Pro to dissect DNA test tools for genealogy

Richard Hallick explores a graveyard in Chester County, Pennsylvania, in fall 2018. Hallick’s sixth great-grandfather is buried there. (Courtesy Hallick)

The Southern Arizona Jewish Genealogy Society will host Richard Hallick, Sunday, Jan. 13, offering a comprehensive look at DNA testing and how it applies to genealogy today. Hallick will discuss how to understand and interpret DNA test results, including those with Jewish ancestors. Hallick is a retired University of Arizona biochemistry professor.

With the advent of commercial DNA testing such as Ancestry, MyHeritage, 23andme, and Family Tree, Hallick will help participants better understand traditional genealogical research to probe more deeply into ancestral relationships, current families, and help locate DNA “cousins.” He will share the tools that help identify the people, places, and cultures that shaped who we are today, and pose a most critical question: Do we share DNA segments because we have a common ancestor, or only because they are common to a population?

Finally, Hallick will review Jewish DNA-related social media sites where you can connect with experts willing to help online and learn more advanced techniques.

Hallick earned his Ph.D. at the University of Wisconsin and did post-graduate studies at the University of California, San Francisco Medical School. He taught at the University of Colorado for 11 years and at UA from 1984 until his retirement in 2009.  He was an expert witness for the prosecution in some 35 cases involving DNA evidence in sexual assault/murder cases. Hallick became an avid genealogist in the 1970s, beginning his life-long hobby and helping many from Tucson discover their family trees.

The presentation will be at 1 p.m. at the Tucson Jewish Community Center, 3800 E. River Road. Admission is free for SAIJGS members and $5 for non-members. For information, contact Andy Rosen at arosen2@cox.net or 237-6470.