“Genealogy Roadshow” Season Two Premieres Next Month

By Diane Haddad

Mark your calendar for Tuesday, Jan. 13 at 8 p.m. ET: That’s when family history TV series “Genealogy Roadshow” returns to PBS for its second season, producers announced today.

The show, part “Antiques Roadshow” and part “History Detectives,” has genealogy experts Kenyatta D. Berry, D. Joshua Taylor and Mary Tedesco explore guests’ family history mysteries and legends. It’s shot in talk show format: We see an introduction to the guest, then the guest sits down with the expert and the expert reveals the truth behind the family story. A live audience (composed of both family history enthusiasts and hired extras) looks on.

Shooting locations and highlights for the six episodes in season two are:

  • Jan 13, New Orleans: A couple with ancestry in the same small Italian town explore whether they’re related, a woman wants to find out who committed a murder in her family’s past, a home held in one family for more than a century has a fascinating story, and a woman discovers her ancestor’s journey from slavery to freedom.
  • Jan 20, St. Louis: A woman discovers her mother’s life-changing secret, a woman finds out if she’s descended from the pirate Blackbeard, a mother and daughter want to know if they’re related to a famous author, and a young man seeks connection to the Mali tribe of Africa
  • Jan. 27, Philadelphia: A man learns about the historic event that drove his family to Phildelphia, another may be a Viking descendant, a family wants to know its involvement with one of history’s biggest scams, a man hopes to confirm his link to a signer of the Declaration of Independence, and two sisters learn their ancestors were part of the great Irish migration
  • Feb. 3, New Orleans: A local man wants to recover history washed away in Hurricane Katrina, a woman discovers connections to both sides of the Civil War, another unravels the mystery behind her grandfather’s adoption, and a man explores a link to New Orleans Voodoo Queen Marie Laveau
  • Feb. 10, St. Louis: A musician hopes to find family connections to a famous St. Louis jazz composer, two sisters find out if they’re related links to a survivor of the Donner party disaster, and an Italian-American woman learns whether she’s related to Italian royalty
  • Feb. 17, Philadelphia: One woman’s ancestor may have inspired labor laws, a pastor may have an outlaw in her family tree, DNA testing helps a woman find answers about slavery in her family, and another woman learns her ancestor may have helped people escape the Holocaust

You can see photos from each filming event, which also included a family history fair with vendors, on the show’s website. Guests were cast earlier this year, after a call for genealogists to submit their family mysteries.

Taylor reveals the research strategies experts used to unravel family mysteries during season one in our on-demand webinar, 11 Essential Research Tricks from Genealogy Roadshow. It’s available in Family Tree Shop.