Finding Your Roots on PBS

Posted by wexon on October 30, 2014 in Finding Your Roots

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Have you seen the PBS show, Finding Your Roots? If you haven’t then you are missing out on how Henry Louis Gates Jr. takes each celebrity on a journey in discovering the stories of those who came before them and the connection they have to them today. You will see how traditional research and DNA can be used to help unlock the mysteries of their past and change their perspective on the future. It’s not too late to get caught up. See which celebrity is in each episode and watch all of them here.


Episode 1

In Search of My Father: Stephen King, Gloria Reuben, Courtney Vance

Episode 2

Born Champions: Derek Jeter, Billie Jean King, Rebecca Lobo

 Episode 3

American Storytellers: Ken Burns, Anderson Cooper, Anna Deavere Smith

Episode 4

Roots of Freedom: Ben Affleck, Khandi Alexander, Ben Jealous

Episode 5

The Melting Pot: Tom Colicchio, Aaron Sanchez, Ming Tsai

Episode 6

We Come From People: Angela Bassett, Valerie Jarrett, Nas

Episode 7

Our People, Our Traditions: Carole King, Tony Kushner, Alan Dershowitz

One of my favorites to watch was, ‘Roots of Freedom’.  Watching Ben Jealous discover how his 3rd great grandfather did a very brave thing to protect his family brought tears to his eyes photo 2as he realizes the impact that had on their story. Khandi discoveries truly where her roots come from and Ben Affleck finds out that he has an ancestor that fought in the Revolutionary War and is related to his friend Matt Damon. It was powerful to watch the connection that each one of them had with the stories that were shared. At the end of the episode, because each guest took a DNA test the results were revealed to show where in the world their ancestors came from. Every episode is interesting to watch as we see the guests learn more about themselves by going back into their family history and discovering the people and places that came before them.

Catch the last three episodes on PBS, Tuesday evenings. Watch how the story unfolds for each celebrity in discovering something new about their past.

Click here to get your DNA test before the DNA special episode 10 airing on Nov 25th, ‘Decoding Our Past Through DNA’.

Past Articles

13 Spooky Family History Finds

Posted by wexon on October 30, 2014 in Family History

Witches, ghosts, murder—researchers from Ancestry found them all and more when they started combing the headlines for spooky facts in some current, and former, celebrities’ pasts. Real Witch Found in Emma Watson’s Family Tree: Muggle actress Emma Watson, famous for playing Hermione Granger, the preternaturally talented witch and ally of Harry Potter, has a real-life… Read more

Finding Your Roots: Anderson Cooper Investigates His Own History

Posted by on October 29, 2014 in Finding Your Roots

As the child of famed high-society staple Gloria Vanderbilt, Anderson Cooper could easily open any history book about New York City and find details about relatives on his maternal line. But his famous jeans-designing mother was only partially responsible for Anderson’s genes. Though he’s typically the one digging deep into stories, he turned the reins… Read more

Finding Your Roots: Documentary Filmmaker Ken Burns Uncovers Lincoln Connection

Posted by on October 29, 2014 in Finding Your Roots

Documentary filmmaker Ken Burns is well known for his lengthy and well-researched films, notably his five-part series The Civil War. But until his turn on Finding Your Roots’ “Our American Storytellers” episode, Burns didn’t have a true understanding of how deeply his own family tree was intertwined with that war. Ken was born in Brooklyn… Read more

Who Are the Most Likely Homeowners in the U.S.?

Posted by Paul Rawlins on October 29, 2014 in Family History

Members of the armed services are among those least likely to own a home in the United States, according to a new analysis from the research team at Ancestry. We analyzed 112 years of U.S. Federal Census data to better understand the connection between occupation and home ownership across the nation over the last century.… Read more

Williams: A History of the Popular American Surname

Posted by on October 29, 2014 in Surnames

      Williams means “son of William,” and its origins date to medieval England, when an increasing population meant people needed a way to identify each other by more than just a given name. One way to do this was to use a person’s father’s name as a surname. Williams got its start as just… Read more

Five Jobs That Transformed America

Posted by on October 28, 2014 in Family History

From 1860 to 1910, the population of the United States nearly tripled, from 31.4 million (including 3.9 million enslaved individuals) to 92.2 million. During that period, of course, the United States endured the Civil War. But the country also underwent the Second Industrial Revolution, transforming itself from a largely agrarian society into the greatest industrial… Read more