08 January 2010

Celebrities, Genealogy and Your Family History

Are you one of those people who has been inspired to learn more about your own family history after watching television documentaries about the family backgrounds of well known people?

Are you an avid reader of biographies and autobiographies?

Have you been told that you are related to a famous or otherwise important person, or even a notorious one?

I am one of those people who has no famous or illustrious ancestors, as far as I am aware.  No-one in my family is a "celebrity". Most of the people you may think of as celebrities are probably unfamiliar names to me, especially as I rarely watch television. I do like watching documentaries about historical events and the unfolding of interesting lives. Some of these are now available online or on DVD.

Ongoing series about celebrity genealogy include these:

The BBC also has a useful family history website

For those of you in the United States, keep your Wednesdays free between February 10 and March 3, from 8-9pm ET for a PBS series called Faces of America. It is presented by Harvard scholar Henry Louis Gates, Jnr.

There are also many magazines and books on genealogical topics, however I have been able to do most of my research without using any of these. Most of the information I have found has been freely available, both online and by directly contacting people who might know more than me.

I have recently purchased a copy of the November 2009 edition of a UK magazine called Your Family History. It was rather expensive to buy on a one-off basis here in Australia but I wanted to have a copy at home for reference purposes.

Well, that's all for now. Good viewing, good reading, good research, and good luck!


  1. I work with Faces of America - thanks so much for this post! We've also recently launched official Twitter/Facebook pages. If you could link to these as well, we'd really appreciate it:
    Official Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/FacesOfAmerica
    Official Twitter Page: www.twitter.com/FacesOfAmerica

  2. Hello Casey, I am sure everyone at "Faces of America" is excited about the new series - and I am sure the American public will be too. More of my comments about your series will appear in my forthcoming blog posts - so stay tuned here, too!


I especially appreciate historical insights.