Posted by eileen on March 11, 2010
Who Do You Think You Are?
premiered last Friday on NBC. According to the show’s About page
, “Viewers are invited to take an up-close and personal look inside the family history of some of today’s most beloved and iconic celebrities with NBC’s Who Do You Think You Are?
Starring in the new alternative series are Matthew Broderick, Lisa Kudrow, Spike Lee, Sarah Jessica Parker, Susan Sarandon, Brooke Shields and Emmitt Smith. Ancestry.com is NBC’s official partner on the series.”
After (and prior to) the first episode, which featured Sarah Jessica Parker, one can find many reviews through a simple Google search
. Some of these reviews are less than favorable. For example, Mary McNamara of the LA Times
says, “And though Parker does her best to appear moved and humbled by the difficult and even tragic lives of her ancestors, the show is all about her, after all, forcing the uncomfortable question: If everything happens for a reason, did all this American drama occur to ensure the existence of ‘Sex and the City,’ or even worse, ‘Did You Hear About the Morgans?’” Ha!
Other mentions of the show are positive. Paula Stuart-Warren
, author of the blog Paula’s Genealogical Eclectica
focuses on the good things about the show. She says, “While they can’t show each step of the research I am thrilled that they are showing a variety of records, both online and off. Visits to libraries, specific localities, historical societies, museums are shown. The starting point of talking with family and looking at home sources is represented in the visit with her mother. The audience gets to see Ancestry.com, census, newspaper articles, maps, old letters, original court records, and that not all is online.”
In many cases, the search for one’s ancestors is not an easy one. It can be time-consuming and at times addicting (at least for me). Whether Who Do You Think You Are?
is a successful endeavor for NBC or not, I hope it brings to light the fact there are many tools to help find one’s roots
as close as his/her public library.
WPL happens to have a Genealogy Collection
with many many sources. Our Reference Desk
is staffed with degreed librarians who are more than happy to help you get started on the search for your ancestors. As noted above, Ancestry.com has partnered with NBC to create the series. WPL (and many other libraries, for those of you outside the area) subscribes to the full Ancestry.com database. This means the census records, local histories, draft records, and indexes one would pay for through Ancestry.com are available for FREE if you use Ancestry inside the library
. Stop in and take a look. Representatives from the DuPage Genealogical Society
are available to answer questions every Thursday night from 7-9pm at the library.
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