Friday, July 25, 2014

WDYTYA

I am guessing that many of you watch the show Who Do You Think You Are? on TLC.  I really like the show and have seen every episode.  The first episode this season with Cynthia Nixon was really interesting.  It actually left me wanting to know more about Martha (Curnutt) Casto.

My only complaint with the program is that most researchers can’t travel all over the globe to do their research.  Nixon’s story was confined to the US but even so, she travelled quite a bit.  I think this can be disheartening for beginning researchers that watch the show for inspiration. 

 

Copyright © 2014 Michele Simmons Lewis

8 comments:

  1. If she had only read the whole pension file, she may have saved herself some travel. I wonder what else was in there that she (we) didn't see.

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    1. Who knows. I can't believe there was only one newspaper story on this in one paper. Surely there were more plus the account of the trial. I am sure there were more details to be had. An axe murder is very newsworthy.

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  2. When you get down to it, this is really just theater. I saw it at GRIP with a bunch of other students and some instructors, and well, lets say we had a fine old time with it.

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  3. I am in total agreement with you about how it can be disheartening to see the celebrities travel far and wide to get answers, and also that they get to meet with professional genealogists and researchers. That being said, I love the show, and learn so much from it about history.

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  4. Michelle,

    I agree that the show is misleading in many ways, but I'm very glad they don't just show the celebrity sitting at the computer just using Ancestry.com to find everything!

    I hope most people realize that when we (non-celebrities) go to the state archives, the State Archivist isn't waiting for us with a scroll of our family tree! But maybe not! I got started when my mother said, "Barbara, you live in Raleigh where the state archives are. Why don't you run down there one Saturday and look up our family history?" That was in 1994 and I'm still looking!!

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  5. I do agree Michele. However, in support of what others have said. It sparks more interest in genealogy, which is good for all of us. If 100 people decide to start researching, but only 5 or 10 stay with it, we have still gained. I sure do wish I could travel to every state I want to go to just here in the U.S. That would be grand.

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    1. Excellent point about the show sparking an interest in genealogy.

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  6. I thought the show was great & I found a post that gave more details to the research on the Archives site. I had, amazingly, been researching the brother of one of my ancestors who spent time in that state penitentiary just hours before I watched the show last night! I then was reading the online article & realized they had a pension index so I thought I'd see if my ancestor was pardoned. Well, he wasn't, but his BROTHER was! I didn't even know another brother was in prison!

    I emailed the archives last night & received an email this morning telling me how I can get their records (for only $1 each!) & telling me what each brother was found guilty of!

    Here's a link to the Archive's story: http://www.sos.mo.gov/archives/whodo/default.asp

    And here's a link to part 1 of my penitentiary story... part 2 to come soon! http://theenthusiasticgenealogist.blogspot.com/2014/08/doing-time-in-missouri-state.html

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