Saturday, February 12, 2011

Some quick thoughts on the second episode of "Who Do You Think You Are?"

  • I didn't cry watching this episode this morning but I definitely teared up, enough so that I had to wipe my eyes, so I'm counting it - the streak continues!
  • Learned something new - I had thought that my German ancestors were here early, coming over to New York about 1840 but apparently there were German immigrants here by 1710, which I did not know. Tim McGraw's ancestor Jost Hite was from the same region of Germany, the Rhineland-Palatinate, as some of my German ancestors. Maybe they knew each other back in the Old Country! :)
  • Got misty eyed when Tim was in the Library of Congress and realized that his ancestor had made an impression on one of Tim's heroes, George Washington, enough so that Washington mentioned them in his journal and in a letter. That's got to be a cool discovery.
  • Liked that Tim wasn't just looking for names, dates, and places - he wanted to know why decisions were made and things happened, the whole story behind an event like someone's early death. That's the way to do this right - you should want to know the whole picture and the whole person your ancestor was.
  • Tim really seemed to identify with his one ancestor Jost Hite and I think we've all been there, the one person in our tree we come across whose story we just have to know, who really makes an impression on us, who we either truly identify with or whose story just truly amazes us.
  • And that point leads me to the other thing I thought about as I was watching Tim McGraw on his journey - that delving into our family histories is about discovering our family stories but it's also about either discovering things about ourselves or seeing something about ourselves in former generations - Tim talked about themes or patterns he was discovering in his ancestors' personalities and I think we all want to find ourselves in our ancestors - we all want to be part of the pattern or part of the theme.
Next week, Rosie O'Donnell. Not a huge fan of hers but am very much looking forward to her story - as someone who lost her mother very young she probably knew very little about that side of her family.

Enjoy your weekends everyone! :)

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