Genealogy

March 9, 2010

Did you guys see the new NBC series, Who Do You Think You Are? It’s really well done. Basically, it takes celebrities through an (emotional) search for their ancestors. I watched the launch episode featuring Sarah Jessica Parker over the weekend and was super into it. They were studying one line of her family tree and found gold rush connections, Salem Witch Trial connections — all sorts of stuff.

Do you know anything about your ancestry? Are you a genealogy buff? I think I may be extra-fascinated with this topic because Mormons grow up talking about and studying our family trees, but if you watch the show, I’d love to hear what you think.

You can find the whole episode on NBC.com here. And you can see a preview here.


Related Posts with Thumbnails
Share and Enjoy:
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Kirtsy
  • StumbleUpon

{ 23 comments… read them below or add one }

1 genevieve March 9, 2010 at 11:36 am

Thank you. This is really fun.

Reply

2 Michely Medeiros. March 9, 2010 at 11:44 am

how cool!!! i tried searching some stuff about my family but it takes a lot of work :)

Reply

3 Colett (*.*) March 9, 2010 at 12:01 pm

I know it's shameless self promotion, hope you don't mind Gabby, but have you seen the family tree kits spotlighted on
http://thequiltingdiaries.blogspot.com/

Reply

4 Homegrown {& the Bug} March 9, 2010 at 12:49 pm

I seriously waited for that show to come on for MONTHS! I'm a huge genealogy buff — I started doing it when my son was born and he's now five.

My grandpa was a Mormon and he was big into family history as well. Just an FYI, the Mormons maintain a huge amount of records. Basically, they ask that members of the church submit family trees when they join — I won't go into details as to why they ask that people do this (though it's common knowledge to Mormons) but they offer quite a few free databases and in the genealogy world that's awesome considering the occasional high cost of research.

Check out familysearch.org and pilot.familysearch.org. Also, the Mormons have Family Centers where you can go and they will actually do quite a bit of research for you.

They also had a series like this on PBS and it was great too (though I liked WDYTYA better). Meryl Streep was on that show and I think she said something that sums up why I spend so much time researching something that frequently only older people do (I'm 27). She said something along the lines of we are the sum of all those that have came before us. When you find these stories about our ancestors, or even just their names, it really connects you to other places and times.

On another note, if anyone would like some help with genealogy or a little bit of research to get them started, drop me an email!

Reply

5 Homegrown {& the Bug} March 9, 2010 at 12:49 pm

I seriously waited for that show to come on for MONTHS! I'm a huge genealogy buff — I started doing it when my son was born and he's now five.

My grandpa was a Mormon and he was big into family history as well. Just an FYI, the Mormons maintain a huge amount of records. Basically, they ask that members of the church submit family trees when they join — I won't go into details as to why they ask that people do this (though it's common knowledge to Mormons) but they offer quite a few free databases and in the genealogy world that's awesome considering the occasional high cost of research.

Check out familysearch.org and pilot.familysearch.org. Also, the Mormons have Family Centers where you can go and they will actually do quite a bit of research for you.

They also had a series like this on PBS and it was great too (though I liked WDYTYA better). Meryl Streep was on that show and I think she said something that sums up why I spend so much time researching something that frequently only older people do (I'm 27). She said something along the lines of we are the sum of all those that have came before us. When you find these stories about our ancestors, or even just their names, it really connects you to other places and times.

On another note, if anyone would like some help with genealogy or a little bit of research to get them started, drop me an email!

Reply

6 Homegrown {& the Bug} March 9, 2010 at 12:49 pm

I seriously waited for that show to come on for MONTHS! I'm a huge genealogy buff — I started doing it when my son was born and he's now five.

My grandpa was a Mormon and he was big into family history as well. Just an FYI, the Mormons maintain a huge amount of records. Basically, they ask that members of the church submit family trees when they join — I won't go into details as to why they ask that people do this (though it's common knowledge to Mormons) but they offer quite a few free databases and in the genealogy world that's awesome considering the occasional high cost of research.

Check out familysearch.org and pilot.familysearch.org. Also, the Mormons have Family Centers where you can go and they will actually do quite a bit of research for you.

They also had a series like this on PBS and it was great too (though I liked WDYTYA better). Meryl Streep was on that show and I think she said something that sums up why I spend so much time researching something that frequently only older people do (I'm 27). She said something along the lines of we are the sum of all those that have came before us. When you find these stories about our ancestors, or even just their names, it really connects you to other places and times.

On another note, if anyone would like some help with genealogy or a little bit of research to get them started, drop me an email!

Reply

7 Newborn Clothing March 9, 2010 at 1:54 pm

Super cool show, I would love to find out about my family tree. Wonder who I could do that.

Reply

8 Carolina March 9, 2010 at 2:22 pm

As you probably noticed, Ancestry.com is a sponsor of the show. I am amazed by how much you can find on their site. I typed in my husband's grandfather's name and found the records of when he arrived in the United States as a German immigrant. They even catalog his luggage!

I was skeptical about the show being very successful–I couldn't imagine people being interested in family history, but I guess I was wrong. It got pretty good ratings.

Reply

9 Emily March 9, 2010 at 2:37 pm

this is one of my ongoing projects. I've gotten so invested that I've come to take Sherman's burning of the south personally – I needed those records, man!

Reply

10 Elizabeth March 9, 2010 at 3:04 pm

Let me also recommend Faces of America, the PBS show that Henry Louis Gates hosted that just ended on PBS. It was unbelievably touching, and extremely interesting too–Steven Colbert, Eva Longoria, Yo-Yo Ma, Louise Erdrich were all guests plus lots of others. Truly super!

Reply

11 KateB March 9, 2010 at 3:16 pm

Here in Australia, we get the Australian and British versions of that show, and what always fascinates me is how emotional people can get – it's clear that they feel a genuine and immediate connection to these people who, five minutes earlier, they were totally unaware of. Family is powerful stuff! Would love to see the American version.

Reply

12 Laura March 9, 2010 at 6:49 pm

I recorded it and just watched it last night. It was so good! I wish they'd shown more of Sarah Jessica Parker's mom's reaction to everything, even though I know it would have been just like her daughter's.

Reply

13 Damaris March 9, 2010 at 7:17 pm

I just started doing my genealogy (like, last Sunday). I am amazed at how much information tha church (LDS) has about my family in Brazil.

Reply

14 Artfulife March 9, 2010 at 7:39 pm

I watched this on Hulu last night. I was so excited that this show is being produced. I'm very hopeful that it will spark the genealogy bug in many people. My mom just sent me two thick binders full of family history from both sides of my family. I cried when I saw the photos of my grandpa when he was a baby. He is very private about his childhood & I had never seen them until that moment. The feeling was overwhelming. I will treasure those pictures & binders full of family history forever.

Reply

15 Emily March 9, 2010 at 7:42 pm

I heard this show was great and I'm so sad I missed it! I dabbled in genealogy a bit in college due to an elective class and found it rather addictive. Right now I'm leaving the FamilySearch stuff to my dad and counting blogging as my contribution, but I do hope to do more someday soon!

Reply

16 Emmie {orange + barrel} March 9, 2010 at 9:03 pm

I was bored and I saw this on Hulu and got sucked in. It made me want to find more about our family history!

Reply

17 Tammy March 9, 2010 at 9:25 pm

I haven't seen this yet, but I am with Elizabeth in recommending Faces of America on PBS – I've really enjoyed watching it.

I love finding out more about our family history, and my sister and I looked on the Ellis Island web site to locate the registry of the ship our great-grandparents came to America on in 1915 (with their signatures)! It's a great resource.

Reply

18 Donna March 10, 2010 at 9:23 am

I've been interested in family history forever (I'm 68, so it seems like forever), and for the past several years I've been documenting my children's grand (and great-grand and great-great-grand) parents, while trying to ignore aunts, uncles, cousins and so forth. I've "found" all 16 great-greats and all 32 of the great-great-greats. About a year ago I decided to pause and start collecting facts about all these people, stuff other than birth dates and places of birth and death. Recently I discovered the Google News Archive Search, a real find for someone with many ancestors from the Reading (PA) area, as editions of the Reading Eagle from as long ago as 1868 can be browsed online. Many other newspapers are available as well (even some foreign papers), I'm sure. You can see the actual newspaper, and just reading the articles is so much fun!
I appreciate the Mormon website, but not everything on it is accurate. So be careful what you decide to take as the honest truth.
And do have fun!

Reply

19 Darby March 10, 2010 at 2:26 pm

Love that show!!! I'm also obsessed with ancestry, I've discovered my Irish roots have some pretty interesting characters mixed in :) If anyone is interested in displaying their charts I was lucky enough to have received a beautiful family tree from mytreeandme.com and now I give them to all my friends who are getting married and having babies. They're super modern and just gorgeous! Just a suggestion, if you do all that leg work to find out where you come from!

Reply

20 PMG Smith Family March 10, 2010 at 5:21 pm

Thanks for posting the link. I just finished watching and it was great!

Reply

21 pat March 10, 2010 at 8:18 pm

I love doing genealogy and family research and was excited to see how they approached it with this show. I thought they did quite well to pique the interest of the normal, "I know nothing about my family" type person. It was so fun to see how SJP got so invested in the lives of her ancestors. That's what family history research is about; it's not the dates, it's the fact that there are people and lives BEHIND those dates, and they are your family. The only problem I had with the show is that it made it appear that you needed to be on-site (in OHio, in California, in Massachusets) to access the records, which might cause a lot of people to give up. Almost everything out there is available on-line now; it is amazing what you can find through the internet. You don't have to travel; you just have to be able to Google. It's all about family, and I'm glad that this program is showing the viewing public that fact.

Reply

22 howaboutcookie March 18, 2010 at 12:21 pm

Very cool! I'm only hearing about this show from your blog. I'll have to check it out.

My husband is descended from Confucius, and his family has volumes of books recording each family member's name. It's in Chinese characters (which most older Koreans can read). My family was never good about keeping records (I barely have any baby pictures!) so there's this sense of pride of… belonging.

Anyhow, I hope they branch this out to feature everyday people and not just celebs.

Reply

23 howaboutcookie March 18, 2010 at 1:21 pm

Very cool! I'm only hearing about this show from your blog. I'll have to check it out.

My husband is descended from Confucius, and his family has volumes of books recording each family member's name. It's in Chinese characters (which most older Koreans can read). My family was never good about keeping records (I barely have any baby pictures!) so there's this sense of pride of… belonging.

Anyhow, I hope they branch this out to feature everyday people and not just celebs.

Reply

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: