It's back! Genealogists' favorite television show, Finding Your Roots, returns for an eighth season on January 4 (Tuesday night!) on your local PBS affiliate. We have a link below to the complete season 8 schedule.
Hosted by Harvard historian Henry Louis Gates Jr., the program delves into the genealogy of TV personalities, politicians, authors, musicians, and Hollywood stars. The show works with professional genealogists to go deep into the past, often finding stories that have long been forgotten.
The interviewees go on camera not knowing what's going to come out about their families' pasts. It may be touching, troubling, funny, or even shocking, but are usually a combination of all of these elements. Moreover, the personal stories of long-forgotten ancestors not only connect modern-day interviewees with their family history, but also with the history of the United States or the countries their immigrant ancestors came from.
If you ask people who love the program, they will often cite a favorite episode which made them laugh, cry, or realize something new about the struggles faced by ancestors.
For us, the Season 6 episode featuring TV chef Lidia Bastianich revealed her own family's history to escape a disputed region claimed by Italy and the former Yugoslavia. It was so moving. We know this new Season 8 will have similarly touching stories.