FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WFFT)- DNA testing is changing the way people learn about their heritage. Through programs like 23 and Me and Ancestry.com, anyone can learn what makes them, them.
Genealogists are able to dig up information you never thought possible, going back generations.
"For anybody who's starting out, the standard advice is start with what you know. Pull your own records," said Judy Russell, a genealogist.
With the start of the Federation of Genealogical Society's 2018 conference Thursday, FOX 55's Justin Prince was chosen to look into his own ancestry.
With a cheek swab and some research, we were able to confirm Justin is the cheese eating, football playing, Wisconsinite we all know and love, coming from a long line of farmers.
But there's more to his story-- something that left Justin speechless.
"Many of you know, it's one of the few times I've actually been speechless in my life, so it was just such a fun, cool moment for me," he said.
"He's actually got ancestors who were caught up in the Salem Witch Trials of the 1690's. His 8th great grandmother was one of the accused," Russell said.
Yes, you read that right. Justin is linked to Salem.
"To find out that I had some Salem Witch Trial type of stuff in my family as well was completely shocking and unreal to me," Justin said.
The same type of testing used to find out where our favorite sports broadcaster came from can also be used to solve crimes.
"That's a whole different ball game, so people have to actually take that information and put it into a third party website," said Allison DePrey Singleton with the Allen County Public Library.
But Justin plans to take his new found heritage and dig deeper.
If you're interested in learning more about your own heritage, the conference will continue Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
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