Tonight is my favorite show, “Who Do You Think You Are?” Reba Mc Entire is this week’s featured celebrity. I really know very little about her and am looking forward to her story.
My entry into genealogy was delayed for a long time because I thought that genealogy was reserved for important, famous people such as Mayflower descendants, presidents, kings, etc. Published genealogies of famous, blue blood families can be found in libraries and now on the Internet. The books provide a great resource for those who are related but they were not for me.
My roots are much more humble. Despite my humble roots, discovering those who came before has been so exciting and so interesting. The celebrities on “Who Do You Think You Are?” respond to familial discoveries exactly as I do. We are basically all the same. Celebrities, blue bloods and even those with humble roots all experience the same joy in the discovery of our ancestors’ stories.
History is part of that discovery and I think the television show does a very good job of putting the ancestral information into historical and social context. Our family trees are not just names and lines linking parent to child they are real people who lived in real time. To better understand our ancestors, we need to understand the time in which they lived for that time shaped the society they lived in and affected their actions.