We are half way through with Season 2 of Who Do You Think You Are?, and it has already been reported that there will be a season 3. The genealogy community has been abuzz with the news all week. Currently, we are half way through the season, having watched the journeys of Vanessa Williams, Tim McGraw, Rosie O’Donnell and Kim Catrall. I have not written any posts on the shows so far, because I was busy just really enjoying them. I have all of them saved on my DVR and plan to sit and rewatch every one of them.
Each celebrity had a compelling story to tell and it makes my week to be able to sit down and share each of their journeys.
- As Vanessa Williams went on her journey she learned that her grandfather was born a free man. One of the records that she looked at had asked the question if the individual was a slave, his answer, NEVER! How amazing for her and her family to be able to see that document.
- Tim McGraw’s journey was heartfelt, he researched his fathers line. He did not meet his father until he was a teenager. His journey took him to Washington DC where he got to look at a journal that was kept by a 16-year-old boy who had spent the evening at his ancestors home. The boy was George Washington! Very cool, even though commercials made it look like they were going to be related.
- Rosie O’Donnell’s journey was very hard for me to watch because I am researching my Irish line and it is difficult. Here I learned that the life of the Irish during the Potato Famine was worse than what I ever could have imagined. Some families went to live in work houses and their whole family was separated. Conditions were poor, Rosie said had the feel of a concentration camp. I shudder at the thought of how they had to live (not just the Irish, anyhow who lived in these types of conditions). Rosie also stated that this is a side of Irish history that has not been told, and that it needs to be told. I cannot agree more. I have spent a bit of time reading about the work houses and I know I will need to spend a lot more time on this side of my family.
- Kim Catrall’s story was a heartbreaking journey for her family. The emotion at the end between Kim’s mom and her sisters was raw and I almost felt like someone listening in on something so private. Kim’s grandfather left the family over 70 years ago and no one ever heard from him again. Not even his siblings or parents. Kim’s journey took her to meeting many lovely women who pieced this story together bit by bit. What she ended up finding out is that her grandfather remarried 1 year after leaving his wife and 3 girls, penniless. He had 4 more children with his then wife Bella. George never divorced his first wife. Turns out that George and Bella emigrated to Australia, because he wanted to. Bella never saw her family again. Kim decided that she had learned enough and was not interested in going to Australia to meet the extended family she had there. I was happy to read at the end that her mom and sisters have been in contact with their half siblings after the show completed taping. My family has a similar story, except there was a divorce, none the less I have an aunt who found a sister on the ancestry message boards. These two sisters have met and I for one am glad that happened. I have not met this “new” aunt so far. But I hope that one day I can make it happen.
To finish off the season we have Lionel Richie, Steve Buscemi, Gwenth Paltrow and Ashley Judd. I am anxious to watch each episode.
Hopefully they will release a list of season 3’s celebrities soon.
If you are like me and cannot wait to see more of this great show, you can watch the episodes of the BBC version on You Tube.