Genealogy Roadshow: New Show Coming to PBS

Genealogy Roadshow PBS has announced a new show, Genealogy Roadshow, that will investigate unverified genealogical claims that have been passed down through family history which may (or may not) connect them to an event or a historical figure.

Here’s the press release and info on how to sign up:


ARLINGTON, VA; MAY 9, 2013 – PBS announced today that it will add the new series GENEALOGY ROADSHOW to its fall lineup. Part detective story, part emotional journey, GENEALOGY ROADSHOW will combine history and science to uncover the fascinating stories of diverse Americans. Each individual’s past will link to a larger COMMUNITY history, revealing the rich cultural tapestry of America. GENEALOGY ROADSHOW will air Mondays, September 23-October 14, 9:00-10:00 p.m. ET.

“GENEALOGY ROADSHOW is an engaging, innovative program that reveals the bigger picture of our nation’s past, present and future,” said Beth Hoppe, Chief Programming Executive and General Manager of General Audience Programming for PBS. “With a diverse mix of stories in each episode, GENEALOGY ROADSHOW appeals to Americans interested in learning about their family histories. It also shows that no matter one’s heritage and background, everyone has a place in history.”

GENEALOGY ROADSHOW’s premiere season will feature participants from four American cities — Nashville, Austin, Detroit and San Francisco — who want to explore unverified genealogical claims, passed down through family history, that may (or may not) connect them to an event or a historical figure. These cities were chosen as American crossroads of culture, diversity, industry and history, with deep pools of potential participants and stories. After participants are chosen, experts in genealogy, history and DNA will use family heirlooms, letters, pictures, historical documents and other clues to hunt down more information. These experts will enlist the help of local historians to add color and context to the investigations, ensuring every artifact and every name becomes a clue in solving the mystery. Residents of Austin, Detroit, Nashville and San Francisco are invited and encouraged to submit their personal stories as GENEALOGY ROADSHOW will unearth family and COMMUNITY secrets, reveal notable relatives and discover unexpected stories that connect the past to the present. Many answers will be revealed on camera before a local audience, in a historic building relevant to the cities’ – and the participants’ – histories.

“It is rare and wonderful when one can produce a show in which literally everyone is qualified to be a part of it,” said executive producer Stuart Krasnow. “PBS is the perfect partner to produce a show that celebrates the richness of the individual, and the differences between us that make our country unique.”

THE GENEALOGY ROADSHOW has been a hit in Ireland, where national public broadcaster RTE commissioned the original format from producer Big Mountain Productions. “It just hit a nerve,” said Big Mountain executive producer Philip McGovern. “Everybody wants answers to questions about their own histories to help make sense of their lives today. We’ve had a lot of interest in the format internationally and are delighted PBS has picked it up.”

Episodes in the series include:

Nashville is a vibrant cultural crossroad in the American South. While it is the capital of country music and a centerpiece of Civil War history, it’s known for much more. The city rose to prominence within the shipping industry, and its post-Civil War prosperity led to an explosion in architecture, education and the arts. Its abundant opportunities led to population swells of Mexican, Cambodian and Iraqi immigrants. Nashville’s Jewish COMMUNITY laid roots in the area more than 150 years ago, and an influx of Kurdish immigrants in recent years has given the city its new nickname, “Little Kurdistan.”

With the motto “Keep Austin Weird,” this city prides itself on uniqueness. The fast- growing metropolis has evolved into a hub for government, technology, culture and education. Austin boasts a strong sense of individuality that stems in part from its diverse history. With early Native-American settlements of Tonkawas and Comanches, central Texas’ rich culture includes Mexican, Asian, African-American and European communities.

While Detroit is known mainly for two things — cars and Motown — there is much more to the city, which boasts one of the most diverse populations in the country. After its settlement by French-Canadians, Detroit attracted a large number of Europeans and immigrants of Middle Eastern descent, making it now home to the largest Arab-American COMMUNITY in the country. As well, hundreds of thousands of African-Americans moved to Detroit from the rural southern U.S. as part of The Great Migration of the 20th century. Detroit was the first place in the country to have a stretch of concrete highway and a four-way, three-color Traffic Light. It supplied 75 percent of the liquor during the Prohibition era and was the birthplace of the ice cream soda.

San Francisco is known as a Pacific port, a religious mission, a railroad hub, a mining mecca, an earthquake epicenter, the birthplace of world-famous counterculture movements and the home of the biggest technological innovations of all time, including denim jeans. The city has seen its population transformed over and over again due to its constantly shifting industries, leading to the significant diversity that exists there today.

To submit an application for GENEALOGY ROADSHOW, visit:
San Francisco:

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.

About Big Mountain Productions
Big Mountain originated the GENEALOGY ROADSHOW format, which is in its second season in Ireland on RTE Television. Run by husband-and-wife team Jane Kelly and Philip McGovern, who are former BBC/RTE executive producers, Big Mountain originates and produces television shows for national broadcasters, specializing in hybrid shows that combine great content and entertainment value, including: The Tenements, Life in the Big House, Craftmaster, Living the Eviction and the music-mentoring show Jam.

About Krasnow Productions
Krasnow Productions is named for its founder and president, Stuart Krasnow, a 30-year veteran television producer. Under his banner, Krasnow has developed and produced series in almost every genre of unscripted television for broadcast and cable networks, including The Weakest Link, Average Joe, Dog Eat Dog and The Janice Dickinson Modeling Agency. Krasnow Productions also sold and produced Searching For…, one of the first original series to be produced for Oprah Winfrey’s OWN network. In addition, Krasnow Productions has sold and produced original projects for NBC, A&E, TBS, GSN, MTV, HGTV, E! and Fremantlemedia.

What do you think? Does Genealogy Roadshow sound like your kind of show?


10 Comments · Read them below or add one

  1. Colete Morlock says

    I love this show! What sets this show apart from the others being broadcast is that it does not focus on celebrities, but investigates for common, every day people. I still have my own mysteries connected to three Welsh brothers who emigrated to the U.S. I am related to a Thomas Arnold, Civil War veteran. I have traced his brother Joseph in Sharpsburg, PA but have not been able to find anything on their older brother William. They originated from Aberdare in Glamorgan and worked in the iron ore mines before they had been depleted. Upon entry to the U.S. William was listed on an East St. Louis, IL census as a forgeman. Joseph worked in a rolling mill in PA. Thomas had been a puddler but his injury in the Civil War retired him. He died in St. Louis, MO in 1880.

  2. Susan Frihse says

    My father was a pilot during WWII. Having been a a “military brat” I know very little about my ancestors. For some reason it was never discussed. Our family was mostly our military family. I have my father’s military records but it doesn’t show his ancestors. His name was colonel philip james keating. According to the family bible his father was edward James keating from england or ireland and my grandmother was anna kolbe from Austria. I cannot find them on the Ellis islland records. Can you help

  3. Catherine says

    I read in the New Orleans paper that you were seeking New Orleans area residents who want to explore their family history on national TV. Cannot find a website with and application form for New Orleans. I am of French, German & Irish heritage and have some questions about my ancestors. My great-grandparents were Fitzgeralds from Ireland. I was told years ago that they were from the same village as the Kennedy-Fitzgeralds. I would like to find out if this is true. Thanks

  4. Connie says

    I thought the show was great. The fact that it was not about celebrities was especially interesting to me. It was fun and interesting to see average people finding out about their past. I would love to see the show continue on and see more people find answers to their past.

  5. Marjorie P atton says

    We just watched the first show and it was fascinating. My husband’s family has had a long-standing mystery about his great- grandfather, who supposedly was in the Kaiser’s Army, but since he came over with the troops who performed in Buffalo Bill’s Wild West show! and didn’t return to Germany with them-apparently deserted- and changed his name we would love to be able to trace his story. Will you ever be in the Philadelphia, PA area?

  6. Brenda Smallwood says

    My fathers(Henry Arnold Hazel) father passed away when my father was just a baby. I don’t really know anything much about him. I know his name is Herman Wallace Hazel. That he may have had some family living in Louisville, KY. And I heard once he may be of Canadian ancestry. I would really love to know more. Can you help me?

  7. says

    Yes it does sound like a genealogy program I would thoroughly enjoy and I look forward to seeing it. I transcribe historical documents (diaries, journals, documents) and have encountered some very interesting stories from these documents.

  8. Sally Foster says

    Hello. I have long wanted and even written Ancestrys show, “Who do you think you are?” , about doing exactly what the premise of your new show is , ” Genealogy Roadshow America” in which you help those who have genealogical stories, mysteries and want to prove or disprove connections. I have a story and would like your show to take mine as part of your show! My family have long wanted answers. Many of us believe that our furthest known ancestor John A. Tuscan was most possibly a son of Jean Joseph Marie Toscan, Vice Consul from France to America in 1782. He died in Greenland NH in 1805. I think that our john was an out of wedlock birth but we have no proven documentation, but much circumstantial evidence. Could you take my story and see what you could do to solve our mystery? Thank you for your time and listening! Sally Foster, SOLON, MAINE!

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