Wednesday, October 26, 2011

The 2nd Episode of Find My Past This Thursday

Hello All:

The second episode of Find My Past tv series on Yesterday Channel in the UK is to be aired this Thursday at 9:00 GMT.  This episode is focused on the Titanic disaster and three ordinary folks who's ancestors were involved in one way or another with the Titanic on that tragic day.  Here is a link to a sneak peek of this week's episode:

I watched the first episode last week and offer a brief review of it.  This first episode of this newest family history series focused on the Battle of Dunkirk and its evacution to get the hundreds of thousands of soldiers back to Britain to escape the Nazi advance towards them.  And ultimately live to fight another day. 

The series follows three ordinary people and allows them to follow in the footsteps of their particular ancestor who was apart of the event.  One of the three had his grandfather who was one of the evacuees and the other two participants are their ancestor as part of the "little ships" who helped ferry soldiers back to the battleships, as well as carry soldiers back themselves to Britain.  The "little ships" played an important role in the whole campaign.  Without them it would be nearly impossible to get all the soldiers out safely.  There were some that did get killed by the German bombers or by a mine or torpedo.  One of the "little ships" focused on did get blown up while being tugged along back to the UK.

What makes this series special is that it does focus on the ordinary person and who their ancestor played a part in such an important event in history.  It really lets the participants in the show be a part of the historical event, giving them not only a historical account but what it must it been like, what the people must have felt and thought. 

What this series does not do is take the viewer into family trees such as what it done in Who Do You Think You Are?  Find My Past focuses solely on the one event and looks at it through the prism of the particular ancestor.  Sometimes in genealogy and family history we can focus too much on the name, date, and place but not delve too much into the history and social context of an ancestor.

Even though I have only seen the one episode so far I am really enjoying it.  You learn alot about not only the person's ancestor, but the historical event itself (factually and emotionally).  I am looking forward to seeing the rest of this series, this week's on on the Titanic will be really interesting.  What is also interesting to notice is that the participants in the series are relatively young (20s-40s) so far.  It is great to watch "younger" people be interested in family history.  It is always normally associated with an older generation, but this isn't the case.  It is something that is becoming more popular with people in their 30s and 40s.  This would actually make a good topic for another post.

I am hoping that this series will become popular and will kick start more interest in genealogy and family history as has WDYTYA has in the past.  However, I am very much the addict when it comes to anything genealogy and family history.

Until Next Time . . .

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Hello All -

Thought that this was quite funny, and very true.

Rules for our ancestors
How to confuse your descendants

(1) Thou shalt name your male children: James, John, Joseph, Josiah, Abel, Richard, Thomas, William.

(2) Thou shalt name your female children: Elizabeth, Mary, Martha, Maria, Sarah, Ida, Virginia, May.

(3) Thou shalt leave NO trace of your female children.

(4) Thou shalt, after naming your children from the above lists, call them by strange nicknames such as: Ike, Eli, Polly, Dolly, Sukey.---making them difficult to trace.

(5) Thou shalt NOT use any middle names on any legal documents or census reports, and only where necessary, you may use only initials on legal documents.

(6)Thou shalt learn to sign all documents illegibly so that your surname can be spelled, or misspelled, in various ways: Hicks, Hicks, Hix, Hixe, Hucks, Kicks.

(7) Thou shalt, after no more then 3 generations, make sure that all family records are lost, misplaced, burned in a court house fire, or buried so that NO future trace of them can be found.

(8) Thou shalt propagate misleading legends, rumors, & vague innuendo regarding your place origination.

(A) you may have come from : England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales....or Iran.
(B) you may have American Indian ancestry of the______tribe......
(C) You may have descended from one of three brothers that came over from______

(9) Thou shalt leave NO cemetery records, or headstones with legible names.

(10) Thou shalt leave NO family Bible with records of birth, marriages, or deaths.

(11) Thou shalt ALWAYS flip thy name around. If born James Albert, thou must make all the rest of thy records in the names of Albert, AJ, JA, AL, Bert, Bart, or Alfred.

(12) Thou must also flip thy parent's names when making reference to them, although "Unknown" or a blank line is an acceptable alternative.

(13) Thou shalt name at least 5 generations of males, and dozens of their cousins with identical names in order to totally confuse researchers.

Find My Past TV Show This Week

Hello All -

Just in case you are starting to feel the blues after the final episode of Who Do You Think You Are? on BBC last Wednesday, there is a new tv show to help perk everyone up.  It is called Find My Past.  It will premier on the UK tv channel Yesterday this Thursday at 9:00 pm. 

This new genealogy/family history series is different from WDYTYA? in that it portrays the stories of ordinary folks - no celebs found anywhere.  Another difference is that it focuses more on historical events and how a particular ancestor was involved in it.  This first episode is all about Dunkirk during World War 2.
One of the ones that I am looking forward to is the one about Jack the Ripper about midway through the series (I think episode 6).  That will certainly be a very interesting one to watch.  But, I think all of them will be good.

To learn more about this series and what the various episodes will cover just take a look at their website at:  Also, there is a sneak preview on youtube at:

I wish this new series all the success and hope it will be a well received show by all.

Until Next Time . . .

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Cousins and the Online Genealogy World

Hello All:

It has been "long time, no blog" here.  Blogging seems to be taking the back burner at the moment as things get busy.  One of the things that has been keeping me busy is working on my own personal family history.  This tends to be shoved to the side for so long as my professional genealogy work goes on the forefront, but it is great working for and helping others with their family history and genealogical needs.

One of the things that has helped me get back into my own genealogy is the recent contact with cousins that I have known about, but not really met.  There has also been cousins that I did not know about.  We have been chatting via email and sharing information, family stories, as well as old family photos.  This has been such a great experience, and it is such a pleasure to be able to speak to them all through that wonderful invention the computer.

The ability to share information and photos online, email, etc. instantly with family relatives is what has been such a joy doing family history.  Especially with me living in a different country from my cousins and other relatives.  Being able to see the old photos that my cousins have shared with me has been fantastic.  Many of these I have never seen before.  There have been many times where I wished that I could see a photo of great grandmother or great, great grandfather . . .  but have not been able to see one until getting in contact with relatives online.

There are many forums, mailing lists, etc. for all sorts of family surnames, counties, countries, etc. that no doubt you will eventually become in contact with a long lost cousin or distant relative that you didn't know about or lost contact with.  This is also the place where you can bring your questions and lineages for help from these folks.  More than likely they would be researching the same line or lines as yourself.  They could very well hold the key to that elusive ancestor that you have been searching for for so long.  I am sure that a good number of folks already take advantage of the benefits of forums, mailing lists, ancestry public member trees, etc.  But, if not, I would strongly encourage you to do so.  It doesn't cost anything, and you never know who will find you and be able to answer your hard questions that you have been struggling with.
There has been so much that I have learned about my own family by reading these forums, etc.

Researching family history and genealogy is more than looking up names, dates, and locations in a book or online databaseses. It is about people, which can be one of the best resources out there in performing your research.  You will have a different perspective on the family from another.  Sharing your memories, old documents, photos, and information that you have researched yourself will help everyone in the family who cares about the history of the family.  The vast majority of the time you will know something or have something that someone else doesn't.

Until Next Time . . . .