Digging up the Douglas Family Tree

As you gather with family for the holidays, it may be a good time to find out where you came from.

These days technology allows us to look up ancestors and start researching our family trees. recently asked KHQA to take part in a DNA study.

KHQA's Brooke Hasch and Chad Douglas jumped at the chance to see their heritage.

While we're not going to cue up Hail to the Chief just yet, Chad found out he has presidential blood running through his veins.

Another cool thing we found out ...we may be related! Both of our maternal and paternal lines came back extremely close.

We both know our families originally came from western Europe ... specifically Scandinavia.

We took a look at Brooke's genealogy, however, mine didn't come back quite so clear.

To get the results of our DNA, Brooke and I had to swish around a mouthwash for a minute or so, spit it into a cup and mail it back. A few weeks later, we got our results ... 50 pages of ancestral history. But in my case ...

Ugo Perego with Gene Tree says, "There might be some research that needs to be done to find out the name of the people you are connected with."

Apparently, I didn't swish correctly, and only 25 DNA markers were able to be read for me. A good test results in 43 markers.

Perego says, "It's kind of a surprise box. You don't know anything about your DNA until you can look at it. Sometimes there are cool things. Sometimes they are normal. Some people have more common DNA profiles than others."

So apparently, life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you're going to get ... even when you talk about the building blocks of matter. That didn't satisfy me and I was ready to take a bigger bite out of my family tree. So I connected with a cousin of mine who has spent the last ten years researching the Douglas family tree. He has information dating back about 150 years on the Douglas side, and some branches from that family go back past the Revolutionary War. One little nugget stood out from my DNA test from

Perego says, "We find the closest connection to Chad is people with the last name of Emerson. There's pretty strong evidence that you two share a common ancestor."

But looking at my family tree with cousin John, there's no Emerson branching out ... anywhere.

John Douglas says, "Maybe one of our ancestors was messing around with an Emerson."

Sounds funny, but there may be some truth in it.

Perego says, "It could be because there was an adoption that wasn't documented. It could be that there was an illegitimacy a few generations ago that was not documented."

One other possibility, this Emerson connection may be way back hundreds of years ago before last names were used.

So it looks like I still have some work to do. I did find out through cousin John's family tree, that I have a few famous, al beit distant relatives. Let's see ... there's Jimmy Stewart, Audrey Hepburn, Dezi Arnez, and Lucille Ball. They can all be traced to my great grandmother on my dad's side of the family. I also have presidential connections. I found out I'm distantly related to three U.S. Presidents. Millard Fillmore and both George Bushes.

If you're interested in getting a DNA test done, several online sites offer the at home kit.

Most are under $200.00.

You can read about Brooke Hasch's DNA testing experience here.

Have you traced your own family lineage? Be sure to take the poll below and then don't forget to post your comments below or on our Facebook page ... we'd love to hear what famous people your related to!