Season 2

Notes from a Researcher

Meaghan Farrell’s job is much bigger than simply pasting together bits of information — her research tells the story of America.

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Season 2

Stills from the Set

Page through exclusive photos from the filming of Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates Jr.

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Season 1

Genealogy Resources

Online databases make it easier than ever to trace your own family history, and DNA testing allows for the type of deep research conducted for Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates, Jr. These links can help you get started. Trace Your Family History Ancestry.com & AncestryDNA.com Offer DNA testing and community resources to uncover […]

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Season 1

3 Degrees of Separation, Part 2

While the PBS series Finding Your Roots made only passing reference to connections between guests, the truth is that each guest is separated from each other guest by at most three degrees — genetically.

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Season 1

Haplogroups: Tracing Deep Roots with DNA

People with similar geographic ancestry share these small differences in their mtDNA or their y-DNA and they are grouped together in what are called haplogroups— specific clans or branches of the human family tree.

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Season 1

John Legend’s Unique Family History

Each family story is unique, and each of these stories contributes to our greater understanding of humanity. Finding these stories and sharing them with my guests is the most rewarding aspect of making these documentary series. This is particularly true when I can share rare stories with my African American guests. Two such stories were […]

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Season 1

Condoleezza Rice and the Complexities of Race

Last summer, in August 2010, I gave a presentation on genealogy and genetics to the board of directors of the Aspen Institute at our annual board meeting. After showing a clip from our previous PBS series, Faces of America, I talked about the recent American fascination with finding one’s roots. So many generations of Americans […]

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Season 1

DNA and Deep Family Mysteries

For some, these deeper family mysteries take on an additional dimension that goes far beyond curiosity — knowing who that great-great-grandfather was would fill in a critical gap in their understanding of who they are.

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