Finding Your Roots

Finding Your Roots

2012 - 2017, History, Other
Henry Louis Gates, Jr. works with genealogists and ancestry experts to discover interesting facts about his guests

Episode Guide

  • Finding Your Roots - Funny Business (Season 4 Episode 10)
    Season 4 Episode 10:

    Funny Business

    With Amy Schumer, Aziz Ansari and Maya Rudolph.

  • Finding Your Roots - Southern Roots (Season 4 Episode 9)
    Season 4 Episode 9:

    Southern Roots

    With Questlove, Dr. Phil and Charlayne Hunter-Gault.

  • Finding Your Roots - Relatives We Never Knew We Had (Season 4 Episode 8)
    Season 4 Episode 8:

    Relatives We Never Knew We Had

    DNA detective work allow actresses Téa Leoni and Gaby Hoffmann to learn the identities and life stories of their biological ancestors.

  • Finding Your Roots - Children of the Revolution (Season 4 Episode 7)
    Season 4 Episode 7:

    Children of the Revolution

    Lupita Nyong'o, Carmelo Anthony and Ana Navarro learn about the political choices of their fathers.

  • Finding Your Roots - Black Like Me (Season 4 Episode 6)
    Season 4 Episode 6:

    Black Like Me

    Bryant Gumbel, Tonya Lewis-Lee and Suzanne Malveaux discover an unexpected ancestry which includes slaves, free people of color, Civil War legacies and European origins.

  • Finding Your Roots - Immigrant Nation (Season 4 Episode 5)
    Season 4 Episode 5:

    Immigrant Nation

    Actors Scarlett Johansson, Paul Rudd and John Turturro learn about their immigrant ancestors.

  • Finding Your Roots - The Vanguard (Season 4 Episode 4)
    Season 4 Episode 4:

    The Vanguard

    Author Ta-Nehisi Coates, activist Janet Mock and filmmaker Ava DuVernay, learn new details about their ancestors.

  • Finding Your Roots - Puritans and Pioneers (Season 4 Episode 3)
    Season 4 Episode 3:

    Puritans and Pioneers

    Actors Ted Danson, Mary Steenburgen and William H. Macy trace their nonconformist ancestors back to the Puritan establishment.

  • Finding Your Roots - Unfamiliar Kin (Season 4 Episode 2)
    Season 4 Episode 2:

    Unfamiliar Kin

    Actors Fred Armisen and Christopher Walken and musician Carly Simon learn details about grandparents who had remained a mystery to them.

  • Finding Your Roots - The Impression (Season 4 Episode 1)
    Season 4 Episode 1:

    The Impression

    Family histories of comic Larry David and Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-Ind., Vt.).

  • Finding Your Roots - Map of Stars (Season 3 Episode 10)
    Season 3 Episode 10:

    Map of Stars

    Tragic deaths shape the families of actors Dustin Hoffman and Mia Farrow.

  • Finding Your Roots - The Long Way Home (Season 3 Episode 9)
    Season 3 Episode 9:

    The Long Way Home

    The preserved family traditions of actress Julianna Margulies, author Azar Nafisi and chef Lidia Bastianich.

  • Finding Your Roots - The Pioneers (Season 3 Episode 8)
    Season 3 Episode 8:

    The Pioneers

    Neil Patrick Harris, Gloria Steinem and Sandra Cisneros are connected to pioneers who paved the way for modern-day descendants.

  • Finding Your Roots - Family Reunions (Season 3 Episode 7)
    Season 3 Episode 7:

    Family Reunions

    DNA technology reveals information about the family histories of hip-hop musicians Sean Combs and LL Cool J.

  • Finding Your Roots - War Stories (Season 3 Episode 6)
    Season 3 Episode 6:

    War Stories

    Military service in the families of Patricia Arquette, Julianne Moore and John McCain.

  • Finding Your Roots - Visionaries (Season 3 Episode 5)
    Season 3 Episode 5:


    The risk-taking ancestors of businessman Richard Branson, designer Maya Lin and architect Frank Gehry.

  • Finding Your Roots - Tragedy Plus Time Equals Comedy (Season 3 Episode 4)
    Season 3 Episode 4:

    Tragedy Plus Time Equals Comedy

    Tragedies and triumphs in the families of three men known for comedy -- Jimmy Kimmel, Norman Lear and Bill Hader.

  • Finding Your Roots - In Search of Freedom (Season 3 Episode 3)
    Season 3 Episode 3:

    In Search of Freedom

    The struggle for freedom by the ancestors of Maya Rudolph, Shonda Rhimes and Keenen Ivory Wayans.

  • Finding Your Roots - The Irish Factor (Season 3 Episode 2)
    Season 3 Episode 2:

    The Irish Factor

    The Irish ancestry of Soledad O'Brien, Bill O'Reilly and Bill Maher.

  • Finding Your Roots - The Stories We Tell (Season 3 Episode 1)
    Season 3 Episode 1:

    The Stories We Tell

    The family stories of political organizer Donna Brazile, actor Ty Burrell and artist Kara Walker.

  • Finding Your Roots - Decoding Our Past (Season 2 Episode 10)
    Season 2 Episode 10:

    Decoding Our Past

    DNA analysis reveals family trees with a range of cultures and races for Deval Patrick, Jessica Alba, Valerie Jarrett and Anderson Cooper.

  • Finding Your Roots - Ancient Roots (Season 2 Episode 9)
    Season 2 Episode 9:

    Ancient Roots

    Tina Fey, George Stephanopoulos and David Sedaris examine the stories of their Greek ancestors.

  • Finding Your Roots - The British Invasion (Season 2 Episode 8)
    Season 2 Episode 8:

    The British Invasion

    Deepak Chopra, Sting and Sally Field explore the British influence in their family histories.

  • Finding Your Roots - Our People, Our Traditions (Season 2 Episode 7)
    Season 2 Episode 7:

    Our People, Our Traditions

    Alan Dershowitz, Carole King and Tony Kushner trace their Jewish family histories.

  • Finding Your Roots - We Come From People (Season 2 Episode 6)
    Season 2 Episode 6:

    We Come From People

    Hip-hop artist Nas, actress Angela Bassett and presidential adviser Valerie Jarrett trace their roots to slavery.

  • Finding Your Roots - The Melting Pot (Season 2 Episode 5)
    Season 2 Episode 5:

    The Melting Pot

    Chef Tom Colicchio learns the hardships his family endured in Northern Italy; chef Ming Tsai traces his roots back 2,000 years; chef Aarón Sanchez learns his Mexican roots include Spaniards, Africans and Native Americans.

  • Finding Your Roots - Roots of Freedom (Season 2 Episode 4)
    Season 2 Episode 4:

    Roots of Freedom

    Ben Affleck's mother's roots include 19th-century spiritualist; former NAACP President Benjamin Jealous discovers his great-grandfather's story; actress Khandi Alexander finds out her grandfather may have been murdered.

  • Finding Your Roots - Our American Storytellers (Season 2 Episode 3)
    Season 2 Episode 3:

    Our American Storytellers

    Ken Burns, Anderson Cooper and Anna Deavere Smith explore their ancestral history.

  • Finding Your Roots - Born Champions (Season 2 Episode 2)
    Season 2 Episode 2:

    Born Champions

    Athletes Derek Jeter, Billie Jean King and Rebecca Lobo examine their ancestral origins.

  • Finding Your Roots - In Search of Our Fathers (Season 2 Episode 1)
    Season 2 Episode 1:

    In Search of Our Fathers

    Author Stephen King and actors Gloria Reuben and Courtney Vance investigate their paternal ancestry.

  • Finding Your Roots - Michelle Rodriguez; Adrian Grenier; Linda Chavez (Season 1 Episode 10)
    Season 1 Episode 10:

    Michelle Rodriguez; Adrian Grenier; Linda Chavez

    Michelle Rodriguez, Adrian Grenier and Linda Chavez explore their Latin-American roots.

  • Finding Your Roots - John Legend; Wanda Sykes; Margarett Cooper (Season 1 Episode 9)
    Season 1 Episode 9:

    John Legend; Wanda Sykes; Margarett Cooper

    The free black ancestors of John Legend, Wanda Sykes and Dr. Gates' friend, Margarett Cooper.

  • Finding Your Roots - Sanjay Gupta; Margaret Cho; Martha Stewart (Season 1 Episode 8)
    Season 1 Episode 8:

    Sanjay Gupta; Margaret Cho; Martha Stewart

    Sanjay Gupta, Margaret Cho and Martha Stewart are children of first- or second-generation immigrants.

  • Finding Your Roots - Samuel L. Jackson; Condoleezza Rice; Ruth Simmons (Season 1 Episode 7)
    Season 1 Episode 7:

    Samuel L. Jackson; Condoleezza Rice; Ruth Simmons

    Samuel L. Jackson, Condoleezza Rice and Ruth Simmons trace their African ancestors.

  • Finding Your Roots - Robert Downey, Jr.; Maggie Gyllenhaal (Season 1 Episode 6)
    Season 1 Episode 6:

    Robert Downey, Jr.; Maggie Gyllenhaal

    Actors Robert Downey Jr. and Maggie Gyllenhaal learn about their Eastern European Jewish ancestors.

  • Finding Your Roots - Angela Buchdahl; Rick Warren; Yasir Qadhi (Season 1 Episode 5)
    Season 1 Episode 5:

    Angela Buchdahl; Rick Warren; Yasir Qadhi

    The stories of three clergy members of different faiths.

  • Finding Your Roots - Kevin Bacon; Kyra Sedgwick (Season 1 Episode 4)
    Season 1 Episode 4:

    Kevin Bacon; Kyra Sedgwick

    Kevin Bacon and Kyra Sedgwick both have ancestors that were early opponents of slavery.

  • Finding Your Roots - Barbara Walters and Geoffrey Canada (Season 1 Episode 3)
    Season 1 Episode 3:

    Barbara Walters and Geoffrey Canada

    Barbara Walters finds out about her father, including his real surname; Geoffrey Canada learns the name of his grandfather.

  • Finding Your Roots - Cory Booker and John Lewis (Season 1 Episode 2)
    Season 1 Episode 2:

    Cory Booker and John Lewis

    Newark, N.J., Mayor Cory Booker is introduced to his white great-grandfather; Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.) learns about his slave ancestors.

  • Finding Your Roots - Harry Connick, Jr. and Branford Marsalis (Season 1 Episode 1)
    Season 1 Episode 1:

    Harry Connick, Jr. and Branford Marsalis

    The history of the city of New Orleans is traced through the family stories of musicians Harry Connick Jr. and Branford Marsalis.