Ease into the New Year with #FindingYourRoots

It’s been a hectic and joyful holiday season. As many rush to fulfill New Year resolutions, I prefer to ease into the month of January. This year I’ve been looking forward to easing into the new year with Finding Your Roots hosted by Henry Louis Gates, Jr. He’s back with Season 5 of his award-winning PBS show to introduce 25 notable guests and their genealogies over a 10-week period. Each episode has a theme and Dr. Gates will introduce each guest to their “Book of Life.” If you like stories, you’ll love this show. The reveal through the “Book of Life” demonstrates the possibilities of what a person may find when they pursue their family history. Each episode is worth watching!

The show is scheduled to air tonight at 8 p.m. ET, 7 p.m. Central and Mountain Time, but check local listings. I learned this morning that KUED, the PBS station originating from Salt Lake City, will push back its scheduled airing of this episode from 7 p.m. to approximately 7:30 p.m. to allow for the U.S. President’s prime-time address and the U.S. Democratic response, which will be covered by the PBS NewsHour.  

Episode 1 is titled, “Grandparents and Other Strangers—The Stories Encoded in Our DNA.”  It features Andy Samberg, a member of the comedy music group, Lonely Island (@thelonelyisland), and a former cast member of Saturday Night Live. It also features George R. R. Martin. Mr. Martin, (@GRRMspeaking), tweeted about this episode saying, “…I’m not the man I thought I was …” You might know his work The Game of Thrones, which was awarded the Emmy for Outstanding Drama Series in 2018.

The remaining episodes are themed as follows with their featured guests listed:

Episode 2: Mystery Men

  • Felicity Huffman
  • Michael K. Williams

Episode 3: Reporting on Reporters—Truth Tellers

  • Christiane Amnapour
  • Ann Curry
  • Lisa Ling

Episode 4: Dreaming of a New Land (Between Worlds)

  • Marisa Tomei—Italy
  • Sheryl Sandberg—Russia
  • Kal Penn—India

Episode 5: Freedom Tales

  • S. Epatha Merkerson
  • Michael Strahan

Episode 6: Roots in Politics

  • Paul Ryan 
  • Tulsi Gabbard
  • Marco Rubio

Episode 7: No Laughing Matter

  • Seth Meyers
  • Tig Notaro
  • Sarah Silverman

Episode 8: Hard Times

  • Michael Moore
  • Laura Linney
  • Chlöe Sevigny

Episode 9: Eye of the Beholder

  • Alejandro G. Iñárritu—director
  • Marina Abramović—artist
  • Kehinde Wiley—painter

Episode 10: All in the Family

  • Ty Burrell
  • Joe Madison

The final episode will feature a summer camp for children that uses genetic genealogy. Check out Finding Your Roots: The Seedlings,filmed at Penn State University, and follow 13 youth explore their family histories. A curriculum for teachers is available to download and customize for their classrooms.

Additionally, Henry Louis Gates, Jr. gave the keynote address at RootsTech 2018. It is still available to view at your leisure.

Until next time … All the best in the New Year!


Disclosure of Material Connection: I am designated as an official ambassador for RootsTech and, as such, I am provided complimentary admission and other services to accomplish my duties. Nevertheless, I have been with RootsTech since its inception and with its predecessor for many years as a paid participant. As always, my coverage and opinions are my own and are not affected by my current status. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Copyright ©2019 Lynn Broderick, a.k.a., the Single Leaf. All Rights Reserved.