Our American Family – A New Television Series on PBS

I’m excited to tell you about a new television series on PBS entitled Our American Family. This week I was able to speak with Steve Young, one of the producers of the series and I learned more about the pilot episode which features his own family.

What is Our American Family? from Our American Family on Vimeo.

Our American Family – The Youngs

The pilot episode, Our American Family – The Youngs, is about a family in Northern Mississippi as told by the siblings who were born during the 1920s and 1930s.  Here’s a preview clip:

You can learn more about the pilot episode and the series by visiting http://ouramericanfamilytv.com.  At the website families can apply to be a part of the series, watch a preview of scenes from Our American Family – The Youngs and later, view bonus material related to the show – more sibling bios, family recipes, etc.

Why Our American Family Matters

I’m honored to say I’ve been given a sneak preview to the entire 30 minute episode and not only was it thoroughly enjoyable, but it really gave me a sense of what this family endured during the 1900 – 1950 time period. Through re-enactments, voice overs from family members and touching photographs, viewers learn what it was like to raise children during the Great Depression and then send many of them off to war in the 1940s.

In addition, while I’ve enjoyed episodes of Who Do You Think You Are? there is something to be said for having non-celebrities and their family histories depicted on television.  In speaking with Steve Young, I got to understand one of the important concepts of the series:

“Everyday families have extraordinary stories. Our American Family seeks to document our American family heritage, one family at a time, and inspire viewers to capture their own family stories – before those voices are gone.”

I couldn’t agree more.   I’m hoping that Our American Family will not only increase the awareness of the general public about genealogy and family history, but also the need to document family history NOW and not after our family members have left us.

When Does Our American Family Air? Your Help Is Needed

In my conversations with Steve Young, I also learned more about how the series will air on PBS and actually much more about PBS affiliates etc.  Here is what’s involved with the Our American Family series:

The pilot episode, Our American Family – The Youngs, will be available for the PBS local affiliates to broadcast soon.  The affiliate will decide whether or not to air the episode based on public interest in the series and the topic of family history.

So what does this mean and what can you do?  Here is how your help is needed:

  • Contact your local PBS affiliate NOW and ask them to air the pilot episode of Our American Family for broadcast.
  • Get your family and friends to also contact your local PBS affiliate and also make the same request.
  • Follow Our American Family on social media (see below) and share the links with your social media contacts.
The more requests, the better the chances that not only will the pilot episode air, but the remaining 12 episodes in the series will be successful.  The genealogy and family history community needs to use its voice to speak up and let broadcasters like PBS know that we want to see more family history-oriented programming like Our American Family.

Apply to Have Your Family Depicted on Our American Family

Keeping with the concept of depicting everyday American families, you can apply here to have  your family and its history considered for an upcoming episode of Our American Family. If your family has compelling stories and artifacts including documents and images from the 1900 – 1950 time period, consider applying to be a part of this great series and share your family’s history.

Follow Our American Family on Social Media

One final thing you can do to help this series become a success is to follow it on social media using these links:

And not just follow . . . become part of the conversation about the need to preserve family history while the voices of our family members are still loud, clear and accessible.

©2012, copyright Thomas MacEntee


Genealogy Blogging Events Week of September 28 – October 5, 2012

genealogy blogging calendar

Here is a list of events and goings-on in the world of genealogy blogging. Here’s what is happening in the coming week:


The September 2012 Scanfest will take place at AnceStories on Sunday, September 30, 2012, from 11 AM to 2 PM, Pacific Standard Time.

Scanfest may be a new term for some of my new readers. What is Scanfest? It’s a time when geneabloggers, family historians, and family archivists meet online here at this blog to chat while they scan their precious family document and photos. Why? Because, quite honestly, scanning is time-consuming and boring!

Scanfest is a great time to “meet” other genealogists, ask questions about scanning and preservation, and get the kick in the pants we all need on starting those massive scanning projects that just seem too overwhelming to begin.

Data Backup Day – October 1

Don’t forget that the first day of each month has been designated as Data Backup Day – and here are some great resources to get you started. Post about how you backup your data (or don’t backup your data) and we’ll carry your post here at GeneaBloggers on October 1st!

Daze of the Week!

Some of you may have noticed that in each Genealogy Blogging Beat we now feature national holidays and some of the more offbeat holidays. Here are some dates next week to look out for so you can plan your blog posts for next week:

  • September 28: Ask a Stupid Question Day
  • September 29: Confucius Day, VFW Day (US)
  • September 30: Chewing Gum Day, Gold Star Mother’s Day
  • October 1: Data Backup Day, World Vegetarian Day
  • October 2: Change a Light Day, Phileas Fogg’s Wager Day
  • October 3: German Unity Day, Techies Day
  • October 4: Feast of St. Francis of Assisi, Kanelbullens Dag (Sweden), World Animal Day
  • October 5: World Teacher’s Day

Happy Blogiversary!

If your blog anniversary is coming up soon, make sure it gets on our GeneaBloggers calendar! Remember to send your blog anniversary info to GeneaBloggers.

Genealogy Webinars This Week

For more information on genealogy webinars check out GeneaWebinars.

Appearances By GeneaBloggers Members

For a listing of speaking engagements by genealogy bloggers, along with their profiles and available presentations, visit GeneaSpeak.

GeneaBloggers on Facebook

Check out the Facebook page for GeneaBloggers (http://www.facebook.com/Geneabloggers) and click LIKE in order to follow the latest news and events related to GeneaBloggers on Facebook.

52 Weeks of Abundant Genealogy

52 Weeks of Abundant Genealogy is a series of weekly blogging prompts (one for each week of 2012) that invite genealogists and family historians to highlight those genealogy resources for which they are thankful. This is also a way to mention a favorite site or tool to others and if you don’t already utilize that resource, you’ll be able to follow the blog posts that help you understand why the resource is important!

You do not have to be a blogger to participate. If you do not have a genealogy blog, write down your thoughts on your computer, or simply record them on paper and keep them with your files.

  • Week 40: Wild Card. Is there something for which you are thankful that has not been discussed yet? Share your genealogical abundance on a personal level.
    How does this person/item/group/memory or other entity impact your family history?

This week’s prompt runs from Sunday, September 30 through Saturday, October 6, 2012.

GeneaBloggers Calendar

And don’t forget to check out other upcoming events at the Geneabloggers Calendar. This is the same Google calendar that has been in existence for quite some time. And if you subscribe to the calendar you’ll receive email reminders of events.

© 2012 copyright, Thomas MacEntee

Genealogy Blogging Beat – Friday, September 28, 2012

genealogy blogging beat

Today is Friday, September 28, 2012 and here is what’s available in terms of events in the genealogy blogosphere:

Items of Note

Daily Blogging Prompts

Family Recipe Friday – is an opportunity to share your family recipes with fellow bloggers and foodies alike. Whether it’s an old-fashioned recipe passed down through generations, a recipe uncovered through your family history research, or a discovered recipe that embraces your ancestral heritage share them on Family Recipe Friday. This series was suggested by Lynn Palermo of The Armchair Genealogist.


Follow Friday – create a post in which you recommend another genealogy blogger, a specific blog post, a genealogy website or a genealogy resource. Tell us why they are important to the genealogy community and why we should follow.  Follow Friday is an ongoing series at GeneaBloggers and was suggested by Earline Bradt of Ancestral Notes.


Friend of Friends Friday – if you have encountered records of enslaved ancestors, whether they are your own ancestors or not, make it a point to transcribe those records and get them posted on the Internet via your blog. Friend of Friends Friday is an important service to the genealogy community – both Leslie Ann of Ancestors Live Here and Greta of Greta’s Genealogy Bog have been posting to this series for some time now and their inspiration is much appreciated.


Friday Funny – have you come across something genealogy-related that makes you laugh or smile? Post images, stories, quotes and more during Friday Funny. Friday Funny is a daily blogging prompt suggested by Jennie Pak of They Came to Montana.

Funeral Card Friday – do you have a collection of memorial cards for your ancestors or family members, the kind that funeral homes produce and give out to mourners? Post images of these cards and stories about the person memorialized during Funeral Card Friday. Funeral Card Friday has been an ongoing series by Dee at Funeral Cards & Genealogy.


To ensure that your blog post is included in the “roll-up” widgets above, include the name of the blogging theme in your post title. Examples: Black Sheep Sunday – Paige Turner; Tombstone Tuesday – Pearl E. Gates.

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If you would like your event or Daily Blogging Prompt included, please contact Geneabloggers at geneabloggers [at] gmail [dot] com.

©2012, copyright Thomas MacEntee