New Season of PBS Genealogy Program, “Finding Your Roots” Starts October 3

Genealogists in the United States will want to mark their calendars for October 3, 2017. That will be the date of the first episode of the new season of Finding Your Roots With Henry Gates, Jr.

The 10-part series traces the ancestry of influential people from a variety of backgrounds and careers. The program focuses on the melting pot of cultures that has shaped the history of the United States, especially focusing on the various ethnic groups that live within our country. Most episodes explore the ancestry of three guests.

Celebrities who will learn about their ancestors in this season’s episodes include: Ana Navarro, US Senator Bernie Sanders, Larry David, Garrison Keillor, Mary Steenburgen, Scarlett Johansson, Ted Danson, Aziz Ansari, Bryant Gumbel, William H. Macy, and others

One episode will even reveal that actor and comedian Larry David and Senator Bernie Sanders are related. Sanders and David share “identical DNA” of three chromosomes and “that’s a lot of matches,” according to Gates. That is rather unique because Larry David has impersonated Sanders on “Saturday Night Live.”

Major corporate support for Finding Your Roots with Henry Gates, Jr. Season Three is provided by, Johnson & Johnson, POM and Ford. Support is also provided by the Ford Foundation, Candace King Weir, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, and PBS.

You can watch a video “trailer” of the new season of Finding Your Roots at


As I have remarked before – I don’t give a hoot about the genealogy of celebrities. They can well afford to hire a genealogist. I’d much rather view the results of a ordinary USA citizen.

Liked by 1 person

Each story opens up the history of the world & the generations who came before, shaping the future through DNA and their experiences.
Excellent program. Kudos to all involved from the presenter to the research teams to PBS for recognizing the importance of this series. Thank you.


The show is ok, but sure get ticked when the Confederate soldiers are dissed. Remember folks, this is part of history regardless of how we feel about it, just as the destruction of the American Indian/Native Americans was by the white folks and others as they settled the what is now the United States. Don’t change history for your convenience.


    Just because my ancestors believed something and acted in accordance with that belief doesn’t make what they did right, whether it was burning Native American villages and slaughtering the women and children as they tried to escape the flames, or presuming to think themselves so superior to other races of human beings that it was OK to buy and sell them as if they were farm animals or furniture, and pointing fingers at the equally heinous sins of someone else’s ancestors will never change those facts.

    Nobody is perfect. We are all a product of our own times, but some people manage to rise above their times better than others. Do not expect me to honor everything my ancestors did, just because they were my ancestors and their blood flows in my veins. I honor, and draw inspiration from, the moments when they rose above the common thinking and behavior of their times, and try to forgive the times they failed. I hope my descendants will do the same with me.


I don’t think Henry Gates Jr. was elated when he learned of his ancestry.


I would like it if you used regular people who have a brick wall like I have instead of famous people. Who can afford to hire some who is a professional genealogy researcher. I am still trying to find out who my g g grandfathers (his name was Washington Harris Stoops born 1814 in Portage County, Ohio) parents are that my great aunt was trying to find when she died in 1960. She was 90 years old. Think about changing your format to help the normal people who can not afford to pay for help.


Let’s focus on average citizens; provide them with data and tools. Perhaps efforts could be made to identify relatives that folks don’t realize they have. Strengthening families and providing resources for them is a noble goal, PBS.
I would donate to that approach.


I just finished viewing what was probably the third episode of Gates’ program. Gates’ slur about Jefferson and Washington not freeing their slaves is deplorable.


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