25 March 2012

PBS: Finding Your Roots

Even for someone without a US background, with none of the personal emotional investment in the family histories and associated social history, the investigation of the four personalities on PBS Finding Your Roots on Sunday evening made compelling television. The highlight for me was the use of autosomal DNA to establish the identity of a maternal great grandfather by comparing second cousin's DNA.

It does not appear as if episodes will be streamed after the show. There is a promo video and other background at http://www.pbs.org/wnet/finding-your-roots/.

Interesting that PBS was able to attract high profile sponsors in The Coca-Cola Company, Johnson & Johnson, McDonald’s and American Express.

The DNA samples were shown being taken with cheek swabs, which Family Tree DNA uses whereas the person interviewed was from 23andMe which uses spittle sampling. The results for partition between European, African and Asian background looked like those from 23andMe rather than FTDNA.

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