~ Discovering Your Family's Past To Shape Your Future ~
Another genealogy-themed TV show is born! We loved Who Do You Think You Are as it dug into the lineage of celebrities taking us to Italy, France, Ireland, Kentucky and many more places (and archives!). The Generations Project takes normal people looking for inspiration from their ancestors to help them overcome challenges they face today. This past weekend Family Tree started – a young man inherits a trunk full of old stuff from his great aunt. Having otherwise lost himself, the contents inspire him to find his past, and (we presume) in so doing to find himself again. Before you jump to use this newest show to get your kids interested in genealogy – it’s an HBO comedy, so not a family show, despite the theme. Unless you’re ready to answer a lot of awkward questions from your kids.
BUT Family Tree is definitely art imitating life! In the first episode, Tom takes an old picture of a man decked out in military garb – his great-grandpa Harry – to an expert in old things (how’s that for technical jargon?). His friend confirms it’s turn-of-the-century…and after some research tells Tom the man in the photograph is NOT his great-grandpa Harry, but the Duke of Cambridge. Doh! Harry was the photographer.
How many times have we jumped to conclusions about someone in a photo or something bequeathed to us by a family member? Rule #1 is don’t assume anything about what you’re seeing. Rule #2 is don’t take what you’re seeing at face value, either. Rule #3 is search, question, research and dig! Uh-oh. I feel a Special Agent Gibbs-style list of rules coming on.
And now life is imitating art.