Most of us have been watching TLC’s Who Do You think You Are? Celebrity’s are visiting archives, flitting about the world from one city to another, and finding all kinds of neat things about their ancestry – all brought to us in one hour. Of course, there very well may have been 1000 hours of research before that lucky celeb was able to be filmed for television. We understand all that, and find the program very entertaining.
Now we are about to view the new Genealogy Roadshow on PBS (following the ever-popular Antiques Roadshow, of course). It will debut Monday evening on PBS stations, and is sure to be a hit. While Antiques Roadshow was made up of folks showing up with the old stuff, hoping for a high appraisal, Genealogy Roadshow is much more controlled. To get interesting episodes, PBS stations solicited genealogy-related stories and the resulting questions from viewers, and ordinary people, then had the queries researched, with the good ones ending up as part of the series.
The following is from the September 19, 2013 edition of the Salt Lake Tribune:
These are very specific questions,” said executive producer Stuart Krasnow. “It’s not just, ‘Oh, tell me everything about my roots, where I came from.’ It’s really, ‘We want to know if we are related to Abraham Lincoln,’ for instance.”
At that point, researchers and DNA experts go to work to prove or disprove family lore. “And then the stories that have, sort of, the most interesting results are the ones that we feature on the show,” Krasnow said.