How Do Shared DNA Matches Help You Know Yourself?
Margaret M. Nicholson, PhD


An aunt asked me to get involved with our family genealogy. Then she talked me into sending my DNA to I was surprised to find a close, but unknown, DNA match. To learn how this person was related to me, I had to become proficient in using a peculiar website and master the methodology behind shared matches (triangulation).

My presentation will take you through my journey to the discovery that the daddy who raised me was not my birth father. Along with my story, you will learn what can be done on’s website: building and sharing trees for free, reviewing DNA results after paying for a kit, and, finally, using advanced features available to “big money” subscribers.’s recently revised interface will also be discussed.

This presentation is structured to appeal to both novice and experienced users of genealogy/DNA online sites as well as those who have not submitted DNA.

Margaret M. Nicholson, PhD
Margaret M. Nicholson, PhD moved to St Augustine from Harrisburg, PA, sixteen years ago, prompted by the birth of her grandchild. Creating a family tree for Noah sparked Margaret’s interest in genealogy. She says, “He’s sixteen and ignores me if I utter the words, ‘first cousin once removed,’ but he will look at the ship manifest showing the arrival of his maternal great-grandfather from Italy.”

After retiring from university teaching, Margaret eagerly switched from academic writing to personal subjects. Close to completing a travel memoir, the unexpected results of her DNA test prompted a change of topics. She published My Surprise Family: Find Your Ancestry Story this past January. Described as a mystery, a memoir, and a manual, the book can be ordered from Amazon. Books will also be available at the meeting for purchase and signing.

For more information select →

Our Notebook / Newsletter is Online 10 OCTOBER 2019.

Select →

For more information please select the following:


Publications for sale Library and Media Resources General Meetings Program of Speakers Map and Directions


Our Mission

The Baltimore County Genealogical Society was founded in 1977 to help educate members in tracing their family ancestry, to collect and publish material related to genealogy, and to encourage the open exchange of genealogical ideas and experiences.

      • We collect and maintain substantial materials for Baltimore city, the counties of Maryland, U.S. states and more.
      • Our Library has computers connected to the Internet with Wi-Fi.
      • General meetings are held in our Library on the fourth Sunday of the months of September through June (except December), at our headquarters:


Parkville Senior Center
Room 308 (Elevator available)
8601 Harford Road
Parkville, Maryland 21234

For more information select → CONTACT US

Donations are always appreciated!

Research Library
Over 4,000 books • Baltimore City and County, Maryland • Maryland Counties (800+ volumes) • U.S. States (700+ volumes) • Genealogies • Foreign and Immigration Research • Archival and Research Guides • Periodicals and Society Newsletters • Family Association Newsletters • Bible Records • Church Records • Cemetery Records • Tax Lists • Family Folders filed by Surname • Pedigree Charts • Microfilms • Microfiche • Maps • CD-Roms • Online Computers • Wi-Fi • Photocopiers

Web Manager: s conner
10 OCTOBER 2019