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Ancestry

Can DNA Help You Find Your Birth Parents? (Part II)

Henry Louis Gates, Jr. | Posted 11.17.2014 | Science
Henry Louis Gates, Jr.

DNA testing can sometimes provide truly miraculous results for adoptees wishing to pursue information about their birthparents.

Siblings Who Were Both Abandoned At Birth Have Emotional First Meeting

The Huffington Post | Kimberly Yam | Posted 11.12.2014 | Good News

These siblings shared an incredible reunion that would result in a precious connection. Janet Barnicoat, who lives in Hesperia, California, had be...

Can DNA Help You Find Your Birth Parents? (Part 1)

Henry Louis Gates, Jr. | Posted 11.07.2014 | Science
Henry Louis Gates, Jr.

An adopted person can -- sometimes -- be fortunate enough to find the identity of their biological mother and father through one of the major commercial DNA tests available today. And they can potentially learn quite a lot from it.

Melvina's Descendants, Michelle Obama's Cousins

Megan Smolenyak | Posted 10.20.2014 | Black Voices
Megan Smolenyak

Back in 2009, I traced the then-new First Lady's family tree back four or five generations on all branches, but of all the ancestors I uncovered, it was a great-great-great-grandmother named Melvina Shields McGruder who captured my attention.

The Most Ellis Island-y Celebrity Ever: Tom Colicchio

Megan Smolenyak | Posted 10.13.2014 | Entertainment
Megan Smolenyak

Colicchio's family includes a total of 12 immigrants -- eight of whom came through Ellis Island, three more who entered via New York earlier (one just four months prior to its opening), and a solitary ancestor who opted for Philadelphia.

5 Things You Didn't Know About Anthony Bourdain's Roots

Megan Smolenyak | Posted 10.08.2014 | Entertainment
Megan Smolenyak

Anthony Bourdain's very existence is against the odds, and his wanderlust almost inevitable.

Finding a Long-Lost Ancestor on the Streets of Chicago

Henry Louis Gates, Jr. | Posted 10.05.2014 | Arts
Read More: Ancestry, Arts News
Henry Louis Gates, Jr.

Today, thanks to digitization and the Internet, there are some great tools available for discovering individuals lost even in the United States Federal Census records.

Singer Shelley Fisher's Stunning Musical Tribute to Her Jewish Ancestry

Xaque Gruber | Posted 09.29.2014 | Arts
Xaque Gruber

We Remember reminds us, that regardless of religion, we are fundamentally similar. As the Jewish High Holidays have returned, I thought what better time to chat with the Hebrew Hillbilly herself.

Piecing Together a U.S. Marine's WWII History

Henry Louis Gates, Jr. | Posted 11.22.2014 | Arts
Henry Louis Gates, Jr.

Where do you start piecing together your ancestor's experiences in World War II? Military service records can be a remarkably rich source of information, full of intricate insights and surprising details about the life of your own veteran relative.

Genealogy: Tips for When You're Stuck in the 19th Century

Robin Raskin | Posted 10.06.2014 | Technology
Robin Raskin

Every few years I get the urge to dabble in genealogy. And every few years it gets a little easier. In the early 90's it was Family Tree Maker, replete with multiple floppy disks. Ship manifests and census were just becoming available digitally. Not for the faint of heart.

Personal Genomics for All

Dr. Ken Chahine, Ph.D., J.D. | Posted 09.27.2014 | Science
Dr. Ken Chahine, Ph.D., J.D.

Working with a team of geneticists, bioinformaticists, statisticians and data scientists who study these patterns, we're exploring the genetic backgrounds of people with long standing documented histories in a variety of regions around the world.

Was David Duchovny's Family From Ukraine or Russia?

Megan Smolenyak | Posted 09.29.2014 | Entertainment
Megan Smolenyak

There's been quite a fuss about a nationalistic, Russian beer commercial David Duchovny made not long ago -- especially given that he recently discovered that his roots are actually in Ukraine. For obvious reasons, this is less than ideal timing.

June 28, 1914: What a Difference a Day Makes

Ross M. Wallenstein | Posted 08.27.2014 | New York
Ross M. Wallenstein

The assassination of Archduke Ferdinand changed the world more dramatically than any other assassination in modern history. Similarly, the death of little Stanley Wallenstein on June 28, 1914 had a direct impact on my family.

Deja Vu in Ukraine

Judith Fein | Posted 05.12.2014 | Travel
Judith Fein

It wasn't like any other trip I've taken in my life. From the moment I arrived in Ukraine, I could feel the past under my feet, in front of me, behind...

Roots Recipe for Tonight Show Host Jimmy Fallon

Megan Smolenyak | Posted 04.12.2014 | Entertainment
Megan Smolenyak

Not yet forty, Jimmy Fallon already has an impressive history to look back on. Between Saturday Night Live and hosting Late Night with Jimmy Fallon...

Last Day at Grandma's: New York, Nov. 23, 1997

Robert G. Zuckerman | Posted 02.23.2014 | Healthy Living
Robert G. Zuckerman

G Grandma and Grandpa moved in here before they were Grandma and Grandpa, when they were still Mom and Dad. They were in their 40s. Grandpa died in 1...

How I Found Out I'm Part Jewish

Doug Bremner | Posted 11.23.2013 | Healthy Living
Doug Bremner

The results of my DNA analysis arrived in the mail a few weeks later. What a surprise! I had no idea where the Sub-Saharan African part came from, but that meant that I had a black ancestor somewhere about five generations back.

WATCH: 10 Senior Siblings Living Life To The Fullest

Sarah Barness | Posted 09.09.2013 | Fifty

Art Kutchinski, 82, feels fortunate to be surrounded by his family. But this is no ordinary reunion. Art has nine happy and healthy siblings, ranging ...

Black Like Moi

Joe Hutcheson | Posted 09.29.2013 | Comedy
Joe Hutcheson

With my mother at a solid 5-percent black, that makes me at least 2.5-percent black. It may not sound like much, but if I were milk, I certainly wouldn't qualify as skim. I'm closer to low-fat. And as a gay man, I like the sound of that. Being black just feels so right.

Genetic Family Reunion: DNA Reveals Alex Haley's Scottish Roots (VIDEO)

Megan Smolenyak | Posted 09.25.2013 | Weird News
Megan Smolenyak

Genetic genealogy has been around for more than a dozen years, but has exploded in popularity over the last few. We're remarkably fortunate to live...

Tracing Back My Roots

Getrude Matshe | Posted 08.10.2013 | Black Voices
Getrude Matshe

I started to think about my future grandchildren and their children and whether they would ever be curious enough to want to know about their grandmother who left Africa in 2001 to settle in New Zealand. What would our family tree look like in 100 years' time, and would my dependents get access to the photographs and books that tell my story?

Heavenly Reunited

Lawrence D. Elliott | Posted 07.22.2013 | Black Voices
Lawrence D. Elliott

It was the summer of 2006, when I stepped off the cool airplane into the heat and humidity at Monroe Regional Airport. I was back in the Louisiana of my ancestral roots. My body was filled with great anticipation.

Giving Work is Not Enough to Bring People Out of Poverty

Jeremy Hockenstein | Posted 07.17.2013 | Impact
Jeremy Hockenstein

In my 12 years of experience leading a social enterprise that creates jobs for some of the most disadvantaged people on the planet, I've learned that just giving people work is not enough. If we truly want to empower people to emerge from poverty, we must do more.

Letter to Ireland Answered -- 28 Years Later

Megan Smolenyak | Posted 05.05.2013 | Weird News
Megan Smolenyak

Not long ago, I received a response to a letter I wrote to a stranger in Ireland -- in 1984. Making the experience more peculiar still is the fact that the gentleman I contacted had passed away in 1990. Perhaps I should explain.

Hey, Jon Stewart, Your Roots Are Showing

Megan Smolenyak | Posted 04.27.2013 | Celebrity
Megan Smolenyak

His forebears have held one of the more eclectic mélange of jobs I've seen, including taxi driver, fruit and vegetable peddler, furrier, shoe store proprietor, and window cleaner.