Press/Journalists

Press Release
March 4, 2010

"Who Do You Think You Are" Debuts March 5 - Features National Archives Records

New genealogy-based show debuts Friday on NBC at 8 PM, EST

Washington, DC…The first episode of “Who Do You Think You Are?” premieres this Friday, March 5, on NBC at 8:00 p.m. EST. National Archives staff in Washington, DC, and New York City worked closely with the producers and researchers of this genealogy-based program for over a year to identify National Archives documents that help tell the story of famous Americans featured on the programs.

"The role that the National Archives played in researching the personal histories that are featured on the upcoming show “Who Do You Think You Are?” underscores the importance of our records,” said Archivist of the United States David S. Ferriero. “Our census and immigration records and military pension files, among millions of other documents here at the Archives unlock secrets and mysteries relating to family history. I hope that Americans will be inspired to log onto their computers or visit one of our nationwide facilities to discover our resources relating to their own families, as I have" he added.

National Archives records are an abundant resource for genealogical research. “Who Do You Think You Are?” features many such records – including pension applications, census schedules, and Freedmen’s Bureau records – that are used by thousands of researchers every year. A new National Archives web page links to some of the most popular records of genealogical interest, including records used in some of the shows. The web page also includes information about how to begin genealogy research. Interested viewers can also e-mail questions to National Archives genealogy experts at WhoDo@archives.gov.

As part of the National Archives Sixth Annual Genealogy Fair, to be held April 14-15th, 2010, the National Archives will host Megan Smolenyak, author of the companion book to the “Who Do You Think You Are?” television series, and chief family historian for Ancestry.com. Smolenyak will discuss the research that went into the programs. This event is free and open to the public and will be held in the William G. McGowan Theater of the National Archives Building, which is fully accessible. A book signing of Who Do You Think You Are? will follow the program, and the book is available at a discount from the Archives Shop (202-357-5271) before and during the event. The Genealogy Fair is free and open to the public, and presented in partnership with the Foundation for the National Archives.

The National Archives Building is located on Constitution Avenue at 7th Street, NW. Winter hours (through March 14) are 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.; Spring hours (March 15 through Labor Day) are 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., daily. Admission is free, and the building is fully accessible. Metro accessible on the Yellow and Green lines, Archives/Navy Memorial/Penn Quarter station.

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For press information, contact the National Archives Public Affairs staff at 202-357-5300.

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