PBS America | Sky 534 | Virgin Media 243 | pbsamerica.co.uk
Henry Louis Gates Jr continues this new ten-part series in which prominent Americans trace their ancestry, often with surprising results.
This episode unearths missing links in the family histories of journalist and broadcaster Barbara Walters and educational reformer and social activist Geoffrey Canada. Barbara comes from a family of Jewish immigrants who came to America from Poland in 1909 at a time when many Jews were fleeing from the anti-Semitism that was sweeping across Europe. It transpires that the original family name was Waremwasser, which was later Anglicised to Warmwater, and it is this name that appears on her father’s birth certificate. It was changed to Walters in 1910. Geoffrey Canada runs the Harlem Children’s Zone, an organisation dedicated to improving the lives of disadvantaged children in New York’s poorest areas. His great grandfather Peter Canada was listed as Peter Kennedy, which seems to have been adapted from Cannaday at some point. His great great grandfather Thomas took the name from his owners, the Cannaday family of Virginia. He could have even been Charles Cannaday’s son — certainly, DNA research proves that he is descended from a white man.