Video & Television

Genealogy in the Year 2364

Is this the future of genealogy? Actually, it doesn’t look much different from today.

This 1988 Star Trek: The Next Generation episode shows what family history research might be like in the 24th century. An ancient space capsule was discovered floating near the Starship Enterprise. It appears to be from Earth. On board are three humans who are in suspended animation, a form of deep sleep that can last for centuries. The crew of the Starship Enterprise wakes the humans who now find themselves 376 years in the future from their last memories.

The Great Famine Voices Roadshow in the USA and Canada

For over a century and a half, shame and silence were the most common Irish responses to the calamity of the Great Hunger. A million dead, a million fled was the old saying, but concern over igniting further strife in the present (a particular concern during the Troubles) kept a lid on most discussions of it. But now a new roadshow coming to the USA and Canada plans to give voice to the descendants of famine era Irish immigrants, many for the first time.

The roadshow is being funded by the Emigrant Support Program of the Irish government. Thanks to a new initiative from the both the National Famine Museum in Strokestown Park and The Irish Heritage Trust, a series of free open house events will be held in the USA and Canada where descendants of Irish emigrants and the general public are welcome to come together and share their family memories and stories of coming to America, especially during the period of the Great Hunger, which was 1845 to 1852.

TLC’s “Long Lost Family” Season 3 Premieres on Sunday, April 8

“Long Lost Family” is an American documentary television series. The show helps provide aid to individuals looking to be reunited with long-lost biological family members. The series has been renewed for a third season that is set to premiere on April 8, 2018.

The show is produced by Shed Media, the same company that produces the American version of “Who Do You Think You Are?” The series is co-sponsored by Ancestry.com, which provides family history research and DNA testing to help make discoveries possible. The television series is based on the original British program that began airing in 2011 and has so far distributed 7 seasons. An Australian version was broadcast for one season but then was canceled.

Quoting from TLC’s web site:

BYU TV’s Genealogy-Based Television Show ‘Relative Race’ is Coming Back

“Relative Race” will return for a third season. The program features four, two-person teams who race across the country to find their long-lost relatives. Unlike some other genealogy television programs, the individuals seeking their ancestry are not well-known celebrities.

This season’s episodes will include new routes, new contestants, new cities and new challenges, according to Dan J. Debenham, executive producer of the show. teams will travel for 10 days, completing two challenges every day, with only paper maps, a rental car and a flip phone to help them. To help them find their way through strange cities and complete their two daily challenges, the contestants will receive instructions by text message that will hopefully lead them to discover new relatives. They will then be asked to stay overnight with a new relative that they meet in each city, according to a news release at http://prn.to/2Frq0P2.

IGRS Launches “How-To” Irish Genealogy Videos

The following announcement was written by the Irish Genealogical Research Society (IGRS):

Access to records useful for Irish genealogy has become easier since the onset of the digital age. But wider access often serves only to highlight just how frustrating Irish family history can be. Too frequently it’s difficult to search cleverly within the surviving records and not always easy to interpret the results.

Over the last while we’ve heard again and again researchers say “how I wish that an experienced genealogist could be sat right next me, while online, sharing the benefit of their experience and expertise”. Now, with the release of an initial three “How-To” Irish genealogy videos, the IGRS is making that wish come true.

Update: Was the Westford Knight also on Oak Island?

About a week ago, I published Was the Westford Knight also on Oak Island? at http://bit.ly/2Eq2c11. The article, and an earlier article from several years ago, describe what was then a future television program that introduced the topic of possible visits by medieval Knights Templar to North America in the 1300s, possibly even earlier. I also gave information about the date and time the program was to be broadcast.

This episode of The Curse of Oak Island has now been broadcast. However, if you missed it and if you would like to view the program, you can view it free of charge on The History Channel’s web site at: https://www.history.com/shows/the-curse-of-oak-island/season-5/episode-14. However, you will be asked to log in by using your user name and password used to access your cable provider’s web site. If you do not have such a user name and password, you will not be able to view the video.

Was the Westford Knight also on Oak Island?

Subtitle: Was the Westford Knight also on Oak Island, Nova Scotia, with other Knights Templar in the Year 1398? Watch the History Channel to Learn More.

Are you aware that a number of Europeans were in North American many years before Christopher Columbus’ voyage in 1492? You might want to set your video recorder to the History Channel next Tuesday evening, February 13, 2018, at 9pm Eastern Time, 8pm Central, to learn about a fascinating story concerning some early travelers to North America. You can check your local listings for The History Channel to see broadcast times in your area.

“The Curse of Oak Island” is an ongoing television series that has been broadcast on the History Channel for several years now. It shows the multi-year efforts to find a mysterious buried treasure on a rather small island on the south shore of Nova Scotia, Canada. There have been various legends passed down throughout the years concerning Oak Island. I vaguely remember reading about this mystery in a magazine article back when I was about 12 years old although my memory of it is rather fuzzy. In those days, I was a big fan of stories about buried pirate treasures. I guess I never grew up; I still am interested in pirates and buried treasure and similar topics. I think I have seen every episode of “The Curse of Oak Island.” My cable TV recorder is set to record every episode in case I am not home. I find it to be a fascinating story.

“The Curse of Oak Island” has described many theories about the possibility of treasure on the island. To quote the History Channel’s description:

Good Morning Britain Hosts Receive their MyHeritage DNA Results Live on Air

Four hosts on the TV morning show Good Morning Britain, took a MyHeritage DNA test. MyHeritage were invited on to the show to reveal the hosts’ results, and to discuss their ethnic origins and family histories. The hosts were inspired and surprised by their results. You can see how they reacted live on air at https://youtu.be/6rhovvhg-pY or in the video player below:

Garrison Keillor Pulled from PBS Series, ‘Finding Your Roots’

Garrison Keillor was scheduled to be part of the season finale of PBS’s Finding Your Roots With Henry Louis Gates, Jr. But in light of allegations of inappropriate behavior towards a co-worker at Prairie Home Companion, Keillor’s segment is being removed.

The “Funny Business” episode, scheduled to air at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 19, was to spotlight Amy Schumer, Aziz Ansari and Keillor. Now the segment with the legendary broadcaster will be replaced by a repeat featuring Maya Rudolph.

A statement released by Minnesota Public Radio says it learned of the allegations in October and has retained an outside law firm to investigate them. That investigation is ongoing.

A MyHeritage DNA Reunion was Featured Live on Good Morning America

An emotional reunion between a mother and daughter who met for the first time took place today live on Good Morning America, the popular U.S. television program. The reunion happened thanks to MyHeritage DNA.

Angie was a teenage mother who placed her baby Meribeth for adoption in 1986. She never got to hold Meribeth after she gave birth to her, and she always hoped that she was adopted by a loving family. For thirty years, they both wondered about one another. MyHeritage DNA enabled Meribeth and Angie to finally find one another.

NBC to Develop a “Reunited” Genealogy Television Drama

According to an article in the Deadline.com web site:

“NBC has put in development Reunited, a drama inspired by investigative genealogist Pamela Slaton, from Gone creator/executive producer Matt Lopez, Epidemic Pictures & Management’s Darryl Taja (The Perfect Guy) and Universal TV.

“Created and written by Lopez, Reunited is inspired by Slaton, the country’s foremost investigative genealogist, who uses her wits, detective skills and take-no-prisoners attitude to track down long-lost loved ones and reunite broken families.”

At another point, the article states:

The Truth about Christopher Columbus and His “Discoveries”

Alternative Title: Columbus was Really Bad at Math

Almost all the “facts” you learned in school about Christopher Columbus are wrong! Amongst other things, Columbus never proved that the earth is round and he never set foot in what is now North America. A YouTube video below and also available at https://youtu.be/3MJoKhO9G1g sets the record straight.

PBS’ Finding Your Roots Returns October 3

Reminder: the new season of PBS’ hit show, Finding Your Roots, hosted by Henry Louis Gates, Jr., premieres on Tuesday, October 3 at 8/7c.

As in past years, the new season will include well known comedians, journalists, and A-list celebrities as guests on each episode. The guests in the first episode of the season include Larry David and Bernie Sanders. These two guests are linked by one hilarious impersonation. The show will trace their roots from 1940s Brooklyn back to Jewish communities in Europe.

‘South Park’ to Make Fun of Genealogy DNA Web Sites

The animated television series South Park is taking a shot at white people who feel they are oppressed by an overly politically correct society.

In a preview for Wednesday’s episode “Holiday Special,” Randy watches a commercial for a web site that claims to help Caucasians identity their genealogy, DNA and Me, which leads them to feel oppressed once they discover a small percentage of minority ancestry.

The announcer on the DNA and Me commercial goes on to say, “Order now and find out if your friends should be more sympathetic towards you.”

GenealogyMagazine.com Launches a YouTube Series Offering Advice and Tips for the Family Historian

The following announcement was written by James Pylant, owner of GenealogyMagazine.com:

GenealogyMagazine is the name of a new YouTube series offering advice and tips for the family historian. Hosted by James Pylant, an award-winning true-crime writer, authorized celebrity biographer, and professional genealogist, each five-minute episode offers tips and “how-to” examples for genealogical research.

The first episode, “County Courthouse Research,” is now available at YouTube: https://tinyurl.com/countycourthouse

Upcoming episodes include “Family Bible Records,” “Diaries and Journals,” “Longevity Lies,” “Misidentified Family Pictures,” and “Handwriting Analysis.”

TLC Renews Who Do You Think You Are? for New Season Premiering Spring 2018

The following announcement was written by the folks at TLC:

TLC has renewed three-time Emmy nominated series Who Do You Think You Are? for a new season, premiering in spring 2018. Executive Produced by Lisa Kudrow and Dan Bucatinsky, the series follows some of the most beloved and iconic celebrities as they embark on personal journeys of self-discovery by tracing their own family trees. Throughout this experience they learn the truth about old family secrets, discover shocking revelations and ultimately, make unbelievable connections with the lives of their ancestors. The series is currently nominated for an Emmy Award for Structured Reality Program, its 3rd nomination in this category and 4th overall. Last year Who Do You Think You Are? won an Emmy for Outstanding Picture Editing for a Reality Program.

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

PBS to Renew “Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates Jr.”

The Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) has announced its fall lineup of new television programs. Of interest to genealogists, “Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates Jr.” is returning Oct. 3. Celebrities who will learn about their ancestors include Scarlett Johansson, Aziz Ansari, Bryant Gumbel, and Garrison Keillor.

Ancestry’s new Video Featuring the Descendants of US Founding Fathers

As long as the Statue of Liberty still stands, so do the words, “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.” Ancestry has created an online video featuring the American melting pot and the descendants of all those millions of immigrants. Who are these people, where do they come from?

In John Trumbull’s iconic “Declaration of Independence” painting, it spotlights one of the most significant moments in our country’s history with the original signers. Ancestry has recreated the scene with 29 living descendants of these historic figures, and the moment is captured in 60- and 30-second television spots (produced by Droga5). What you will see is a surprising and powerful look at how different America is today than in that historic moment captured in 1776 – showcasing a diverse group of descendants: men and women, Caucasian, African American, Hispanic, Filipino, Native American, Korean, among others. The campaign highlights how our individual and collective history is an important part of our country’s complex DNA and that we are all universally connected, sometimes in unexpected ways.

MyHeritage DNA is Again Featured on Fox & Friends

Yesterday I wrote (at http://bit.ly/2surTWg) about a segment on the popular U.S. news program Fox & Friends that featured family history research by means of combined DNA and online research techniques. Now the same news program is continuing its reporting today. This morning’s Fox & Friends about an amazing mother-daughter reunion, made possible thanks to MyHeritage DNA.

In today’s segment, you can see one of the show’s viewers who was so inspired by the hosts’ discoveries after taking the MyHeritage DNA test (aired on March 22nd and also available here), that she decided to take the test herself and was able to find her biological mother, whom she’s been searching for her whole life.

You can learn more about the latest story and watch the emotional reunion at:
http://bit.ly/2tSpx1r.

You can also purchase a MyHeritage DNA kit at http://bit.ly/2rE1Ida.