I've done some of this. Our family has one of those "Cherokee Ancestor" stories, so we tried to prove it with a male ancestor and with a female one
(much harder because surnames change every generation. We proved that we have no Native American DNA at all, which was a disappointment, but still
it's best knowing the truth. because some of my ancestors had Indian names, we think maybe they were adopted into the tribe and lived in the area.
I also did the National geographic study. It is generic. They can tell you more or less where your deep ancestors came from, which in my case is
Europe, which is, well, obvious. The charts they send along are very nice and if you're intersted in DNA, anthropology, and the such, you'll learn a
lot from them.
As far as being related to someone famous, of course you are. Just do the math. With four generations per century you have 2^40 power in 1,000 years,
which is over a trillion. Every time I see someone on these boards say, "I'm related to Charlamagne" I snicker, because of course they are. Me and
you, too. If you've ever done any genealogy, once you get back 100-200 years you will wind up running into an ancestor that has been traced, and you
just piggy back on that. I found a book where my great great grandmother was listed, a Mary Montague. That took me back to Jamestown in 1620, then to
England back to 1066.
But the point is that this is selective genealogy. Everyone is related to Caesar and Alexander the Great. It is more or less impossible for you not to
be. It's just that some people can trace it and some cannot. In summary, this can be a lot of fun. If you think DNA is going to provide you with some
dramatic revelations, well, probably not. Slogging through census data is a lot harder, but probably more accurate for your particular family. The DNA
stuff can show you general trends.
edit on 6/3/2012 by schuyler because: (no reason given)