Finding Your Roots – Season 2, Episode 5 – on PBS Tonight!

finding your roots

The fifth episode of the new season of Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates, Jr. will be shown this evening on the Public Broadcasting System (PBS) at 8:00 pm EST. You’ll need to check your local listings since in some venues, the series may start on a different day or at a different time.

Schedule of Episodes

In tonight’s episode, entitled The Melting Pot, Tom Colicchio, Aarón Sánchez and Ming Tsai, three celebrity chefs who cook the food of their ancestors, discover family members who have shaped their lives — and America’s cuisine.

Here is the schedule of upcoming episodes for Season 2:

21 October 2014
The Melting Pot
Tom Colicchio, Aarón Sánchez and Ming Tsai

28 October 2014
We Come From People
Angela Bassett, Valerie Jarrett and Nas

4 November 2014
Our People, Our Traditions
Alan Dershowitz, Carole King and Tony Kushner

11 November 2014
The British Are Coming
Deepak Chopra, Sally Field and Sting

18 November 2014
Ancient Roots
Tina Fey, George Stephanopoulos and David Sedaris

25 November 2014
Decoding our Past Through DNA
Jessica Alba, Anderson Cooper, Valerie Jarrett, Governor Deval Patrick, and more

Here is the list of previous episodes for Season 2 (which can be viewed online at PBS here):

23 September 2014
In Search of Our Fathers
Stephen King, Gloria Reuben and Courtney B. Vance

30 September 2014
Born Champions
Derek Jeter, Billie Jean King and Rebecca Lobo

7 October 2014
Our American Storytellers
Ken Burns, Anderson Cooper and Anna Deavere Smith

14 October 2014
Roots of Freedom
Ben Affleck, Khandi Alexander and Benjamin Jealous

©2014, copyright Thomas MacEntee

BIG NEWS! MyHeritage Announces Major Collaboration with 23andMe

MyHeritage, the leading destination for discovering, sharing and preserving family history, announces a strategic collaboration with DNA testing site 23andme.

New collaboration combines family trees and DNA to empower individuals to discover and document their ancestry

MOUNTAIN VIEW, California & TEL AVIV, Israel – October 21, 2014: 23andMe, the leading personal genetics company, and MyHeritage, the leading destination for discovering, sharing and preserving family history, announced today a strategic collaboration that will provide an enhanced experience for individuals to discover their legacy based on genetic ancestry and documented family history.

23andMe pioneered autosomal DNA ancestry analysis for consumers, and has created the largest DNA ancestry service in the world. With a simple saliva sample 23andMe can reveal the geographic origins of distant ancestors and help people discover unknown relatives. MyHeritage helps millions of families worldwide find and treasure their unique history with easy-to-use family tree tools, a huge library of more than 5.5 billion historical records and innovative matching technologies for automating discoveries. Integrating the market leading solutions in ancestral DNA and family trees will provide an unparalleled experience for customers of both companies.

“We believe this collaboration with MyHeritage will offer our customers a vastly improved opportunity to build their family tree and discover new connections,” said Andy Page, President of 23andMe. “Given MyHeritage’s technology leadership in the ancestry space and vast global reach, we are excited about the value this relationship will bring to our customers around the world.”

“Combining genealogy with DNA-based ancestry is the next evolution in uncovering family history,” said Gilad Japhet, Founder and CEO of MyHeritage. “DNA testing can connect you to relatives you never knew existed, who descend from shared ancestors centuries ago, but family trees and historical records are critical to map and fully understand these connections. We have great respect for 23andMe’s technology and values, and its pioneering approach to genetics represents strong potential value for our users in the future.”

23andMe will offer its more than three quarters of a million customers around the globe access to MyHeritage’s family tree tools. This will allow 23andMe’s customers to enjoy automated family history discoveries. Smart Matching™ automatically finds connections between user-contributed family trees and Record Matching automatically locates historical records from the billions of records available on MyHeritage, pertaining to any person in the family tree. MyHeritage will utilize 23andMe’s API to provide the best experience for customers, by allowing any two people with matching DNA to explore their family tree connections. MyHeritage will also offer 23andMe’s Personal Genome Service® to its global community of more than 70 million registered users, in addition to the DNA tests it already offers.

The first phase of integration will be complete by early 2015. 

About 23andMe

23andMe, Inc. is the leading personal genetics company dedicated to helping people access, understand and benefit from the human genome. The company’s Personal Genome Service® enables individuals to gain deeper insights into their genetics and ancestry. The vision for 23andMe is to personalize healthcare by making and supporting meaningful discoveries through genetic research. 23andMe, Inc., was founded in 2006, and the company is advised by a group of renowned experts in the fields of human genetics, bioinformatics and computer science. More information is available at 23andMe’s health reports are not cleared by the FDA. US customers may purchase 23andMe’s ancestry-only product.

About MyHeritage

MyHeritage is the leading destination for discovering, sharing and preserving family history. As technology thought leaders and innovators in the space, MyHeritage is transforming family history into an activity that’s accessible and instantly rewarding. Trusted by millions of families, its global user community enjoys access to a massive library of historical records, the most internationally diverse collection of family trees and ground-breaking search and matching technologies.

MyHeritage empowers families with an easy way to share their story, past and present, and treasure it for generations to come. MyHeritage is available in 40 languages.

Tuesday’s Tip: Try It! Illinois 2014 and Other State Specific Online Database Services

Did you know that many states, like Illinois, provide their residents at home access to online informational databases like Try It! Illinois?

Do you live in a state that provides its residents with access to various online research databases? Here in Illinois, each October and November, Illinois residents are given FREE trial access to ILLINET through a program called Try It! Illinois.  ILLINET is the Illinois Library and Information Network which is a consortium of over 5,000 libraries in Illinois.

Here is how TryIt! Illinois works, according to their website:

Try-It! Illinois offers the staffs and library users of the more than 5,000 ILLINET member libraries the opportunity to survey and evaluate a wide variety of electronic resources. Thanks to the partnerships between the Illinois State Library and the participating electronic resource vendors, there is no charge for accessing these databases during Try-It! Illinois.

How Do I Sign Up for TryIt! Illinois?

You must be an Illinois resident to be eligible for the at-home trial of TryIt! Illinois. Click the link in the sidebar that reads “Please send me the login and password” and then fill out the form with your name, address, zip code and the name of your Illinois library that you use. Once submitted, you should receive an email with the login and password information.

The idea behind TryIt! Illinois is so you can sample and evaluate the various databases available. After the trial, some of these may be available through your local library either in-person or through an at home login. I know that for me, through my Chicago Public Library card, I can access many databases at home including some ProQuest offerings such as the Chicago Tribune Historical Archive.

What Databases Are Available?

The full list of databases available with TryIt! Illinois 2014 are listed here.  For genealogists, there is a gold mine of items available – many are from the Gale-Cengage Learning series such as 19th Century British Library Newspapers, 19th Century U.S. Newspapers, etc. Also included is Ancestry Library Edition and many EBSCO and Sage Publications databases.

Other States with Similar Online Resources

Several other states offer similar online databases for research such as BadgerLink for Wisconsin residents. Many of these sites require proof of state residents, a library card from a public library within the state, and they also may verify your IP address and check that you are accessing the site from a location within the state.

Also, if you live in a city or town with a university or college, see if they offer access to residents through a library card program. The benefits may include the ability to access research resources online from the comfort of your home or office.

Click here to download the list below in PDF format!

©2014, copyright Thomas MacEntee. All rights reserved.