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.

The YDNA for Genealogy Course is just $297(USD)

Sorry you missed the Spring 2023 session! It’s FULL and CLOSED. Get on the waitlist for the next session below.

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 take the next YDNA course?

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 (or get on the wait list if it’s not open).

Learn! Or your money back

If after 6 months from the start date of the YDNA & Genealogy Course, if 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), but still do not understand the concepts being taught, we will refund the full cost. Read our refund policy.

Customer Reviews

Based on 14 reviews
The Why of Y!

Curious about your paternal line? Wondering about the "why" of the "Y" DNA? This course is for you! The course is well laid out and will challenge what you think you know and understand about how Y DNA is inherited and passed down from father to son. There will be plenty you don't understand at first but the good news is that all materials will be available to you to review. Diahan and her team are very responsible to questions and comments. There are also videos on YouTube. I look forward to taking another class from Diahan in the future!

YDNA for Geneaolgy

This course was very clearly and well presented and coaches are available to answer questions. I did not learn my not too distant paternal "roots" as was hoped, but that is because we don't have any good matches (yet). I know I will be going through the lessons again (and again) once I have upgraded my brother's test from 111 to BigY-700 and gotten the results from my cousin's BigY-700 test. I am also hoping to start a surname project of our own once I am able to contact more distant relatives who have autosomal DNA results about taking a BigY-700 as well. Thank you to Your DNA Guide for providing the lessons for as long as the platform is viable. It will be very helpful as I move forward.

Martha Callaway
Excellent information

I learned how to follow up on a YDNA match that has no surname matches. I'll be looking at the videos often.

Sherry Parker
YDNA Course

I enjoyed this class and learning more about the research process with YDNA. All the training tools and assistance during the three weeks of training it has helped me find new information about my ancestors.
I was able to ask questions and the answers to increase my research.

Kathleen Woodbury
Double Whammy

My paternal great grandfather and one of my maternal great-great grandfathers were brick walls. The former came out of nowhere and left very little information about himself. The latter was born four years before the couple who raised him were married.
My brother did a YDNA test and I paid to upgrade it to BigY-700. A maternal cousin also did the BigY-700 test. Both gave me access to their results.
And this course taught me how to understand those results.
In both cases, I found out what surnames to search under because neither one matched what we had from the records. Using autosomal DNA matches, I believe I have found people who may be the cousins I need to locate our biological ancestors.
And it wouldn't have happened without Diahan's great instruction.
There are very few easy answers in DNA research, but when you learn from someone who knows the science, you avoid so many pitfalls, rabbit holes, distractions, and confusions.
I'm very glad I signed up for this course and I look forward to checking the YDNA results every so often, and using autosomal DNA matches, and doing genealogy with all of this new information to break down these two brick walls.