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Finding your family tree through DNA test kits

DNA test kits are increasing in popularity.

GRAND TRAVERSE COUNTY, Mich., (WPBN/WGTU) -- It's a trend growing in popularity, getting your DNA tested to find out about where your ancestors and where you come from.

Whether you have extensive records of your family history or if you have no idea where your ancestors come from, people say either way the results were filled with surprises.

Tracy Raz, along with her kids Brittany and Jesse and her sister Debbie have always been interested in their history.

After inheriting a lot of documents from her grandparents they decided to dig deeper.

"I'm a little shorter and green eyes and like who are we related to my dads on my mom side so we decided the DNA would be a fun thing to do just to see how we're connected to these people," Raz said.

They realized there was a lot more to the story.

"At first, I just thought I was like half German and half Czech and I was really surprised when I saw that I was 18% Scandinavian and like what where did that come from," Debbie Kiessel said.

DNA Kits tell you what percent of your DNA comes from different reference populations worldwide and the can vary, even for immediate family.

"My grandmother on my dad side was very very Irish, like super Irish, so I thought that I would have more of that my bloodline, but I don't, I am 2%," Jesse Kaminski said.

It also shows who you share similar DNA with, which could range from siblings to distant cousins.

"I found out so much more than I ever knew," Ariane DeRosha said.

Ariane was adopted but knew her birth family was from the area.

While she had met a few of her birth relatives the DNA kit showed her the depth of her family tree.

"But I have cousins and I have other family members, aunts and uncles and all these people that I didn't even know existed," DeRosha said. "Now I'm able to reconnect with them and see them on Facebook and chat with them and 'hey I'm here.' You know I was the only one that was adopted."

Whether it's just for fun or to meet a whole new family.

"I was kind of the oddball out and finally got to merge and reconnect," DeRosha said. "It's really exciting because it almost makes you feel a lot more loved."

23 and Me says the results are called a 'living analysis' because as more people take DNA tests and more DNA is put together they'll be able to update the reference populations to pinpoint results even better.

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