By Diena Simmons
KBYU Television has released a second Ancestors series, which will air on PBS stations beginning in June 2000. In 13 episodes, the series highlights many sources of family history information, from official records—such as census and military records—to journals, personal letters, newspapers, and the Internet. It also follows the personal stories of individuals whose search through genealogical records led them to both a discovery of their heritage and a greater understanding of themselves.
“The new Ancestors will have a significant impact on how family history is perceived,” said David Rencher, president of the Federation of Genealogical Societies. “Not only can the series improve the skills of genealogists, but it also propels genealogy to the level of adventure for those who are not yet involved.”
Shot on location around the world, the all-new Ancestors takes viewers from the green hills of Ireland to the crowded streets of Hong Kong in the search for family history records. Along the way, host Scott Wilkinson leads viewers inside some of the world’s most famous genealogical repositories, like the National Archives and the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C., the British Public Records Office in London, and the Family History Library in Salt Lake City.
The crowning jewel of the new Ancestors series is the expert instruction provided by some of the best-known and widely respected researchers in the field. Executive producer Marcy Brown explained that “after the first series aired in 1997 and people began to feel the excitement of family history research, we received feedback that viewers wanted more specific instruction about how to find their ancestors among the millions of records available worldwide.” The new series rises to the challenge, giving tips and instruction that will help viewers navigate the world of genealogical records.
In addition to the PBS broadcast series, other instructional products will be available, including a printed guidebook, a series of online courses, an instructional video for use in libraries and classrooms, and an updated and expanded Web site.