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Thread: Faces of America (PBS) and other genealogy shows

  1. #21
    FORT Fogey Brandy's Avatar
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    Re: Faces of America (PBS)

    Is this going to rerun? I couldn't find it on TiVo. Sounds fascinating, though.

  2. #22
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    Re: Faces of America (PBS)

    Quote Originally Posted by psucashcow;3858368;
    Genealogy is addicting. I've been searching for family for 15 years, but even with a DNA test, it will only give you the general area where the most populaiton with your markers live. I had my brother take the test to track the paternal side of our family and have found no matches with other families with the same surname. So in our family, it appears that probably in Colonial times our ancestor was adopted by a family with our surname. I think that the closest match to our DNA is 70 generations distant.
    I know there are limits to the DNA testing. But I feel like there are even more limits to traditional methods for me because black people weren't really documented before the 1870 census. I have no brothers so I will have to rely on my father and my uncle, I suppose. I'm still looking into it. I'm interested in the type of testing that determines haplo-groups or whatever they're called. Do you know anything about that? What about mitochondrial DNA tests? I'm not sure what is best. I'm really not convinced the surname comparison tests will work for me since my surname is essentially a name adopted by my ancestors who were slaves and a lot of unrelated people adopted the same name.

  3. #23
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    Re: Faces of America (PBS) and other genealogy shows

    I changed the title of the thread, so we can discuss the other shows in this "genre."

    I was an emotional mess watching Lisa Kudrow on Who Do You Think You Are? tonight! It wasn't just because of the story, but because I just learned that a similar thing happened to my family in Poland. The town my family came from in Poland was like the one where Lisa's family came from - the Nazis came and rounded up people (In my family's case, because they were Polish and not because they were Jewish like Lisa's family) and killed them on the spot. It made me wonder if there's a similar monument in the town where my family came from.

    I'm getting African American Lives from Netflix tomorrow. I really enjoyed the second "season" of the series, so I'm sure I'll like this one too, although I can only take Oprah in small doses.
    Anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that 'my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.' - Isaac Asimov

    I was thinking of the immortal words of Socrates, who said, "... I drank what?"

  4. #24
    FORT Fogey psucashcow's Avatar
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    Re: Faces of America (PBS)

    Quote Originally Posted by RealityLovesMe;3858561;
    I know there are limits to the DNA testing. But I feel like there are even more limits to traditional methods for me because black people weren't really documented before the 1870 census. I have no brothers so I will have to rely on my father and my uncle, I suppose. I'm still looking into it. I'm interested in the type of testing that determines haplo-groups or whatever they're called. Do you know anything about that? What about mitochondrial DNA tests? I'm not sure what is best. I'm really not convinced the surname comparison tests will work for me since my surname is essentially a name adopted by my ancestors who were slaves and a lot of unrelated people adopted the same name.
    As I understand DNA tests like my brother took, all the y-chromosome tests are organized into Haplogroups. He took his several years ago and it was a simple 13? marker test. Ancestry.com offers subscribers the opportunity to enter or upload their DNA results to have it geographically mapped so you get to see the migration that your particular Haplogroup followed. Pretty neat.
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  5. #25
    FORT Fogey Brandy's Avatar
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    Re: Faces of America (PBS) and other genealogy shows

    I took one of those ancestral DNA tests. No surprises...Northern Europe. It can't tell you anything else though. General migration and ancestry.

    Lucky celebs getting to learn all of this about their family tree.

  6. #26
    REMAIN INDOORS MotherSister's Avatar
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    Re: Faces of America (PBS) and other genealogy shows

    I was an emotional mess watching Lisa Kudrow on Who Do You Think You Are? tonight!
    I agree, her episode was extremely affecting. I can't imagine having a personal story like that, Crit. Not to get too in your business, but if you found there was a monument in your family's town in Poland, would you want to visit? I was incredibly happy for Lisa that this part of her family's story had a happy twist, and she got to reunite her father with his cousin, but her reaction to that memorial was heartbreaking. I guess actually it was kind of similar to Emmitt Smith's at his ancestral cemetery, when he was comparing the gravestones of his family's owners with the ... nothing to mark the lives of the slaves, out in the woods. An anonymous grave, there's nothing you can do to honor anyone, no way you can even know for certain they're really there. I would be overwhelmed.

    Brandy, if you're all right with streaming, all the episodes of Faces of America are still up at PBS.

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    Re: Faces of America (PBS) and other genealogy shows

    Quote Originally Posted by MotherSister;3859162;
    I agree, her episode was extremely affecting. I can't imagine having a personal story like that, Crit. Not to get too in your business, but if you found there was a monument in your family's town in Poland, would you want to visit?
    I probably would want to see it, MS. These weren't my direct ancestors - my ancestors came to America in the mid-18th century - but these were at least cousins. I'm about to start looking for more information, but I'm not sure how easy it will be since the area was once Prussia and is now Poland and the Nazis invaded. I have no idea if any records remain, but I'm sure there's more information about the massacre. I just hope it's been translated, because I don't speak Polish!

    I just watched African American Lives (aside from about 6 minutes of the first episode which wouldn't play because the darned DVD was so scratched up ) and I really enjoyed it, but I think I liked the second "season" better. Maybe it's because I'm just not a big Oprah fan and this series focused on her way too much. I thought the second group was more interesting to watch and that the show itself was put together better.

    Dr. Gates was very funny when he discovered that he was 50% white: "Do I still qualify for affirmative action? Can I get a reparation check? Half a reparation check? I had the blues....Can I still have the blues?"

    I find the whole DNA testing thing really interesting. There are several sites that offer DNA testing for both medical testing (what diseases you may develop, etc.) and genealogy. I'd love to do that someday, but I can't justify the expense right now. Of course, I'm such a mutt, it would probably only confirm what I already know. I'd be interested to see if there was anything but Northern European in my DNA. I'm probably like Steven Colbert in Faces of America - 100% white!

    ETA: I found it so interesting how many African Americans on the various Gates shows thought they had Native American blood and were genuinely disappointed they discovered that they didn't. I dated a man who was African American and he found out that his great grandfather was Native American, but it was a family secret because his grandfather was ashamed of it. His father only told him when he was in his 40's - he always had suspicions, but was never sure. So contrary to what was on the three Gates series where the people seemed to WANT that connection.
    Last edited by Critical; 03-20-2010 at 10:59 PM.
    Anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that 'my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.' - Isaac Asimov

    I was thinking of the immortal words of Socrates, who said, "... I drank what?"

  8. #28
    FORT Fogey Brandy's Avatar
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    Re: Faces of America (PBS) and other genealogy shows

    Quote Originally Posted by MotherSister;3859162;
    Brandy, if you're all right with streaming, all the episodes of Faces of America are still up at PBS.
    Thank you so much! I really appreciate that.

    I've had some medical DNA testing, too - molecular something or other. According to it I should be dead.

  9. #29
    REMAIN INDOORS MotherSister's Avatar
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    Re: Faces of America (PBS) and other genealogy shows

    Quote Originally Posted by Critical;3859255;
    I probably would want to see it, MS. These weren't my direct ancestors - my ancestors came to America in the mid-18th century - but these were at least cousins. I'm about to start looking for more information, but I'm not sure how easy it will be since the area was once Prussia and is now Poland and the Nazis invaded. I have no idea if any records remain, but I'm sure there's more information about the massacre. I just hope it's been translated, because I don't speak Polish!
    Oh yeah, I can definitely understand wanting to visit in that case, if there were anything to visit. Good luck finding more info. With translations!

    We tracked some of our ancestors to a since dissolved township (I kind of think it was a freedmen's settlement but I have to do more research), and their records were folded into the neighboring town. I'm sure it's more complicated with a dissolved nation and then a Nazi invasion on top of everything else though. And I bet a complex issue like that is something a genealogist would love to dive into. If only they worked for free.

    My secret love Matthew Broderick's episode is next up on NBC; when I heard them talking about a Civil War hero in the promo, I couldn't help but think of Glory.

  10. #30
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    Re: Faces of America (PBS)

    Quote Originally Posted by RealityLovesMe;3858561;
    I know there are limits to the DNA testing. But I feel like there are even more limits to traditional methods for me because black people weren't really documented before the 1870 census. I have no brothers so I will have to rely on my father and my uncle, I suppose. I'm still looking into it. I'm interested in the type of testing that determines haplo-groups or whatever they're called. Do you know anything about that? What about mitochondrial DNA tests? I'm not sure what is best. I'm really not convinced the surname comparison tests will work for me since my surname is essentially a name adopted by my ancestors who were slaves and a lot of unrelated people adopted the same name.
    I took a DNA test through the National Geographic Genographic Project. Men can take either a test to determine their Y-chromosome haplogroup, or a test to determine their mitochondrial haplogroup. Women can only take the mitochondrial test, since they don't have a Y-chromosome.

    The mitochondrial test gives you information about your mother's maternal lineage (her mother's, mother's, mother's...) and the Y-chromosome test about your father's paternal lineage. More about it here: https://genographic.nationalgeograph...pation.html#Q9

    From what I understand, the Y-chromosome DNA mutates more frequently than mitochondrial DNA, so it's a more specific kind of testing.

    I don't know how National Geographic's DNA test compares to others, but the result were very general, and told me that my maternal family is from Western Europe.

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