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Who Do You Think You Are? TV Show


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cindyluvs24

New episodes are back on TLC on Tuesday evenings. Last night was a double. Christina Applegate searched for her paternal grandmother who disappeared and left her father to be raised by others (Trenton, NJ YAY!). He was able to get some much needed closure.

Chelsea Handler's maternal grandfather was a German soldier during WW2. Chelsea was worried because her father is Jewish and she and her siblings were all raised Jewish. She had happy memories of her grandfather and was worried that he was in the SS or something. Turns out he was a run of the mill draftee who was taken POW by the Americans in France. She did come across a report of sorts written by her maternal grandmother who wrote about the hardships of life in Germany after WW1 and gave insight into how someone like Hitler could have risen to power.

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Joan of Snarc

I haven't watched the Chelsea Handler one yet, but I watched the Kelly Clarkson and Christina Applegate ones.

I must say, I was a bit embarrassed for Kelly Clarkson that she had never heard of Andersonville. She was so shocked that her mom had heard of Andersonville, it made me cringe a little bit. I'm sure not everyone has heard of it, but it is pretty famous and probably the only Civil War prison most people have heard of. Am I wrong?

Also, I looked up her Isaiah Rose ancestor, who fought in the Battle of Decatur, on Find-A-Grave and Isaiah's brother was killed in that battle. That might have been an interesting fact to bring out in the show. Maybe they told her but then it got left on the cutting room floor.

:roll:

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Bethella

Was anyone else bothered by some of the stuff left out in Christina Applegate's episode? When they mentioned the obituary for her grandmother, they very briefly mentioned that she had married again, but that was it- nothing about the second husband. I've started wondering when she remarried and if that might have had something to do with Bob going to live with his paternal grandmother (Maybe the step-father didn't want another man's kid around?)

I also thought they could have tracked down the grandmother's half-brother to see if he was still alive (or had any descendants) who had more information.

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Dinaberries
Was anyone else bothered by some of the stuff left out in Christina Applegate's episode? When they mentioned the obituary for her grandmother, they very briefly mentioned that she had married again, but that was it- nothing about the second husband. I've started wondering when she remarried and if that might have had something to do with Bob going to live with his paternal grandmother (Maybe the step-father didn't want another man's kid around?)

I also thought they could have tracked down the grandmother's half-brother to see if he was still alive (or had any descendants) who had more information.

I was under the impression that his mother was never able to care for him, and he was originally looked after by his maternal grandmother. I believe he went to live with his paternal grandmother not long before his maternal grandmother died, so maybe she was too old or ill to care for him at that point. The time line confused me, especially with thinking he was seven or eight when his mother died, when he was 12 or 13, I think. I wondered if his paternal grandmother told him she died when in reality she hadn't. It was a very sad story of a child being so completely neglected. It's amazing that he was able to learn how to love his family because it didn't seem like he had anybody to teach him how.

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Bethella

I was under the impression that his mother was never able to care for him, and he was originally looked after by his maternal grandmother. I believe he went to live with his paternal grandmother not long before his maternal grandmother died, so maybe she was too old or ill to care for him at that point. The time line confused me, especially with thinking he was seven or eight when his mother died, when he was 12 or 13, I think. I wondered if his paternal grandmother told him she died when in reality she hadn't. It was a very sad story of a child being so completely neglected. It's amazing that he was able to learn how to love his family because it didn't seem like he had anybody to teach him how.

In the custody documents Lavina claimed her mother was providing childcare while she was working. His mother won custody when he was 2 1/2 (June 1945); shortly after that his maternal grandmother died in Feb 1946. They don't actually know when he left his mother's custody for the custody of his paternal grandmother. It could have been right after his maternal grandmother died, but it could have been later. They are assuming (based on the father's claims, the maternal grandmother's death and Lavina's cause of death) that she was an unfit mother but the courts didn't agree with that in 1945. It just seems to me that they are making assumptions. It is certainly possible that she was an unfit mother, but I don't see concrete proof because I don't really trust the he-said-she-said version in the court documents.

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cindyluvs24

Lavina's death certificate said cirrhosis so the father was correct when he accused her of being an alcoholic

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Peas n carrots

My DH and I watch both the American and British versions.

I think my all time favorite was the British WDYTYA when they had Patrick Stewart. Fascinating, heartbreaking story. I'm so glad Patrick was able to become the man he was without a positive example in his life.

I think Christina Applegate's was one of the more interesting episodes on the US series. To me there seems to be a pattern that the episodes are more meaningful when it's a search on a more recent ancestor.

Oh, and I was embarrassed FOR Kelly Clarkson too. From not knowing about Andersonville (RLY? It's only the most famous POW camp from the Civil War) to some of her "wow KEWL" reactions. :roll:

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  • 2 years later...
47of74

New episodes are back on TLC on Tuesday evenings. Last night was a double. Christina Applegate searched for her paternal grandmother who disappeared and left her father to be raised by others (Trenton, NJ YAY!). He was able to get some much needed closure.

Chelsea Handler's maternal grandfather was a German soldier during WW2. Chelsea was worried because her father is Jewish and she and her siblings were all raised Jewish. She had happy memories of her grandfather and was worried that he was in the SS or something. Turns out he was a run of the mill draftee who was taken POW by the Americans in France. She did come across a report of sorts written by her maternal grandmother who wrote about the hardships of life in Germany after WW1 and gave insight into how someone like Hitler could have risen to power.

One of my uncles had a brother who got stationed in Germany while serving in the Army, fell in love with a German woman, and got married (and later got divorced).  This brother's then father-in-law had been in the SS during World War II.  I don't know everything behind that story.  I did meet my uncle's brother and his then wife when they came back here to Iowa - she seemed pretty friendly.  I was at my uncle's house and joined them for dinner - we didn't really talk about the war years that much but she did pass on that it wasn't a good idea to chase beer with heavier liquor.

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clueliss

There's a Brit version of this show?  Oooooh.  Must go sleuthing to find.  

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Bethella

There's a Brit version of this show?  Oooooh.  Must go sleuthing to find.  

The Brit version is the original- there have been versions in like 17 countries including Canada, France, Russia, South Africa, Israel, Ireland... I've watched as many as I could find on youtube that were also in English. I know they'll never actually do it but I would love to see them run the episodes from other countries here in the US (either voice-over or subtitles).

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nana sew dear

I love that show!  The British show about Billy Connolly was very interesting.  Turns out that he has Anglo-Indian ancestry.

It was also interesting that Kelsey Grammer has Oregon Trail ancestors.  They filmed him at the OT Interpretive  Center in Baker City, OR, only 35 miles from here.

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Chelio93

Sorry to bump an old thread but I was watching the show last night with Katey Sagal.  Her 9x great grandfather (iirc) came over on the ship the Charming Nancy in 1738.  My ancestor was on that same ship.  I'm weirdly excited about researching her family to see if I can find any mention of my family.  Apparently, her family was a fairly prominent Amish family at the time.

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clueliss

I prefer Finding Your Roots on PBS.  I highly recommend finding the one they aired in February with Kanye and LL Cool J.  And if Kanye averse, you can fast forward through him. It is LL Cool J that is just the absolutely amazing genealogy storyline I have seen on any of these shows.  

 

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Maggie Mae
1 hour ago, clueliss said:

I prefer Finding Your Roots on PBS.  I highly recommend finding the one they aired in February with Kanye and LL Cool J.  And if Kanye averse, you can fast forward through him. It is LL Cool J that is just the absolutely amazing genealogy storyline I have seen on any of these shows.  

 

There is one with P Diddy/Sean Combs and LL Cool J. I can't find one with Kanye & LL Cool J. Both Diddy and LL Cool J have "SHOCKING REVELATIONS" according to the websites I'm looking at. 

 

I saw one of these shows last week, but it didn't involve celebs. One of them involved a woman who wanted to find her birth mother but didn't have a name or anything. The host said "I have to tell you, it's going to be difficult to find someone without a name." NO WAY DUDE! ... SPOILER: They found the birth mom and they reunited and the woman who was searching cried a lot more than I was comfortable watching. I don't remember the name of the show though. It was interesting to see how they worked around not having names or very very common names. 

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clueliss

That's it.  It is Diddy and not Kanye.  Diddy's is okay/interesting.  LL's is just mind blowing.

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Bethella
1 hour ago, Maggie Mae said:

I saw one of these shows last week, but it didn't involve celebs. One of them involved a woman who wanted to find her birth mother but didn't have a name or anything. The host said "I have to tell you, it's going to be difficult to find someone without a name." NO WAY DUDE! ... SPOILER: They found the birth mom and they reunited and the woman who was searching cried a lot more than I was comfortable watching. I don't remember the name of the show though. It was interesting to see how they worked around not having names or very very common names. 

That's Long Lost Family, it's on TLC Sundays at 10/9c (right after WDYTYA) and it focuses on tracking down birth families/kids given up for adoption. So far it's been pretty good, although I don't find it as interesting as WDYTYA or Finding Your Roots.

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RosyDaisy

I would be more inclined to watch if they used non celebrities.

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Bethella
10 hours ago, RosyDaisy said:

I would be more inclined to watch if they used non celebrities.

Have you watched Genealogy Roadshow on PBS? It shows non celebrities- it's kind of a cross between Antiques Roadshow and WDYTYA/Finding Your Roots. People come in with the genealogical mysteries and they show the most interesting stories. It's okay but not my favorite show, I would like it if they focused on fewer people/didn't jump around quite so much.

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Maggie Mae
20 hours ago, Bethella said:

That's Long Lost Family, it's on TLC Sundays at 10/9c (right after WDYTYA) and it focuses on tracking down birth families/kids given up for adoption. So far it's been pretty good, although I don't find it as interesting as WDYTYA or Finding Your Roots.

I don't know. I haven't seen WDYTYA or Finding Your Roots, mostly because I really don't care about "celebrities." The Long Lost Family was interesting for the process of the genealogy but I found the people looking for their biological parents to be mostly unsympathetic, although there were a few nice moments. Mostly, though, I find the concept of "seeking your roots" and "having something missing/don't belong" to be problematic "blood is thicker than water" nonsense, and if TV shows/popular media didn't reinforce that concept then people might get along better. 

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Bethella
4 hours ago, Maggie Mae said:

I don't know. I haven't seen WDYTYA or Finding Your Roots, mostly because I really don't care about "celebrities." The Long Lost Family was interesting for the process of the genealogy but I found the people looking for their biological parents to be mostly unsympathetic, although there were a few nice moments. Mostly, though, I find the concept of "seeking your roots" and "having something missing/don't belong" to be problematic "blood is thicker than water" nonsense, and if TV shows/popular media didn't reinforce that concept then people might get along better. 

Personally I find I don't care who the subject is, celebrity or not. I've watched all international episodes of WDYTYA that I could find on youtube and it didn't matter if I'd heard of them before or not. I do genealogy on the side, so I watch out of professional interest. Although on a professional note it drives me nuts when they don't show everything so it looks like they've made assumptions and done sloppy genealogical work.

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  • 4 weeks later...
HerNameIsBuffy
On 4/19/2016 at 4:46 PM, Maggie Mae said:

I don't know. I haven't seen WDYTYA or Finding Your Roots, mostly because I really don't care about "celebrities." The Long Lost Family was interesting for the process of the genealogy but I found the people looking for their biological parents to be mostly unsympathetic, although there were a few nice moments. Mostly, though, I find the concept of "seeking your roots" and "having something missing/don't belong" to be problematic "blood is thicker than water" nonsense, and if TV shows/popular media didn't reinforce that concept then people might get along better. 

I saw one episode of one of these shows - the one with Jim Parsons.  As interesting as I find it to do mine (I really like the researching thing) but I do find emphasis on blood meaning more than it does to be unhealthy.

I've got nephews who are adopted (which I'm only mentioning because it's relevant to this post) who I love and are family and shit loads of blood relatives who I wouldn't ever want to have my email.  

But I haven't been in the shoes of someone looking for their biological parents and for some that's clearly a really strong yearning...so whatever people need to do for themselves.  I think the biggest danger would be unrealistic expectations.  I love my family but imaging meeting them all for the first time as an adult....let's just say we're an acquired taste and there would be plenty of wtf to go around.

I saw a youtube thing the other day on the downside of the DNA testing - I'm not a fan of family secrets but I wouldn't want to find out my parents weren't my parents on Ancestry.  

I know of a family where the two eldest kids didn't know they were from their mom's first marriage.  The parents backdated their anniversary and apparently the rest of the family went along with it and kids born into the family later had NO idea.  I don't get that at all because the dad they know, the one who raised them?  loved them so much - honestly I knew this family fairly well and I never would have known he wasn't the biological dad to all of them.  Isn't that the better lesson to teach kids?  That DNA matches aren't required for love and parenting? 

Family secrets can be so destructive - I don't get why people roll those dice.

 

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  • 9 months later...
cindyluvs24

WDYTYA is back (US) on March 5.

Re strange family trees:  I know a woman I'll call Jill Smith whose mother and aunt were identical twins.    Her mother died from leukemia and her father remarried the identical twin sister in law.  The years pass and sadly,  her step mom ( formerly identical twin aunt) dies of cancer.   Years pass and Jill marries Jack Smith - her last name doesn't have to change at all!   (Many years later, their own daughter dies of leukemia as well.  Really awful. )   Last year, her father died.  Reading the obituary was ... unusual.

Edited by cindyluvs24
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PennySycamore

@HerNameIsBuffy,  I've got two adopted granddaughters and I hope that neither of them ever tries to find their birthparents.  One girl was abandoned beside a road at birth while the other was taken to the orphanage when she was three months old, probably when her parents understood that she was deaf.  My son-in-law mentioned when we were out to eat for Chinese New Year (the girls were on a potty break) that he dreaded the conversations about his daughters' first few days and months. How do you explain to your daughters that their bio parents abandoned them?    

 

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