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The Real Cost of Tracing Your Heritage

By Judith Sjo-Gaber - 2012-03-28T16:12:32Z

Photograph by John Rensten/Getty Images

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Know Your Place

Digging into your past can unearth intriguing tidbits of trivia. According to, President Obama is a seventh cousin three times removed of Warren Buffett. Sarah Palin is a 10th cousin of Princess Diana. Besides the "wow" factor, searching our family histories also helps us know our place in history better. The cost of gathering the information varies depending on where your ancestors are from, how accessible records are, and whether those records need to be translated, among other things. Once you start, it's a work in progress that never really ends but keeps providing greater perspective -- on you.