The Real Cost of Tracing Your Heritage

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

Photograph by Kul Bhatia/Getty Images

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Charles Stone of Augusta, Georgia, lost his father when he was 18. To learn about him, he started a search on Ancestry.com and discovered he was related to Dolley Madison, the much-loved wife of America's fourth president. Stone later ordered a DNA testing kit, swabbed his mouth and sent it to Family Tree DNA. It confirmed what he had suspected -- that William Stone, the governor of Maryland from 1649 to 1655, was an ancestor. "I was flabbergasted," says Stone. "It lets your children know the important role their family played in history."

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