Finding Your Roots or Who Do You Think You Are?

+11 votes
406 views
Let's settle the debate once and for all. Which genealogy show with celebs is the best? Is it PBS's Finding Your Roots? Or is it TLC's Who Do You Think You Are? Both have the same gimmick. A celeb searches for their past. The only difference is that TLC's show tends to take someone to the location of the ancestor. I think I like that a little more. The other show has a picture book with everything. That's nice and all, but, actually going to the places our ancestors lived is a lot cooler to me.

Which show do you all like? Wish people could go on it who aren't celebs. But, whatever. Which show do you like?

Don't really have any tags. If someone wanted to add the tags feel free!
asked in The Tree House by Chris Ferraiolo G2G6 Pilot (212k points)
retagged by Ellen Smith
Really like both a lot, felt that FINDING YOUR ROOTS this season has been especially good. While is do enjoy seeing the places where ancestors came from at times I think that beginners may get the wrong idea that is the only way to do research and think "well I can't afford that so I am stuck at this point". I am entranced by the old photos that FINDING YOUR ROOTS comes up with. I think both shows are worthwhile and would not judge one better than the other, you just might miss out on something!
Good points! =)
I like the PBS show; but they are both good entertainment. I do not follow them expecting to learn anything about research. They are just fun to watch.
Yeah, they are.

7 Answers

+9 votes
I have been watching and generally enjoying Who Do You Think You Are? since it started in 2004.

I thought the opening episode of series 14 featuring Charles Dance was one of the best.

I'm afraid I haven't heard of Finding Your Roots so can't comment on it.
answered by I O G2G6 Pilot (217k points)
Charles Dance was also a brilliant episode. I was able to use that episode to connect Charles Dance to the Global tree here on wikitree through his mother.
Finding Your Roots is on PBS.
+10 votes
My fav WDYTYA? was the Liz Bonnin episode.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt6249726/?ref_=ttep_ep3

I also thought the Boris Johnson episode (Series 5?) was a fun episode to watch

http://www.bbc.co.uk/whodoyouthinkyouare/past-stories/boris-johnson.shtml
answered by J G G2G6 Mach 8 (83.4k points)
The Liz Bonin episode was excellent!!
+8 votes

We don't get "Finding Your Roots" in the UK, but I love WDYTYA, although it does niggle me how they actually skim over most of the actual research and I'm always wondering how on earth they came to the conclusions they do when they don't show how they got to it!

 

I also used to watch "Heir Hunters" as I'd love to work on some of their challenging cases

 

answered by Michelle Wilkes G2G6 Pilot (107k points)
You like challenges, huh? I've got more than a few. =)

I'm guessing each episode takes months to prepare. That's why each season is short.
Yes, I used to watch quite a few episodes of Heir Hunters as well.
+8 votes
I just found the Finding Your Roots Series on youtube this week so I have been watching them.

Personally I prefer the WDYTYA series because they concentrate on just one person and go into plenty of details.

Finding Your Roots does 3 people and IMO tends to skip over details so we cannot see their ancestry!!
answered by Robynne Lozier G2G6 Pilot (521k points)
One person at a time does seem better.
+6 votes
I love WDYTYA but am looking forward now to see some of Finding Your Roots, because I didn't know about it, thanks for the tip!

I think I've seen almost all of the UK WDYTYA! Some of my favourites are Alistair McGowan, Liz Bonnin, Boris Johnson and Alan Cumming. I've also seen loads of the US ones, but prefer the British.

To add to that, I've seen all of the Swedish episodes, and lots of the Danish ones. Still the UK ones are my favourites. The Danish one with farmer and tv-personality Frank Erichsen was fun.

UK WDYTYA FTW :-D
answered by Maria Lundholm G2G6 Mach 4 (44.4k points)
I liked the JK Rowling one. That one transferred stateside. Seasons 4-8 are available to watch on TLC's site.
+4 votes
I've seen both programs, and have to admit that I enjoy WDYTYA much better than Finding Your Roots. The variety of research methods used, the almost random selection of who will appear, and the (OK - I'll admit it) entertainment value of watching the actors and their reactions is just more enjoyable to me. I do like watching both when I get a chance. I'll record a few for later when I can as well. It's fun to mimic their research as much as possible and see if I completely agree with their findings.

I have used their programs to further research certain Notables, and the best example I can come up with was Warwick Davis. It was frustrating, as he was on the English program which we don't receive in the States, but I was able to gather enough information from the snippets available to piece together his family and ALMOST connect him to the global tree. Others helped and then later followed behind and used this information to make the final connections (THANK YOU!!!) so it was a great experience and a testament to our collaborative environment that allows everyone to contribute.
answered by Scott Fulkerson G2G6 Pilot (357k points)
I really want to see someone like Patrick Stewart or one of the other Trek actors on the show. Perhaps some day. That would be cool.
I've seen Patrick Stewart already on WDYTYA. It was a good episode too.
I need to find that episode!
+4 votes

On the subject of these two genealogy series it would be difficult in my opinion to choose one over the other.  One, UK based with interest in directing the guest to various places where they can go through archives to learn from the genealogist facts through documents and visit sites their ancestors have lived or travelled.  

Henry Louis Gates Jr.  brings a different spin on his U.S.show but every bit as good.  Below a link for this seasons show and guests whose genealogy will be showcased.   Enjoy either series if you are able, there is always something to be learned from both.

https://www.familytreemagazine.com/articles/genealogy-fun/famous_family_trees/season-4-finding-your-roots/

http://interactive.wttw.com/playlist/2017/09/29/how-genealogists-find-your-roots

 

answered by Linda Bell G2G6 Mach 2 (28.6k points)
edited by Linda Bell

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