Video & Television

Genealogy Roadshow Casting Call couple of newsletter readers have asked, “How can I have my genealogy brickwall researched by the folks at Genealogy Roadshow on PBS?” Now you may have an answer.

The producers of Genealogy Roadshow are looking for people to be on Season 3 of the show and applications are being accepted. Obviously, not everyone can be accepted. I am guessing the producers will select candidates who have the most interesting challenges. In any case, you won’t know unless you apply!

Ontario Genealogical Society Offers Online Live Streaming of Meetings and Presentations

The Ontario Genealogical Society (OGS)and a few of their branches offer live streaming of their monthly meetings/presentations. This large and very active society is doing something that more societies might want to emulate in order to serve distant members who cannot attend in person. Even the annual Ontario Genealogical Society Conference later this year will feature streaming video sessions by various speakers.

You can read more about the conference at

Here are some other videos and slideshows already available online:

New Special “Long Lost Family” to Premiere Sunday, March 1 on TLC Television

The following announcement was written by TLC:

(Los Angeles, Ca.) – Hoping to find their biological families, two adoptees team up with hosts Chris Jacobs and Lisa Joyner to embark on an emotional journey in the new one-hour special LONG LOST FAMILY. For hosts Chris and Lisa, the painstaking search for answers is familiar territory. Both of them were adopted as young children, later searching for – and ultimately reuniting with – their biological families. Premiering Sunday, March 1 at 10/9c on TLC, viewers will watch adoptees go through the ups and downs of trying to track down loved ones they’re so anxious to meet.

Tuesday’s “Genealogy Roadshow” on PBS

Did you miss Tuesday’s episode of “Genealogy Roadshow” from Philadelphia? You can watch it now online now at

Here is the Video I Told You About

In the February 12 edition of this newsletter, I wrote an article entitled Today’s Report from the RootsTech and FGS Conferences. The article is available at

Near the end of the article, I described the presentation made by one of the speakers:

“At the end of her talk, Tan Le received a standing ovation. I don’t think there was a dry eye in the house.

“I cannot possibly describe this talk properly. You HAVE to watch the video when it appears soon on You won’t forget it any time soon.”

The video is now available and I can only repeat, ” You HAVE to watch the video …”

U.S. Version of Who Do You Think You Are? Returns to TLC on March 8

The following announcement was written by the TLC Network:


New episodes return Sunday, March 8 at 10/9c

WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE? returns this spring to give eight new celebrities a unique opportunity to dig into their roots and learn more about their family history. The two-time Emmy nominated series is Executive Produced by Lisa Kudrow and Dan Bucatinsky. New episodes begin Sunday, March 8 at 10/9c.

Today TLC announces the additional featured contributors for the upcoming episodes:

SiriusXM is Launching African Ancestry Radio

The following announcement was written by SiriusXM:

NEW YORK, Feb. 5, 2015 — SiriusXM today announced the launch of “African Ancestry Radio,” a three-week series of live, call-in shows during which the hosts help listeners and celebrities of African descent in their quest to reconnect with their heritage.

Hosted by Gina Paige, co-founder of African Ancestry, and award-winning producer Shirley Neal, “African Ancestry Radio” will launch live on Sunday, February 8 at 12:00 pm ET on SiriusXM Urban View channel 126 with Louis Gossett Jr. and Aunjanue Ellis as their first celebrity guests. Launched in celebration of Black History Month, the show will feature the hosts leading the conversation on heritage and guiding SiriusXM listeners of African descent looking to more accurately and reliably trace their roots.

In addition, “African Ancestry Radio” will feature discussions on how a person’s roots influence personality, who they are and how they act. Each show will include at least one celebrity guest who has previously taken the tests and whose African ancestry will be revealed during the broadcast.

Genealogy Roadshow, Season 2, Episode 4

This week’s episode of Genealogy Roadshow was a good one. I had a chance to watch it as it was first broadcast. Last week I wrote that I would have to watch the February 3 episode on the DVR (Digital Video Recorder) as I was supposed to be on an airplane at that time. However, the blizzards in the northeastern U.S. forced me to cancel the entire trip. I never left home. Therefore, I was fortunate enough to watch the show immediately as it was first aired.

As always, the show was hosted by three expert genealogists, Kenyatta D. Berry, Joshua Taylor and Mary Tedesco, backed up by a team of unnamed expert genealogists who did much of the research. The format of this week’s episode was the same as the previous shows of this season so I won’t repeat all that. However, the guests were as varied as always.

Click on the above image to view a larger version.

Reminder: Genealogy Roadshow at the New Orleans Board of Trade Airs February 3rd

In this week’s Genealogy Roadshow episode, on a return visit to New Orleans, a man hopes to recover history lost in Hurricane Katrina; a woman learns of her links to both sides of the Civil War; a woman discovers the story of her grandfather’s adoption; and a man uncovers his link to “voodoo queen” Marie Laveau (1801-81).

Check your local PBS station’s listings for the time and channel near you.

“Genealogy Roadshow” Helps Katrina Victim

The next episode of the PBS series “Genealogy Roadshow” will be broadcast next Tuesday, February 3. This episode will feature a return to New Orleans, the location of an earlier episode of the program as well as the location of Hurricane Katrina, one of the five deadliest hurricanes in the history of the United States.

The next episode was videotaped at the New Orleans Board of Trade and reportedly will include stories from residents of one of America’s most multicultural cities. One man seeks to recover his family history when the family’s records were washed away in Hurricane Katrina. Host Joshua Taylor travels to the Old United States Mint, which holds thousands of historical documents, to see if that relatively recent history can be reconstructed.

Genealogy Roadshow, Season 2, Episode 3

This week’s episode of Genealogy Roadshow on PBS was videotaped in Philadelphia with most scenes taped at the Franklin Institute, showing the research efforts of hosts Kenyatta D. Berry, Joshua Taylor and Mary Tedesco along with additional research performed by a number of other professional genealogists hired by the show’s producers. While most of the program came from Philadelphia, one segment featuring Kenyatta Berry was videotaped in the Family History Library in Salt Lake City.

The format of the show remained unchanged from the previous two episodes already shown this year. You can read more about that in my previous articles at and at However, I did enjoy the stories that were made available in this week’s episode.

Genealogy Roadshow, Season 2, Episode 2

Genealogy Roadshow aired earlier this evening. It was the second episode of the new season. Hosts Kenyatta D. Berry, Joshua Taylor and Mary Tedesco worked with guests in St. Louis to prove and disprove family stories handed down over the years and to make new discoveries for the guests.

This week’s episode was videotaped at the St. Louis Central Library and featured several interesting stories. The first story may have been the most interesting. It started with a family legend that a great-grandmother’s immigration from Italy was for an arranged marriage to an American cowboy from Wyoming. However, when she met the man, she didn’t like him. The Genealogy Roadshow researchers found that this story was like many other family stories: a kernel of truth that had been twisted and embellished over the years.

This Week’s Genealogy Roadshow was Videotaped in St. Louis

Click on the above image to view a larger version.

Genealogy Roadshow, featuring stories videotaped at St. Louis’ historic central library, will be broadcast on Tuesday evening, January 20. The program will feature a mystery writer who discovers her mother has hidden a life-changing secret; a woman who finds out whether she is descended from the infamous pirate Blackbeard; a mother and daughter who seek connections to a famous author; and a young man who seeks connection to the Mali tribe in Africa.

The program is scheduled to be broadcast on PBS at 8 pm Eastern time, 7 PM Central. However, PBS stations often “time shift” programs to different times or dates. Check your local listings to find the time and PBS station near you.

Genealogy Roadshow, Season 2, Episode 1

Genealogy Roadshow kicked off its second season this evening (Tuesday) with hosts Kenyatta D. Berry, Joshua Taylor and Mary Tedesco and sponsored by The show features participants with unique claims and family stories handed down over the years that may or may not be true. In all cases, the participants are seeking clarifications or more information. This week’s show had a mix of both.

The episode was videotaped at the Cabildo, the former seat of colonial government in New Orleans, Louisiana, and now a museum. It was the perfect setting for a program featuring history and genealogy in and around New Orleans. All the participants were local residents.

Reminder: PBS’ “Genealogy Roadshow” Opens Its Second Season on Tuesday

The “Genealogy Roadshow” television series will start at 8 p.m. Eastern time/7 p.m Central on Tuesday, Jan. 13, on most local PBS stations.

Quoting the show’s web page at

Genealogy Roadshow stars genealogists Kenyatta D. Berry, Joshua Taylor and Mary Tedesco and features participants with unique claims and storylines, including a woman seeking to find out if she is descended from the infamous pirate Blackbeard; a pair of sisters exploring connections to a survivor of the legendary Donner party; a man hoping to recover essential family history that washed away in Hurricane Katrina; and a man learns that the event that drove his family to the City of Brotherly Love changed the course of history.

Who Do You Think You Are?: Season Six Debuts on TLC

TLC has announced that the U.S. version of Who Do You Think You Are? will return for a new season on February 24th. The eight new episodes will include celebrities Julie Chen, Angie Harmon, Sean Hayes, and Bill Paxton. Here is the announcement from TLC:


All-new season set to premiere February 24

The two-time Emmy nominated series is back with eight new hour-long episodes and a brand new batch of celebrity contributors. Executive Produced by Lisa Kudrow and Dan Bucatinsky, WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE? continues to shed light on the mysterious, and often surprising, family histories of some of America’s famous faces. The season premieres Tuesday, February 24 at 10/9c.

Family Film Offers a Glimpse of ‘Three Minutes In Poland’ Before Holocaust

In 2009, Glenn Kurtz stumbled across some old family films in a closet in his parents’ house in Florida. One of the films, shot more than 70 years earlier by his grandparents while on vacation in Europe, turned out to include footage of his grandfather’s hometown of Nasielsk in Poland, taken in 1938, a year before the Nazi occupation. Only approximately 80 of the 3,000 Jews living in Nasielsk in 1939 survived the war.

Glenn Kurtz quickly recognized the brief footage as a crucial link in a lost history. He gave it to the Holocaust Museum where it was digitized and made available on the Web. One day, Kurtz heard from a young woman who had watched the video on the Holocaust Museum’s website. As the camera panned across the faces of children, she recognized her grandfather as a thirteen-year-old boy. Moszek Tuchendler of Nasielsk was now eighty-six-year-old Maurice Chandler of Florida, and when Kurtz meets him, the lost history of Nasielsk came into view. Chandler’s laser-sharp recollections created a bridge between two worlds, and he helped Kurtz eventually locate six more survivors, including a ninety-six-year-old woman who also appears in the film, standing next to the man she would later marry.

Attorney Alan Dershowitz, singer Carole King and playwright Tony Kushner episode of PBS’s “Finding Your Roots”

The following announcement was written by the folks involved in the Jewish Records Indexing – Poland:

5 million Polish-Jewish records database is key resource for Attorney Alan Dershowitz, singer Carole King and playwright Tony Kushner episode of PBS’s “Finding Your Roots.”

The ancestral search in the forthcoming November 4th episode of PBS’s documentary series “Finding Your Roots,” might not have happened if not for Jewish Records Indexing – Poland (

This episode features three notable Americans, renowned attorney Alan Dershowitz, Grammy Award winning singer / songwriter Carole King and Pulitzer Prize winning playwright and screen writer Tony Kushner. All three have deep roots in Poland

Alan Dershowitz

The Dershowitz/King/Kushner story is part of the current 10-part series of Finding Your Roots with host Harvard Professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. In it, Professor Gates continues the quest he began in African American Lives 1 and 2 and Faces of America delving into the genealogy and genetics of a group of famous Americans. The series combines history and science in a fascinating exploration of race, family, and identity in today’s America. Each hour features celebrity guests, who are bound together by an intimate, sometimes hidden link, whether it be as old friends, through long-lost relatives, or even through a common ancestral past.

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

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


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