Learn How to Decipher Your DNA Results

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Provided by Prince William County

DNA testing to find family ties is popular; analyzing the test results can be a bit overwhelming. That’s where the Ruth E. Lloyd Information Center for Genealogy and Local History (RELIC) can help. RELIC will host a class at 11:00 a. m. on Thursday, Aug. 15, at the Bull Run Regional Library to discuss what to do once they receive their test results.

During the class, Genealogist Shannon Combs-Bennett will show how to decipher DNA test results using online tools. She will present several case studies of those who have taken DNA tests to show how things worked out for them, said Don Wilson, a librarian at RELIC. “She’s going to be giving anonymous examples to show how this information can be used by different people.”

Wilson said the tests provide a lot of data that is sometimes hard to decipher. “People feel that the tests are difficult to understand because there’s so much information that you get fed once you do the test. Trying to understand it and know what to do with it can be very complicated.”

Combs-Bennett will break down how to handle test results, talk about how the tests are given, show how information is shared, explain how to read the results and describe how to deal with the information disclosed in the test results, Wilson said. “She’s very knowledgeable. She makes it easy to figure out what to do with the results and what the test tells you and what they don’t tell you.”

The class, Wilson said, will also help people who are simply curious. “It’ll help people decide whether they want to take the test.”

A second class, on Thursday, Sept. 19, from 7:00 to 8:30 p.m. at the library, will be aimed at adoptees. The class will feature Combs-Bennett, along with Brianne Kirkpatrick. They will present their new book on how use genealogy and genetics to uncover their roots, connect with their biological family and better understand their medical history. “There’s a lot of people who are adopted who are trying to find their biological relatives,” Wilson said.

Both classes are free. Register at 703-792-4540 or relic2@pwcgov.org. Bull Run Regional Library is located at 8051 Ashton Ave., Manassas.

More information about RELIC and other genealogy programming can be found at pwcgov.org/relic.

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