’re doing to solve it.

*Twists and Turns in the Rocky Road – This fun filled lecture uses case studies of both Y-line (paternal) and mitochondrial (maternal) DNA testing to show how DNA can be used to both prove and disprove relationships between people. Be prepared for surprises. This is our most entertaining and most requested presentation and makes a few family skeletons dance.

Getting in Touch with Your Feminine Side – Confused about mitochondrial DNA but want to learn more? Then this session is for you. We explain how mitochondrial DNA works, give examples of successes and dispel the myth that mtDNA isn’t very useful. Don’t shortchange your genealogy by ignoring or underutilizing this important tool.

Finding Your Native American or African American Heritage Using DNA – Does your family history include a story of an Indian Princess? Many do! How about slave ancestors, free persons of color, or Melungeons perhaps? Use DNA in conjunction with other resources to find your elusive non-European ancestry. Don’t think you have any? You might be surprised!

Making DNA Loveable – Take your DNA results and turn them into an heirloom gift for your family. See examples of how this is done. Families love them. This is a lighthearted and fun session.

All About Autosomal DNA Testing – What Can It Do For Me? – Have you heard about autosomal DNA testing where you can discover, among other things, the percentage of your ethnic heritage? Did you know there are 5 different tests and they provide you with different information? Would you like to see examples of the results? Come find out if this type of testing will answer your genealogy questions, if the tests are reliable, and how to use these tests most effectively.

*Yikes, My Results are Back! Now What??? – Have results but aren’t sure what to do with them? This session walks you through how to interpret your results and how to get the most out them. This presentation is for both Y-line and mitochondrial DNA.

Melungeon Heritage – Who are the Melungeons? Where did they come from? Which families are involved? What is their heritage? What is true and what is fiction? This presentation combines history, genealogy and DNA to address the mystery and myth of the Melungeons of Hancock and Hawkins County, Tennessee, their ancestors and descendants.

Where Have All the Indians Gone? Native American Eastern Seaboard Dispersal, Genealogy and DNA in Relation to Sir Walter Raleigh’s Lost Colony of Roanoke. - This new presentation uses the information presented in Roberta’s most recent academic publication (scheduled for fall 2009) titled “Where Have All the Indians Gone? What We Know and What We Don’t about Native American Eastern Seaboard Dispersal, Genealogy and DNA”. This unique approach combines long buried historical data about the Native American tribes that inhabited the area between the Atlantic seaboard and the Appalachian Mountains with DNA information to provide both answers and new questions. Where are the descendants of the Indians today? Who are they? Where are they? What happened? This is interesting to the historian as well as the DNA enthusiast and guaranteed, you’ll find some surprises. (Note that this presentation is typically longer than an hour.)

SURPRISE - Revealing your DNA - This very popular session is custom for each group and involves testing one or two individuals ahead of time, typically one male and one female, and revealing what has been learned by their DNA as part of a learning experience. This is particularly popular for organizations and Science Centers.

DNA – the State of the Union – Have you heard about new tests and new testing companies? Are you interested in the new fuller spectrum tests, but concerned about receiving medical information? Where is the DNA for Genealogy industry today and where is it going? How to decide what to embrace and when to wait. What’s new, what’s hot and what’s not.


To discuss or request public speaking, contact Roberta



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