Video & Television

New Genealogy Television Program from Baton Rouge, Louisiana

A new genealogy television show is airing on Catholic Life Television in the Baton Rouge, Louisiana, area. Hosted by genealogy experts Renee Richard, Judy Riffel and Leonard Smith III, this show explores our ancestral origins to help know more about who we are today.

CNN’s Upcoming “Roots: Our Journeys Home”

Anderson Cooper of CNN News was recently featured on the PBS Series Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates. CNN apparently is taking advantage of the publicity generated to create the network’s own series of “family tree television.”

“Roots: Our Journeys Home” is a new series featuring Anthony Bourdain, Anderson Cooper and other familiar CNN faces. It kicks off Sunday, October 12, with a two-hour primetime special airing Monday, October 20 at 9 p.m. Eastern Time.

You can learn more on CNN at http://edition.cnn.com/2014/10/10/travel/family-tree-travel.

My thanks to newsletter reader Joseph Martin for telling me about the new series.

Who Do You Think You Are? Watched by 4.6 Million Viewers on BBC

Here is another testimonial to the popularity of genealogy. This past week’s episode of the U.K. version of Who Do You Think You Are? was seen by 4.6 million viewers on BBC One, according to overnight figures.

The genealogy documentary show, which featured on Twiggy as the celebrity guest, earned 4.61m (21.2%) in the 9pm hour.

Philadelphia Area Residents are Invited to attend Video Tapings of “Genealogy Roadshow”

The public can watch as preselected local residents have family mysteries revealed on camera with featured genealogists Kenyatta D. Berry, Joshua Taylor and Mary Tedesco. The results will become part of the “Genealogy Roadshow” television program on PBS.

These free events will take place Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 25 and 26, 9 a.m.-6 p.m. (lines form at 8 a.m.) at these locations: Saturday, Oct. 25 — The Historical Society of Pennsylvania, 1300 Locust St. and Sunday, Oct. 26 — The Franklin Institute, 271 N. 21st St.

Second Episode of “Finding Your Roots” on PBS

Click on the above image to view a larger version.

The next episode of “Finding Your Roots” will be broadcast on most PBS stations on Tuesday, October 28th. The program will trace three guests’ roots into the heart of slavery, revealing that there is no singular narrative and challenging preconceptions of an era that profoundly shaped our nation’s sense of itself. Hip-hop artist Nas discovers a web of his slave ancestors and their intimate relationship with their slave master; award-winning actress Angela Bassett meets ancestors whose slave family tragedy is rivaled only by a triumphant emancipation story; and presidential advisor Valerie Jarrett goes back in time more than 200 years to meet a formidable line-up of free people of color — all of them of trailblazers.

Finding Your Roots II, Pt. 6, “We Come from People,” will be broadcast on Tuesday, October 28th. Check your local listings for the time and channel nearest you. The program’s web site may be found at http://video.pbs.org/program/finding-your-roots.

This Season’s First Episode of “Finding Your Roots”

The first episode of the season for “Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates, Jr.” was broadcast on most PBS stations earlier this evening. The guests included horror novelist Stephen King, actor Courtney B. Vance and Canadian actress-singer Gloria Reuben.

I had a chance to watch the broadcast and must say that I enjoyed it. The stories were well told and, from what I could see, reflected accurate genealogy research. In each episode, three celebrities have their ancestry researched and the program shows revelations of facts that are new information to each of the celebrities.

All three guests on this week’s episode knew little about their fathers’ ancestry. Stephen King’s father walked out on his family when Stephen was two and never returned. The show’s genealogists found quite a bit about his father, including a picture of him as a young man. Stephen King had never seen a picture of his father. The show’s genealogists researched the man’s ancestry back to to a Tennessee man who fought in the Civil War on the Union side. The program also showed that earlier generations came from Ireland.

Reminder: “Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates, Jr.” Returns to PBS on Tuesday

The latest genealogy-related television series will be broadcast this week on most PBS stations.

In the first episode of “Finding Your Roots,” to be broadcast this Tuesday, September 23, the subjects of the program will be horror novelist Stephen King, actor Courtney B. Vance and Canadian actress-singer Gloria Reuben.

King’s father walked out on his family when Stephen was two and never returned. Courtney Vance’s father committed suicide and Courtney was brought up in a foster home. Gloria Reuben’s father was 78 years old when she was born. When he died he took the secret of his ancestry with him, but not for good. Using genealogy and in some cases DNA, Gates helps each of them to discover family history they never knew. The program airs on PBS at 8 PM Eastern time. Check your local listings for the time and channel near you.

MyHeritage is Featured on a Prime Time Television News Program

MyHeritage, the sponsors of this newsletter, received some excellent publicity recently in a television segment on an Israeli prime time news show, watched by over 25% of Israel’s population. It featured an interview with MyHeritage Founder and CEO, Gilad Japhet, and showcased MyHeritage as a company that not only does well as a business, but also does good in the world.

The segment highlights some of MyHeritage’s pro bono work, including helping to discover heirs for unclaimed assets confiscated during World War II, returning looted art to its rightful owners and a global crowdsourcing project to digitally preserve the world’s cemeteries with BillionGraves.

PBS’ “Genealogy Roadshow” will be Taping in New Orleans this Weekend (Sept. 6-7)

PBS’ “Genealogy Roadshow” will record episodes in New Orleans on Saturday and Sunday (Sept. 6-7), and the public is invited to attend. The tapings, at which pre-selected locals will have their family mysteries explored by show genealogists Kenyatta D. Berry, Joshua Taylor and Mary Tedesco, are free.

The public can also explore their personal histories with historical and genealogical societies that will be on-site for the weekend. The tapings will be held :

“Finding Your Roots” to Air on PBS Beginning September 23

In three weeks, the latest genealogy-related television series will be broadcast on most PBS stations. “Finding Your Roots” is a series that focuses on race, identity and heritage, hosted by Harvard Professor Henry Louis Gates Jr.

In the first episode we meet horror novelist Stephen King, actor Courtney B. Vance and Canadian actress-singer Gloria Reuben.

King’s father walked out on his family when Stephen was two and never returned. Courtney Vance’s father committed suicide and Courtney was brought up in a foster home. Gloria Reuben’s father was 78 years old when she was born. When he died he took the secret of his ancestry with him, but not for good. Using genealogy and in some cases DNA, Gates helps each of them to discover family history they never knew. The program airs on PBS at 8 PM Eastern time. Check your local listings for the time and channel near you.

Dick Eastman Discusses How Tech Has Changed The Family History Industry

DE-Ancestry-InterviewI recently had the pleasure of talking with Jessica Murray of Ancestry.com. She and I discussed a number of genealogy-related topics, including the availability of apps on your mobile and tablet devices, saving many hours by verifying research, the quality of software, and how blogging technology has revolutionized genealogy.

You can view a video of our conversation in the Ancestry.com Blog at http://goo.gl/IphbV6.

Minnie Driver Season Finale on the U.S. Version of Who Do You Think You Are? Wednesday on TLC

This week will be the season finale for the U.S. Version of Who Do You Think You Are? In this episode, Minnie Driver sets out to learn more about her secretive father and traces the highs and lows of his career in the Royal Air Force during World War II. Through military documents, she comes to understand why her father was the way he was, and how his combat experience impacted the rest of his life. Then, since Minnie never met her paternal grandparents, she follows the trail in England until she comes face-to-face with the very first relative she’s ever met on her father’s side, and finds a kindred spirit in a family member she never knew about.

‘Genealogy Roadshow’ in St. Louis This Weekend

PBS Television’s “Genealogy Roadshow” will be shooting episodes for its 2015 season in St. Louis this weekend. People who were selected after submitting their genealogy profiles and questions online will be filmed getting the “reveal” of their family history, as uncovered by the show’s researchers.

Everyone is invited to meet with local genealogy groups and watch the filming. You can read more in an article in the PBS.org web site at www.pbs.org/program/genealogy-roadshow/.

Kelsey Grammer’s Episode on the U.S. Version of Who Do You Think You Are?

This week’s episode of Who Do You Think You Are? featured Kelsey Grammer as the guest celebrity looking for his family tree. A five-time Emmy Award winner, Kelsey Grammer is the first actor in television history to receive multiple Emmy nominations for performing the same role on three series. Grammer is known for his two-decade portrayal of psychiatrist Dr. Frasier Crane on the NBC sitcoms Cheers and Frasier. This week, he became a typical American who wants to know more about his ancestry.

Jennifer Utley, an Ancestry.com family historian, worked with Grammer in this episode. Grammer tells Jennifer that he was raised by his grandmother, Evangeline, after his parents divorced. His starting point in exploring family history was trying to learn more about why Evangeline’s parents didn’t raise her. In California, Grammer learns that his grandmother’s parents were from Northern California, and as the digging continues, Grammer finds out he has ancestors who lived in Oregon. Other experts in San Francisco and in Oregon contributed their expertise on camera as well.

Kelsey Grammer to be Guest Celebrity on This Week’s U.S. Version of Who Do You Think You Are?

Kelsey Grammer will take a trip into the past to explore his grandmother’s family. In this week’s Who Do You Think You Are? Grammer uncovers the story of a woman haunted by demons, and finds a connection to family who risked everything in one of the greatest migrations in American history.

The episode will be broadcast tomorrow night, August 20 at 9/8c. Check your local television listings for the channel and time in your location. The episode will be available soon after on iTunes and later still on other Internet television sites.

In addition to this season’s new premieres, TLC has also acquired episodes from previous seasons of the series, marking their first debut on cable. Tomorrow night will feature encores of Reba McEntire’s episode at 8/9c, and Vanessa Williams’ episode at 10/9c.

Next week Minnie Driver’s episode will air as the season finale on August 27. Next week’s encore episodes will include Tim McGraw and Rita Wilson.

Valerie Bertinelli’s Episode on the U.S. Version of Who Do You Think You Are?

This week’s episode of Who Do You Think You Are? featured Valerie Bertinelli, the Hot in Cleveland star. Unlike some of the past episodes with other celebrities, Valerie traced two different branches of her family tree: one on her father’s Italian ancestry and another on her mother’s Colonial American ancestry that was then traced back into England and ended with an ancestor most people have heard of: Edward the First, King of England from 1239 to 1307.

I do have to think the show’s producers ran out of time to provide further generations. Edward the First’s ancestry is well documented: his parents were King Henry III and Eleanor of Provence and their ancestry has been documented further back for several more generations. However, nothing prior to Edward the First was mentioned in the program.

Valerie Bertinelli’s Italian ancestry was perhaps more interesting, where she learned more about her beloved grandmother’s whose early years were not known to the rest of the family. Perhaps even more interesting was the story of her grandmother’s mother, Maria, an incredibly strong woman who overcame great odds. A young widow, she left Italy with her two small children at beginning of Word War I and settled in Pennsylvania. She then married for a second time. The woman escaped being murdered by her second husband, Gregorio, by pretending to be dead after being shot. Her husband then stepped into a second bedroom and committed suicide.

Wednesday’s “Who Do You Think You Are?” with Valerie Bertinelli

Valerie Bertinelli examining family photos with her parents. Click on the above image to view a much larger version.

This week’s U.S. version of “Who Do You Think You Are?” promises to be interesting. 1980s sitcom star Valerie Bertinelli will embark on a mission to learn more about her Italian grandmother and discovers her grandmother’s mother, an incredibly strong woman who overcame great odds. But the biggest surprises are on Valerie’s maternal side, since her mother knows nothing about her own roots. Traveling to England, Valerie uncovers previously unknown connections to the Quakers, early Pennsylvania history, and even the British aristocracy.

“Who Do You Think You Are?” with Rachel McAdams & Kayleen McAdams

Click on the above image to view a much larger version.

I had a chance this evening to watch the U.S. version of Who Do You Think You Are? on TLC. This week’s episode featured Canadian actress Rachel McAdams and her sister Kayleen McAdams. The two were shown researching their mother’s family tree. Unlike many of the past episodes of Who Do You Think You Are? the sisters were able to research (with a lot of assistance from professional genealogists) two different branches of their mother’s ancestry.

They first traced their ancestry back to a couple in England who apparently met when both were employed as servants in a mansion near Plymouth, England. I was pleased to see an old friend, Paul Drake, featured as the history and genealogy expert in Plymouth. Paul produced a number of documents showing the family and their employment. Paul also mentioned that the mansion is still standing so the sisters soon visited the place and learned more at the place where their ancestors worked and first met.

Rachel McAdams & Kayleen McAdams to be featured in This Week’s “Who Do You Think You Are?”

Click on the above image to view a much larger version.

This week’s U.S. version of Who Do You Think You Are? will feature Rachel and Kayleen McAdams. Rachel McAdams is a Canadian actress with a long list of appearances and awards. You can learn more about her in Wikipedia at http://goo.gl/olV0fF. Kayleen is Rachel’s younger sister.

In this week’s episode, the sisters will discover an English ancestor surrounded by a privileged world, but forced to separate from those he loved. Rachel and Kayleen then connect with relatives uprooted by war, and uncover the harrowing circumstances behind their Canadian roots.

The program will air on TLC on Wednesday, August 6, at 9PM ET/PT. Check your local listings for the channel number and exact time near you.

This Week’s Who Do You Think You Are? Episode is Now Available on iTunes

If you missed Wednesday evenings episode of Who Do You Think You Are? featuring Jesse Tyler Ferguson, you can now watch it online on iTunes for $2.99.

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