DNA Special Interest Group

Purpose and Vision Statement

The Utah Genealogical Association DNA Special Interest Group seeks to provide genealogical information, sources and education through personal instruction and published media on family history topics while promoting high standards and ethical practices.

Next Meeting

Our next meeting will be on 19 September 2017. Further information to be announced.


We are always working on our lineup of presenters and material for our webinars. We welcome any suggestions on presentations and presenters from our volunteers, member, or anyone! To collect information on who people would like to hear from and on what topics we have several different methods for collecting information.


Tell us who you want to hear from and what you want to hear about, using our survey!


We also monitor the hashtags #DNAtoolsUGA, #DNAgroupsUGA and #DNAtestingUGA for people to use to tell us what they think.

Call for Publications

Share your experience with genetic genealogy and how it has expanded your genealogical research by submitting an article on your experience, a ‘how to’ on how you solved you seeming genetic glitch, or a hint from your future self to help a younger you further their research. Do not be shy, we have people here willing to help you share what you have learned. We are willing to help you review, and edit your work!

To submit an article on genetic genealogy for publication on our Facebook page, UGA Blog, UGA Newsletter, or in the Crossroads UGA’s quarterly publication please email Stephanie Saylor (DNAspecialist@FoundingFamilyLines.com) so that we can edit and assist you in sharing your knowledge with the DNA Special Interest Group.

Call for Presentations

Using DNA tools, DNA testing, and DNA groups to solve a genealogical problem can be confusing. Come divulge the secrets of your success with the UGA DNA Special Interest group! To submit a proposal to give a webinar for the UGA DNA Special Interest Group, please email Stephanie Saylor (DNAspecialist@FoundingFamilyLines.com) with your experience presenting and the below information:

  1. What you would like to present on? Please provide
    • the title of your presentation,
    • an outline of your presentation,
    • and a 50-word description of your presentation.
  2. Provide a 50-word bio, including your credentials.
  3. Including the DNA tools, DNA testing companies, and the DNA groups, that you wish to discuss.
  4. List of affiliations within the genealogical community (paid and unpaid).
  5. List the months you would be able to give your presentation.

Please note that our meetings occur on the 3rd Tuesday of the month from 7-8pm. You would be required to enter the webinar 15-20 minutes early for sound and screen checks.

The chosen presentations will be required to submit a handout at least 2 weeks before their scheduled webinar. Handouts should have references, 1 inch margins, and be submitted in PDF format. All webinars will be recorded and published on the UGA DNA Special Interest Group UGA Members-Only-Page for at least 3 months following the presentation. Presenters will have 24 hours to review recordings and request any necessary edits before their presentations are posted online.

UGA DNA Special Interest Group Volunteers

If you would like to volunteer with the UGA DNA Special Interest Group please contact Stephanie Saylor at dnaspecialist@foundingfamilylines.com.

Mary Jane Saylor

Mary Jane Saylor is the new UGA Board Member overseeing the UGA DNA Special Interest Group. She has been volunteering with UGA for the last four years and is a veteran of the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy (SLIG) where she has successfully served as the assistant registrar and the media coordinator. She also served the First Families of Utah Project where she helped to expand and revitalize the program. Feel free to peruse her recent posts to the FoundingFamilyLines.com website where she writes about her family history!

Stephanie Saylor

Stephanie Saylor is the organizer for the UGA DNA Special Interest Group as well as a presenter. She holds a degree in Biology with an emphasis in Neuroscience and actively worked in research for several years before completing several genetic-genealogical-related courses, including the Advanced DNA course at the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy and the Advanced DNA Practicum at the Forensic Genealogy Institute. Presentations and workshops combine her DNA background with a firm belief in sound research and a love of genealogy.

Danni Altman-Newell

Danni Altman-Newell is media guru and genealogy blogger from Kansas who is willing to bring the skills she has honed developing conferences for a non-profit to our Special Interest Group! You can read about her genealogical journey on her blog at talkingboxgenealogy.com, and follow her on Twitter and Facebook.

Rita Barredo

Rita Barredo is currently the assistant registrar for SLIG and holds Masters degrees in History and Business Administration. Check out her APG profile!

Woody Belzer

Woody Belzer is passionate about learning his family’s history not just dates and names but who our ancestors were. He loves looking at events in history and understanding how they can not only augment our understanding of what our ancestors were experiencing but uses that knowledge to find additional documentation to prove that they existed. He is starting to integrate DNA into his search for his personal family’s history in his search for the stories that bind him to his ancestors.