The series finale links the family histories of the 12 subjects to the broader history of humanity, revealing shared ancestral connections and distant relatives. Meryl Streep and Mike Nichols learn that they're distant cousins, as do Yo-Yo Ma and Eva Longoria; and the poet Elizabeth Alexander discovers she's descended from Charlemagne. Also: Henry Louis Gates Jr., his brother and father have their entire genomes mapped.
The peopling of the New World is recalled via the ancestral stories of Meryl Streep and Eva Longoria. Included: Streep's eighth great-grandfather, who fought in Metacom's War (an English-American Indian conflict in 1675-76); Eva Longoria's ancestors, who sailed for the New World in 1603 following a land dispute in Spain. Also: Yo-Yo Ma's Chinese genealogy.
The many pathways to America are explored via the ancestral stories of Stephen Colbert, chef Mario Batali, Jordan's Queen Noor and figure skater Kristi Yamaguchi. Included: Colbert's great-great-grandfather, who escaped poverty and religious oppression in Ireland; Batali's great-grandfather, who worked in Montana's quartz mines; Queen Noor's great-grandfather, who was part of New York's first Arab-American community; Yamaguchi's grandfather, who faced exclusionary laws.
Utilizing genealogical and genetic tools, Henry Louis Gates Jr. unearths the family histories of 12 prominent Americans in this series, beginning with cellist Yo-Yo Ma, director Mike Nichols and figure skater Kristi Yamaguchi. Other subjects include poet Elizabeth Alexander, chef Mario Batali, Stephen Colbert, novelist Louise Erdrich, journalist Malcolm Gladwell, Eva Longoria, Jordan's Queen Noor, Dr. Mehmet Oz and Meryl Streep.