If you're interested in tracing your family's roots, Dr. Gates says there are two ways to get started. You can log on to websites like Ancestry.com, which has a monthly subscription fee, and search a database for distant relatives.
Dr. Gates says the second option is your local genealogical society. "I live in Cambridge, as you know, [where] it's the New England Genealogical Society. You can walk in off the street. There's one in New York," he says. "They're all over the country."
Find out how you can get 50 percent off an Ancestry Edition genetic test.
Emmitt Smith traces his family history
Lisa Kudrow's genealogical quest