Genetic Genealogy

From deciding which test(s) to take and who should take them to making sense of the results, I can help you use DNA to understand more about where you come from.

Paper Trail Research

Your ancestors may have left more clues than you realize. I can track down historical records about your ancestors and set that information in context.

Putting the Pieces Together

I can help you combine DNA, the paper trail your ancestors left behind, and historical context to help you uncover the web of stories that lead to where you are today.

Where Science Meets Story

Whatever you learned in history classes at school, you didn't get to see the whole picture. How much do you know about the lives of your ancestors and where they fit into history? We're living in an era when DNA testing, digitization of records, and power of social networks enable us to understand a much more nuanced and complex version of history. We each occupy a unique spot in this tapestry, and I'd like to help you learn more about yours.
I specialize in genetic genealogy, using DNA data to explore family connections and integrating results of cutting-edge science with thorough research in the paper trail. Genetic genealogy is a fast-moving field. New tests, new tools, and ever-growing databases mean that we can now solve mysteries in ways that would have seemed impossible just a few years ago. DNA can help reunite long-lost relatives, fill in gaps where historical records have been destroyed or were never created, and shift our ideas of identity and connection.
I invite you to join me in exploring the territory where science meets story and history gets personal. 

Recent Posts

LivingDNA Announces New “Family Networks” features

Today was the start of RootsTech, a huge genealogy conference that happens each year in Salt Lake City, and one of the highlights of the first day was an announcement by LivingDNA: later this year they will be releasing new “Family Networks” features that look really exciting! Not only will you be able to review […]

Invisible Women and Asians in 1920s Sacramento

Usually genealogy is really satisfying. Sometimes it just makes me angry and sad. I spent my Saturday morning reading city directories from Sacramento, California from the early 1920s. I was looking for clues about a couple of my ancestors. City directories are the precursors to phone books (remember those?), and since they were often published […]

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Holiday Gift Guide

Are you looking for truly personal holiday gifts? What if you could give your loved ones insight into where they fit into history? Here are some ideas:   DNA Tests Are you thinking about giving a DNA test as a gift? Check out my resources page to learn more about your testing options, or schedule a free consultation with […]

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Baby Versus Bathwater: Distant Matches

If you’ve done an autosomal DNA test for genealogy (e.g. AncestryDNA, 23andMe, FamilyTreeDNA’s Family Finder, or MyHeritage), you may have gotten a bewildering collection of DNA matches that the testing company suggests are some sort of cousin. For example, when I downloaded my full set of AncestryDNA results last week, I had 14,435 matches. That’s […]

For Mother’s Day: Deep Matrilineal Ancestry

Both in my personal research and in work for clients, I spend most of my time looking at the fairly recent past: the last few hundred years and the most-recent eight to ten generations. With Mother’s Day approaching, I decided to dig into the deeper history of my maternal line by looking closely at my […]

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Why Genealogy? Why Now?

Launching a practice as a professional genealogist specializing in genetic genealogy might seem to be a big departure from other work that I’ve done. People have asked me why I’m launching Borgerson Research. Here are three reasons: The first reason feels a bit selfish: I am insatiably curious. Making my living by helping people find […]

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Hello world!

And so it begins. Watch this space for more on genealogy, (epi)genetics, social justice, trains, and whatever else I decide to write about.