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Episode 3: Making America

Making America tells the story of the peopling of the New World, of how land came to define the settling and identity of America, and of how the guests’ ancestors were part of this history. We discover descriptions of Meryl Streep’s eighth great-grandfather who fought in Metacom’s War; records of a land dispute in Spain that pushed Eva Longoria’s ancestors to leave for the New World; a treaty that Louise Erdrich’s Native American ancestor was forced to sign; and Yo-Yo Ma’s family genealogy in China, which gives insights into his identity he has longed for his whole life.

  • Ed Mashmann

    Perhaps Dr. Gates is incorrect?

  • francesca


  • janaga

    where did you find it?!…. i couldn’t even find the 2nd vid….

  • Cindy Duffek

    I can’t seem to find the video for Episode 3. I’ve watched the others and enjoyed them. Any ideas on how to get the video for 3? Thanks in advance.

  • Jennifer

    You can find all episodes in the “video” section. Click that tab. 1-4 are there. Now if someone can tell me why they all just stop when they want to and I have to go back and reboot it and start over! Thats annoying!

  • Brianna

    Eva Longoria and Yo-Yo Ma’s stories are truly amazing. I agree that they’re some of the most fascinating. I wish my family had a genealogy going back to the 1400s!

  • Dorothy

    How odd that Stephen Colbert has Alsation roots that are Lutheran. I have family from Alsace on my mom’s side, and they were mostly Catholic. My great, great grandmother was Lutheran.

  • John

    I didn’t have a problem with this episode until it got to the segment about Metacom’s War and then essentially had a memorial service for him to try to make European American’s feel terrible for killing him and his soldiers.

  • Aoife

    I’m watching this in Ireland, haven’t a clue who half the celebs are but it doesn’t matter, great television.

  • Grant

    She’s quite accomplished as well! According to her Linked In profile, Yeou-Cheng Ma has been the executive director of the Children’s Orchestra Society for over 18 years AND for 27 years she was an attending physician at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine! An NY Times article from 16 years ago is a nice profile:

    It’s too bad about her own musical career being abruptly cut off when her brother’s career took off, but she has touched many, many lives herself.

  • Anca

    Question for Professor Gates, the producers and contributors to this series, and to PBS: can you help with my family ancestry? can I be a subject of the show?

  • Gaye Tannenbaum

    I have been fascinated with genealogy since the broadcast of Roots back in the 1970s. In the following decade, I found out that I had been adopted and everything I had been researching belonged to my sister and brother but not to me. Twenty-five years later, I’ve found my mother but I am still looking to DNA to prove who my father was.

    I would love for a series to be done on adoptees and their roots – even if the adoptees are famous people. I’m sure there are several who were adopted from overseas who would make good candidates.

  • Sheila

    My husband and I also have followed this very interesting series. Hopefully they will do more in the fall.
    I am interested in a comment above made by Carolyn who was talking about her Kieber ancestors. My family were also Kiebers from Prusedorf, Alsace. I believe two brothers came ca the mid 1850’s. Wonder if we are related!

  • J. Gordon

    Please delete the address within the above post or delete the entire post. She posted her address thinking it was a private message to the show and didn’t realize it not only is visible to everyone here but shows up in various Google searches.

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