(WJBK) - "Where do you come from?"
It's a question that some can answer easier than others. In recent years, DNA testing has become widely available to analyze everything about yourself, including your geographic roots. The Nine decided to put one in particular to the test, Ancestry.com.
For less than $100, Ancestry.com promises it can help you discover who you are, and possibly even connect you to distant relatives.
So, what could we possibly learn? The Nine crew was excited to find out. Jess, Roop, Maurielle and Producer Connie were all going to take the test. So, we ordered the test kits, which is really a saliva collection tube that you simply fill and then send it back.
Your DNA is passed down to you through your parents and ancestors and, to pinpoint your heritage, Ancestry.com analyzes your DNA and compares it to hundreds of thousand genetic markers. Often, people are surprised by their results.
"I really want to really figure out exactly the precentage that I am. I feel that I'm Polish; I feel that I'm Russian. So, I want to see exactly what percentage that is," Jess told us.
"Honestly, everyone says, 'Oh, well you're just Indian. You're just an Indian guy,' but in India there's a lot of mixing that happened. In fact, in India, if you go down south in India, people look completely different from the people in the north part of India. So, if there's such diversity in that country, what if there's diversity that we don't know about?" Roop said.
"I really dont know a lot. I would think this would be dificult for an African American family. This is something I've always wanted to do but there really is not a lot of history on African Americans, in terms of first and last names until 1870, that was the first census African Americans were allowed to participate in," Maurielle said.
"I don't really know a whole lot about my genetic makeup. I'm not sure who my biological father is; I was adopted," Producer Connie said. "I have heard maybe there was some Polish heritage there, maybe some Irish, I'm really not sure though."
On Wednesday, we all took a look at our results on The Nine. You can see the results in the video player above.
Jess's mostly-eastern European results didn't come as much of a surprise to her, and Connie saw a pretty equal balance of both eastern and western European. She got some possible matches for distant relatives, too, that she says she'll be looking into.
"It was a little Maury Povich-ish," she joked.
Roop wasn't surprise to see he has a majority of southern Asian heritage, but he was surprised to see a sliver of east Asian and Melanesia in his results.
Maurielle's results posed the most questions, like she was expecting.
She was told she has heritage in several African countries.
"Basically, surprise surprise, I'm from Africa," she said during the reveal. "I expected that, but, oh my goodness, I did not know it was possible to be from everywhere in Africa."
She saw results in Benin/Togo; Cameroon/Congo; Nigeria; Senegal; Africa Southeastern Bantu; and even a little Scandinavian.
She wonders, though, about the accuracy of these DNA tests.
"I've had family members do Ancestry.com and other genetic testing websites, and they came back with different results. Mine was the most far out," she admited. "My mom got a long list of Native American chiefs that she said she was a decendant of, down to the names. That didn't pop up for me, so, I'm a little curious as to how they got these results."
If you're interested in the test we took, you can learn more at www.ancestry.com.