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Genealogy

Resources for researching your ancestors and your family history

Introduction

Genealogy TV shows have had a surge in popularity with shows in various formats airing on several different networks. This section will provide an overview of some of the most popular genealogy shows as well as a few that are not quite as well-known, with information about where and how they can be watched online. Information about current shows will be kept as up-to-date as possible.

Currently In Production

Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates, Jr. (PBS)
Season 8 premieres in January 2022
Premiere Date: 25 March 2012
Seasons: 7, 76 episodes
Available to Watch Online: Seasons 1-3, Hoopla and Kanopy; Seasons 2-7, PBS.org (PBS members only)

Hosted by Harvard University professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr., Finding Your Roots showcases two or three celebrities in each episode as they learn more about their family history, the show also includes overviews of historical events to provide context to the stories of the subjects’ ancestors.

 


Relative Race (BYUtv)
Season 7 now streaming

Hosted by Dan Debenham
​Premiere Date: 28 Feb 2016
Seasons: 7, 75 episodes
Available to Watch Online: Seasons 2-6, BYUtv.org (free)

Relative Race is an Amazing Race-style competition show in which four couples have to follow clues and complete challenges in order to find unknown biological relatives discovered by the producers through DNA testing. The winners of each season receive a large cash prize.

 


Who Do You Think You Are? (NBC & TLC)
Season 11 premieres in 2021 (date to be announced)

Narrated by Mocean Melvin
Premiere Date: 5 March 2010
Seasons: 10, 78 episodes
Available to Watch Online: Seasons 4-10, TLC.com (requires cable subscription info); individual episodes available for purchase on YouTube

Based on the long-running British series of the same name, each episode of Who Do You Think You Are? features one celebrity as they travel to archives and other sites all over the world to learn about their family history. The show aired on NBC from 2010-12, on TLC from 2013-2018, and will return to NBC for season 11.

No Longer in Production

Ancestors (BYUtv)
Premiere: 2018
Seasons: 1, 23 episodes (short-term series)
Available to Watch Online: BYUtv.org (free)

A limited-run series, Ancestors looked at different kinds of records from all over the world in an effort to showcase how they can be used for family history research.

 


The Generations Project (BYUtv)
Premiere Date: 29 March 2010
Seasons: 3, 38 episodes
Available to Watch Online: BYUtv.org (free)

The Generations Project followed ordinary people as they research their family history in an effort to solve old mysteries.

Status Uncertain

A New Leaf (NBC)
Hosted by Daisy Fuentes
Premiere Date: 5 Oct 2019
Seasons: 1, 13 episodes (1st season complete, unknown if there will be a 2nd.)
Available to Watch Online: NBC Online (free), Hulu (subscription required)

A New Leaf follows ordinary people as they research their family tree and look for inspiration form the stories of their ancestors, often as they are preparing for a major life event.

 


The Genetic Detective (ABC)
Premiere Date: 26 May 2020
Seasons: 1, 6 episodes (1st season complete, unknown if there will be a 2nd.)
Available to Watch Online: ABC.com (free)

The Genetic Detective highlights cold cases from all over the U.S. that were solved in part due to the work of genetic genealogist CeCe Moore and her team.

 


Genealogy Roadshow (PBS)
Premiere Date: 23 Sept 2013
Seasons: 3, 17 episodes (likely canceled, no official announcement has been made)
Available to Watch Online: Season 1,  PBS Learning Media (free); Seasons 1-2, PBS.org (PBS members only); individual episodes available for purchase on iTunes, YouTube, and Google Play; also streaming on Amazon Prime.

Much like Antiques Roadshow, accepted applicants to the program went to a designated location to be filmed, usually at an historically significant location. Professional genealogists then presented their research into the applicants’ family history.

 


Long Lost Family (TLC)
Hosted by Chris Jacobs & Lisa Joyner
Premiere Date: 6 March 2016
Seasons: 6, 63 episodes (no announcement made regarding seventh season)
Available to Watch Online: TLC.com (requires cable subscription info), individual episodes available for purchase on YouTube

Co-sponsored by Ancestry.com, Long Lost Family featured genealogy researchers assisting individuals in locating and re-uniting with their long lost biological family members.

 


Roots Less Traveled (NBC)
Host: Faruq Tauheed
​Premiere Date: 4 April 2020
​Seasons: 2, 16 episodes (unknown if there will be a third season)
Available to Watch Online: NBC Online (free)

Aimed at a teenage audience, Roots Less Traveled follows pairs of family members as they travel in an effort to solve a mystery in their family trees and gain a better understanding for each other.