Finding Your Roots

Finding Your Roots Season 7 Episodes

Find out how to watch Season 7 of Finding Your Roots tonight at the American TV Listings Guide

Season 7 Episode Guide

Episode 1 - To the Manor Born

Henry Louis Gates, Jr. uncovers the lineages of actor Glenn Close and director John Waters, digging into centuries past to encounter a succession of bold forebears who found fortune amidst drama and rebellion. From the gold rush fields of the Yukon to an enclave in Quaker Pennsylvania to British royalty, our guests meet a succession of relatives who prove to be as eccentric as they are.


Episode 2 - Against All Odds

Henry Louis Gates, Jr. introduces media personality Andy Cohen and radio journalist Nina Totenberg to Jewish ancestors who journeyed from Russia to America determined to overcome enormous odds in the face of oppression. With little more than grit and talent, these individuals tested the limits of luck and familial love as they battled to survive and lay the groundwork for future generations.


Episode 3 - No Irish Need Apply

Henry Louis Gates, Jr. reveals the roots of actor Jane Lynch and comedian Jim Gaffigan, exploring the experience of their Irish ancestors on America’s shores—an experience characterized by sacrifice and religious persecution. Weaving together stories of maids and coal miners, Gates traces the journeys of ancestors who arrived empty-handed from the Emerald Isle and flourished.


Episode 4 - The Shirts on their Backs

Henry Louis Gates, Jr. reveals the immigrant roots of actors Tony Shalhoub and Christopher Meloni, introducing ancestors who confronted inconceivable challenges almost entirely alone. From an abandoned infant in a small Italian village to a devastating plague in Lebanon, long-forgotten records reveal individuals who came from nothing and built a better life in America.


Episode 5 - Write My Name in the Book of Life

Henry Louis Gates, Jr. helps musician Pharrell Williams and filmmaker Kasi Lemmons understand the experiences of their enslaved ancestors, uncovering extraordinarily rare first-person accounts of their relatives who endured bondage. Through testimonies, we meet individuals who emerged from slavery resilient and refusing to be erased—yearning, like our guests, to trace their stories back to Africa.


Episode 6 - Country Roots

Henry Louis Gates, Jr. uncovers the remarkable backgrounds of country music icons Clint Black and Rosanne Cash, traveling generations into the past to trace lineages from the shores of Sicily to the American South. With Gates’ guidance, guests reimagine family stories and encounter surprising ancestors they never knew they had, revealing the diverse origins of a quintessentially American art form.


Episode 7 - The New World

Henry Louis Gates, Jr. explores the family trees of actor John Lithgow and journalist Maria Hinojosa, introducing them to ancestors who arrived in North America long before the birth of the United States. Using a mix of documents and DNA, Gates guides his guests on journeys from Spain to Mexico, England to Plymouth Rock, compelling them to re-imagine their families as well as their nation.


Episode 8 - Anchored to the Past

Henry Louis Gates, Jr. introduces trail-blazing journalists Gretchen Carlson and Don Lemon to the ancestors who blazed a trail for them, traveling from Louisiana sugar plantations to immigrant towns in rural Minnesota, meeting soldiers and Civil Rights activists, entrepreneurs and day laborers who worked tirelessly to keep their families together so that, one day, their descendants might thrive.


Episode 9 - On Broadway

Henry Louis Gates, Jr. investigates the family mysteries of Broadway stars Audra McDonald and Mandy Patinkin, introducing them to relatives whose names they’ve never heard before. Gates leads his guests back to long-vanished communities in Eastern Europe and the American west, uncovering the stories of ancestors whose struggles laid the groundwork for their success.


Episode 10 - Laughing on the Inside

Henry Louis Gates, Jr. uncovers the roots of comedians Lewis Black and Roy Wood, Jr.—two funny men whose family trees are filled with stories that tend more towards drama than comedy. Along the way, Gates introduces his guests to the ancestors who gave them their names—as well as to an array of men and women who took great risks and overcame enormous hardships for the sake of their families.


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