finding your roots

your stories

Native America skin, Irish name

Cary McWilliams

I have been curious about my lineage for many years. The only relatives that I know, are my parents. I have never known either set of grandparents, other than their first names. Having an Irish surname, and being told that my father was born on an Indian reservation, peaked my curiosity. Continue reading ...

May 23, 2012 | 1 Comment

We Are Not That Far Removed From Slavery

Ronald Harrison Traylor

My name is Ronald Harrison Traylor. My father was Roosevelt Traylor whose father was Harrison Traylor born 1853. I believe Harrison and the famous Black folk artist Bill Traylor were related but I'm not able to say exactly how so. Continue reading ...

May 23, 2012 | 3 COMMENTS

Indentured Servants spawn African Americans in VA

Tori Hamilton

The case of Wanda Sykes family beginnings helped me to understand why my great-grandmother, a native of Essex County, VA, always told us that her ancestors were never slaves. Continue reading ...

May 23, 2012 | Leave a comment

Bridging Opposites in Families

Michael Barnett, M. Div., M. Ed.

The Barnetts were Norman-Irish (Danish ancestry) from West Cork, Ireland. John Barnett from Rosscarbery, Co, Cork, and Honorah Lynch from Bandon, Co. Cork, married in early 1800s. When Ted Hallman and I were visiting music artists at Cill Rialaig Artists Retreat in Co, Kerry, I checked the local parish records for John Barnett to find that they were burned in a fire. Continue reading ...

May 23, 2012 | Leave a comment

shocking discoveries


Until yesterday, I did not have a clue that I had truly Southern ancestors, let alone that one owned 24 slaves. I also didn't know my 3d great grandfether, born in Hamburg, had more htan one sibling - a much more pleasant surprise. Continue reading ...

May 23, 2012 | Leave a comment

Mayflower Mystery Lineage

Timothy Stamps

I am a direct descendant of John Alden and Priscilla Mullins, the Mayflower pilgrims. There are two unproven generations that have puzzled genealogists and historians for several decades, and, until further proof is located, we (descendants of this particular line) are not accepted into the John Alden Society, although the lineage is recognized by the Mayflower Society (where it is posted). Continue reading ...

May 23, 2012 | 6 COMMENTS


Barbara J.Leigh

I have been doing my family history since 1989 i found my father mother and father.I have been trying to find great grandfather Warren Worthy mother who is Charity Worthy who was born in Maryland and who was parents she was born in 1814 orb1815. Continue reading ...

May 23, 2012 | 1 Comment

my corsican greatgrandad

placido rodriguez,maldonado

my great grand dad was from the island nation of Corsica in the Mediterranean, he came to Puerto Rico during the 1850s. Continue reading ...

May 23, 2012 | 1 Comment

Ireland to Dakota

Mimi Kane

Patrick (County Mayo) and Bridget Josephine Scanlon Kane (Ennis, County Clare) were married in Oldham, Manchester, England, 1863, after they left Ireland. They came to Baltimore right after they married, on separate ships. Continue reading ...

May 23, 2012 | Leave a comment

How did I become a McMillan?

Terry McMillan

As a novelist, I know a lot about other folks' lives (fabricated, of course) but can't go back more than two generations about my own. Continue reading ...

May 23, 2012 | 2 COMMENTS

Buy the DVD

About the Series

The basic drive to discover who we are and where we come from is at the core of the new 10-part PBS series Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates, Jr., the 12th series from Professor Gates, the Alphonse Fletcher University Professor at Harvard University and director of the W.E.B. Du Bois Institute for African and African American Research. Filmed on location across the United States, the series premieres nationally Sundays, March 25 – May 20 at 8 pm ET on PBS (check local listings).

Join the Community

close watch preview