Community Services

Community Services Division News


BernCo Expands Online Genealogy Classes

9:53 AM

The “Bringing Generations Together Thru Genealogy” series of free online classes expands this month with three classes presented by Ángel de Cervantes, paleographer and New Mexico DNA Project administrator. All Bernalillo County residents are now eligible and invited to register and participate.

“The success of these family and heritage-oriented classes introduced during the pandemic has been remarkable,” says George Schroeder, senior and social services manager. “We’re so pleased to keep it going and to expand it so that all Bernalillo County residents are eligible to participate.”   

The June classes are on Tuesdays at 1 p.m. as follows:

June 8, 2021 - The New Mexico DNA Project
Anthropological genetic genealogy involves the use of family history and DNA testing to determine the level of genetic relationship between individuals. Learn about the New Mexico DNA Project started in 2004, which consists of more than 3,700 DNA samples of descendants of the first Spanish colonists to New Mexico. See how the project helps individuals with roots in New Mexico confirm and validate genealogical research. Learn about the first Spanish families and their genetic results; how they match; what ancestral origin they have before the forming of the colony; and how anthropological genetic genealogy works in confirming family history research.

June 15, 2021 - Spanish Castas, DNA & Identity
The connection of the castas system in colonial New Mexico will be explored. See how DNA studies compare to the Spanish castas system and the ramifications on modern identity and how New Mexico families reflect the castas system through DNA analysis. Learn about colonial Spanish America and how civil rights and responsibilities were based directly on the degree of European blood a person had. Study how racial classifications were highly elaborated, minor distinctions in ancestry were recorded; and how impressions of skin color rather than definite knowledge of ancestry were many times determined by individuals present or arbitrarily by a priest or official recording the information.

June 22, 2021 - How to Do Genetic Genealogy Correctly
Explore the correct way to use Y-DNA and Mt-DNA in family research and how to confirm bloodlines through DNA analysis. See how to cite evidence in writing family history, and the differences between traditional genealogy, geographic genetic genealogy, and anthropological genetic genealogy/history.

All classes are two hours in length and start promptly at 1 p.m. The classes are free but registration is required. Visit

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