Who do You Think You Are?

I just saw an article about how NBC picks the celebrities they feature on their show, ”Who Do You Think You Are?”  It‘s very interesting.  They do a great deal of research before picking someone who has an interesting story and they can take the ancestry back several generations.   Not everyone who would like to be featured is chosen.  Sometimes the researchers  hit a dead end or it isn’t interesting enough to get the attention of the viewers.  In fact they turn down more than they choose.  You can read the entire article at http://goo.gl/7Q5wN

The program has its detractors.  Read the comments after the article.  A program like this is not going to satisfy everyone and the comments are valid.  I would like to know that NBC and Ancestry read them, but have doubts that they will.

I watched all of the first 2 seasons and eagerly looked forward to this season.   I’m glad that Ancestry is doing this series because I think it encourages more people to seek out their heritage.   The program provides well known people who don’t have much information, or sometimes wrong information, about their ancestors with dates, places, names, interesting events and lots of travel.

It would be nice if your average genealogist had the means to travel all over the world in search of his or her family, not to mention meeting with the professionals who always magically produce documentation on the family.   NBC and Ancestry does all that research and then selects people who will have a large amount of original documents taking them back several generations.

This makes the program interesting because we get to see how the chosen few find the information that they have been looking for.   Unfortunately the majority of people doing genealogy don’t have that opportunity.  They have to work for each little item they find.  If they get lucky it sometimes leads them to another ancestor they didn’t know they had.  This is what makes the research so fascinating and addictive.

Almost every genealogist will have a “brick wall”, a person who has no information beyond a certain point.  But we keep looking, because we are hooked.  But we won’t appear on “Who Do You Think You Are?”