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# Wednesday, January 26, 2011
Preview of "Who Do You Think You Are?" Episode One
Posted by jamie

Following our media conference call with "Who Do You Think You Are?" producer Lisa Kudrow and season two, episode one celebrity Vanessa Williams, we were able to screen the first episode.

While we won't reveal all the juicy details of Williams' ancestry,  here are a few things to look forward to in her "WDYTYA?" episode:

  • Civil War history buffs, rejoice! This episode is chock full of Civil War and Reconstruction history, including the effect of slavery and Jim Crow laws on Williams' ancestors.
  • Williams made history as the first African American crowned Miss America, but she isn't the only noteworthy person in her family tree. She delves into the astonishing history of one of her former slave ancestors.
  • On a trip to Washington, D.C., National Archives researcher Vonnie Zullo stumbles upon a rare genealogical find while researching Williams' great-great grandfather David Carll. The item is so unheard of, Zullo says it's the only one she's come across in her 20-plus years at the depository.
  • If the first episode is any indication of what's to come on "WDYTYA?", expect more air time devoted to original documents and what goes into tracing your roots.

"WDYTYA?" premieres Friday, Feb. 4, at 8pm EST on NBC. Check the Genealogy Insider blog for a brief recap of each episode.


"Who Do You Think You Are?" | African-American roots
Wednesday, January 26, 2011 1:49:05 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [6]
Thursday, January 27, 2011 1:34:55 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)
Looking forward to the show returning - can't wait!!
Sandi Russo
Thursday, January 27, 2011 2:18:47 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)
The Canadian version is on air right now on CNBC.
Bill Dalton
Thursday, January 27, 2011 10:15:50 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)
Fell in love with the show last year can barely stand to wait one more week to see it . One of the few good shows on lately.Wish we could all have the opportunity to look up our ancesters in the way the show does.
Really worth the watch.
Pat Keller
Pat Keller
Friday, January 28, 2011 12:52:41 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)
I was hooked from the first WDYTYA airing!!! It inspired me to delve deeper into my ancestry. I had the opportunity of a lifetime, meeting the genealogists from WDYTYA, at the Salt Lake City Family History Center here in Utah. In one week they found information on my father, who I only knew the first 4 years of my life. Then, they found his family, who I knew nothing about. That part of me that has been missing all my life, that I have been searching for, for nearly 50 years, was found by two very special NEHGS genealogists. They made me complete. All due to those fine experts, the genealogists at New England Historical Genealogical Society in Boston, MA. I have been blessed by these fine people and the wonderful NEHGS!! Thank you Josh Taylor and Chris Child - bless you both, and all the staff of NEHGS!!! With Love, Becky McNeil, Toquerville, Utah
Rebecca McNeil
Wednesday, February 02, 2011 8:12:48 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)
I love the show, but as an adopted American, I find it ironic. Over 7 million adult adoptees are denied by their state governments to legally trace their ancestry. I also find it offensive that Rosie O'Donnell is a celebrity this season. While it's awesome that Ms. O'Donnell can trace her heritage, it is highly unlikely her children will be afforded the same right.

I am lucky that I was able to find MY family, even though it is illegal for me to see my original birth certificate. Because of that, I am denied membership in several "lineage" societies.

It would be great if professional genealogists and the producers of "Who Do You Think You Are?" would join the fight with adult adoptees in the adoptee rights movement.

Thursday, February 03, 2011 12:33:57 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)
Someone should educate Lisa Kudrow about genealogy research before she appears on TV shows hyping the show. Recently, on the Today show, she said that if you're Jewish and Polish, forget about getting records from Poland before WWII! That's ridiculous. There's a ton of records available from Poland. I have some myself. She also advised beginners to start with Ancestry (understandable since they're her sponsor) but that's not REALLY where to start - start with building a tree and interviewing relatives. Because she's so high profile, her misinformation will spread to newbies and we'll have to work hard to undo it.
Jackye
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