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Biography - Debbie Parker Wayne
Bio - Debbie Parker Wayne
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Biography - Debbie Parker Wayne

Debbie is experienced using DNA analysis, as well as more traditional techniques, for genealogical research. She holds Certified Genealogist® and Certified Genealogical LecturerSM credentials, certificate No. 1004, renewed, expires 13 September 2025, from the Board for Certification of Genealogists (BCG).

Debbie edited the book and authored one chapter of Advanced Genetic Genealogy: Techniques and Case Studies; coauthored the award-winning DNA workbook, Genetic Genealogy in Practice; and developed the online, self-paced course Continuing Genealogical Studies: Autosomal DNA, offered by National Genealogical Society (NGS) since 2015. She is the DNA Project Chair for the Texas State Genealogical Society Early Texans DNA Project. Her publications include a column on using DNA analysis for genealogical research in NGS Magazine and in the Stirpes journal of Texas.

Debbie was the first course coordinator for Genetics for Genealogists: Beginning DNA and Tools and Techniques for Genetic Genealogy at the Institute for Genealogy and Historical Research (IGHR), Practical Genetic Genealogy at the Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh (GRIP), and Getting Started with Genetic Genealogy at the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy (SLIG). She was a frequent DNA instructor for the Forensic Genealogy Institute sponsored by the Council for the Advancement of Forensic Genealogy. She has presented at the National Genealogical Society and Federation of Genealogical Societies (now merged with NGS) conferences, International Genetic Genealogy Conference, Angelina College (Lufkin, Texas) Genealogy Conference, Family Tree DNA Project Administrator’s Conference, Southern California Jamboree DNA Day, other courses and workshops on genetic genealogy and traditional research.


  • won first place in the Texas State Genealogical Society’s Writing Competition 2019 (Books by a Professional) for Advanced Genetic Genealogy: Techniques and Case Studies,
  • won second place in the Texas State Genealogical Society’s Writing Competition 2016 (Books by a Professional) for Genetic Genealogy in Practice co-authored with Blaine T. Bettinger,
  • won second place in the Dallas Genealogical Society’s “Writing Competition 2012,”
  • and won third place in the International Society of Family History Writers and Editors’ “2012 Excellence in Writing Competition.”
Her other publications include articles in Texas State Genealogical Society journal Stirpes, NGS Magazine, APG Quarterly, Digital Genealogist, Dallas Genealogical Society journal Pegasus, New Mexico State Genealogical Society journal, and others.

Debbie has worked on multiple genealogical television series. In 2008, before the recent popularity of genealogy-related shows, Debbie worked on an episode of the Canadian series Ancestors in the Attic. This episode featured the descendants of a slave family in Smith County, Texas, who had migrated to Canada. In 2011, Debbie worked on an episode of the PBS series Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates Jr. featuring a descendant of another East Texas slave family. This episode with Ruth Simmons, president of Brown University, was broadcast on 29 April 2012. Additional research has been done for Finding Your Roots and Who Do You Think You Are?.

Debbie’s DNA research focuses on research into her own family project which includes Y-DNA, mtDNA, X-DNA, and autosomal DNA studies. Her traditional research focuses on Texas, the Southwest, and the Southern U.S.

Debbie is a past Trustee for the BCG Education Fund, a past board member and Advocacy Committee Chair of the Association of Professional Genealogists (APG), and past president of the Lone Star Chapter of APG.

Genealogical training includes:
  • Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research (IGHR):
    • "Advanced Methodology and Evidence Analysis" taught by Elizabeth Shown Mills, Helen F. M. Leary, Craig R. Scott, and Dr. John Philip Colletta (2003).
    • "Land Records" taught by Christine Rose, Birdie Monk Holsclaw, and many others (2005).
    • "Writing and Publishing for Genealogists" taught by Helen F. M. Leary, Dr. Thomas W. Jones, Dr. John Philip Colletta, and many others (2006).
    • "Advanced Library Research: Law Libraries and Government Documents" taught by Ben Spratling III, Ann Fleming, Kay Freilich, Chuck Sherrill, and Claire Bettag (2007).
    • "Advanced Military Research III: Mexican War and Civil War" taught by Craig R. Scott, Rick Sayre, Pamela Boyer Sayre, and J. Mark Lowe (2008).
    • "Professional Genealogy" taught by Elissa Scalise Powell, Dr. Thomas W. Jones, J. Mark Lowe, and others (2009).
    • "The Five Civilized Tribes: The Records & Where to Find Them" taught by Linda Woodward Geiger, Dr. Debra Osborne Spindle, Anita Finger-Smith, Angela Walton-Raji and others (2013).
    • "Writing and Publishing for Genealogists" taught by Dr. Thomas W. Jones, Dr. John Phillip Colletta, Karen Mauer Jones, and Elissa Scalise Powell (2018).
  • Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy (SLIG):
    • "Advanced Methodology" taught by Dr. Thomas W. Jones, Claire Bettag, and Rick Sayre (2011).
    • "Meeting Standards Using DNA Evidence: Case Studies Illustrate Sound Research Strategies and Decision-Making,” taught by Karen Stanbary, Catherine Becker Wiest Desmarais, LaBrenda Garrett-Nelson, Melissa A. Johnson, Thomas W. Jones, Angela Packer McGhie, David Rencher, David Ouimette, and Rick Sayre (2021).
  • National Archives Workshop offered by the Regional In-depth Genealogical Studies Alliance (Fort Worth, 2011).
  • Forensic Genealogy Institute offered by the Council for the Advancement of Forensic Genealogy. Debbie taught the "Forensic Techniques for Genetic Genealogy" sessions (2012, 2013, 2014, 2016) and attended:
    • Foundations in Forensic Genealogy (2012).
    • Advanced Forensic Analysis (2014).
  • "American Genealogy: A Basic Course" offered by the National Genealogical Society.
  • "Kinship Theory I," a college level genealogical course, taught by Dr. Carolyn Earle Billingsley.
  • ProGen Study Group – a nineteen-month collaborative group study program using Professional Genealogy: A Manual for Researchers, Writers, Editors, Lecturers, and Librarians, edited by Elizabeth Shown Mills. In addition to completing the course work, Debbie was the coordinator for the second study group formed.
  • Numerous seminars attended during national and regional conferences such as FGS, NGS, GENTECH, Angelina College Genealogy Conference, and others.

DNA training includes:
  • Family Tree DNA Annual Project Administrator's Conferences for multiple years.
  • Self-study and non-credit courses on biology and genetics offered through Udacity and Coursera.
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Debbie Parker Wayne
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Certified Genealogist®
Credentialing Organization: https://bcgcertification.org/


e-mail (preferred contact method): or
© 2007-2021, Debbie Parker Wayne