Ancestry in a Tube: Using DNA to Pick Up the Genealogical Trail


Sherilyn Bell to Speak at Durham Region Branch’s “Day of Learning”

Nancy Trimble, Chair, Durham Region Branch, OGS

Durham Region Branch’s Day of Learning will be held on Saturday, June 23rd from 9:00 am – 3:30 pm at Faith United Church, Nash Road, Courtice. This year’s theme is “From DNA Connections to Database Giants”

We are excited to host Sherilyn Bell as she presents:  “Ancestry in a Tube: Using DNA to Pick Up the Genealogical Trail”.

This talk will cover what you need to know to make your way through a DNA test, such as the basics of DNA, chromosomal inheritance, mitochondrial inheritance and those darned centimorgans. She will present a summary of the DNA testing companies; their offerings and prices.  Some real-life experiences with DNA testing will be discussed, giving perspective as to what the average person can expect from this method of genealogical research.

Sherilyn Bell is active in science research and has worked as a research technician in genetics and molecular biology laboratories at the University of Toronto, Mount Sinai Hospital and The Hospital for Sick Children, where she is currently employed. Since 1998 she has given seminars for various societies on the topic of medical genealogy.

Sherilyn first acquired an interest in genetics while growing up as one of dizygotic triplets in Mississauga, Ontario, and expanded her interest into a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from the University of Toronto. A course requiring construction of a family tree intrigued her further into genealogy, and in the late 1980s Sherilyn became a member of the Ontario Genealogical Society.

While doing research at the Archives of Ontario, Sherilyn met and eventually married photographer Jeff Stewart. Their mutual enthusiasm for genealogy became part of the May 1998 Equinox article “Ancestral Passion” by Greg Stott. Outside of her laboratory career, Sherilyn assisted Jeff as his genealogical research talents turned to compiling and selling genealogical reference books through his company Winfield Publishing.

Our other speakers include:

  • Nick Post speaking on “The Ins and Outs of FamilySearch, and What’s New”
  • Ellen Maki presenting “Autosomal DNA: Next Steps”
  • Nancy Trimble comparing “The Genealogy Giants’ Databases” + Panel Discussion

Cost is only $35.00 and includes lunch if you register by June 8th.

Registration is now open! More information at


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