Genetics and genealogy have been an increasingly popular topic in both media and among those of us curious to find out a little more about how we got here and what happened along the way. Thanks to these two fields and other related areas of study, we’ve discovered a tremendous amount about humanity as a whole, but also individuals and their own personal stories.
When scientists start tracing genetic pathways through history, a lot of former mysteries start making sense. Why many cultures so far from each other often share similar traditional mythologies, for example. But genetics is only one part of the picture. Genealogists comb through government records, archived newspapers, literature, even personal belongings to piece together the long trails left by our ancestors.
Finding Your Roots is a PBS show about doing just that, and the researchers behind the show have dug up some really amazing historical facts in the family trees of many notable people. Most recently they’ve turned their expert eyes towards actor Dustin Hoffman’s family tree. What they found was so extraordinary, it brought the celebrated actor to tears. His great-grandmother wasn’t just another notch in the tree. She is truly the savior of the family and when you find out her story, you’ll be as astounded as Mr. Hoffman was.
H/T: Daily Mail