Genealogy Roadshow in Top 4 Genealogy TV shows to watch

4 Genealogy TV shows you HAVE to Watch - MyCanvasBlog

The New York Times said it best when speaking about the recent trend in genealogy, “At this point there’s probably no stopping the genealogy craze, which for a few decades now has been causing people to go rooting around in their familial past.” Here are the most viewed genealogy TV shows:

Finding Your Roots

This PBS series started in 2012 with Henry Louis Gates, Jr., Harvard scholar and university professor helping his guests “discover their long-lost relatives hidden for generations within the branches of their family trees.” Gates hosts this genealogy TV show inviting guests such as Ben Affleck, Anderson Cooper and Stephen King to dive in to their family history. The TV series, strives to explore race, cultrue and identity through genealogy and genetics. This show is filmed on location and around the world.

Who Do You Think You Are 

This series premiered on NBC-TV in 2010 and continued broadcasting in 2013 on The Learning Channel (TLC). The series tracks celebrities as they travel through history and countryside to find great-great-great ancestors they didn’t know they had. The show instills in every episode one or two ground breaking discoveries.

Past seasons featured guests such as Jesse Tyler Ferguson (Modern Family), Lauren Graham (Gilmore Girls), Matthew Broderick, Brook Shields, Susan Saradon, Vanessa Williams, Rosie O’Donnell, Gwyneth Paltrow, Kelly Clarkson and Zooey Deschanel.

So though you may not have the money to travel to your great-great-great grandmother’s childhood home on a hill, you can enjoy seeing these celebrities connect with their ancestors.


Genealogy Roadshow

Starting in 2013, this PBS genealogy TV series finds the average Joe or Jane on their journey to family history goldmines. As it is described on the their PBS websiteGenealogy Roadshow is, “Part detective story, part emotional journey…(it) combines history and science to uncover fascinating stories of diverse Americans in and around St. Louis, Philadelphia and New Orleans.” 

Starring genealogists Kenyatta D. Berry, Joshua Taylor and Mary Tedesco, this genealogy TV series uses what the anecdotes, heirlooms and myths about their heritage to discover and unite histories and people they never knew existed.

If you would like to follow them on Facebook or be considered to participate in their third season, you can apply here.

History Detectives

PBS first aired this series in 2003. Each episode begins with a person who has brought a case to the attention of the detectives. Each case is typically based on a specific object that is supposedly related in some way to an historical event. These objects are often family heirlooms or owned by private archives and museums.

Ireland with Ardal O'Hanlon

Big Mountain's New Show coming to Channel 4 very soon!

Ireland with Ardal O’Hanlon unearths and reveals an Ireland you could only know by having grown up there.

Ireland with Ardal O’Hanlon unearths and reveals an Ireland you could only know by having grown up there.

Brand new and exclusive to More4: Comic actor Ardal O'Hanlon, explores the Emerald Isle and Irish life as he goes off the beaten track around his beloved homeland.

Using a series of Victorian guidebooks written by Mr and Mrs SC Hall to tempt the English over to Ireland, Ardal roams from small towns to idiosyncratic attractions, detours from pulpit to pub, and rejoices in the unique festivities and characters you can only find in Ireland.

Episode 1

Ardal looks at Irish stereotypes and issues around belief. From fairies and leprechauns to ghost hunting and tidy towns, not to mention the Church itself, Ardal is determined to find out if the people of Ireland are predisposed to faith. Could a matchmaker in County Clare possess a book with magical powers? What does it mean to have fiery hair? Ardal meets a woman who believes a holy relic saved her life. And at Blarney Castle, he discovers there may be a sting in the tail to the most famous Irish superstition of all.

Episode 2
Ardal joins a group of Irish Travellers for a rare visit inside one of their houses and pulls back the curtain on the lives and language of one of Ireland’s oldest and least understood groups of people.

As his searches for what makes the Irish – well Irish – he uncovers a new generation embracing the traditions of the past; joins the painting of a post box from green to red and green again to symbolise the 1916 uprising. A meeting with the mothers of young hurlers reveals how and why the sport, like horse racing, is engrained in the Irish psyche. Ardal’s journey concludes at one of Ireland’s most mysterious locations, a sous terrain and huge crater where Ardal is forced to confront his own sense of identity.

Episode 3
Ardal investigates how the Irish became such great storytellers and why they are so obsessed with myths and legends. His journey begins at one of the most remote locations in all of the country, a little known ancient ring fort accessible only by rowing boat. The spectacular setting makes him question why Irish folk tales are often so dark “no Lady Godivas or Dick Whittingtons here” he muses.

Travelling to Co. Louth, the smallest county in Ireland he uncover the nation’s oldest story but in Derry he reveals the origins of one of its newest – now famed around the world.

From the Dark Hedges of Stranocum, a natural phenomenon 240 hundred years old to the modern day docks of Belfast he follows the trail of Ireland’s biggest international story – ‘Game of Thrones’ and practices his self-defence skills . Ultimately he discovers that even in death the telling of the most important story of all is that of life.

Production Company – Big Mountain Productions
Series Producer/Director – Christopher Bruce
Executive Producers – Jane Kelly, Philip McGovern