Millions of people tuned into Who Do You Think You Are? last year to watch as celebrities discovered unique aspects and insights related to their family trees. Starting this past week, the series launched into its second season with an episode featuring Vanessa Williams.
Suzanne Russo Adams of Ancestry.com, which is a major sponsor of the show, encourages genealogy societies to find creative ways to use show’s popularity for recruitment purposes and to leverage the renewed popular interest in family history to invite more people to actively participate in the hobby.
In a recent letter to various genealogy organizations, Adams shared that during the first season “libraries, archives, and genealogy societies reported increases in patrons as a direct result of the show.” FamilySearch joins the rest of the genealogical community in applauding the success of Who Do You Think You Are? and the wonderful opportunity the show provides all of us to initiate conversations related to family history based on common viewing experiences.
Some suggestions Adams extended to genealogy organizations include sharing enthusiasm about the series with others by inviting them to watch the show, holding open houses and workshops for beginners, and finding local stories related to family history to share with the media.
FamilySearch recognizes that many people around the world have been introduced to family history or have found increased interest in the rewarding and fascinating hobby of family history after watching Who Do You Think You Are?. We want to do our part to help beginners who feel inspired to learn how to trace their family trees and make discoveries in genealogy.
One of the ways you may want to help friends or society members take the next step and start engaging in their family history research is to make them aware of the vast resources available online at sites such as Ancestry.com, FamilySearch.org, and dozens of other quality websites.
Even with these wonderful online resources, starting the journey to discover your family history can be a bit overwhelming. FamilySearch.org has recently launched a new family history YouTube channel to help people learn more about family history and how they can get started and taste some early success. The first short video of this new series on getting started with family history is now available on YouTube.com.
More than 4,500 FamilySearch Centers located around the world also provide a great opportunity for people to get started with their ancestral research. These centers are satellite extensions of the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, where people can receive personal assistance, participate in training, and access genealogical records on microfilm or through digital collections available on the internet.
We invite you to share this video and the others that are forthcoming with your friends to help them on their way to having their unique experiences in discovering who they are.
- Visit the new FamilySearch channel on YouTube
- Watch the first FamilySearch getting started video to learn how to start researching your family tree
- Find a local FamilySearch Center
- See the upcoming schedule and learn more about Who Do You Think You Are?
- Learn more about the Who Do You Think You Are? TV Series