FINALLY Master Your Matches in the DNA Skills Workshop

The masterclass for those who want to build their family trees confidently and accurately using DNA

Now offered as a 10-week experience to give you EVEN MORE TIME to learn!


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You can’t truly learn to work with your autosomal DNA matches in a single webinar, or even a one-day class.

The most confident, effective DNA learning happens when you have the perfect mix of instruction, hands-on experience, real-life case studies (lots of them), and personalized feedback on your progress. You need time to study, practice and implement what you’re learning. You need to be able to talk about what you’re learning with both experts and peers and plan your next steps. Each of these components is crucial–and we’ve brought them all together in the DNA Skills Workshop.

What comes with the DNA Skills Workshop?

  • 10 weeks of interactive instruction, with access to self-study core concepts as soon as you register, to truly give you the TIME you need to master the skills being taught
  • An expertly-designed curriculum following our proven SPIN process for confident, permanent learning: Study, Practice, Implement and Next Steps.
  • 13 hours of pre-recorded, close-captioned, online video instruction with full transcripts, so you can watch (and re-watch) at your own pace to master each concept. PLUS bonus content: about 4 hours of optional videos included as Resources.
  • Four live Q&A sessions to reinforce your learning and answer your questions
  • A live, 2-hour virtual capstone case study to review and put everything into practice
  • A 30-minute, one-on-one coaching session with one of our expert DNA coaches to talk about your unique DNA questions, based on your progress in the course
  • Expert-monitored discussion boards so you can talk about what you’re learning with other students and our DNA coaches
  • TWO copies of Your DNA Guide—the Book to give you the best possible access to this essential do-it-yourself DNA manual. Flip through and mark up the print edition; your electronic edition is handy and portable.
  • TWO copies of the full-color, 97-page DNA Skills Workbook with classwork, homework, answers and a Research Log for each lesson module. The print edition is easy to page through and write in and becomes a permanent reference for your library. The fillable PDF is portable and handy. Use either to record your progress!
  • Indefinite access to all online DNA Skills Workshop resources, so you can come back ANYTIME for a refresher or if you’re working on a new DNA question.
  • A Swag Box delivered to you with the goodies listed below (international shipping times may vary). This special delivery brings your online experience into your real world, and helps you get even more excited and engaged in your learning experience.

Special Delivery: the DNA Skills Swag Box!

Your BONUS DNA Skills Swag Box comes with a print edition of Your DNA Guide–the Book and sturdy bookmark; full-color, print edition of the DNA Skills Workshop Workbook; the Plan tri-fold summary brochure; highlighter, colored pencils and Your DNA Guide pen; and a soft, sturdy Your DNA Guide tote bag to hold all these goodies. These are delivered around the world, wherever shipping capabilities allow (we may need a little time to get these to you outside the United States).

Retail value: $6270 USD

Our Regular Low Price: $997.00

Who needs this Workshop?

Anyone who has taken an autosomal DNA test, explored their results, and wants to REALLY learn how to use them to identify a mystery match and/or pursue a brick-wall ancestor (3x great grandparent or closer). Those who have tested at AncestryDNA and have access to the Pro tools will likely have the most rewarding experience (both because of the advanced DNA analysis tools and its large database of testers). Read more about whether you’re ready for the Workshop and other important FAQs.

What will you learn?

  • How DNA can help you verify your tree or fill in missing information
  • How to make your family tree more DNA-friendly
  • How to actually use your ethnicity results to identify key matches or geographic locations that might be important in your research
  • How to find shared matches at each company to identify ancestors and relationships
  • How to distinguish and double-check genetic vs genealogical relationships
  • How to determine how you are connected to your matches
  • The value of Known Matches and how to find a match that will help you identify a missing ancestor on your tree
  • How to use essential DNA tools, such as shared matches, the Shared cM Project, AncestryDNA’s dot system, and an introduction to “What Are the Odds?” (WATO)
  • How to create groups of DNA matches organized into progressively more specific family groups
  • How to build quick and simple trees to organize and learn from your DNA matches

What are people saying about the DNA Skills Workshop?

Customer Reviews

Based on 43 reviews
June B.
August DNA Skills Course

The time and energic enthusiasm, Diahan and her team provide us at each step of the PLAN is worth every penny. You Can Do DNA at your own pace. Top notch presentation and interaction with the participants. Thank you.

Barry E M
Seeing the light with the Skills Workshop

Boy, this course certainly opens the eyes when it comes to the different techniques available. You get to learn to use your DNA results and link them to your Genealogy work. Videos for classwork. Homework and your research log in a ring bound workbook, so it lays flat open or folded. No spine to break. Best of all, access to ALL the course is available online for the rest of your existence. So you can re-visit anytime to refresh your mind. A1.

Gail L Gillis
DNA learning that anyone can do.

The structure of this course allows anyone to learn and at their own pace. The presentation of this course was nothing but professional on any level and the resources you get to keep are fantastic. Diane takes you one step at a time leading to a final conclusion of success. I think you need a slightly more than basic knowledge prior to commencing this course.

My advice is to take the course

This course is a significant commitment of time and money but I felt it was worth both. I was very surprised to learn that the course was a bit more basic than my skills, but I learned a lot. The course gave me confidence in what I had been doing and provided many pointers about techniques, organization, analysis, and other resources. One of the options was a buddy group to work with during the course and that was a real bonus. I also came out of the course with the goal of improving my research logs!

Chrissy Elliott
You can do the DNA!!!

This course is worth taking, if you have hesitations, don’t. It is for any skill level, as Diahan has broken down the steps that need to be taken to solve your DNA/genealogical problems. The coaches are there every step of the way to answer any questions that come up also.

This course will give you the confidence you need to be able to work with your DNA matches!

Detailed Course Objectives

At the end of each lesson, you will be able to do the following:

Core Concepts

  • Analyze your family tree
  • Describe the role DNA can play in verifying what is known or filling in missing information in your family tree
  • State the importance of having a tree associated with DNA and how this affects available tools
  • Describe role of descendancy research
  • Describe nuts and bolts of how ethnicity testing works
  • Describe how ethnicity results can be used to help identify key matches or geographic locations that might be important for your research

Lesson 1: Known Matches

  • Define Most Recent Common Ancestor
  • Define Generation of Connection
  • Describe how cMs provide information about relationships to DNA matches
  • Describe how to use the histograms at the Shared cM Project
  • Use the shared matches tool at each company to identify shared matches
  • Describe how known matches create genetic networks that can be used to understand family relationships
  • Describe half-relationship
  • Describe a removed relationship
  • Use a grid and labeling system to identify generation of connection
  • Apply known matches concepts to your own research question

Lesson 2: Genetic Networks

  • Describe cheating tools at Ancestry (ThruLines®), MyHeritage (Theory of Family Relativity) and 23andMe (DNA tree)
  • Describe requirements for ThruLines® at Ancestry
  • Describe pre-requisite for accessing Theory of Family Relativity at MyHeritage
  • State focus of ThruLines®
  • State focus of Theory of Family Relativity
  • State rationale for verifying information in cheating tools 
  • Use the Shared cM project to evaluate matches
  • Describe what the % mean for potential relationships in the Shared cM Project
  • Investigate matches that are outliers on the Shared cM Project
  • Describe the process of labeling genetic networks using known matches, cheating tools, and color labels
  • State what kind of cousin will identify the desired genetic network
  • Label genetic networks for your research project
  • Describe steps in splitting a genetic network
  • Split the genetic network for your own research project
  • Describe the Bottoms Up strategy for splitting a genetic network when there are no identified matches to split the network
  • Use the Bottoms Up strategy if required for your own research project

Lesson 3: Finding a Best Mystery Match

  • State the three qualities of a Best Mystery Match
  • Identify the Best Mystery Match for your research project
  • Define Most Recent Common Ancestor
  • Define Generation of Connection
  • Find the Generation of Connection using available information
  • Add labels to match’s trees to support analysis
  • Find the generation of connection for all mystery matches in the genetic network for your project
  • State rationale for expanding the network
  • Describe risks of expanding the network with matches other than the Best Known Match
  • Incorporate segment size into expanding the network
  • Expand the network for your project if needed

Lesson 4: Trees for DNA

  • Describe a Quick and Simple Tree for genetic genealogy research
  • State places to find information for a Quick and Simple Tree
  • Create a Quick and Simple Tree for your research project
  • Create floating branches for DNA matches in your tree
  • Describe the What Are The Odds (WATO) tool at DNA Painter
  • Use WATO for your project if you have an appropriate DNA network

Lesson 5: Capstone Case Study

  • Use the Your DNA Guide process to address a research question

The unique SPIN learning process in the DNA Skills Workshop


Learn DNA strategies in a series of shorter videos additional resources that build your understanding, one concept at a time. Watch the videos as many times as you like! They’re closed-captioned, with full transcripts.


Try and try again! Classwork and homework will give you plenty of opportunities for concepts to “sink in.” Case studies let you see how each concept plays out with real-life DNA questions.


Apply what you’ve learned with your own DNA test results! This is the most fun part. Research logs help you track your progress. Expert-monitored discussion boards and buddy groups help you apply the concepts to your unique situation.

Next Steps

You’ll get plenty of instructions on where to go next! You will learn about lots of different options, depending on your situation, and how to choose what to do to to continue your unique DNA journey.

The Course Creator

This Workshop is designed and instructed by Your DNA Guide Diahan Southard, a globally-renowned genetic genealogy educator. She brings the best aspects of her popular classes and webinars into an extended, hands-on format where you’ll learn in an interactive setting, work on real-life examples, follow up (live!) with your questions, and work on MORE examples for a progressive, confident and thorough learning experience. Plus, Diahan and her expert team will be checking your progress to make sure you are learning all the things you need to.

It works! Or your money back

We are so confident that the DNA Skills Workshop will make YOU more confident in using DNA for family history that we offer a money-back guarantee. If after 6 months from the start date of a Skills Workshop in which you have fully participated (meaning you have watched and marked “complete” each video tutorial, completed the classwork and homework, and have asked for help on the discussion boards), if you are not more confident in this ‘using-DNA’ thing, we will refund the full cost. Read more about our refund policy.

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