From her Hutchinson Island home, Sherry Hancock Taschman looks for clues into her family’s history.
"I think possibly there could be some meat to this, you just never know,” she said.
She's one of the many searching for her roots. I am too. We'll tell you more about what I found in a moment. But back to Sherry, who discovered her family history includes a possible link to a famous patriot, John Hancock.
"In fact my own John Hancock signature is really big, so maybe it's a genetic link,” she said with a laugh.
Searching for family members these days is a lot easier than a trip to a records office or even a cemetery. Now, more people are using online genealogy services to trace their family tree.
For example, ancestry.com boasts nearly 7 billion genealogical records with millions of family trees are at anyone's disposal.
The trend has even spawned the television show Who Do You Think You Are on NBC and NewsChannel 5.
So I researched my own genealogy using Genetree .
Genetree.com uses DNA samples, taken from a mouthwash to try to pin down your family’s origins.
"It's probable that any two people in the world are connected to each other within the last 17 generations on their genealogy charts,” said Scott Woodward, Genetree president.
Woodward says some Genetree users have found links to famous people throughout world history, such as Napoleon.
Before I started my search, I had solid background work from my aunt. She's the family historian.
I already knew my father’s side was predominately Irish. Genetree confirmed that.
What jumped out at me and Woodward were DNA results from my mother’s side.
They showed a possibility of links to eastern Europe and Scandinavia, something my family has never known.
Results like this are exciting, not only for me, but for those like Sherry who are continuously searching.
"You think, my goodness, I wonder where I came from,” said Sherry. “You think, wouldn't it be cool to look it up on the computer or any way you can."
Copyright 2012 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
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