Monday, September 23, 2013

Hmmmmm! Did Genealogy Roadshow intentionally create the atmosphere of a local genealogical society meeting?

Last night PBS proved what I have always said. Most of the time there is some truth in family folklore. Even with the rumors that were not proved on Genealogy Roadshow, there may still be something there. Don't disregard the stories just because they don't fit right now. Maybe Davy Crockett was confused with Daniel Boone or Simon Kenton. There still might be a connection somewhere. Maybe one of these guys just lived in the next cabin over. Or maybe they all traveled together. Who knows?

The one thing I do like about the show is that they make it very clear that the research is being done by professional genealogists. However, I do hope they slow the pace in the next 3 episodes. There were places where if you blinked, you missed the segment. It will be interesting to see if people who are new to genealogy are able to follow the research. I know I had a few hiccups and I have been doing this for well over 50 years.

Aside from the value of folklore, this episode did showcase the many pieces of information that can be found through genealogical research. I just wish they would have spent a little more time explaining how history and pop culture  guided their research. But that will come with time, I am sure.

I believe Genealogy Roadshow is going to be a very entertaining show that will give viewers an overall view of the results of family research. It is not a lecture on basic genealogy. It is designed to show viewers how much fun genealogy can be. And, how genealogists interact with each other.

Maybe this was an unintended consequence, but by having a "studio audience" the show created the atmosphere of a local genealogical society meeting. There were people there who were interested in the success of others. They learned about methods they might be able to incorporate into their own research. And in some cases they found family members within the group. 
Hats off to Kenyatta Berry and Josh Taylor for reaching out and finding a new way to get people interested in their ancestors.


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