-Press Release, Granville County Government
On March 30, genealogist Shannon Christmas is scheduled for a discussion of DNA testing and how it relates to family genealogy. The 2 p.m. program will be held at the Richard H. Thornton Library in Oxford.
Christmas is experienced in the field of genealogy, specializing in Colonial America as well as African-American ancestry in Virginia and the Carolinas. He has a special interest in “harnessing the power” of DNA to verify and extend ancestral lineage.
“African-American genealogy remains a challenging jigsaw puzzle where half of the pieces seem irrevocably lost,” Christmas has written in a blog about family history. “Advances in genetics and internet technology have unearthed some of the long-buried pieces of our especially fractured history.”
Christmas has used DNA analysis along with traditional genealogical methods to trace his own family tree. His research has led him to a Warren County plantation, where DNA was used to verify bloodlines and connect him with relatives he never knew. The genealogist also has ties to the Yancey family of Granville County.
Today Christmas provides information to others through videos and programs to assist in family research projects. He currently serves as a 23andMe Ancestry Ambassador and is administrator of the Captain Thomas Graves of Jamestown Autosomal DNA project.
He is also co-administrator of the Hemings-Jefferson-Wayles-Eppes DNA project and a blogger of “Through the Trees,” a guide to tools and technology that aid in genealogical research.
His presentation, “Family History Now: How to Master DNA Testing and Genetic Genealogy,” is free and open to the public. Those in attendance can register for a free DNA kit in a drawing that will be held during the program.
For more information, contact Ashley Wilson, Adult Services Librarian or Mark Pace, North Carolina Room Specialist at 919-693-1121. The Richard H. Thornton Library is one of four branches of the Granville County Library System and is located at 210 Main Street in Oxford.