finding your roots

Branford Marsalis and Harry Connick, Jr.

Henry Louis Gates Jr. reveals the family histories and ancestry of New Orleans-based jazz musicians and friends Branford Marsalis and Harry Connick, Jr. Watch full episode. Episode credits.



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  • J Davis

    March 27, 2012 at 7:01 pm

    Doesn’t seem like this video is working. Would love to see it!

  • cj

    April 1, 2012 at 6:34 pm

    What a fascinating series this is!

    But I am confused about Lizzie Montgomery. The record refers to her son, Simeon, as her “natural born” son. I thought the term “natural born” was a euphamism for “illegitimate.” (At least that is the way Jane Austen used it in her writings.) Since the record uses that term, doesn’t it cast doubt on Carter as the father?

    Is it possible that Simeon was not the son of either Carter or Black, but was actually the son of Marsalis, conceived while Lizzie was married to Black? Maybe some DNA testing is in order…

  • cj

    April 1, 2012 at 6:36 pm

    Oops–sorry. I meant, Doesn’t it cast doubt on Black as the father?

  • EW

    April 1, 2012 at 11:13 pm

    Just a note: “Negroidal” may be an old world with troublesome roots in anthropology and dusty ethnographies, but it isn’t some “black made up word”, even if the Professor isn’t (for some unknown reason) familiar with the term.

  • WE

    April 2, 2012 at 12:55 am

    Why no racial admixture results for Mr. Connick? Seems a bit of a double-standard again. This would give less of the appearance of an agenda of some kind if the show addressed the histories of people of various backgrounds in a more equitable way in each episode. I’m sure lots of folks would be interested, and we know it shouldn’t be taken for granted, especially given what we know about the history of the south. Also, would love to see the results from the company used in the first series Dr. Gates did, with data on ancestry back to Asia, Africa, and Europe – more definitive. Thanks for the show.

  • RadiantT

    April 3, 2012 at 11:56 pm

    I don’t like the oversimplification of admixture as they present it.

    Why not explain that within one family each sibling can have different percentages even when they share the same parents. For instance, Bradford & Winston’s ethnic percentages could be different. It is how some are lighter, darker, different features, etc. It is erroneous to say that someone is only XYZ. Their lineage is their lineage, each individual is just uniquely made up of different percentages of the whole.

    Correct me if I am wrong.

    And no Harry admixture? Disappointing. If ever someone ‘seems’ a blend. He does not look solely European. For someone wanting to ‘be Black’ in his youth, it would be cool to know for sure his bloodline.

  • Amy

    May 13, 2012 at 6:47 pm

    Love the show, I do have to agree with my interest in Harry Connick Jr’s ethnic background as there are many European Americans that have African and Asian roots and are even less likely to know about their ethnic roots.

    If Henry was also tested, it would be great to see a follow up episode on this.


  • KA

    May 24, 2012 at 8:05 pm

    Thank you for starting this series on PBS. It is an interesting look at the history of ourselves and our nation.

  • cb

    June 3, 2012 at 1:35 pm

    Harry admixture test is not shown maybe they are trying to cover up something but if you look at the video at 45:50 you can see the test results. it looks like he has black in him.

  • June 4, 2012 at 12:32 am

    I have learned so much across the board. both in history, and geneology. I am really enjoying this series. Thank You!

  • June 10, 2012 at 8:49 am

    I love this one! Just one more AMERICAN genealogy that Blows Your Hair Back….I love it, I love it…

  • Melinda Loustalot

    June 14, 2012 at 6:03 pm

    Hah! Branford Marsalis. .30% European! Your ghetto pass has been revoked. . but seriously, having worked on my family’s genealogy for the past 10 years, I have learned you can NEVER assume anything about a person’s heritage. . hopefully this series will help people see each other through new eyes. . peace. .

  • Tiana

    June 23, 2012 at 11:13 pm

    Lawd Lizzie didn’t know who her baby daddy was? lol I like to think Issac Black somehow perished, and no woman wants to raise a child alone. I commend Joseph Marsalis for stepping up. It’d be nice if more men did these days.

  • seyi

    August 26, 2012 at 12:52 pm

    amazing show. i would like to see a study on denzel washington, michelle obama and michael jordan. i think the discoveries would be fascinating.

  • Halogen1

    September 22, 2012 at 1:18 pm

    I agree with the others with curiosity with Harry Connick Jr.’s admixture. I have been wondering since the 90s! I was like, “OMG, this show is finally going to shed light on things; here it comes, here it comes! …oh, total disappointment.” I wrote to the contacts on this website AND 23andMe. I did not either get a reply or a satisfactory reply. It just helps a lot for people to realize that people who do great things can come from a background that includes many groups, not just one. :-(

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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).

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