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The Family Tree

Mike Williams explores why so many people are obsessed with discovering their family origins and also learns new things about his own ancestors along the way.

Mike Williams asks why so many people are obsessed with discovering their family origins and also learns new things about his own ancestors along the way. Genealogy is a growing phenomenon driven by the digitisation of old paper records, websites offering to DNA test your saliva for $100 and TV shows like Who Do You Think You Are, which explore celebrities family histories.

But what does spending hours, weeks and – in some cases – years trying to discover names or dates that might reveal the identity of someone related to us hundreds of years ago say about us? And, what are we really looking for?

Mike talks to Else Churchill at the Society of Genealogists in London, Nathan Lents, professor of molecular biology at John Jay College in New York and Catherine Nash, professor of Human Geography at Queen Mary University of London.

(Photo: Paper cut of family symbol under tree on old book. Credit: jannoon028/Shutterstock)

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18 minutes

Last on

Mon 21 Nov 2016 07:32GMT

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  • Fri 18 Nov 2016 19:32GMT
  • Fri 18 Nov 2016 20:32GMT
  • Fri 18 Nov 2016 21:32GMT
  • Sun 20 Nov 2016 11:32GMT
  • Mon 21 Nov 2016 02:32GMT
  • Mon 21 Nov 2016 03:32GMT
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  • Mon 21 Nov 2016 05:32GMT
  • Mon 21 Nov 2016 07:32GMT

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