ARLINGTON, VA;DECEMBER 9, 2014 –From descendants of the infamous pirate Blackbeard to heroes of the Holocaust, PBS’ GENEALOGY ROADSHOW uncovers family secrets in the series’ second season, which premieres Tuesday, January 13, 2015, at 8:00 p.m. ETand airs every Tuesdaythrough February 24 (check local listings). Part detective story, part emotional journey, GENEALOGY ROADSHOW combines history and science to uncover fascinating stories of diverse Americans in and around St. Louis, Philadelphia and New Orleans. Each individual’s story links to a larger community (and in some cases, national) history, to become part of America’s rich cultural tapestry.
GENEALOGY ROADSHOW stars genealogists Kenyatta D. Berry, Joshua Taylor and Mary Tedesco and features participants with unique claims and storylines, including a woman seeking to find out if she is descended from the infamous pirate Blackbeard; a pair of sisters exploring connections to a survivor of the legendary Donner party; a man hoping to recover essential family history that washed away in Hurricane Katrina; and a man learns that the event that drove his family to the City of Brotherly Love changed the course of history.
Over the course of the series, Berry, Taylor and Tedesco work with participants’ anecdotal clues, documents and family heirlooms to unite them with histories and people they never knew existed, as well as to reveal surprising turns and incredible histories.
“In three great and complex American cities we find engaging stories, dark mysteries, emotional reveals and more” said Beth Hoppe, Chief Programming Executive and General Manager of General Audience Programming for PBS. “In each episode, GENEALOGY ROADSHOWreaches out to help Americans who are interested in their family heritage and their community history. It proves that no matter one’s culture and background, everyone is part of the American story.”
St. Louis, Philadelphia and New Orleans were chosen as representative of America’s fascinating crossroads of culture, diversity, industry and history, as well as for their deep pools of riveting stories. GENEALOGY ROADSHOW’s hosts and experts add color and context to the investigations, ensuring every artifact and every name becomes part of solving the mystery.
Below are episode descriptions for each of GENEALOGY ROADSHOW’s six episodes:
New Orleans – Cabildo
Premieres, January 13, 2015 at 8:00 p.m.
A team of genealogists uncovers fascinating family stories at the famous Cabildo, home of the Louisiana State Museum. A couple whose ancestors hail from the same small Italian town explore the chance they may be related; a woman is desperate to find out who committed a gruesome murder in her ancestor’s past; a home held by one family for more than a century renders a fascinating story; and a woman discovers the difficult journey her ancestor took on the path to freedom from slavery.
St. Louis – Central Library
Premieres, January 20, 2015 at 8:00 p.m.
At Saint Louis’ historic central library, a team of genealogists uncovers fascinating family stories from Missouri’s famous gateway city. A mystery writer discovers her mother has hidden a life-changing secret; a woman finds out if she is descended from the infamous pirate Blackbeard; a mother and daughter seek connections to a famous author; and a young man seeks connection to the Mali tribe in Africa.
Philadelphia – Franklin Institute
Premieres, January 27, 2015 at 8:00 p.m.
At Philadelphia’s Franklin Institute, a team of genealogists uncovers fascinating family histories. A man learns that the event that drove his family to the City of Brotherly Love changed the course of history; a man may be a Viking descendant; another’s family could have part of one of history’s biggest scams; a young man hopes to confirm his relation to a signer of the Declaration of Independence; and two sisters learn their ancestors were part of the great Irish migration.
New Orleans – Board of Trade
Premieres, February 3, 2015 at 8:00 p.m.
A team of genealogists uncovers fascinating family stories at the New Orleans Board of Trade. A local man seeks to recover essential history washed away in Hurricane Katrina; a woman discovers she has links to both sides of the Civil War; another unravels the mystery behind her grandfather’s adoption; and one man explores a link to the famous New Orleans Voodoo Queen, Marie Laveau.
St. Louis – Union Station
Premieres, February 10, 2015 at 8:00 p.m.
At St. Louis’ historic Union Station, a team of genealogists uncovers fascinating family stories from Missouri. A musician hopes to find connections to a famous St. Louis jazz composer; two sisters explore links to a survivor of the legendary Donner party; an Italian-American woman finds out if she is related to Italian royalty; and a schoolteacher who has all the answers for her students has very few about her own past.
Philadelphia – Historical Society of Pennsylvania
Premieres, February 17, 2015 at 8:00 p.m.
A team of genealogists uncovers fascinating family histories at the Historical Society of Pennsylvania. One woman’s ancestor may have sparked historic labor laws; a pastor may have an outlaw in her family tree; a woman learns about slave genealogy and, with the help of DNA testing, gets the answer she has waited for; and another woman learns her ancestor may have helped others escape the Holocaust.
PBS LearningMedia, PBS’ destination for educators and students, offers a range of curriculum-targeted resources that support lessons on genealogy, immigration, and identity and delve into the personal histories of well-known icons and everyday Americans. Through discussion questions, worksheets, and videos, PBS LearningMedia helps teachers to promote inquiry in their classrooms and strengthen their student’s personal connection to history. For more information on the latest digital resources for GENEALOGY ROADSHOW classroom instruction, please visit pbslearningmedia.org.
GENEALOGY ROADSHOW is produced by Krasnow Productions. President and owner Stuart Krasnow is a longtime television industry veteran, having worked for all of the country’s top broadcasters in news and entertainment, as well as at numerous cable networks as a creator and executive producer. The series is also executive produced by TV veteran Carlos Ortiz, who has produced mega-hits for almost every major network on television. He brings 20 years of development and producing experience to the table and returns to PBS for his second season on the series.