Roots & Branches is an award-winning, weekly newspaper column begun in 1998 that currently is published in the Altoona Mirror. It’s the only syndicated column on genealogy in Pennsylvania!

Posted December 10, 2017 by  |  No Comments

I’m going to put my conflict of interest right out from the get-go on this one.

I’ve known Shamele Jordon for going on 20 years. She’s a good friend and a better genealogist who specializes in technology and African-American topics.

So, when I heard her kicking around the idea of doing a television program – and knowing her talent – there was no doubt in my mind that her show would be both informative and entertaining.

And now that her “Genelaogy Quick Start” has a season of episodes under its belt, she’s proved that she’s the rare situation of having high expectations – and still having them exceeded.

To back up at little bit, Jordon’s zest for doing a show goes back more than a decade. “I wrote my first scripts for a genealogy show in 2006,” Jordon says. “At that time the show was called ‘Inside Genealogy.’ Then in 2016 I planned to use the same name.”

She says that a friend thought that title sounded like a journalistic expose, and she explained her premise was that “I can help you to get started quickly.” The revised name came out of that.

“Genealogy Quick Start” began airing in April 2017 as a 30-minute program on PhillyCam, Philadelphia’s public access channel. Later in the year, just a year after production began, the program was honored with a “Cammy Award” for “Creative Expression: Learning.” The Cammy is an annual recognition given by PhillyCam.

The first season’s seven episodes explored hot topics with professional and everyday people researching family history. “The goal is to focus on the fun and creativity involved in uncovering our past,” Jordon said. “Whether a beginner or experienced, family history researchers always encounter something new – new records types, new ancestors, new locations, new tools, new techniques.

She says that “Genealogy Quick Start” was created to help lay the foundation. By simplifying the process, the show hopes to motivate ancestral research.

Topics for the first season were: the power of online research; DNA as a genealogical tool; how connecting with cousins enriches genealogy; using the wealth of records kept by counties; melding new technologies to keep family reunions alive; the peculiarities of researching different ethnicities; and a live episode featuring Philadelphia-specific genealogy.

The first season episodes remain accessible on YouTube (do a search on “Genealogy Quick Start” at www.youtube.com to see them all – and then subscribe to the channel) and follow the Genealogy Quick Start page on Facebook to be apprised of new developments.

You can also give Jordon ideas for future Genealogy Quick Start episodes at the website www.genealogyquickstart.com.

The great news is that Jordon is busy working in a second season of episodes that will available for viewing starting in April 2018 on first Wednesday of the month!

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