Well, it is always big new when a television show is focused on the Town of Saratoga.  Over the past couple of months, the Schuylerville Public Library, the Town Historian’s office, and Saratoga County Historical Society at Brookside Museum have been receiving calls and visits from Los Angeles-based television producers trying to research a family history.

Yesterday it was announced that Liv Tyler and Steven Tyler trace their surprising ancestry in ninth season of Who Do You Think You Are?  It turns out that there is a Town of Saratoga connection.  According to the release “Liv Tyler was excited to find out she came ‘from music from all sides’ and that one of her relatives was half African-American.  At that revelation, the 39-year-old Lord of the Rings’ alum’s famous father Steven Tyler (born Tallarico) gave her a high five and said: ‘Haha, I knew it!’

Now we have not seen the show, we expect that it will air in April or May on a Sunday night at 10 pm on TLC.  We do not know if the show actually took any footage from our town but they did interviews at Brookside Museum.  The show also borrowed material from the Library.

The release says, TLC’s Emmy Award-winning series, WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE? returns this spring with a new group of celebrities ready to delve into their lineage and get answers to the questions they’ve wondered about their entire lives. Eight new one-hour episodes bring more unexpected turns and surprising discoveries of great historical significance. Executive Produced by Lisa Kudrow and Dan Bucatinsky, the new season premieres on Sunday, March 5th at 10/9c.

This season’s celebrity contributors include:

  • Jessica Biel makes surprising discoveries that change what she thought knew about her heritage.
  • Julie Bowen uncovers the story of two relatives whose moral codes are from opposite ends of the spectrum.
  • Courteney Cox traces her maternal line back seven centuries to the Medieval times to discover royalty in her lineage and an unbelievable tale of family drama.
  • · Jennifer Grey uncovers new information about the grandfather she thought she knew, learning how he survived adversity to become a beacon of his community.
  • Smokey Robinson searches for answers behind the mystery of why his grandfather disappeared from his children’s lives and finds a man tangled in a swirl of controversy.
  • John Stamos digs into the mystery of how his grandfather became an orphan, and learns of tensions between families that led to a horrible crime.
  • Liv Tyler learns that her family is tied into the complicated racial narrative of America.
  • Noah Wyle unravels the mystery of his maternal line, uncovering an ancestor who survived one of America’s bloodiest battles.

Ancestry, the leading family history company, is teaming up again with TLC as a sponsor of the upcoming season. As part of the show sponsorship, Ancestry provides exhaustive family history research on each of the featured celebrities to help make discoveries possible and build out the story of each episode.

WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE? is produced for TLC by Shed Media (part of the alternative department at Warner Bros. Television) and Is or Isn’t Entertainment. The series is based on an original format created by WALL TO WALL Media and Alex Graham. More information can be found at ‘Like’ Who Do You Think You Are? on and follow @WDYTYA on Twitter.


Special thank you to Historian and Author Don Papson who has been researching this family for a while (before the television show started on this effort).  Papson shared the release of the names  of the celebrities (they were kept in private).  Papson was awarded the 2012 Underground Railroad Free Press Prize for Leadership for co-founding the North Country Underground Railroad Historical Association and establishing the North Star Underground Railroad Museum.  He lives in Plattsburgh.  He has visited our community a number of times researching this family.



One thought on “Big News -TLC’s WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE?

  1. Watched the episode. So interesting to see the local connection with this celebrity family. Also as an African American woman, I appreciate the way the complicated, not so black and white (pun intended), the episode approached race and self identity.

    Liked by 1 person

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