Sunday, November 29, 2009

PBS Genealogy Series “Faces of America”

Genetic Genealogy TV Series by Dr. Henry Louis Gates

Mario Batali's DNA?

On November 17, 2009 Professor Henry Louis Gates of Harvard was at the New England Historic Genealogical Society Library in Boston to film scenes for his newest project, “Faces of America.” It is a series for PBS to air beginning on February 10, 2010, featuring DNA testing and genealogical research for several celebrities. This seems to be similar to the British TV series “Who Do You Think You Are?” which is also scheduled for an American version on NBC for 2010. Dr. Gates previously hosted a PBS special “African American Lives” which focused on using DNA to help trace the heritage of Americans with roots in Africa.

According to the chatter on the internet and other blogs, “Faces of America” is a four part series hosted and co-produced by Dr. Gates. Again, he will use DNA and genealogy, this time to research well-known Americans of different races and ethnicities. Some of the celebrities include chef Mario Batali, comedian Stephen Colbert, cellist Yo Yo Ma, and actress Meryl Streep. I have posted the YouTube link for the preview below, and it is very moving to see the reactions on their faces as Dr. Gates shows them previously unknown branches of their family trees. It’s nice to know that the high and mighty react the same way as we peons when we find a fun fact in our genealogy!

Now I can’t wait to see this!

Press release from PBS

Photos of Dr. Gates at NEHGS at

A preview available on YouTube can be seen at:

Copyright 2009, Heather Wilkinson Rojo

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