World

CNN anchors trace their roots

Updated 1:28 PM ET, Tue October 21, 2014
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01 CNN Anchor Michaela Pereira 100801 CNN Anchor Michaela Pereira 1008
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CNN's Michaela Pereira has two family trees. The one she knows well belongs to her adoptive, Canadian parents. The other, less understood one is rooted in the place in which many of her ancestors lived, St. James Parish in Jamaica. CNN
Pereira makes new friends during her trip. Marlei Martinez
"Taking it all in on the last day of our trip," Pereira said. "I feel like this is just the beginning." CNN
Anderson Cooper descends from one of America's most famous families, the Vanderbilts. Now he travels to Mississippi and Louisiana to connect with the life of Wyatt Cooper, the father Anderson lost when he was only 10. CNN
A family portrait of Cooper and his family at their home in Southampton, New York, in March 1972. Cooper is sitting on his father's lap while his brother, Carter, sits on his mother's lap. Getty Images
Cooper visits the grave site of Burrell C. Cooper, his great-great-grandfather who fought as a Confederate soldier in the Civil War. CNN
The son and brother of two New York governors, Chris Cuomo thought he knew his roots. But a mysterious figure from the past led him to Italy to uncover a surprising story. CNN
Cuomo is the low man during a practice run for a "Palo" pole-climbing competition in Sant'Arsenio, Italy. The pole is greased with pig fat. It takes four men stacked on top of one another, and then the top man scampers up the pole to recover various goodies: prosciutto, cash and even cigarettes. John Griffin/CNN
Cuomo poses with his wife, Cristina, and his eldest daughter, Bella, ahead of the Festival of San Rocco in Sant'Arsenio. John Griffin/CNN
Jake Tapper grew up just blocks away from Philadelphia's Independence Hall, the birthplace of America. He was shocked to discover that his ancestors were on the losing side of the American Revolution. He travels to Canada to unravel the mystery. CNN
Tapper and his parents, Dr. Theodore Tapper and Anne Tapper walk through Independence National Historic Park in Philadelphia, close to where Tapper grew up during the Bicentennial Era in 1976. CNN
Tapper examines one of his ancestor's old family Bibles from the 1800s. CNN
Erin Burnett's journey starts on the farm where she grew up and takes her to a remote Scottish island where she finds distant relatives who still call Scotland home. CNN
Burnett grew up in the small town of Mardela Springs, Maryland. "The last census had the town at about 420 people," Burnett said. "The best part of growing up there was playing with my sisters. I idolized them." Courtesy Erin Burnett
Burnett said her parents met in New York City, but her father dreamed of being a country lawyer and owning a farm. "They were very idealistic when they got married," she said. "It's so funny hearing them talk about it now. Their eyes still light up." CNN
Don Lemon traces his family history from a Louisiana plantation to the hub of the transatlantic slave trade in West Africa. CNN
Lemon's mother, Katherine, joined him on every step of his journey as they filled the gaps in his family tree. CNN
Lemon is overcome with emotion after passing through Ghana's Door of No Return. This was the last place natives walked on their homeland before boarding slave ships bound for America. CNN
Christine Romans journeys across the Atlantic to learn the story of an ancestor who had the courage to leave everything she knew in order to start over in America. CNN
Here is Romans' entire family lineage since her great-great-grandmother left Denmark in 1886. Romans' grandmother Shirley Peterson is front and center. CNN
Inside the Danish National Archives is a library called "The Great Hall of Curiosities." This is where Romans discovered the trials and tribulations of her great-great-grandmother's family. CNN
Wolf Blitzer, son of Holocaust survivors, revisits the bitter legacy of Poland's extermination camps as he searches for traces of the lives his grandparents lived before the war. CNN
A young Blitzer poses for a photo while living in Germany in the late 1940s. His parents moved there from Poland after World War II. Courtesy Wolf Blitzer
Blitzer visits his mother, Cesia, in Florida in 2014. CNN
Dr. Sanjay Gupta takes his family on an eye-opening trip halfway around the world to his mother's tiny village in Pakistan and his father's hometown in India. CNN
Gupta rides a camel in Karachi, Pakistan. "A beach. A camel. Karachi. Three things I never imagined going together," Gupta said. "But it ended up becoming the beginning of our whole journey." CNN
Gupta, his wife and his three daughters pose for a photo in Haridwar, India. "The whole family took a bath in the Ganges River, one of the holiest rivers in the world," Gupta said. "When I explained to my three daughters that it helped purge us of our sins, they suggested that I should've stayed in the river longer!" CNN
Kate Bolduan makes the surprising discovery that she comes from a long line of glass blowers from a tiny village in Belgium. She recently set off to find out more about the family business. CNN
Bolduan traveled to Liege, Belgium, where local historian Alain van Wayenberge showed her a family tree dating back centuries. Courtesy Elizabeth Stuart
Bolduan visits the cemetery in Columbus, Ohio, where her great-great-grandparents are buried. Courtesy Elizabeth Stuart
Could John Berman be royalty? Is he related to a 17th-century Dutch writer known as the Prince of Philosophers? He traveled to Amsterdam, Netherlands, in search of the truth. Ethel Bass/CNN
While investigating his ancestry, Berman checked to see whether there was any similarity between him and a reproduction of the Dutch philosopher Baruch Spinoza. Spinoza was the maiden name of Berman's grandmother. Ethel Bass/CNN
You have to go on a canal ride if visiting Amsterdam, and Berman got the scenic route while searching for his roots. Ethel Bass/CNN
Fareed Zakaria's father, an orphan and self-made man who eventually became a government minister in India, often claimed that he had Central Asian "warrior" ancestry. Zakaria takes a DNA test to see if it might be true. CNN
Zakaria as a teenager in Mumbai, India, circa 1978. Courtesy Fareed Zakaria
Zakaria and his mother at his graduation from Yale University. CNN