Networking with DNA at Jamboree


Alice Fairhurst SCGS Jamboree 2011
Alice Fairhurst SCGS DNA Interest Chair. Photo taken at SCGS Jamboree 2011

Outside the Lecture Hall

Sometimes the best conference learning happens outside the lecture hall with the networking and wonderful people one meets.  That certainly was the case at the Southern California Genealogical Society’s Jamboree 2011 in Burbank California. 

My main quest (besides hanging out with my fellow Geneabloggers) was to attend all of the DNA for genealogy talks and to meet the people in the genetic genealogy industry.

Your Genetic Genealogist

I was thrilled to meet the warm and engaging CeCe Moore of Your Genetic Genealogist at’s Ice Cream Social for the Geneabloggers.  Check out CeCe’s blog as she has very nicely summarized the FTDNA and 23andme DNA news from the conference. 

International Society of Genetic Genealogists (ISOGG)

International Society of Genetic Genealogists
International Society of Genetic Genealogists - FREE to join

CeCe in turn introduced me to Katherine Borges, one of the co-founders of the International Society of Genetic Genealogists (ISOGG) .  Both CeCe and Katherine appeared in a DNA discussion panel hosted by Alice Fairhurst, the DNA interest chair at the Southern California Genealogical Society.

At the panel presentation, Katherine was discussing the benefits of attending the FTDNA Project Administrators Conference held every fall in Houston.  I am retired from science and yes, I’m missing it a bit so I mentioned to her I would love to go. She suggested I become a  project administrator.

Actually this isn’t a great stretch for me as I’ve been considering starting a surname project for my husband’s AUMACK family tree.  The thing is I’ve been considering it for a couple of years and hadn’t done it yet.

We were all hopeful attendees at the Chris Pomery DNA talk, which was to be a webcast from his location in England.  Alas technology foiled us and the talk never happened but all was not lost. 

I struck up a conversation with Alice, the individual who had led the panel discussion.  Alice is another Scottish descendent (I’m a KERR) and she showed how she does her cluster research.  It was a joy to speak with her and I learned so much in a short time.   

Stay tuned as I plan to try doing this with our KERRs in my brother’s haplogroup I1.   Alice has generously volunteered to help me further.


All of this DNA talk inspired me to head over to the Family Tree DNA (FTDNA) booth to have a chat with head honcho Bennett Greenspan

Long story short – I’m now the new administrator of the AUMACK surname project and I upgraded my mtDNA results to the full genomic sequence.   (thanks FTDNA for the Geneabloggers Jamboree Welcome Bag discount!)

DNA Pendant
DNA Double Helix Pendant in my KERR clan colours. Thanks Alice!

Random Acts of Kindness

And the story gets better.  As I was waiting to talk to Bennett, Alice dropped by to give me a beautiful DNA helix pendant…in my KERR clan colours.  How sweet!  I was so touched. I’ll wear it proudly when I host our AFHS DNA special interest group meetings here in Calgary, Alberta Canada.  Thank you ever so much, Alice!

Networking and Learning

Networking and learning with wonderful people…just another benefit of attending the SCGS Jamboree

I appreciate having the many opportunities to meet with others outside the lecture hall be it with social events, at the exhibits or chatting after a talk. What a great conference! 

Acknowledgements – The FTDNA discount was obtained as part of the Geneabloggers Jamboree Welcome Bag Project.  I was one of the organizers of this project and a grateful recipient.  I also appreciate the generousity of for hosting the Ice Cream Social and for providing another networking opportunity.  A special thanks to Paula and Leo and the team of the SCGS Jamboree. Well done!

To join or to get more information the AUMACK Y-DNA Surname Project (including surname variants Amak, Aumick, Aumock, Omick), go here.