Get DNA Answers: Your DNA Guide—the Book

With our ultimate DNA manual, you’ll learn how to to discover who you are and where you’re from using your DNA test results. 

Find relatives. Figure out who your DNA matches are. Identify unknown ancestors. Your DNA Guide—the Book takes you step-by-step through the various ways of using DNA to answer questions about your origins. And it’s all in plain English! 

DNA has the power to help us discover who we are and where we come from. But using DNA to explore these questions can be tricky, frustrating and even confusing.

Your DNA Guide–the Book is your solution for learning to make confident DNA discoveries! It delivers powerful, plain-English, step-by-step paths for your specific DNA questions. Curious about how you are related to your DNA matches? Go to page 40. Learn how to discover who your 2X great grandmother is on page 36. 

Throughout the Book, you can check your progress and get new guidance. Are your matches unresponsive? We’ve got ideas. Did you just realize your great-grandparents are first cousins? We’ll help you figure out how that affects your research. (It does.) Along the way, you’ll learn new terminology, strategies and tools as you need them.

With the self-guided, step-by-step Book in hand, you can start making DNA discoveries more quickly and efficiently. You’ll build confidence that you are doing things accurately. And you can return to the Book whenever you have a new question: just follow a new path.

Your DNA Guide–the Book empowers you to make discoveries about your family history. Knowing your family history can help build more resilience, self-confidence and a stronger sense of place and security–for yourself and your relatives. And everyone could use some of that! 

About the author

Diahan Southard is a globally-renowned genetic genealogy educator who has helped thousands of people use DNA. She has poured 20 years of experience into creating this self-guiding resource that can help everyone–but still customizes each person’s discovery path to meet their needs.


Expert praise for Your DNA Guide—the Book:

[Diahan’s] friendly, familiar tone could convince anyone that they can figure out this whole “DNA thing,” and with Southard’s clear, step-by-step instructions, they can. – -Mary Kircher Roddy, FGS Magazine

“It’s definitely not a ‘big overview of DNA testing’ book, but instead a ‘let’s get down and dirty and solve a brickwall problem’ book. And we definitely need a book like this.” – Drew Smith, The Genealogy Guys Podcast and Genealogy Connection Podcast

“Diahan Southard is…funny and down to earth. Her presentations are always filled with color and graphics and explain the sometimes overwhelming topic in a simple and easy way to understand. She’s put her style into her first book on DNA.”

This book is unique. My first thought was this is just like the choose your own adventure books I used to read as a kid. It’s almost like having Diahan there to hold your hand while you work your way through your matches and find your family!” – Cheri Hudson Passey, Carolina Girl Genealogy

Print edition $39.99 USD

The hands-on, mark-it-up-with-sticky-notes-and-highlighters print edition

Shipping is only available in the U.S. and is free

Customer Reviews

Based on 16 reviews
William McMichael

Learn a lot. Nice manual to have handy when searching dna questions.

Kimberly Wesley
Fantastic Book!

Enjoying this book very much and love the format and quality of the pages. Looking forward to using and finding answers to my questions. Diane has a great way of presenting the facts in an easier and straightforward manner.

Roberta Woods
Lots of Jumping Around

I was super excited to get this book. I've been struggling with getting DNA data pulled together to make some sense. I took a class with Diahan and still had process questions that I thought the book could answer for me. I think the information in the book is good, but I found that every time I started a chapter, I had to flip to a different chapter and from there to another chapter until I forgot what I started to do. So it wasn't satisfying my needs which are straightforward directions with examples in one place.

Also MyHeritage Theory of Family Relativity is not easily located. I had to Google it to find it and it turns out I didn't have any TOFRs on my matches.

As a research text book author, the information especially the beginning setup can be organized in a simple, straightforward way.

Tina Swyers
DNA Guide

I love the book, but am still stuck on finding matching DNA for my childrens’ great grandfather whose parents were killed in a fire and he and his two sisters put in an orphanage and he was adopted.

Those adoption cases can be tricky to track down! Feel free to reach out to us with questions at 🙂

Vera Hill

My reaction to the book was, "Wow! I didn't realize DNA was such a confusing subject."

Ebook version (PDF) $16.99 USD

Portable, accessible from anywhere, with clickable links to navigate in the book

Available to everyone, including outside the United States

Customer Reviews

Based on 16 reviews
Graeme Jury
Your DNA Guide--the Book--the review

After watching Diahan's presentation at RootsTech I purchased the ebook version which came as a .pdf - I couldn't wait for a posted one. The book appealed to one of my sloppiest habits as a genealogist where bolting down rabbit holes was the right thing to do. It is organized to encourage following links to the thing that you are trying to achieve rather than a linear approach where you learn one bit which prepares you for the next bit. This would be great for a complete beginner but not for the impatient. In my case I have not even read the whole book yet as by following the links I found what I needed to know to achieve finding my missing ancestor via DNA matching. The book teaches you how but does not do the work for you and there is plenty of it which Diahan does not try to hide. A practical book which leads you on the correct path to a solution if you cooperate and do what is asked. For me I could not ask for more.

Graeme Jury - New Zealand

Debra L Jones
Buy it!!!

Well worth while, see for yourself 🙂

Colleen Kennedy

I am enjoying the book very much, but I have found an inconsistency that is confusing me.

Goal – Find the surname of my 3X great grandmother, Mary Unknown who was married to Anthony Kennedy (1781-1864).

Finding Best Known Match – p. 45 of the ebook states, “Your Best Known Match is someone whose MRCAS is the generation younger than the ancestor you are looking to find: So if your missing ancestors are your:
3Xgreat – 3rd cousins."

Inconsistency – p. 215
“If you are looking for your 3X great grandparent, other descendants of that unknown ancestor and their spouse will be your 4th cousins, right? (Trust me, that’s how it works). So the matches that will best help you find your ancestor will be 4th cousins.”

QUESTION: The book seems to be saying the BKN is a 3rd cousin on p. 45 but a 4th cousin on p. 215. Is my BKM a 3rd cousin as stated on p. 45 or a 4th cousin as stated on p. 215? Or, have I misunderstood? Do I run shared matches on my 3rd cousin or my 4th cousin?


shelly singleton
your DNA guide

good read easy to understand. will be 1 of my go too books for genealogy.must have book for everyone

Steven Wassom
Struggling with Navigating the eBook

When I click on the hotlinks to go to the suggested page, there's no easy way to go back to my original location. This is on an iPhone using the Books app.