CREATED Mar 17, 2014
WFTX - On St. Patrick's day, it seems everyone claims to be at least a little bit Irish.
And tonight is your chance to find out if you really are!
In honor of St. Patrick's day, the world's largest online resource for family history, Ancestry.com, is letting you go through millions of newly released Irish family records for free!
The company is also offering a discount on its at-home DNA test. It's normally $99. It's now available for $89.
The availability of the free records and the offer for the discounted DNA test will expire at midnight on St. Patrick's day.
You can also begin to build a family tree for free on the ancestry.com site at anytime.
A basic membership - which gives you access to records at any time - starts at $19.99.
So, is it worth it to invest your time and money into finding out your family roots?
And what can you really discover anyway?
Fox 4 anchor Patrick Nolan put it to the test by giving a DNA saliva sample to ancestry.com.
The sample was a simple mail-in kit that Ancestry.com sent to Patrick - and he sent back - so the company's researchers could begin looking into what his DNA told them.
It didn't take long for the folks at ancestry.com to get back to Patrick.
"How Irish am I," asked Patrick who said, for generations, his family has claimed to be "100% Irish."
"Well according to your DNA results, you are 76% Irish," said ancestry.com family researcher, Lisa Elzie.
She told Patrick most of the rest of his DNA shows he's British along with some "trace DNA."
"'Trace' is less than 10 percent in your DNA and it breaks it out by region," said Elzie.
"The region that's probably the most interesting in your DNA is Finland and northwestern Russia which...also includes Sweden so that's quite cool," Elzie told Patrick.
Ancestry.com's research also showed Patrick's trace DNA is from a region that includes several other countries: Poland, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Austria, Hungary, Slovenia, Romania, Serbia, Ukraine, Belarus, Moldava, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Germany, Montenegro, Albania, Kosovo, Macedonia, and Bulgaria.
But the bulk of the company's research focused on Patrick's Irish roots.
Researchers were able to track down a plot of land owned by his ancestors in Ireland 160 years ago.
They also came across some thrilling immigrant stories, like that of his maternal grandfather who immigrated from Ireland in 1910.
"He only came to America with $10 dollars in his pocket which in today's money would be about $150," said Elzie.
"So he came here as a young man trying to live the American dream," she added.
So just how far back can you go when you're tracing your roots?
Patrick put it to the test when he asked Elzie if there's anyway to know whether he's related to the patron saint of Ireland, St. Patrick himself.
"I don't know about that," said Elzie with a laugh.
"That was quite a long time ago," she added.
"I'm not sure what records look like that far back."