Culture

Finding Your Roots

For more than a decade, renowned Harvard scholar Henry Louis Gates, Jr. has helped to expand America’s sense of itself, stimulating a national conversation about identity with humor, wisdom, and compassion. Professor Gates has explored the ancestry of dozens of influential people from diverse backgrounds, taking millions of viewers deep into the past to reveal the connections that bind us all.

Viewers Like You

52m 10s

After a national casting call that received over nine thousand submissions, Henry Louis Gates, Jr. meets 3 everyday Americans. Each has a family mystery that they have spent years trying to solve—only to reach dead ends. Using genetic genealogy and old-fashioned detective work, Gates unravels these mysteries, allowing each of his guests to understand themselves—and their families--as never before.

Episodes

  • Viewers Like You: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Viewers Like You

    S10 E10 - 52m 10s

    After a national casting call that received over nine thousand submissions, Henry Louis Gates, Jr. meets 3 everyday Americans. Each has a family mystery that they have spent years trying to solve—only to reach dead ends. Using genetic genealogy and old-fashioned detective work, Gates unravels these mysteries, allowing each of his guests to understand themselves—and their families--as never before.

  • In the Blood: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    In the Blood

    S10 E9 - 52m 10s

    Henry Louis Gates, Jr. explores the roots of actor Michael Douglas & writer-director Lena Dunham. Both guests are the children of famous artists—and both proudly followed in their parents’ footsteps. But their family trees contain a cast of characters whose lives were forgotten. Gates recovers them, telling fascinating stories from the shtetls of Eastern Europe to the streets of colonial America.

  • Mean Streets: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Mean Streets

    S10 E8 - 52m 11s

    Henry Louis Gates, Jr. maps the family trees of comedian Tracy Morgan & actor Anthony Ramos—two native New Yorkers whose roots stretch to surprising places and contain inspiring stories. Moving from the Canary Islands to battlefields in Europe & Asia to slave plantations in Virginia, long-lost records reveal ancestors who laid the groundwork for Tracy and Anthony’s success by fighting to survive.

  • The Brick Wall Falls: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    The Brick Wall Falls

    S10 E7 - 52m 11s

    Henry Louis Gates, Jr. helps musician Dionne Warwick and actor Danielle Brooks break down the barriers imposed by slavery to learn the names and stories of their ancestors who endured bondage. Facing one of the greatest genealogical challenges, Gates uses his detective skills to piece together the lives of women and men who survived unimaginable ordeals—but emerged to forge families that thrived.

  • Far and Away: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Far and Away

    S10 E6 - 52m 11s

    Henry Louis Gates, Jr. explores the roots of journalist Sunny Hostin & actor Jesse Williams—revealing the tremendous diversity hidden within their family trees. Sifting through stories of Swedish musical prodigies, Spanish slave traders, Southern plantations, and Salem Witch Trials, Gates unravels deep secrets and uncovers lost ancestors—compelling each of his guests to rethink their identities.

  • Hold the Laughter: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Hold the Laughter

    S10 E5 - 52m 11s

    Henry Louis Gates, Jr. uncovers the roots of comedians Bob Odenkirk and Iliza Shlesinger—two very funny people whose family trees brim with stories that are more drama than comedy. Moving from Napoleonic France to Nazi-occupied Poland to the castle of a European duke, Gates introduces them to relatives who took great risks and overcame enormous hardships for the sake of their families.

  • Buried Secrets: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Buried Secrets

    S10 E4 - 52m 11s

    Henry Louis Gates, Jr. helps singer Sammy Hagar and actor Ed O’Neill uncover their hidden roots, revealing scandals and secrets that their ancestors went to great lengths to conceal. Traveling from criminal underworlds to Civil War battlefields, they explore the meaning of family bonds—meet heroes and villains—and celebrate the virtue of accepting one’s relatives, whoever they may be.

  • Fathers and Sons: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Fathers and Sons

    S10 E3 - 52m 11s

    Henry Louis Gates, Jr. meets actors LeVar Burton and Wes Studi—two men who grew up without their fathers, haunted by questions about entire branches of their family trees. With only a handful of clues to guide him, Gates uncovers stories his guests have long wanted to hear, introducing them to ancestors whose names they’ve never known-—and revealing their connections to key moments in history.

  • Forever Young: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Forever Young

    S10 E2 - 52m 11s

    Henry Louis Gates, Jr. meets Valerie Bertinelli and Brendan Fraser—two actors who found fame when they were young and lived much of their lives in the limelight, cut off from their roots. Moving from war-torn Europe to the coal mines of Pennsylvania to the Amazon jungle, each discovers the places their ancestors once called home—providing new insight into what made them who they are today.

  • Born to Sing: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Born to Sing

    S10 E1 - 52m 12s

    Henry Louis Gates, Jr. explores the roots of singers Alanis Morissette and Ciara—using DNA analysis and genealogical detective work to trace lineages that run from shtetls in Eastern Europe to Jazz Age Harlem. Along the way, Alanis and Ciara reimagine their families and meet the people who laid the groundwork for their success—including one ancestor who was at the center of a song.

Extras + Features

  • Viewers Like You Preview: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Viewers Like You Preview

    S10 E10 - 32s

    After a national casting call that received over nine thousand submissions, Henry Louis Gates, Jr. meets 3 everyday Americans. Each has a family mystery that they have spent years trying to solve—only to reach dead ends. Using genetic genealogy and old-fashioned detective work, Gates unravels these mysteries, allowing each of his guests to understand themselves—and their families--as never before.

  • Terrie Morrow's Quest to Unveil Her Great-Grandfather's Origins: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Terrie Morrow's Quest to Unveil Her Great-Grandfather's Origins

    S10 E10 - 5m 8s

    Join Terrie Morrow, a devoted school bus driver from Birmingham, Alabama, as she embarks on an emotional odyssey to resolve a longstanding family puzzle that has intrigued her for decades. Her journey focuses on her cherished great-grandfather, affectionately referred to as Papa, whose early life is shrouded in obscurity. Left by his mother, Lenora, at the tender age of five with the Tagger family

  • Unraveling the Willis Family Mystery: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Unraveling the Willis Family Mystery

    S10 E10 - 6m 8s

    Join Joyce Willis as she embarks on a riveting exploration into her family history, aiming to resolve a deeply rooted enigma: Was the man known as her grandmother Beatrice Willis's father truly related by blood? Through meticulous historical research, heartfelt interviews, and groundbreaking DNA analysis, Joyce seeks to uncover the truths buried within her family's past.

  • Megan Robertson and the Mystery of Green's Real Father: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Megan Robertson and the Mystery of Green's Real Father

    S10 E10 - 6m 27s

    Join Megan Robertson, a curious descendant from the small town of Ashton, Idaho, as she delves into a longstanding family mystery - is Solomon Moxley truly the biological father of her great-grandfather, Green Church? Megan's investigation is fueled by the enduring stories and myths that have percolated through her family for generations.

  • Megan Robertson's Search for Her Great-Grandfather's Roots: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Megan Robertson's Search for Her Great-Grandfather's Roots

    S10 E10 - 5m 4s

    Megan Robertson embarks on a poignant quest to demystify the lineage of her great-grandfather, Green Church, who was believed to have been adopted early in his life. Originating from a longstanding curiosity fueled by fragmented family lore, Megan's journey leads her to the discovery that instead of an adoptive family, Green was actually raised by his grandparents alongside his brother Rufus.

  • Lena Dunham's Ancestors' Heartbreaking Story of Survival: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Lena Dunham's Ancestors' Heartbreaking Story of Survival

    S10 E9 - 4m 59s

    Lena Dunham embarks on a poignant journey to uncover her family's past, revealing a deep connection to the Holocaust. From discovering ancestors' records in Poland to the heartbreaking story of survival and loss during World War II, this video offers a powerful glimpse into history and Dunham's personal legacy.

  • Lena Dunham Uncovers Her Ancestor's Complex Legacy: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Lena Dunham Uncovers Her Ancestor's Complex Legacy

    S10 E9 - 5m 8s

    We trace Lena Dunham's ancestry back to her paternal eighth great-grandfather, Stephanus van Cortlandt, a pivotal figure in the early history of New York City. Stephanus's life story unfolds as one of ambition, becoming the first native-born Mayor of New York. But Lena confronts the more troubling aspects of his legacy, including his dealings with the Lenape tribe and his involvement in slavery.

  • In the Blood Preview: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    In the Blood Preview

    S10 E9 - 31s

    Henry Louis Gates, Jr. explores the roots of actor Michael Douglas & writer-director Lena Dunham. Both guests are the children of famous artists—and both proudly followed in their parents’ footsteps. But their family trees contain a cast of characters whose lives were forgotten. Gates recovers them, telling fascinating stories from the shtetls of Eastern Europe to the streets of colonial America.

  • Michael Douglas Unravels His Family's Secret Past: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Michael Douglas Unravels His Family's Secret Past

    S10 E9 - 7m 15s

    Join Michael Douglas on a riveting quest into his family's hidden history. From escaping the Russian army to uncovering a legacy of survival and secrecy, dive into the Douglas family's untold stories and ancestral secrets.

  • Mean Streets Preview: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Mean Streets Preview

    S10 E8 - 32s

    Henry Louis Gates, Jr. maps the family trees of comedian Tracy Morgan & actor Anthony Ramos—two native New Yorkers whose roots stretch to surprising places and contain inspiring stories. Moving from the Canary Islands to battlefields in Europe & Asia to slave plantations in Virginia, long-lost records reveal ancestors who laid the groundwork for Tracy and Anthony’s success by fighting to survive.

  • Tracy Morgan Discovers a Pre-Civil War Freed Ancestor: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Tracy Morgan Discovers a Pre-Civil War Freed Ancestor

    S10 E8 - 5m 46s

    Surprisingly, Tracy Morgan's third great-grandfather, Wiley Warton, was listed by name in the 1860 census, indicating he was free before the Civil War -- a rare occurrence for black individuals at that time.

Schedule

  • Image
    Finding Your Roots With Henry Louis Gates, Jr.: Born to Sing: TVSS: Iconic

    Finding Your Roots

    Born to Sing

    Saturday
    Apr 20

    1 Hour

    Singers Ciara and Alanis Morissette examine their family histories.
  • Image
    Finding Your Roots With Henry Louis Gates, Jr.: Born to Sing: TVSS: Iconic

    Finding Your Roots

    Born to Sing

    Sunday
    Apr 21

    1 Hour

    Singers Ciara and Alanis Morissette examine their family histories.
  • Image
    Finding Your Roots With Henry Louis Gates, Jr.: Born to Sing: TVSS: Iconic

    Finding Your Roots

    Born to Sing

    Sunday
    Apr 21

    1 Hour

    Singers Ciara and Alanis Morissette examine their family histories.
  • Image
    Finding Your Roots With Henry Louis Gates, Jr.: Born to Sing: TVSS: Iconic

    Finding Your Roots

    Born to Sing

    Sunday
    Apr 21

    1 Hour

    Singers Ciara and Alanis Morissette examine their family histories.
  • Image
    Finding Your Roots With Henry Louis Gates, Jr.: Born to Sing: TVSS: Iconic

    Finding Your Roots

    Born to Sing

    Sunday
    Apr 21

    1 Hour

    Singers Ciara and Alanis Morissette examine their family histories.
  • Image
    Finding Your Roots With Henry Louis Gates, Jr.: Born to Sing: TVSS: Iconic

    Finding Your Roots

    Born to Sing

    Monday
    Apr 22

    1 Hour

    Singers Ciara and Alanis Morissette examine their family histories.
  • Image
    Finding Your Roots With Henry Louis Gates, Jr.: Born to Sing: TVSS: Iconic

    Finding Your Roots

    Born to Sing

    Monday
    Apr 22

    1 Hour

    Singers Ciara and Alanis Morissette examine their family histories.
  • Image
    Finding Your Roots With Henry Louis Gates, Jr.: Born to Sing: TVSS: Iconic

    Finding Your Roots

    Born to Sing

    Monday
    Apr 22

    1 Hour

    Singers Ciara and Alanis Morissette examine their family histories.
  • Image
    Finding Your Roots With Henry Louis Gates, Jr.: Born to Sing: TVSS: Iconic

    Finding Your Roots

    Born to Sing

    Tuesday
    Apr 23

    1 Hour

    Singers Ciara and Alanis Morissette examine their family histories.
  • Image
    Finding Your Roots With Henry Louis Gates, Jr.: Forever Young: TVSS: Iconic

    Finding Your Roots

    Forever Young

    Tuesday
    Apr 23

    1 Hour

    Actors Valerie Bertinelli and Brendan Fraser explore their family histories.
  • Image
    Finding Your Roots With Henry Louis Gates, Jr.: Forever Young: TVSS: Iconic

    Finding Your Roots

    Forever Young

    Tuesday
    Apr 23

    1 Hour

    Actors Valerie Bertinelli and Brendan Fraser explore their family histories.
  • Image
    Finding Your Roots With Henry Louis Gates, Jr.: Forever Young: TVSS: Iconic

    Finding Your Roots

    Forever Young

    Wednesday
    Apr 24

    1 Hour

    Actors Valerie Bertinelli and Brendan Fraser explore their family histories.
  • Image
    Finding Your Roots With Henry Louis Gates, Jr.: Forever Young: TVSS: Iconic

    Finding Your Roots

    Forever Young

    Wednesday
    Apr 24

    1 Hour

    Actors Valerie Bertinelli and Brendan Fraser explore their family histories.
  • Image
    Finding Your Roots With Henry Louis Gates, Jr.: TVSS: Iconic

    Finding Your Roots

    In the Blood

    Wednesday
    Apr 24

    1 Hour

    Actor Michael Douglas and writer/director Lena Dunham explore their family roots.
  • Image
    Finding Your Roots With Henry Louis Gates, Jr.: Forever Young: TVSS: Iconic

    Finding Your Roots

    Forever Young

    Wednesday
    Apr 24

    1 Hour

    Actors Valerie Bertinelli and Brendan Fraser explore their family histories.
  • Image
    Finding Your Roots With Henry Louis Gates, Jr.: Forever Young: TVSS: Iconic

    Finding Your Roots

    Forever Young

    Saturday
    Apr 27

    1 Hour

    Actors Valerie Bertinelli and Brendan Fraser explore their family histories.
  • Image
    Finding Your Roots With Henry Louis Gates, Jr.: Forever Young: TVSS: Iconic

    Finding Your Roots

    Forever Young

    Sunday
    Apr 28

    1 Hour

    Actors Valerie Bertinelli and Brendan Fraser explore their family histories.
  • Image
    Finding Your Roots With Henry Louis Gates, Jr.: Forever Young: TVSS: Iconic

    Finding Your Roots

    Forever Young

    Sunday
    Apr 28

    1 Hour

    Actors Valerie Bertinelli and Brendan Fraser explore their family histories.
  • Image
    Finding Your Roots With Henry Louis Gates, Jr.: Forever Young: TVSS: Iconic

    Finding Your Roots

    Forever Young

    Sunday
    Apr 28

    1 Hour

    Actors Valerie Bertinelli and Brendan Fraser explore their family histories.
  • Image
    Finding Your Roots With Henry Louis Gates, Jr.: Forever Young: TVSS: Iconic

    Finding Your Roots

    Forever Young

    Monday
    Apr 29

    1 Hour

    Actors Valerie Bertinelli and Brendan Fraser explore their family histories.

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