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To learn more about my background, see my LinkedIn profile.

Hi, I'm Jennifer! I'm a professional genealogist who specializes in southern research and DNA. When those two merge, you might find you're having problems. I can help.

At Southern Cipher DNA & Genealogy, we're passionate about helping you decode your DNA, untangle the branches or your DNA tree, or just climb your family tree. If you can't tell from our name, we know working with southern family history can be an enigma.

Populations from the southeastern U.S. often involve multiple intermarriages between families. That may mean you descend from an "endogamous population" and need to seek help for that specific issue if you want to do genetic genealogy (that's using DNA for family history).

But for many people, their problem isn't that severe.

Instead, you may find things just aren't lining up like you've been told they should. Maybe your amounts of shared DNA are off. Maybe you can't seem to separate your DNA matches into branches of your tree or you are just stuck on one branch. You might know you have a "cousin marriage" in your tree or you're just baffled why you seem to have maternal matches as shared matches to your paternal matches and vice versa.

My entire family is from Georgia so I've encountered all these problems in my own genetic genealogy research and when working for clients on a southern branch.

Over several years I've developed strategies to recognize the pitfalls many southerners encounter and ways to deal with them.

Working with DNA has the same kind of specialization as traditional research. If you start researching a Georgia family and doggedly try to identify town vital records, like you would for a Connecticut family, you'll be running in circles until you learn what to do instead. Genetic genealogy is much the same.

What works for one family won't work the same (if at all) on another.

I can help you untangle the branches of your DNA tree and put the pieces together between your traditional research and DNA results.

Here's a little more about me.



  • IGHR alumni, courses include intermediate and advanced DNA and traditional courses plus multiple specialty courses (see my LinkedIn Profile for the exact courses).
  • NIGR (now GenFed) alumni.
  • Education from multiple national conferences including NGS, FGS, APG PMC, and RootsTech.


  • I'm a bit of a technophile. I don't have to have or use the latest tech but I believe it's there to make repetitive tasks faster and simplify complex tasks (consider hand-drawing a family tree vs. generating them using software).
  • I don't like to reinvent the wheel, but I'm always looking for innovations to research better and provide you results faster. I don't use technology for the sake of technology, I use it if it makes a task faster.
  • My education is always on-going in genealogy, professional genealogy, and general business.

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