Friday, February 25, 2011

Genealogy on television

Like many of you who are interested in genealogy I am a big fan of the television program "Who Do You Think You Are?" It is always fascinating to see people's reactions as they learn about their ancestors and the history that surrounded their lives.

For someone who loves research in the south I was thrilled to be part of the team that researched the ancestors of Tim McGraw. I spent hours going through land records in Missouri and Virginia working to help piece together Tim McGraw's ancestry. I can't tell you how thrilling it was to see some of the documents that I located initially on microfilm at the Family History Library be shown on camera.

For those of you who prefer to see everyday people highlighted in a television program similar in format to "Who Do You Think You Are" I would recommend The Generations Project produced by BYU Broadcasting. I also had the opportunity to work on several episodes of this program which will be airing soon.

Programs like these two encourage people to start thinking about their roots and what characteristics their ancestors might have had that have trickled down to them. I hope these types of programs will continue to be popular for a long time so many more will come to know and love family history as I do!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Mystery in Mississippi

I have been dealing with a tough research problem in Mississippi today. The husband came to Natchez, Mississippi between 1800 and 1810 but of course I've been asked to locate the parents of the wife. They married in 1810 and she was dead by 1820! They had two known children. Their son died at the Alamo and the name of his maternal grandfather, a Revolutionary War patriot who served at Valley Forge, is given in a short biographical sketch written about him.

So great! You have the name of her father, what's the big deal? Well it's a common name and who's to say that it's even accurate. I guess it's a starting point.

Let the hunt begin.

There were seven men of that name listed on the Muster Rolls for Valley Forge. I've already eliminated one. Six more to go!

Time to search Revolutionary War pension and service records. Wish me luck!!