Course curriculum

    1. Meet Your Instructor, Shannon Combs-Bennett

    2. Course Outline

    3. Course Access: October 24 - November 20, 2022

    4. Learn To Use the Course Player

    5. Before we begin ...

    6. Contact Us

    1. Introduction to DNA

    2. Common Myths: Get the Truth about DNA Testing

    3. DNA and You

    4. What DNA Testing Can Do For You

    5. Answering Genealogical Questions Using Autosomal DNA

    6. Using atDNA to break through Brick Walls

    7. Adoption and Missing Biological Parents

    8. Using atDNA in Your Research

    9. Where to Test?

    10. Putting it In Practice: End of Lesson Questions

    1. Introduction to DNA

    2. DNA Terminology

    3. Terminology Presentation

    4. Discussion

    5. Two Family Trees

    6. What to do if you are an only child?

    7. Two Family Trees (Continued)

    8. Ethnicity Results

    9. Decoding Your Ethnicity Estimates at the Major Testing Sites

    10. Ethics

    11. End of Lesson Questions

    1. Finding Genetic Cousins

    2. X Inheritance

    3. Identical by what?

    4. Matches - Now What?

    5. Phasing

    6. Triangulation

    7. Trying Out Triangulation

    8. Third Party Tools

    9. DNA and the Paper Trail: Putting it Together

    10. Calculating DNA Relationships

    11. End of Lesson Questions

    1. Investment = Success

    2. Communicate with Potential Relatives

    3. Information to include in correspondence

    4. Introduction to Organizing DNA

    5. Spreadsheets

    6. Use Spreadsheets to Organize Your DNA Data

    7. Get Started with DNA - Wrap Up

    1. Please take our survey

    2. Download the lesson text

About this course

  • $99.99
  • 47 lessons
  • 2.5 hours of video content

How Family Tree University Courses Work

  • Course

    Our courses consist of four or more written lessons that may also contain videos, slide shows, and other elements. There are self-directed quizzes and/or exercises to help you apply your knowledge. In addition, you'll have access to discussion boards where you can ask your instructor, questions about the materials during the course dates.

  • Instructor

    Instructor access for the duration of the four weeks, so you can ask questions about what you've learned.

  • Access

    Our courses are designed to be easily accessible! Once you've registered for the course, you'll be able to log in on the start date to see all the lessons. Each lesson is available within your browser. You can work at your own pace.

  • Materials

    All the materials will be available for download, and you'll have access to the course materials online for about a year after the start date. After the course end date, it will go into read-only mode, so you'll still be able to reach the materials, but you'll no longer have access to the instructor or message boards.

  • What You’ll Need

    Please ensure that you have internet access and that your browsers and computer system are fairly up-to-date. The course materials are designed to be compatible with most devices.


Shannon Combs-Bennett, MSc, QG (Qualified Genealogist), PLCGS is an award-winning author and lecturer. She writes and speaks to groups across the US and internationally on a variety of topics, from genetic genealogy to methodology. Shannon earned her Bachelor of Science in biology with an emphasis in genetics from Indiana University and her Master of Science in Genealogic, Heraldic, and Paleographic Studies from the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow. She won the IBPA silver award for her book Genealogy Basics in 30 Minutes.

Shannon Combs-Bennett