Rich Venezia started researching his family history after his maternal grandmother’s death, having come across an incomplete family tree she’d begun. (She's all smiles on her wedding day, above.) Quickly becoming wrapped up in the excitement of finding his family, his quest has taken him abroad to Italy, Wales, England, and Ireland, as well as various places in the US in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, New York, Washington, D.C., and Utah. There have been indescribable feelings of wonder upon arriving in the places where his ancestors hailed from, meeting cousins he never knew he had, or literally stumbling upon the grave of his fourth-great-grandparents. (Who says you don't need a helmet in genealogy!?) Rich treats all family histories as his own, and finds a great deal of joy in sharing this information with others. He believes that learning about your ancestors allows you to learn about yourself. After all, you wouldn't be here if it weren't for them!

In Rich's work as a professional genealogist, he has helped many others find their roots in Italy, Ireland, Lithuania, Canada, England, Scotland, St. Kitts, Sint Eustatius, France, Germany, The Netherlands, and right here in the USA. He is a member of local and national genealogical organizations, and regularly attends conferences and institutes to continue his education as a professional. He received his Certificate in Genealogical Research from The Boston University Center for Professional Education in May 2015 and serves as President of the North Hills Genealogists (Pittsburgh, PA).

Fun fact: Of Rich's 32 3x-great-grandparents, only one was born in the United States.

Genealogy Roadshow on PBS

Rich was thrilled to be selected as a member of the research team for Seasons 2 and 3 of PBS' Genealogy Roadshow. Season 2 aired on PBS in early 2015. Season 3 premiered on May 17, 2016! Find out more and view episodes online here, and check out a New Orleans Advocate article for which Rich was interviewed. Interested in submitting your story for Season 4? Submit your story here!