2021.07.21 – “Ancestors” Show



  • About the Ancestors Show
  • Principles
  • Sources
  • Start with yourself
  • Understanding History
  • Topics


  • About the Ancestors Show

There are several shows centered around Family History. I have discussed two of them recently in other articles, one that was a contest with prize money and another that helped those searching for missing members of the family such as biological parents. This time we’ll take a look at the show Ancestors. Ancestors explains how to do Family History research in a simple and understandable format. Wikipedia states that Ancestors was a public television mini-series produced by KBYU-TV in conjunction with the Family History Library and PBS.

  • Principles

The Ancestors show helps beginners understand how to do Family History research. You don’t really understand who you are until you find out who your ancestors were and Ancestors shows several examples of people who are deeply gratified to find missing pieces of themselves through Family History.

Ancestors attempts to help those interested learn important research principles and be able to apply them. They give real life examples of the principles being taught, then talk about how to apply them.

  • Sources

While teaching the principles, many sources of information are discussed. Although the sources are not extensive, they do cover many of the most important and most easily obtained for those starting out. The area of Family History has been progressing rapidly in the last twenty years and there are more sources available today than ever before. Although the sources being discussed in the lessons may have changed since filming, they are a good starting point to understand what is available.

  • Start with yourself

One of the principles that is repeated throughout the series is the importance of starting your research with yourself and then go back in time from there. If you start with someone else and you have wrong information, you may be doing a very good job of building someone else’s Family Tree. Don’t fall into that trap. Start with yourself.

  • Understanding History

Another principle is to understand general history. Wars, migrations, famines, slavery, etc. all effect large groups of people and understanding the circumstances your ancestors were in at the time can greatly influence the kinds of records that may be available to find them. There are periods of time where records you would normally find, do not, or never have, existed. Sometimes you need to be flexible and find other records that can give you the same information.

  • Topics

There are many principles involved in doing Family History research. Below is a list of topics taught in this series. The lessons are enjoyable and the list should give you a good idea of the kinds of principles they teach.

Series 1:

  1. “Getting Started”
  2. “Looking at Home”
  3. “Gathering Family Stories”
  4. “The Paper Trail”
  5. “Libraries and Archives”
  6. “Census and Military Records”
  7. “African American Researchers”
  8. “Your Medical Heritage”
  9. “High-Tech Help”
  10. “Leaving a Legacy”

Series 2:

  1. “Records at Risk”
  2. “Family Records”
  3. “Compiled Records”
  4. “Genealogy and Technology”
  5. “Vital Records”
  6. “Religious Records”
  7. “Cemetery Records”
  8. “Census Records”
  9. “Military Records”
  10. “Newspapers”
  11. “Probate Records”
  12. “Immigration Records”
  13. “Writing a Family History”

To view the show, search for “Ancestors” on BYU-TV (https://www.byutv.org/).

Seekerz LLC, © 2021

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