Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Family Trees

I've become obsessed. Have any of you seen the new NBC show "Who Do You Think You Are?" I first caught a glimpse of it on Oprah last week and then over the weekend we watched the episode with Emmitt Smith in it. (Sidenote, I had NO IDEA that Emmitt Smith is only 7 years older than my husband...Wow.)

The premise, if you haven't seen it, is that celebrities trace their roots. They go back in their family tree as far as they can on their own and then chase the rest of it with genealogists and historians. I'm fascinated and that's an understatement.

Has anyone done any tree-chasing of their own? Where did you look? What did you discover?

Ancestry.com is a website that NBC is apparently getting paid by because they continually flash that ad during the show. Has anyone used it? I played around on it last night for a little while and they are carrot-danglers to be sure! You enter names on your tree and it has "ancestry hints" for you. If you click on them you'll sometimes find that they're WAY off but sometimes (and a few time last night) they know exactly who the person is and they'll tell you more about him or her if you'll enter a credit card number. But I'm intrigued!

One such person for us last night was Eddie's mother's grandfather. I entered his name and it gave me a "hint" and told us his birthday and birth place. Eddie couldn't be sure about his birthday but he was from Socastee, Horry County, SC and really how many people with that exact name could come from that exact place??? It even knew that I was born in Houston! (And on that note, are birth certificates made public?)

Oh, if you're someone that has researched your lineage, I want to know how you did it! Do tell!


pcb said...

Lauren, I can't believe how much we have in common! I am a genealogy nut and have had so much fun throughout my life with it...started when I was about middle school age (with the help of my grandmother). I keep my info at tribalpages.com. I used to use a free program that was on my hard drive but a cousin wanted access and this was an easy way. It offers a free version but I pay $24 a year because you can store more documents. If you want to see it, you can look on my left sidebar Our Family Tree and then when you get to that page click 'enter' (tree picture). It hides info of the living but if you want to see the password is 1952.

Sometime I'll tell you about the two coolest things...one how a letter got delivered and the other, how my family married into Emmett's...twice!

Anna Catherine said...

Yes, I believe birth certificates are public.