Kerry Farmer

Professional Genealogist

Kerry Farmer (New South Wales) Family History Research

Kerry began teaching family history classes in Sydney in 1997, and is now the Director Australian Studies, developing the Australian Records certificate for the internationally recognised National Institute for Genealogical Studies.

Kerry is the author of DNA for genealogists and Arrivals in Australia from 1788. Together with Rosemary Kopittke, Kerry also wrote Which genealogy program?, plus several handy guides, all published by Unlock the Past.

Kerry is a Director on the Board of the Society of Australian Genealogists and convenes their Education Committee. She presents seminars and classes there as well as at other conferences.

Kerry has researched her own family history for over 30 years, researching ancestors predominantly from Australia, New Zealand, England, Scotland, Ireland, Canada, United States, South Africa, India, Germany, Poland, Norway and Russia. Kerry graduated with a Bachelor of Science and also a Bachelor of Arts


Kerry’s talks – Canberra


Using DNA to find hidden family –  No person’s brick-wall nor their DNA matches are exactly the same as any other, but the techniques described in this presentation will provide you with a logical approach, even if you do not know how to start. Learn how to use Ancestry DNA testing and Ancestry trees to look for an unknown grandfather and also for the birth parents of an adoptee.


Tips & tricks for working with DNA – DNA tools are changing all the time  –  opening up new opportunities for those who know how to use them! Learn useful tips for getting the most out of the tools on the AncestryDNA, FamilyTreeDNA and MyHeritage.

Kerry’s talks – Sydney


Combining DNA with traditional genealogy techniques – DNA alone cannot solve genealogical mysteries, but it can be used to check and verify family trees created by traditional genealogical research. Adding DNA insights can break down brick-walls and solve puzzles that would be impossible otherwise.


Endogamy and Jewish DNA – Endogamy is the practice of relatives inter-marrying within a specific group, resulting in a reduced number of ancestors and a likelihood of being related to others via multiple paths. Relationship predictions based on the amount of shared DNA cannot be used by those with ancestors who were part of endogamous groups. In particular, those with Jewish heritage tend to have many more genetic relatives, larger amounts of DNA shared in common (from multiple paths) and fewer ancestors. ‘Shared ancestors’ may not match on the same ancestral branch. Learn about the differences in the DNA of endogamous groups and some of the traps to avoid.


GEDmatch: main tools – The third-party tools on GEDmatch allow researchers to deduce more from their DNA tests as well as finding genetic relatives who tested with different companies. GEDmatch provides more analysis tools than the testing companies – and most of them are free!


Using the inheritance patterns of X-DNA – The X chromosome is one of the two that determine biological gender – X-DNA is the genetic information lying on this chromosome. Males only inherit X-DNA from their mother while females inherit X-DNA from each parent. As such, only certain ancestors potentially contributed to your X-DNA. Learn how the unique inheritance pattern of the X chromosome can provide clues when trying to identify DNA matches.

All levels

Panel: DNA ethics – Kerry will chair a panel consisting of Brad Argent, Blaine Bettinger, Louise Coakley, Michelle Patient and Helen Smith.