Finding Your Roots with Christopher Meloni

OK, here we are!

After 16 months, the episode of Finding Your Roots with Christopher Meloni was finally aired!

A shot from PBS’ Finding Your Roots – Season 7 Episode 4

PBS had contacted me in September 2019 and hired me to research the genealogy of their guest, the Italian-American actor Christopher Meloni.

It was a brand new challenge for me, that I tried to accomplish as best as I could, working for 5 days and in 8 different archives in Liguria and Emilia Romagna.

In the end, the result was:

– two family trees (for two different family lines) totalling 49 direct ancestors

– the most ancient ancestor, Christopher’s 8th great grandfather, born around 1630

– 4 military lists

– identification of 2 houses where Christopher Meloni’s ancestors had lived

– 1 notary’s deed for the purchase of a house

– 1 local history book that a priest gave me as present

– maps, picture of places and other documents

and, of course, many stories of people who lived, worked, married and died without leaving a sign in this world except for their name in the parish records: men who were farmers, others who died of an epidemic, families who were fostering foundlings and – of course – the most striking story, that of Christopher’s great-grandfather Enrico Melone, a baby who was abandoned at birth.

It was clear from the beginning that this would have been the key story of the show and although PBS dropped all the rest – the vast majority of my job – it is clear that they couldn’t do anything else: there must be a single story or two to focus the attention on.

So, you will never know the rest about Christopher’s ancestors, I am sorry!

But don’t worry, there are other interesting and touching stories to discover: those about your own family!

Some pictures of Velva, the place where Christopher’s ancestors were from: an amazing, picturesque village on the Ligurian hills. The town center does not have roads, only stone stairs and narrow paths.

Old registers
The Missano church with the typical risseu: decorations for squares and courtyards made with small, round stones in different colors
Link to the Finding Your Roots episode

https://www.pbs.org/weta/finding-your-roots/watch/episodes/the-shirts-on-their-backs

FINDING YOUR ROOTS by PBS

In 2019 I had the honor to work for the PBS TV channel, researching the genealogy of a guest at the show Finding Your Roots with Dr. Henry Louis Gates Jr.

The guest is Christopher Meloni, a famous Italian-American actor, and his episode will be aired on Tuesday, February 9th – Season 7, Episode 4

I can’t wait to see how Christopher will react to the things I discovered about his family!

Christopher Meloni watching his family tree at Finding Your Roots by PBS

But I will have to wait, instead, because PBS is not broadcasted in Italy and I will only be able to stream the episode some days later.

If you can, watch it and… enjoy!

(the picture of Christopher Meloni is a screenshot from the official Season 7 trailer that you can watch here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h9LKSywd7zQ)