19 February 2010

An enticing video preview of Who Do You Think You Are?

I enjoyed watching this video montage from the upcoming series Who Do You Think You Are? It shows actual records, people looking at manuscripts, at microfilm, finding an ancestor's tombstone, and experiencing emotion at what they find. That emotion is the same whether you or your ancestors are dirt poor, middle class, or a celebrity. We all use the same records for the research. We all find the good, bad, exciting, boring, and ourselves when we research our family history.

After watching this show I hope that others begin the journey to discover their family history. I hope that they read the guidebooks that are on library shelves, subscribe to online databases, check others at their public library, join a genealogical society for more help, and attend a genealogy seminar, conference, or institute for more learning. Perhaps they will seek some assistance from a professional researcher.

Tons of info is online, but there are still billions of pieces of paper in libraries, historical societies, archives, and courthouses that are not microfilmed or digitized. Nothing compares to holding a diary written by great grandpa during the Civil War, a letter penned by your great great granduncle, the pages from a Civil War pension record, reading through that case file of a family member's divorce case from 1899. Nothing compares.

There are many parts to the whole research process. Thankfully, we have several shows today that are sharing the joys, tears, and thrills of family history.

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