January 30th, 2011 at 3:59 pm (Articles)
Recently posted by Genealogy Insider, an online genealogy newsletter, is an update on the second season of “Who Do You Think You Are?” produced by Lisa Kudrow. Episode one will feature Vanessa Williams and her search for her ancestors and their story. According to their interview with Lisa Kudrow the following are a few of the things to look forward to:
- Civil War history buffs, rejoice! This episode is chock full of Civil War and Reconstruction history, including the effect of slavery and Jim Crow laws on Williams’ ancestors.
- Williams made history as the first African American crowned Miss America, but she isn’t the only noteworthy person in her family tree. She delves into the astonishing history of one of her former slave ancestors.
- On a trip to Washington, D.C., National Archives researcher Vonnie Zullo stumbles upon a rare genealogical find while researching Williams’ great-great grandfather David Carll. The item is so unheard of, Zullo says it’s the only one she’s come across in her 20-plus years at the depository.
- If the first episode is any indication of what’s to come on “WDYTYA?”, expect more air time devoted to original documents and what goes into tracing your roots.
“WDYTYA?” premieres Friday, Feb. 4, at 8pm EST on NBC where you can watch country music star Tim McGraw; actress Gwyneth Paltrow: singer/song writer Lionel Richie; comedian and activist Rosie O’Donnell; and actors Ashley Judd, Steve Buscemi, Vanessa Williams and Kim Cattrall trace their roots.
I previously posted that the WDYTYA Second Season would be premiere on January 21, 2011, but the date was moved back. Sorry for the misinformation.
January 15th, 2011 at 5:25 pm (Articles)
One of my many genealogy newsletter links, Genealogy Insider, has posted the announcement that “Who Do You Think You Are?” has scheduled its new season. Starting Friday January 21st on NBC you can watch country music star Tim McGraw; pop singer Lionel Richie; comedian and activist Rosie O’Donnell; and actors Ashley Judd, Steve Buscemi, Vanessa Williams and Kim Cattrall trace their roots.
Kudrow, the former “Friends” star, is an executive producer for “Who Do You Think You Are?” and researched her own ancestry for the show last season. She said celebrities who take part are eager to find answers about their family history.
“It’s not just like you show up for a couple hours and you’re done,” Kudrow said. “It’s kind of a commitment. So the people who want to do it are genuinely interested in finding answers to their questions.”
Genealogy is sometimes very complicated. Just like the families we are researching, there are often twists and turns. I totally enjoy the WDYTYA series for the entertainment value, but mostly for the ideas it gives me. Many times I see new techniques or I am reminded of things I had forgotten. It is great to see the experts working and it is a great chance to pick-up information on tools or ideas that can help with research in other countries.
I keep hoping that somewhere someone will start a show that will take everyday people and help them with their family history. We go threw life so often not knowing who a great-grandparent was or what interesting thing they did in their life. Many times our ancestors were just that, living their lives. There was no thought or very little to the future generations and what they would like to know. Mostly people were just trying to make a living and provide a better life for their children. It would be great to have someone help us to find the “good stuff”. Genealogy should not just be dates and places on paper. There is so much more that could be shared.
For instance my Grandpa Warren was in WWI. He was not in any great battle or did not receive metals for bravery or such. What he did do was keep a journal of daily life during the war while he was in France. He kept names of people in his unit, daily activities, highlights, etc. We never knew he had been a French interpreter. We never knew he had traveled all over the west. No wonder I could not find him for a number of years. As far as we knew he had always been in the same area always.
Be sure to check out “Who Do You Think You Are?” starting January 21st on NBC.