Virtual Family History Day at HEPL

The 2nd Annual Family History Day at the Hamilton East Public Library has gone virtual!

Join us on October 3rd at 9:30a.m. for a roundtable discussion on “DNA Tips and Tricks of the Pros.” A panel of professional genealogists will share their favorite tips, tricks and tools for getting the most out of your DNA results. Bring your DNA questions to ask the professionals in this informal, virtual roundtable discussion.

After we take a short break to grab a snack and something to drink, CIDIG Presenter Steven Frank will walk us through an online demonstration of which will begin at 11:30am.

The event is free but registration is required.

Register here:

March/April Event Cancellations

Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, libraries and other organizations around Central Indiana are cancelling events over the next 60 days. CIDIG is working with area libraries to reschedule events as appropriate and will update our website as events our rescheduled.

The following events have been cancelled:

March 21st: DNA Workshop, Anderson Public Library (Tentatively rescheduled for June 30th)

March 28th: One-on-One consultations, Noblesville/Hamilton East Public Library

April 4th: DNA Workshop, Monticello-Union Public Library (Rescheduled for August 1st)

April 14th: Introduction to Genetic Genealogy, Danville Public Library

Check back on our website for further updates on events.

Spring 2020 Events

Did you receive a DNA kit for Christmas? Interested in learning what it is all about? CIDIG has you covered! The first quarter of 2020 is full of great events around central Indiana where you can learn all about commercial DNA testing and genetic genealogy.

January 18th, 10:00a.m.-11:00p.m.

Hamilton East Public Library – Fishers

“Working Your Matches on 23andMe”

Steven Frank will discuss the DNA Matches feature on AncestryDNA and share tips on how to organize and search your matches effectively.  We will also discuss how to maximize your chances of getting a response when contacting your genetic cousins.

February 8th, 10:00a.m.-12:00p.m.

Indiana State Library

One-on-One Genealogy Consultations

Free 20-minute consultations with CIDIG team leader at Indiana State Library. Reservations required. See

February 22nd, 10:00a.m.-11:00p.m.

Hamilton East Public Library – Fishers

“Working Your Matches on 23andMe”

Andrea Ackermann will discuss how to get the most out of your DNA Relatives match list on 23andMe, including how to organize matches, trace shared DNA segments, and customize your profile in order to get responses from your genetic cousins.

March 14th, 10:00a.m.-12:00p.m.

Indiana State Library

One-on-One Genealogy Consultations

Free 20-minute consultations with CIDIG team leader at Indiana State Library. Reservations required. See

March 21st, 1:00p.m.-4:30p.m.

Anderson Public Library

DNA Workshop

EVENT CANCELLED – Tentatively rescheduled for June 27th, 2020.

The Anderson Public Library presents a comprehensive DNA workshop hosted by the Central Indiana DNA Interest Group.  This event is free but attendees are encouraged to register in advance here.

CIDIG members Ann Raymont, Angela Guntz and Steven Frank will host a half-day workshop at the Anderson Public Library covering the basics of DNA testing and genetic genealogy. Participants will learn about the types of tests and different companies, how to understand and interpret their results, and how to use the results to help solve mysteries in their own genealogy research.

March 28th, 9:00a.m.-12:00p.m.

Hamilton East Public Library – Noblesville

One-on-One Genealogy Consultations


CIDIG DNA experts will be providing one-on-one consultations on DNA questions at the Hamilton East Public Library in Noblesville on March 28th from 9am to noon. Consultations are 20 minutes. If you are interested in a consultation, please email to sign up for a consultation. Please include a brief description of your question and a summary of your testing done so far.

April 4th, 9:00a.m.-12:00p.m.

Monticello-Union Township Public Library

DNA Workshop


CIDIG member Steven Frank will host a half-day workshop at the Anderson Public Library covering the basics of DNA testing and genetic genealogy. Participants will learn about the types of tests and different companies, how to understand and interpret their results, and how to use the results to help solve mysteries in their own genealogy research.

April 13th, 1:00-2:00p.m.

Danville Public Library

Introduction to Genetic Genealogy


DNA is the most revolutionary tool for genealogy in the past 25 years.  This lecture is for beginners wanting to know how to best integrate DNA into their genealogy research.  We explain the different types of DNA tests available for genealogy as well as the differences between the different companies. The lecture includes an overview of features of DNA tests and the basics of how to get started using them, as well as information on health and privacy concerns.

August and September DNA Events


August 15th

     Frankfort Community Public Library, 6:00p.m.

     Discovering the Hidden Genealogical Gems in 23andMe

  • 23andMe results are packed with information. Learn how to dig deeper into the site to discover more genealogical information.  Explore your inherited appearance traits such as eye and hair color and how to determine their inheritance. Presented by Andrea Ackermann The cost of the class is $5.00.  Attendees that are working to maintain their librarian certification will earn one TLEU.  Registration is required.   Click here to register.

August 17th

    Morgan County Public Library, Monrovia Branch, 1:00p.m.-4:00p.m.

    Advancing Your Genealogy Research Using DNA Results

  • This free workshop focuses on tips for advancing your genealogy research through DNA testing. Topics will include: understanding the basics of Genetic Genealogy; analyzing DNA results and ethnicity estimates; utilizing new AncestryDNA features; developing DNA research plans; and more.  CIDIG team members will be available throughout the sessions to answer your questions.
  • Session 1: What’s in Your DNA?
    • Speaker: Denise Anderson-Decina
    • Denise will present an overview of Genetic Genealogy. Presentation topics will include: What is Genetic Genealogy; How do we inherit DNA; Why take a DNA test; What to expect with DNA results; variations in ethnicity results; connecting your family tree with your DNA results, and more.
  • Session 2: Using the New Features at AncestryDNA
    • Speaker: Angela Guntz
    • Ancestry recently introduced several new features for helping users to better understand their DNA results.  Angela Guntz will demonstrate some of the new Ancestry features such as AncestryDNA ThruLines, MyTreeTags, new and improved DNA Matches and Ethnicity Estimates. Attendees are welcome to follow along on their laptops or devices to locate the new Ancestry features.
  • Session 3: Do-It-Yourself DNA Case Studies
    • Speaker: Ann Raymont, CG
    • Do you have a genealogy brick wall? Have you run out of clues with traditional research and are looking at DNA results to help you find some answers? This session will provide you with a template to integrate your own genealogy research and DNA results to help solve family mysteries.  Ann Raymont will demonstrate this template in a case study using genealogy best practices and DNA evidence to discover new leads and identify an ancestor’s unknown parents.
Advance registration available here.

August 17th

    Henry County Historical Society, New Castle, 12:00p.m.-1:00p.m.

    Beginning Genetic Genealogy

  • As part of the Henry County Historical Society’s 2019 Genealogy Seminar, Steven Frank will present a class on beginning genetic genealogy.  You’ve received your DNA results — now what?  Steven will walk participants through the basics of genetic tests including ethnicity estimates, DNA matches, and connecting your family tree to DNA results. For more information visit

September 14th

   Johnson County Public Library, White River Branch, 10:00a.m.-12:00p.m.

    DNA Discussion Group

  • CIDIG team lead Denise Anderson-Decina will host a discussion of DNA issues in Genealogy.  Bring your DNA-related questions and work through them with the group.

September 17th

    Carmel Clay Public Library, 1:00p.m.

   Using AncestryDNA Tools

  • Have you recently taken an AncestryDNA test? Interested in learning what you can do with your results to further your genealogy research?  CIDIG speaker Andrea Ackermann will provide an overview of features for AncestryDNA and how to best use them in your genealogy research.

AncestryDNA Traits – Is it worth it?

Steven Frank Headshot
By Steven Frank
CIDIG Contributor has begun to roll out a new feature to some customers who have purchased DNA kits.  The feature, AncestryDNA Traits, provides genetic traits regarding appearance and other physical features based on your DNA results.

The new banner ad for Ancestry Traits appearing on many users’ DNA pages

There are currently 18 traits included in AncestryDNA Traits: Sweet food preference, Savory food preference, Bitter food preference, cilantro aversion, asparagus metabolite detection, male pattern baldness, straight vs. curly hair, hair color, hair thickness, iris pattern, eye color, freckles, cleft chin, unibrow, finger length, skin pigmentation, earlobe shape, and dry vs. wet earwax.


These traits are largely the same as those offered by 23andMe (included in the $199 Ancestry + Health option), as well as by FamilyTreeDNA’s Factoids Addon (which costs $129).  Of note, these are not health reports.  Although AncestryDNA promises to add additional traits, it is unlikely these will include any significant health reports in the foreseeable future. This is because, like 23andMe, AncestryDNA would need to seek FDA approval prior to offering health reports.  Such a process would likely take up to a year to complete.

Another feature of the traits is the ability to compare traits with your DNA matches.  However, this is only available if your DNA matches have also purchased the AncestryDNA Traits feature.  You can however see how prevalent each trait is within the various ethnic communities in you Ancestry Report.

AncestryDNA Traits is available for existing customers as a $9.99 addon.  For future test takers AncestryDNA Traits will be offered as an addon at the time of purchase.  According to this blog article, AncestryDNA is preparing to drop its regular price for kits to $79, at which time AncestryDNA Traits will be offered as a $19.99 addon for new kits.  This update is expected sometime before the end of the year.

So is it worth it? I expect a lot of customers will be underwhelmed by the information contained in AncestryDNA Traits.  The current 18 traits do not convey any useful information, certainly nothing people would not already know about themselves.  However, it is a relatively low cost for those interested in learning these factoids.  The other options – 23andMe, FamilyTreeDNA, and even Promethease – cost more to access this same information.  Plus the promise of additional traits in the future may make it worth it for many customers.  There are a few notable traits Ancesty could offer that might be of more interest to customers. For example, genes responsible for lactose intolerance, muscle performance, longevity, caffiene metabolization, and alcohol and nicotine dependence are all sampled by the chip used by AncestryDNA.  These tests are borderline health related, but are not likely to trigger FDA review as a health product (FamilyTreeDNA offers all of these as addons without FDA approval).

My current recommendation is to wait and see what additional traits are offered by Ancestry.  Should additional traits show up with any regular frequency over the next few months, I will start recommending this product as a good way to gain more information from your DNA tests.

CIDIG presents “Who Do You Think You Are” style event in Greenwood


Can’t get enough of shows like “Who Do You Think You Are?” and “Finding Your Roots”?  CIDIG is teaming up with the Johnson County Public Library to bring you “Our Heritage Revealed.”  This event will present the diverse ancestry of two well-known Johnson County leaders – Cherie Lowe (The Queen of Free) and Maj. Gen (retired) R. Martin Umbarger (president of Umbarger Agribusiness and former Adjutant General of Indiana). JCPL staff and researchers from the Central Indiana DNA Interest Group will use genealogy resources, including DNA testing, to uncover the family stories and varied backgrounds that make up our Johnson County community! A short workshop on using DNA in genealogy research will follow the presentation.

This event is free but registration is required as space is limited. Register here today!


October DNA Events

We have a busy calendar full of opportunities to learn about DNA this October, including stops in Plainfield, Brownsburg, and Middlebury as well as multiple workshops in Hamilton County.

October 2nd

     Brownsburg Public Library, 1:00p.m.

     DNA Basics: Adding DNA To Your Genealogy Toolkit

  • Are you thinking about purchasing a DNA kit? Want to learn more about how it can help you with your genealogy research? Ann Raymont will provide an introduction to DNA testing and go over the features of commercial DNA testing.  This event is free but registration is required: (

October 6th

    Middlebury Community Public Library, 9:30a.m.-12:30p.m.

    DNA Basics: DNA Testing and Genealogy

  • CIDIG Presenter Ann Raymont will present two sessions providing an introduction to DNA and Genealogy:
    10:00 -11:00 Session 1: Adding DNA to Your Genealogy Toolkit
    11:15 – 12:30 Session 2: My AncestryDNA Results are In. Now What?
    Cost: $20 advance registration by October 1. $25 registration at door. More details available here.

    CIDIG@Fishers, 10:00a.m.-12:00p.m.

    Getting the most out of AncestryDNA

  • CIDIG’s monthly series of workshops at the Hamilton East Public Library in Fishers returns with an in-depth exploration of AncestryDNA.  Steven Frank will guide you through some of the recent changes and hidden features within AncestryDNA.  This lecture is appropriate for those who have already attended one our DNA Basics lectures.

October 13th

    Indiana State Library

    One-on-One DNA Consultations

  • On the second Saturday of every month the Indiana State Library, the genealogy room staff is available to help with your genealogy questions.  CIDIG also provides DNA experts if anyone requests an appointment to discuss DNA results. Registration is required. 

October 17th

    Carmel Clay Public Library, 1p.m.-2p.m.

    DNA Basics: Tests and what to do with the results.

  • As part of Carmel Clay Public Library’s ongoing Genealogy series, DNA expert Ann Raymont will present a workshop on the latest in DNA testing in the world of genealogy.

October 20th

    Noblesville Hamilton East Public Library 9:30p.m.-12:30p.m. (EVENT FULL)

    DNA and Genealogy

  • CIDIG Presenters Angela Guntz and Andrea Ackermann present two in depth presentations on DNA: “How to Connect a Family Tree to DNA Results”: Creating and uploading Gedcom files and DNA raw data to various testing companies to identify potential matches and expand family lines. “Getting the Most Out of Your AncestryDNA Matches”: Discover tips and tricks for navigating AncestryDNA pages. You’ll learn more about your matches and how they may be related to you!  Registration is required.  The event is currently full. However, you may join the waiting list at the link above.

October 21st

    Muncie Carnegie Library, 2:00p.m.-4:00p.m.

    Genealogy Information Fair

  • The Muncie Public Library and Delaware County Historical Society are hosting a Genealogy Information Fair on Sunday, October 21st at the Carnegie Library in downtown Muncie.  CIDIG will be one of the groups present with information.

October 27th

    Indiana State Library, 10:00a.m.-3:30p.m.

    Indiana Genealogy and Local History Fair

  • The Indiana State Library will host the annual Indiana Genealogy and Local History fair in downtown Indianapolis. Admission is free and open to the general public.  CIDIG will be one of over 30 organizations and exhibitors in attendance.


One on One Consultations

Do you have a DNA mystery you need expert help to solve?  The Central Indiana DNA Interest Group offers one-on-one consultation sessions to help guide you through the process of using DNA testing to solve your genealogical problems.  Sessions are 20 minutes in length and are available between 10:30a.m. and 12:30p.m.

The consultations are free, but registration is required. To schedule an appointment for a free DNA consultation, please e-mail: All appointment requests must be submitted five (5 ) business days before the event. Please include in your email the DNA questions and related information that you would like to have addressed.

Upcoming sessions:

  • May 11th, 2019 – Indiana State Library 10:30a.m. to 12:30p.m.


  • July 13th, 2019 – Indiana State Library 10:30a.m. to 12:30p.m.


  • August 10th – Indiana State Library 10:30a.m. to 12:30p.m.


  • September 14 – Indiana State Library 10:30a.m. to 12:30p.m.

Please bring a computer or tablet device and any information you wish for the experts to review.  If you wish to meet with a particular expert, please note that in the comment section when signing up (note: it may not always be possible to accommodate everyone’s preferences).

DNA Workshop @ Plainfield Library

Curious about your family history DNA? CIDIG will be hosting a 4-hour workshop (12:30 – 4:30pm) on November 3rd, 2018 at the Plainfield-Guilford Township Public Library.  The event will include three DNA sessions, as well as a Question & Answer session at the end. Presented by members of the Central Indiana DNA Interest Group (CIDIG). This program is free, but registration is required. Register Now!