Haley is a Maryland State Archives research administrator and the nephew of the deceased Roots author, Alex Haley.
Haley took a Y-DNA test, which examines the paternal line (the father’s father’s father, and so on), and found a couple of matches through Ancestry.com’s Y-DNA database. One match was a man in Scotland, whose daughter June Baff Black had just started doing genealogy (talk about beginner’s luck).
Though Haley and Black haven’t yet been able to find a paper trail leading to their common ancestor, the match on 45 out of 46 markers confirms they’re on the right track.
Roots Television has a video about their first meeting, which happened in March at the Who Do You Think You Are? Live! show in London.
You can order a DNA test through Ancestry.com. It’s free to search Ancestry.com’s DNA database by last name (via a search box at the bottom of the DNA landing page) or enter your test results from another company.
The USAToday story also mentions a limitation of Y-DNA testing. Since it’s a relatively new science, you may not find a close match in online databases as quickly as Haley and Black did.