Video & Television

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 http://goo.gl/jqvGLu and at http://goo.gl/24h5em. 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 Ancestry.com. 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 http://www.pbs.org/genealogy-roadshow/home/:

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:

NEW CELEBRITIES GET THE EXPERIENCE OF A LIFETIME ON NEW SEASON OF “WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE?” ON 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 (www.jri-poland.org).

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 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.

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