Saturday, March 5, 2011

Who Do You Think You Are, Season 2 Episode 5

Celebrity: Lionel Ritchie
Aired: 4 Mar 2011
Due to a major storm in my area, the news people had at least one interruption in the show. However, I think I saw most of the show. Presence: Two commercials, one mention of 'finding' things on

  • Results! I wish I could find half as much things on some of my ancestors.
  • Social Security Applications, as I've said before, are very helpful for finding your ancestor's parents, particularly if said ancestor never told you the names of their parents.
  • Researching family history can also lead to a sort of medical history for your family, at least for the first few generations back. In his case, it appears that his family seemed to have a penchant for longevity.
  • Fraternal Societies. It's always worth a look to see if your ancestor belonged to a 'secret' society or fraternal order, especially if the organization has any pictures your ancestor may have been in. Sometimes you will even see insignia on tombstones that refer to their membership.
  • So many cemeteries are in disrepair because people moved away, didn't have the resources, etc. I have a few ancestors in cemeteries surrounded by private land that looks like a jungle. It really is sad to see.

  • Music.
  • Results! The amount of time taken to find all the things researchers found for him had to have been significant, and the amount of information found can't be anywhere near normal.

In the End: I found it to be incredibly informative (though I am the first to admit that African-American genealogy is not my area...), educational, and interesting.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Things I'd Like to Reiterate: 

  • Divorces are not as uncommon as you'd think, even in the 1800s. It might not have been something one talked about or even told their children, but it did happen. During the course of one of my research jobs, I found that a divorce occurred in the 1860s. 
  • Old guys could and did often marry girls young enough to be their grandchildren. 
  • Some of the stuff he traveled to find can be found online (see links below). Considering this matter, I plan on writing a Google books post sometime soon.
  • Talk to your older relatives while you still can. It may be they won't want to talk about certain things...or it could be that they never knew you cared enough to know. 

  • My post on ordering Social Security Applications: Link to Post
  • My post on Fraternal Societies (UK, but the premise is similar): Link to Post
  • The Newberry Library's page on sources on fraternal orders: Link
  • Found the 1880 Nashville Directory for John Louis Brown as editor Knights of Wise Men (Pg. 139): Link

Next New Episode: Ashley Judd (Note: There was no preview after tonight's episode, so I'm leaning towards a hiatus of the show next week or repeats, for whatever reason.)


  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  2. I always love how you point out that the time frame of what you are seeing to the work that goes into it is way distorted. That is so important.

    I also was thinking that there might be a repeat next week or even for the next couple of weeks. I think March Madness is coming up and a lot of stations are giving a few weeks break to new programing.

    See ya then :).

  3. Yeah, I suppose it probably is because of basketball. :) Looks like they're probably just showing a couple of the episodes from earlier in the season.

    I'll just have to substitute my review post for a season one episode then.