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Thread: Who Do You Think You Are?

  1. #111
    Forum Assistant Arielflies's Avatar
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    Re: Who Do You Think You Are? (NBC)

    The fact that it was a great-uncle on both sides of the family choosing to stand for freedom as opposed to tyranny or compromise brings the genetic cloth very close to home for Martin's own commitments to causes. I found it jaw dropping, almost, that the woman who was hounded by a judge for seeking an abortion remained in the same community and married producing children. As it was Spain two hundred years ago I'm really surprised she wasn't stoned to death...then to have the judge as a grandfather in one line (illegitimate) and the woman as his grandmother in another line (legitimate) really is surreal. That kind of story makes the searches worthwhile.

    In my tree my mother's family on her father's side were all northerners (Mass and NY) who fought both in the revolutionary and civil wars. There is a rumor, though, that one of my early ancestors from the pre-civil war era was a captain on a slave ship. Then, however, he married a Creole woman and the family disowned him. That is when that line began their westward migration through Wisconsin and North Dakota to Oregon. I would like to find out about my grandmother's side as they were Dutch settlers in the hills of North Carolina and that is all I know about them. My father's grandparents emigrated from Sweden and I even remember my uncle talking about being in touch with two elderly maiden aunts in Stockholm. That would be another interesting tree to pursue. My grandfather was the only boy in a family of six and at one time I saw a listing of his sisters and their children, etc. That is now lost.

    One day I may actually pay money to join the ancestry search site.
    The cure for boredom is curiosity. There is no cure for curiosity. Dorothy Parker, (attributed)

  2. #112
    FORT Fogey GabbyG's Avatar
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    Re: Who Do You Think You Are? (NBC)

    I joined ancestry last year after watching the show and was able to go back only a couple of greats, unless you have the money to pay for someone to search in your country of origin (and the states your family settled in) or are able to travel there, you will only be able to go back to the to the 1800s. They are adding census information all the time, but it got too expensive to keep searching and finding nothing new.

    My uncle has traveled to Norway several times to research my dad's side of the family and has gone back into the 1400s.

  3. #113
    Bitten Critical's Avatar
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    Re: Who Do You Think You Are? (NBC)

    Quote Originally Posted by GabbyG View Post
    I joined ancestry last year after watching the show and was able to go back only a couple of greats, unless you have the money to pay for someone to search in your country of origin (and the states your family settled in) or are able to travel there, you will only be able to go back to the to the 1800s. They are adding census information all the time, but it got too expensive to keep searching and finding nothing new.

    My uncle has traveled to Norway several times to research my dad's side of the family and has gone back into the 1400s.
    I got back to BCE with only a US membership. Plenty of members post their research in family trees. Of course, to verify the information for yourself, you have to do the legwork offline. The majority of my family lines were here in the 17th and 18th century, so there's a lot of info in this country.

    Ancestry has a contest going right now where (among other things) you can win a trip to your "home country" to do research. It's funny, because I don't have a home country - I have about 8! If I won, I'd be going to Poland - it's the only line I'm stuck on and I'd love to learn more!

    The actual record images on Ancestry do only go back to about the 1830's maybe, but they're adding things all the time. I always tell people to either sign up for a trial membership and use the heck out of it or buy Family Tree Maker, which comes (or used to come) with a free membership - the duration of the membership depends on which version of FTM you buy, but it starts at one month.

    My mom and I were talking about the Martin Sheen episode earlier and she was annoyed that they kept harping on the connection of Don Diego to the woman he prosecuted. They never went father on that line or explained why Don Diego's family was prominent. It would have been nice if they'd just mentioned why or how he'd attained that status or the family's history. They could have said something like "The roots of Don Diego's family in Spain go back to whatever year. The family became prominent because of x,y or z."

    It seemed like they were more interested in a dramatic story than anything else. Although I sometimes enjoy when the celebrity goes back and tells his/her loved ones about what was found, this one was redundant. They could have edited it so that we saw Martin with the genealogist unrolling the family tree and then cut to him showing his sister the family tree and explaining that connection. We didn't need to hear about it twice. There was clearly plenty more they could have added to the episode and I don't think that story would have lost its impact.

    My favorite episodes are when the celeb just follows whatever leads come, without a real agenda. For instance, I didn't enjoy Jeremy Irons's episode as much as I thought I would because he was all about finding Irish ancestry to explain why he felt a connection to his land in Cork. Not Irish? On to the next ancestor! He got what he wanted out of it, but it wasn't as fun to watch. OTOH, I watched one with Jodie Kidd last night that was so fun - she just kept going to see how far back she could go. I couldn't believe how much she learned in such a short time! Of course, the UK episodes are just short of an hour, while I think the American ones are around 40 minutes, so they just have more time.
    Anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that 'my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.' - Isaac Asimov

    I was thinking of the immortal words of Socrates, who said, "... I drank what?"

  4. #114
    FORT Fogey Miss Scarlet's Avatar
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    Re: Who Do You Think You Are? (NBC)

    For anyone interested in doing Geneological research on their own, the Mormon Church has a tremendous amount of records, not just of Mormon people, but of everyone. And they allow anyone to do their own research. One of the things they ask (but don't require) is that people give records of their research to them in order to add to their information.
    You do this by computer, but if you'd like or need a hard copy of something, they'll get it for you for a small fee.
    A friend of mind did this a number of years ago & I was surprised both that they'd have this & that it was available to the public.
    "Is this Heaven? No, it's Iowa. --Field of Dreams--"

  5. #115
    Bitten Critical's Avatar
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    Re: Who Do You Think You Are? (NBC)

    I found a really cool blog by a professional genealogist who looks at each episode and discusses it from her perspective. Very interesting!
    Ancestral Discoveries: "Who Do You Think You Are" - Martin Sheen

    I watched Boris Johnson's (mayor of London) episode of the UK version on YouTube this weekend and WOW! Lots of intrigue and people in the midst of major historical events. He's an odd bird, but it was definitely enjoyable.

    ETA: I didn't even think to look before, but there are quite a few deleted scenes from the series on the NBC website. I just watched one from Gwyneth Paltrow's episode, where she meets some distant cousins on Barbados.....and she was really nice and not cold like maybe some people (okay, possibly me) would think she would be.
    Who Do You Think You Are - Web Exclusives : Deleted Scenes - Videos - NBC.com
    Last edited by Critical; 02-06-2012 at 07:27 PM.
    Anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that 'my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.' - Isaac Asimov

    I was thinking of the immortal words of Socrates, who said, "... I drank what?"

  6. #116
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    Re: Who Do You Think You Are? (NBC)

    I've never had an opinion about Marisa Tomei as a person, but I really liked her in tonight's episode. She seems to have a very close bond with her family. I enjoyed their interactions at the beginning and end of the episode.

    I would have preferred to see more about her lineage on Elba, but I understand why they pursued the murder trial stuff instead. I wonder if Marisa and her mother have, or plan to, go to Elba to learn more. It seems like, if the family was there for that many generations, there would be a lot to find.

    I thought Fabio was pretty cute!
    cablejockey and Arielflies like this.
    Anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that 'my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.' - Isaac Asimov

    I was thinking of the immortal words of Socrates, who said, "... I drank what?"

  7. #117
    9/11/2001 NEVER FORGET. Eastcoastmom's Avatar
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    Re: Who Do You Think You Are? (NBC)

    I'm new to this series and only started watching this season with Martin Sheen's episode and then last night with Marisa Tomei. It was so interesting to see where Martin gets his activism from. Both my parents are of Italian descent so for me I enjoyed immensely how she interacted with everyone and got a kick out of her speaking Italian. Plus, the scenery is amazing in all of these locations. I'm looking forward to the rest of the season.

  8. #118
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    Re: Who Do You Think You Are? (NBC)

    There are a bunch of the UK episodes on YouTube, if you're interested in seeing more, Eastcoastmom. I was going to say that NBC had a few of last season's episodes up still, but it looks like they took them down since I last looked. The first two seasons of the US version are available on Netflix though, although only on DVD.

    I must say, although I enjoy the US version, I like the UK version better. There's more focus on history and the research than on finding a human interest story. Plus, the episodes are longer, so you just get more.

    I'm such a history geek that I love seeing all the various locations and learning more about the historical context.

    Another thing I liked about Marisa is that she wasn't all dolled up with lots of makeup and looking like a fashion plate. She just looked like a normal person. She obviously was really into the whole process.

    As always, I'd love to know if she followed up on any of the stuff she learned on the show. Did she go to Elba? Contact the cousin Fabio found for her?
    Anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that 'my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.' - Isaac Asimov

    I was thinking of the immortal words of Socrates, who said, "... I drank what?"

  9. #119
    Rumbelle - so many feels Little Sew&Sew's Avatar
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    Re: Who Do You Think You Are? (NBC)

    I'm waiting for the episode that features Jerome Bettis (aka The Bus - former Steelers #36 - my all time favorite football player).

    Was not really interested in Martin Sheen's episode, but I did dvr Marissa's (although I've yet to watch it).

    Looks like Blair Underwood is up next.
    All magic comes with a price - Rumpelstiltskin

  10. #120
    FORT Fanatic provenceguy's Avatar
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    Re: Who Do You Think You Are? (NBC)

    Are we Yanks familiar with any of the people featured in the British series?

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