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Meet the Hosts-
Jim and Terry Willard

Jim and Terry Willard never imagined when they attended the Sesquicentennial Conference of the New England Historic Genealogical Society in the Summer of 1995 that they would soon be hosting a television series for PBS.

Jim and Terry Willard

Jim and Terry Willard

Executive Producer, Sterling Van Wagenen, attended the conference to look for an engaging host for Ancestors. "I was at the conference looking for the right combination for a host. I was moving through the conference to sample speakers and I came across a pleasant voice in the dark at a computer session. The lights came up at the end of the session and I sat down while the meeting broke up to eavesdrop some more. What caught my attention was the complete attention and total generosity that Jim Willard gave to every person he met and the energy and vitality that Terry brought to their presentation. The day progressed and I watched this gift unfold to us." After an initial meeting with Sterling, Jim and Terry soon found themselves flying to Utah to meet with the rest of the Ancestors team.

Jim and Terry were both born and raised in Maine where they met in high school and married. They both went on to earn Bachelor and Master degrees from the University of Maine in Orono, Maine. Jim has taught History, and Terry has taught French at the Leavitt Area High School in Turner, Maine. When they met Sterling Van Wagenen at the Genealogical conference, they had just retired from a combined teaching career of 51 years.

Jim and Terry have shared a love of genealogy since their high school days together. They have researched their genealogy back 15 generations on both sides. Jim has found ancestors who fought on opposite sides of the French and Indian War, and both found that they were 6th cousins through their French-Canadian heritage. The Willards look forward to sharing their hobby and learning more with you on the series Ancestors.