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Thread: Finding Your Roots (PBS) and other genealogy shows

  1. #11
    REMAIN INDOORS MotherSister's Avatar
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    Re: Faces of America (PBS)

    Quote Originally Posted by psucashcow;3851030;
    Gates' crew can find newspaper articles on Queen Noor's ancestors who had recently arrived in America and I can't find obits for family who lived in the same county for their entire lives.
    Quote Originally Posted by daiseyo;3849792;
    I would love to have all of the resources, expert genealogists, and tools that these shows provide to look into my own family history. If only it could be that easy for "regular" people!
    Isn't that the truth. I've been helping my father put together our family tree for quite a while now, and no matter how many breakthroughs we have, we always end up with more questions than answers. Even with all the money/manpower/resources, the sheer amount of information and detail they're able to come up with is impressive. I wonder how long it took to produce each of these series.

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    Re: Faces of America (PBS)

    Quote Originally Posted by MotherSister;3851285;
    Isn't that the truth. I've been helping my father put together our family tree for quite a while now, and no matter how many breakthroughs we have, we always end up with more questions than answers. Even with all the money/manpower/resources, the sheer amount of information and detail they're able to come up with is impressive. I wonder how long it took to produce each of these series.
    Genealogy is like putting together a puzzle, only you keep finding more pieces and they aren't necessarily the pieces you were looking for....and the puzzle keeps getting BIGGER! I entered the contest at NBC's site too! I told my mom that, if I win, we're headed to Leiden in the Netherlands (near where one branch of our family of from)!

    If you go to most National Archives locations, the average age of the person there searching the records is probably 65. It's not just money you need to do family history research - it's time! I was at an NA center years ago and was easily the youngest person there, aside from a girl who was there with her mother - she was probably 9 or 10. The girl complained that it was boring and everyone there is old and her mother pointed to me and said, "She's not old." The girl replied "Well, she's crazy." True enough.
    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?"

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    Re: Faces of America (PBS)

    In case anyone is interested, Skip Gates's series African American Lives is available on Netflix and the second season is available to watch instantly.... which is what I plan on doing today!
    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. #14
    FORT Fogey buttahfly's Avatar
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    Re: Faces of America (PBS)

    thx - i just added it to my queue.

    Quote Originally Posted by Critical;3851326;
    In case anyone is interested, Skip Gates's series African American Lives is available on Netflix and the second season is available to watch instantly.... which is what I plan on doing today!

  5. #15
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    Re: Faces of America (PBS)

    Someone had mentioned Skip Gates being on Oprah, and how inevitably they felt Oprah would ask about the arrest last summer. I watched Oprah, and she did ask him about it, but it was tasteful. Skip mentioned having formed a somewhat amicable relationship with the arresting officer, and the officer gave Skip the handcuffs he had used, which had the officer's name engraved on it. Skip has decided to donate the handcuffs to the new Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture (which will open in 2015). ALSO, Skip asked the officer if he would be interested in taking part in genealogical DNA testing, and...yup, you guessed it: he and Skip share common ancestry!

  6. #16
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    Re: Faces of America (PBS)

    I watched part of the Oprah show. I was hoping he would be first but he wasn't. And sometimes I hate when she does shows about other shows because it ends up being a lot of clips from those shows which is why I ended up wandering away from the Gates part of her show. I had already watched Face of America and didn't really want to see the clips of the high points again. But the part I did watch was fun. I love seeing him interviewed generally speaking.

  7. #17
    Lux et Veritas chrisg's Avatar
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    Re: Faces of America (PBS)

    The NBC 'Who Do You Think You Are?' is on my radar because Emmitt Smith is going to be on it this week and I'm a Cowboys fan. I also DVR'd the one with Sarah Jessica Parker and thought it was a little over the top in terms of trying to add in cheesy drama (along with the cheesy title ). I'm not sure if I'll watch any of the other shows of the NBC version after Emmitt's.

    Genealogy is a really fascinating subject, though, and I'm sure Professor Gates takes a much more in depth perspective. A friend of mine has the DVDs from African American Lives and I'm going to borrow them and watch and then maybe catch up to this season of Faces of America. I've done some research on my family at the New York Public Library which has some good starting resources. A lot of resources are completely free and, I agree with Crit, that the biggest investment is in the time it takes to do the research.
    Last edited by chrisg; 03-10-2010 at 09:27 PM.
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    Re: Faces of America (PBS)

    I watched all four episodes of African American Lives 2 on Netflix the other day and it was fantastic! So interesting and well done. My only complaint is that I wish they'd tested the participants to see if they were related, as he did on Faces of America. I've got the first part of African American Lives in my queue now.

    Chris - Faces of America should still be available at the PBS site.

    On Oprah's show, Dr. Gates said his favorite moment of the series was finding Yo-Yo Ma's family history in China and it was mine too! Yo-Yo is just so adorable and sweet. I was so excited for him. I also loved his reaction when he found out he was related to Eva Longoria. Her reaction was pretty funny too: "He's Mexican!?"
    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?"

  9. #19
    FORT Fogey
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    Re: Faces of America (PBS)

    Faces of America and Who Do You Think You Are? have made me sort of interested in genealogy too! It is hard to find information about my ancestors since we are mostly black. I did trace some of my ancestry back to France in 1703! I'm 3% French. Who knew? It is sad to learn how difficult it is to find information about my black relatives (and there are a lot of them). I've had more success with the White and Mexican ancestors. And I don't even speak Spanish! I think I should just take a DNA test like Emmitt Smith did. They are expensive and I am a bit afraid of what I will learn.

  10. #20
    FORT Fogey psucashcow's Avatar
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    Re: Faces of America (PBS)

    Quote Originally Posted by RealityLovesMe;3857964;
    Faces of America and Who Do You Think You Are? have made me sort of interested in genealogy too! It is hard to find information about my ancestors since we are mostly black. I did trace some of my ancestry back to France in 1703! I'm 3% French. Who knew? It is sad to learn how difficult it is to find information about my black relatives (and there are a lot of them). I've had more success with the White and Mexican ancestors. And I don't even speak Spanish! I think I should just take a DNA test like Emmitt Smith did. They are expensive and I am a bit afraid of what I will learn.
    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.
    Never kick a fresh turd on a hot day---Harry S. Truman

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