UPDATE: This week's episode is now available at http://video.pbs.org/video/2365088986/.
The third (of four) episode of Genealogy Roadshow was broadcast on PBS this evening. This week's program was videotaped at The Old Mint in San Francisco. I watched the program and, again, enjoyed it. I thought it was a great program designed to introduce non-genealogists to this fascinating interest that millions of us already enjoy.
The stories were different but most everything else about this week's show was similar to the first two episodes. Non-celebrity guests brought their questions and the two on-screen experts, backed up by a group of (unseen) professional genealogists, provided answers and gave an insight into the history of the times.
This week's format was roughly the same as the two previous weeks. Most of the guests sat with the audience gathered around as Kenyatta Berry and Josh Taylor presented their findings. However, I did notice two or three scenes were videotaped in somewhat more private settings, usually with the host one-on-one with the guest and/or the guest's family. I can't say that this change in format is better or worse, it is just different.
Of course, San Francisco has a diverse ethnic population. I was delighted to see one story about Oriental ancestry and another about Native American history. In both cases, not a lot of information was found but that's not surprising to anyone who has ever tried to research either Oriental or Native American history in the United States. In the case of the Oriental research, the man in question was "Big Jim" Chen, a mysterious gangster member of a Chinese Tong. In fact, that name may have been an alias. As a gangster, he had very good reasons to hide as much information about himself as possible and apparently he did that very well. He appears rarely in public records.
This week's episode probably is available in reruns on your local PBS television station and may be available on www.pbs.org as well before long. Next week's broadcast will be the fourth and final episode of Genealogy Roadshow (assuming it doesn't get renewed for next year). It was videotaped in Austin, Texas. I suspect we will see a lot of Texas history next week.
You can learn more about Genealogy Roadshow at http://www.pbs.org/program/genealogy-roadshow/.