Who Do You Think You Are? with Sarah Jessica Parker
I was excited all day to finally be watching Who Do You Think You Are?. I had seen the previews and was all set when the show came on. I was already sort of down because I had found out this week that RootsTelevision and Ancestry Magazine had both decided to stop production. So, I needed something like this show to lift my genealogical spirits.
Who Do You Think You Are? did not disappoint me for many reasons. First, I love Sarah Jessica Parker. I have watched her grow up on TV and sort of felt a connection to her, moreso than an actress just coming on the scene. So, good choice. Her excitement seems genuine and she really wanted to know about her family. When doing my husband’s line we also found a Salem ancestor; his 8th great grandmother was Elizabeth Jackson married to James Howe. She was also accused of witchcraft, but her fate was not as lucky as Sarah’s ancestor. Elizabeth Howe was executed on Gallows Hill in Salem, Mass., 19 July 1692. So, I completely understood Sarah’s mixed feelings tonite. Really touched me.
When working with others, so many times I hear what Sarah’s mother said at the beginning, “Oh we just have German ancestry, that’s all I’ve been told”. So many people have not really delved into their past to know for sure, as Sarah, what lies beyond in their heritage. For most, it is a very exciting time to learn of one’s ancestry.
I do agree with fellow Geneablogger and Genealogist, Thomas MacEntee;. I wish more had been shown on the actual process. For most of us, the document and research does not just appear because we flew to our hometown library. But, seeing her documents on her family was exciting. When I was watching how they solved the mystery of her ancestor who disappeared in 1849 to California, it was interesting to see them follow his story line. It has motivated me to read the Casefile Clues I have gotten behind on.
I was glad that Sarah Jessica Parker’s mother lived to learn about her family. I realize how much time I am wasting not visiting my grandmother who is 87; getting her stories and sharing what I have learned with her. It was exciting to see the excitement on both Sarah and her mother’s face as they discussed their heritage.
Another aspect I liked about the show is the different resources and places they used to research her family. It is so important for researchers, especially those just getting started, to realize not all family data is on the internet. It made me re-dedicate myself to think of ways I can locally research outside the bounds of my home and internet.
In conclusion, Who Do You Think You Are? has been a great motivational show for me. It is exciting to see that more episodes are coming and I look forward to watching them. Now is the time for those who do research, to share their passion with their friends, family, and co-workers. After watching the show, they might have questions that you may be the one who can answer it for them.
Check out Megan Smolenyak Book, Who Do You Think You Are?: The Essential Guide to Tracing Your Family History!