The Genealogy Roadshow Austin experience

Genealogy Roadshow

Denise Garza is one of six people featured in the Austin episode of Genealogy Roadshow airing October 14th on PBS stations across the nation. Denise provided this story about her experience on the show.  PHOTO: Denise Garza getting final instructions from the Genealogy Roadshow production team before she tapes her segment at the Driskill Hotel on June 23.


My trip on the Genealogy Roadshow has been fast, furious and fantastic! Little did I know when I answered the call for entry, I would be pulled in a wonderful whirlwind of excitement.

KLRU ran an ad looking for Austin participants just after Antiques Roadshow in late April. My father, Joe, has been researching our family history for years. He formed many assumptions about our family’s long lineage but lacked conclusive evidence. I saw the ad and thought, “What the heck!” and submitted my questions.

The questions were:
1. Do I qualify as a Daughter of the Republic of Texas?
2. Are we related to Jews who came to the Americas to escape the Spanish Inquisition?

Just a few days after the online submission, I received a phone call from the show’s casting department. I spoke with the casting agent and he recommended that we do a Skype call the next day. I made my case on Skype which was recorded and presented to the GRS producers. They liked me and I was in!

Over the next few days, I emailed all the family research I had done on my own. The Genealogy Roadshow production team sent me a DNA test kit that same weekend. It took a half an hour to fill the DNA test tube with saliva. It was kind of gross. I sent the DNA kit back immediately.

About three weeks went by without a word, and then I received a call from Jeff with the show’s production team. He wanted to do a special taping session with just me! We settled on filming in my home and at Commons Ford Ranch Metropolitan Park in Austin. Exhilarating, but a little stressful!

The small film crew arrived in my home on Monday, June 17, to film. My husband, Ian, and I were nervous and excited. The crew set-up in my little living room and we filmed the interview segment. The head of the crew, Chad, was very professional and patient as I sat for his questions. After the shoot at home, we spent an about an hour in the park filming more reflective segments.

Sunday, June 23, we were called to the Driskill Hotel to film the big reveal. Chad asked me to bring as many family members as I could. My parents, my sisters and their families met my husband in the lobby of the hotel. Unfortunately, my brother was working out of state and could not join us. Including myself, I brought a family of eleven! The production team was happy to see such a big family turnout!

Our call time for filming the reveal was at noon. However, the production fell behind schedule and we had to wait, nervously, for two hours. While waiting, we got to see another participant film their reveal and watch Earl Campbell greet fans.

Finally, we were called to the set to film the big reveal. Of course, I can’t say too much about they found, but I can say there were lots of tears and lots of laughter! The family was able to walk a little taller when we left the hotel.

I had a wonderful time on the roadshow and I hope that my story, along with the stories of the other families on the show, can inspire you to explore your own past and find your own place in history.

Genealogy Roadshow selection process complete

Genealogy Roadshow

We’re excited about Austin’s overwhelming  interest in the new PBS series Genealogy Roadshow. The show’s producers  have received hundreds of responses and said they wish they could share all the fascinating stories that have been presented.

PBS says the submission process for Austin is now complete and all stories have been selected. The producers said the selection process was difficult because of all the fascinating stories but they know that all our viewers will love learning about Austin, Texas, and U.S. history through the lens of neighbors in your community. Be sure to tune in to the premiere of Genealogy Roadshow, Monday, September 23 on KLRU.

Genealogy Roadshow to film in Austin 6/23

Genealogy Roadshow

Local residents with interesting stories needed for national broadcast of new PBS series

PBS and KLRU-TV announce that the new series Genealogy Roadshow, which premieres nationally this fall, is seeking local participants to share their families’ stories. Final participants will be part of an episode taping in Austin on Sunday, June 23. Part detective story, part emotional journey, Genealogy Roadshow  will combine history and science to uncover fascinating stories of diverse Americans. The producers are looking for Austin-area residents who have (or believe they have) a historically significant story in their family. Chosen stories will be researched by a team of local experts, and will be linked to the larger community’s history, revealing the rich cultural tapestry of Central Texas and America. Individuals with interesting stories are encouraged to submit them online through the KLRU website at (Selection process is now complete)

Genealogy Roadshow’s premiere season features participants from four American cities — Austin, Detroit, Nashville, and San Francisco — who want to explore unverified genealogical claims passed down through family histories that may (or may not) connect them to an event or an historical figure. These cities were chosen as American crossroads of culture, diversity, industry and history with deep pools of potential participants and stories. The Austin episode, which will be filmed before a live audience, will air this fall (specific air dates will be announced later).

“Austin is a natural fit for Genealogy Roadshow. As the capital of Texas, it is known as a very progressive and modern city with a fascinating multicultural history,” said executive producer Stuart Krasnow. “We’re looking for a diverse mix of stories from locals who want to know more about their history.”

“I am delighted that Austin was chosen to be a part of Genealogy Roadshow,” said Bill Stotesbery, KLRU CEO. “Our participation in this project helps us fulfill our mission to make a better community one story at a time. We encourage Central Texans to share their story by going to and be part of this exciting production.”

After participants are chosen, genealogy, history and DNA experts will use family heirlooms, letters, pictures, historical documents and other clues to hunt down more information. These experts will enlist the help of local historians to add color and context to the investigations, ensuring every artifact and every name becomes a clue in solving the mystery. Austin residents are invited and encouraged to submit their personal stories as Genealogy Roadshow  will unearth family and community secrets, reveal notable relatives and discover unexpected stories that connect the past to the present. Many answers will be revealed on camera before a local audience, in a historic building relevant to the cities’ – and the participants’ – histories.

Genealogy Roadshow  is produced by Krasnow Productions. President and owner Stuart Krasnow is a long-time television industry veteran, having worked for all of the country’s top broadcasters in news and entertainment, as well as at numerous cable networks as a creator and executive producer. It is represented in the U.S. by Pat Quinn of Quinn Media Management and packaged with PBS by APA.

Genealogy Roadshow  has been a huge hit in Ireland, where national public broadcaster RTE commissioned this original format from producer Big Mountain Productions.