Build Your Family Tree with DNA – An Interview with Diahan Southard

By Family Tree Editors

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In this episode, Diahan Southard shares how you can create your family tree with just your DNA. Also: learn about how can help you better understand your DNA test results and what tools you can use to more effectively tell your ancestors’ stories.

This podcast is sponsored by, the largest online newspaper archive. With over half a billion digitized newspapers from the 1690s to the present day, can help you learn more about your family’s story. Find marriage announcements, birth announcements, obituaries, photos, and more in papers from across the United States, the UK, Canada, and beyond. Go back as far as three centuries! 

Ep. 167: November 2022

Tree Talk (2:19)

Family Tree Magazine New Media editor Rachel Christian joins Lisa to share the latest in the world of genealogy including Family History Month and resources on doing photo interviews with family and provides some resources to help you do so.

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Resources Mentioned in This Interview:

Don’t know what to ask? Consult our list to learn everything you can.
Senior family members are often the best genealogy resource. Here are family history interview questions to ask to discover more about generations past.
Interested in interviewing someone in your family about the historic events they’ve experienced? Be sure to check out these tips!

Feature: Building a Family Tree with DNA (4:57)

Is it possible to build family trees using only DNA? Your DNA Guide Diahan Southard tackles this question in her new article called Genetic Engineering in the Nov / Dec issue of FTM.

Read “Genetic Engineering” by Diahan Southard in the November / December 2022 issue of Family Tree Magazine.

Resources Mentioned in This Interview:

Your DNA Guide, Diahan Southard

Can DNA tests build your family tree for you? New tools from companies like AncestryDNA make what was once science fiction, reality. Here’s what they can do.

Family History Home: Best Tools for Family Storytelling (18:46)

Sunny Jane Morton walks us through the best story building tools currently available at three of the biggest genealogy websites: FamilySearch, Ancestry and MyHeritage.

Read “Storytime” by Sunny Morton in the Nov.  / Dec. 2022 issue of Family Tree Magazine.

Sunny Morton
Sunny Morton

Best Genealogy Websites: (27:28)

Would you like to be able to learn more from your DNA? is an award-winning website that can help demystify your DNA results. Blaine Bettinger, the Genetic Genealogist, talks about how to get the most out of the features offered on so that we can better understand what our DNA results are telling us. Blaine is the author of the book The Family Tree Guide to DNA and Genetic Testing.

Resources Mentioned in This Interview:

The Genetic Genealogist, Blaine Bettinger

Facebook – Genetic Genealogy Tips and Techniques Group

What is DNA painter? Do you need this third-party tool to make the most of your DNA results? Our expert weighs in.

Editor’s Desk (37:39)

Family Tree Magazine eLearning Producer Amanda Epperson discusses DNA webinars at Family Tree University.

Resources Mentioned in the Interview:

Decoding Your Ethnicity Estimates at the Major Testing Sites

Using Ancestry Matches and ThruLines to Break Some Brick Walls

Listen to Lisa Louise Cooke’s Genealogy Gems podcast, available at her website and all major podcasting services, or download the Genealogy Gems Podcast app.