Saturday, April 9, 2011

Musings on the Ashley Judd episode of "Who Do You Think You Are?"

  • I get excited when I see how excited other people get by the information they uncover. It's like letting the rest of the world in on the secret that yeah, genealogy is pretty cool.
  • When I watch this show I sometimes feel like everybody uncovers such cool and interesting family histories and the things they find out make my own history seem so boring, but I think that's just that the "new" is always exciting - I've known most of my family history for years so it's lost some of its shiny-ness, but I remember what it felt like to first learn those things and I know how I feel now by the new things I discover.
  • It's interesting to see who people decide to pursue - I think we want to find out more about people we find relatable, people whose stories make us understand ourselves better.
  • I'm so jealous that Ashley Judd has a Mayflower ancestor!! I think all of us who have early New England/Great Migration ancestry get a kick out of the possibility of having a Mayflower English immigrant ancestors didn't get here until a full 14 years later :( (the Raynors, the ones I know the most about anyway...I'm still holding out hope for a Mayflower connection on one of my so far unpursued female lines! :))
  • I liked that Ashley really got into the story behind her Mayflower ancestor - we all know that the Pilgrims came here for religious freedom but I know very little about the actual stories for the individuals, the real troubles they faced before they fled...
  • Leyden shout-out! As soon as they said Holland, I said to myself "I bet they went to Leyden..." because there was an English population there (including some of my ancestors) seeking religious freedom before coming to America.
  • This episode made me realize the many experts they use to give more of a person's backstory - it's not just genealogists but so many experts in geographical areas, in historical areas...there are so many resources at our fingertips, not just documents but people!
  • I cried when Ashley was learning about her Civil War vet ancestor, Elijah Hensley - what a story. That was pretty cool (and moving) to hear about.


  1. You've been selected for the One Lovely Blog Award. You can pick it up at Georgia Black Crackers.

  2. I also liked how they dealt with the Mayflower ancestor; if you are going to focus on a "famous" connection, then the way to do it is to give an in-depth background on that ancestor's experience.