The Duke City will be in the spotlight during the premiere of the third season of “Genealogy Roadshow” at 7 p.m. Tuesday, May 17. It repeats on 6 p.m. May 22 on channel 9.1.
And Mary Tedesco can’t wait for the world to see the new season.
“Albuquerque is an amazing area,” she says. “I love the cultural diversity in the city, and I think the episode came out wonderful.”
Tedesco is part of the team for the PBS show. She is a genealogist, and in December she and crew came out to the old airport terminal in Albuquerque and filmed an episode.
“Genealogy Roadshow” is part detective story, part emotional journey as it combines history and science to uncover fascinating stories of diverse Americans.
In preparation for the tapings, show producers sought New Mexico residents who have (or believe they have) interesting or significant family stories. Their claims and questions were researched by a team of experts who use genealogical knowledge, history and DNA results — as well as family heirlooms, letters, pictures, historical documents and other clues — to hunt down information and answers.
In doing so, the team often finds unexpected links to larger community histories, revealing deep cultural and familial ties to the featured regions and how they connect to the larger American story.
Tedesco says all of the fun is the journey to finding out the stories. She says technology has also made it easier for people to do work on their own.
“One of the things that we’ve found is that the Roman Catholic churches keep great records,” she says. “A lot of families in New Mexico have access to this, because many of the families have been here for generations. I loved finding out more in Albuquerque.”
During the episode, Tedesco and crew meet Mark Vigil, who has an interesting story.
“We were able to connect him and his family to many phases through time,” she says. “His story is a very special find.”
Tedesco and the crew were in town for five days in December, but there were more hours put into finding out the family histories.
Tedesco says she wanted to do a little research of her own while she was in New Mexico.
“My grandfather served in World War II,” she says. “Though he didn’t serve in the Manhattan Project or Trinity Site, it was a fascinating story to sink my teeth into. These men and women are part of history, and New Mexico is full of that.”
In addition to Albuquerque kicking off the third season, the show will have stops in Boston, Houston, Miami, Providence, R.I., and Los Angeles.