Find Missing Men on Your Family Tree | YDNA for Genealogy Course | YDNA Class

YDNA testing can reveal deep geographic origins and genetic connections dating back much further than the 5 generations revealed by autosomal DNA. This YDNA masterclass teaches you the skills to understand what your YDNA is telling you–and to use YDNA testing effectively to answer specific questions about paternal lines.

What’s the YDNA for Genealogy Course all about? Watch this introduction by Diahan Southard.

Now enrolling for session running January 16 – February 6, 2023

Early Bird Special Registration Price: $247 $297 USD

Who should take this course?

Anyone trying to identify a biological father or paternal ancestor, including distinguishing between paternal ancestral candidates who share a common surname.

What topics will be covered?

  • Overview of YDNA: Getting started

    • How YDNA inheritance works

    • How YDNA can help your family history research

    • Creating a YDNA testing plan appropriate for your questions

  • Deep ancestry: YDNA haplogroups

    • Understanding haplogroup names

    • Haplogroup information at 23andMe, Living DNA, FTDNA

    • Using haplogroups for genealogy

  • YDNA matching

    • Introduction to your YDNA profile at FTDNA (all tutorials have been updated to reflect FTDNA’s recent site changes)

    • Your YDNA match list

    • YDNA matches with no shared surname

    • Using YDNA combined with autosomal DNA

    • Next steps for YDNA matching (join project, targeted testing, etc)

  • YDNA surname projects

    • Joining and getting to know your surname project

    • Finding patterns in the YDNA

    • YDNA case study practice

  • Big Y 700

    • When to use Big Y

    • Big Y matching

    • Big Y next steps

Here’s what people are saying about the YDNA Course

My dad’s paternal grandfather was illegitimate and I have no clue who his father was. A clue came up [in the Course] which may break down [this] long-standing brick wall. This is fantastic! I now have something to work with to try to discover my GGGfather. Thank you!


The Course was great: love the pacing, the style, the humour, and the down-to-earth advice. My biggest win was digging into the family project info and actually making use of those big tables of data–and finding connections between matches I hadn’t made sense of before!


I had searched high and low for good YDNA information and was always disappointed. This class surpassed my expectations by so much! My biggest win is my new understanding of haplogroups and haplotrees. It is wonderful now to be able to follow upstream and downstream on my haplotree….If you want to get the most out of the YDNA test, you need to take this class.


My biggest win was finally understanding my father’s YDNA research and how to interpret the DNA project data. If you’re struggling with understanding YDNA, interpreting your match results, or just want to learn more about how YDNA can help you in your research, this is the course for you!


What do I get with this course? What is the format?

For the 3 weeks of interactive instructive, plan to spend 2-3 hours per week on in-depth, self-paced, online instruction and practice. (Some people may work more quickly than others, and some may want to dive deeper. That part is up to you.) You’ll experience:

  • About 6 total hours of pre-recorded video tutorials (average 2 hours per week)

  • Classwork and homework that provide hands-on experience with real-life case studies

  • Quizzes, polls, and a discussion board moderated by experts

  • Live wrap-up Q&A session via Zoom at the end

  • Enrollment in a class cohort that allows students to interact with one another at their preferred level

  • Full-length, printable professionally-created workbook with classwork, homework, and research log (PDF format) becomes a useful reference guide for you later

  • Digital download edition of the handy YDNA Quick Reference Guide by Diahan Southard

Do I need to have access to a YDNA test to take this Course?

It’s best (but not required) that you already have access to a YDNA sample at Family Tree DNA.* (The cost and ordering of DNA testing itself is not included in the course.) These can be your own (if you are a genetic male) or someone else’s (if you’re a genetic female and/or you’re exploring a paternal line other than your own). If you’re using someone else’s test results, be sure you have their permission and the login access.

However, while there are times in class when you will be looking at and working with your own DNA results, this is a hands-on learning experience from which you can learn all you need to know without even having your own YDNA results. We will provide several case studies from which homework assignments will be given that do not require your own YDNA test results. And because you will have access to the Course permanently, you’ll be able to come back and review what you need to.

Are there any prerequisites for the YDNA Workshop?

We don’t recommend this course if you’re brand new to DNA testing. We’d like to see you if you’ve got at least a little bit of experience working with or learning about DNA matches. Taking the DNA Skills Workshop first is not required, but we recommend you take it at some point as part of your overall DNA research training.

Preferably, you will have a research goal or question in mind when you take the course, but it’s not required. Sometimes you’ll discover a research question or goal as you begin learning.

What technical requirements are necessary? Is there a textbook?

This course takes place online. During these weeks, you’ll need a reliable internet connection for streaming the video learning sessions and for additional learning on your own time. You’ll need access to your DNA test results on whatever testing site you’re using. You’ll receive a unique PDF YDNA workbook and additional reference materials that support your learning.

Read about Course enrollment and refund policies, including our money-back guarantee.

Your instructor

This Course has been created by Your DNA Guide Diahan Southard, a globally-renowned genetic genealogy educator, to give you a progressive, confident and thorough learning experience. Throughout the Course, Diahan and her expert team will be checking your progress on the discussion boards.

Why enroll now?

The sooner you start learning to use YDNA, the sooner you’ll put that test to WORK answering your family history questions, whether they are about your own YDNA lineage or another male line for which you can get a YDNA test from a qualifying descendant. We only open sessions of the YDNA for Genealogy Course now and then, and they tend to fill up, so if you’re interested, it’s a good idea to claim your seat now.

Customer Reviews

Based on 4 reviews
Connie Knox
Love - Love - Loved this Course

Wow, did I learn a lot. I knew a lot already, but Diahan goes into the nitty-gritty. Thanks Diahan for all you do for the genealogical community.

Thank you Connie!

Learned so much

I've been crawling up the learning curve of Genealogy for a long time now, trying to solve a brick wall involving my 2nd Great Grandfather. I'd gotten proficient with Chromosome maps and Autoclusters and prided myself on picking up a lot of new techniques and skills in the Autosomal realm. But I was really stumped by what to do with my Y-DNA results and how to interpret them. FTDNA's help pages were not very helpful. My usual methods of reading everything I could and finding youtube guides was turning up material that was at extremes: either way down the academic rabbit hole or "pushing the results button will show you your results" idiot guides. I shopped around for ages, and eventually downloaded one of Diahan's guides. It was super clear and helpful. I took the plunge and signed up for the course.

SO GOOD. Diahan is a born teacher. She's organised and witty and down to earth and whip-smart. The videos and the coursebook are highly professional but have a home-made quality that I love: hand crafted rather than corporate slick. Diahan's personality and humour infuses them. In just a few lessons I learned I'd been misreading my results and an entire theory that I had meticulously constructed was plainly wrong, helping me narrow my search significantly. I took advantage of the offer to take the course with some study buddies which a moderator arranged. We helped each other understand some core concepts, did some "citizen science" exploration of a mystery we're still working on, and I got to see just how useful this tool can be across some very different use cases.

I also learned a new magic trick: pasting FTDNA project spreadsheets into Google Sheets instead of Excel preserves the color coding and formatting! I never would have worked this out if it wasn't for the exercises Diahan set us for finding "best matches" and counting genetic distance. As a data geek, I knew there had to be a better way then eyeballing those tiny numbers on the FTDNA site, and there was! (Hint: Conditional Formatting is your friend!)

In short: take this course. I'm really glad I did.

Wow! Thank you so much for sharing your experience . It's situations like yours that inspire us to provide our content!

Diahan talks like I listen!

Over the last few months, I have taken both the DNA Skills Workshop and the Y-DNA course with the goal of expanding my self-taught strategies. The classes were excellent, the format works very well for me because I can stop, go back and review at any time (even after the classes concluded)! Diahan talks like I listen. She also wrote her book, Your DNA Guide, in that same format. You don't just read it, you ask a question and it points you to the answer.
I had three DNA goals in mind when I took the courses. I have not yet solved any of them, but I have learned the skills I need so that if and when more testers show up in my results, I have the ability to work those clues. I love that the classwork will still be available to me when I want to go back and build another hypothesis or tree when new matches show up! DNA is changing constantly and this class format is fluid enough to keep up with the changes! Just today, I realized that I can explain DNA to other people and I had a question I emailed to Diahan and got an answer very quickly. I highly recommend both courses!

Thanks for your review! Congrats on all your progress! And of course please continue to reach out to us if you have any questions that come up!

YDNA Test Results

I learned a great deal about YDNA and how to analize the data but sadly anallyzing my 111 marker and BigY resuts did not answer the questions for me. I think the common ancestors are just too far back in time. i wish I had gotten into the DNA workshop but maybe next tiem. Also, do you have a course on mtDNA? I looked on the Academy web site but did not see one.

Thanks for a class well taught. I had fun learning and analizing data.

Thanks for your review! We don't currently have a mtDNA class, but we do have a mtDNA quick guide you can check out!