Mags Gaulden is a genetic genealogist based in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. She has dedicated decades to researching family histories and exploring the role of genetics in genealogy. Born and raised in the United States, Mags developed an early interest in family history and genealogy. She started researching her own family tree, which led her to discover the power of genetic testing in genealogy.
Mags is the founder of Grandma’s Genes, a genealogy consultation firm in Ottawa, and mitoYDNA.org, a free and accessible Y and mitochondrial DNA database for the genealogy community that is a 501(c) 3 non-profit based in Maryland.
Mags is also a leader at WikiTree, a collaborative, community-based genealogy website. She works with the DNA Integrators Project to further the DNA features of WikiTree and has been recognized for her contributions to the site with the prestigious Leader badge.
As a sought-after international speaker and workshop coordinator, Mags has continued to share her expertise on a range of topics related to genetic genealogy and family history research. Her talks are known for their easy flow of technical terminology and knowledge, combined with a down-home, relaxed, and humorous style that connects with audiences.
She is a member of the Association of Professional Genealogists and the International Society of Genetic Genealogy, among other organizations. Her passion for family history, combined with her expertise in genetics and genealogy, has helped many people uncover their family histories and connect with their roots.
In her own words…
‘They have been at a great feast of languages and stolen the scraps.’ – William Shakespeare. My favorite quote, ever. If I were a color I would be cobalt blue. In tense situations I try to diffuse the tenseness with humor (sometimes this approach works, sometimes not). When it rains I feel calm and restive. When it snows I am an ecstatic child expecting a snow day (living in Canada I am ecstatic often). I am happiest when I am doing something, anything, outdoors. People in my family have had names like Goolie and Nimrod (the last one handed down for generations). I thrive when I am helpful to others. I thrive when I am problem solving. Carolinian at my core, and I am deeply rooted in the foothills of the Blue Ridge mountains where I grew-up. If you cut me I would bleed the sound of bluegrass music.”
Memberships and projects…
- Association of Professional Genealogists
- International Society of Genetic Genealogy
- Ontario Chapter of the Association of Professional Genealogists
- The Ontario Genealogical Society
- Ottawa Branch of the Ontario Genealogical Society
- BIFHSGO – The British Isles Family history Society of Greater Ottawa
- The South Carolina Genealogical Society
- NETS Study, The Royal Ottawa and The University of Ottawa, Genetic Genealogist
- McElmoyle DNA Project, Administrator
- Leader Dunnahoo Name Study
- Leader McElmoyle Name Study
- Leader Templeton Name Study
- Leader of the WikiTree DNA Innovators Project
- Leader of the WikiTree United Empire Loyalist Project
Talks | Presentations