Saturday, March 11, 2017

History Lesson on WDYTYA

I don't know what to say about the first episode of the new season of Who Do You Think You Are. It was a great history lesson and I am sure Courteney Cox learned a lot about her family. I am not sure I learned anything about English genealogy research from this episode as it relates to my family. Even though my DNA is almost 50% English I have yet to find a king or queen. 

It took me a while to figure out what kind of genealogical research skills apply to this episode. I guess I am not used to jumping from Alabama to medieval England in an hour. 

However, one thing was pointed out - where your ancestors landed in the new world is a clue as to who they were and what they wanted. Those who landed in New England were looking for religious freedom. Those who landed in Virginia were looking for land and wealth. The makes sense on a very simple scale. I am sure there are variations. Indentured servants for one. They came to the middle colonies to serve those who came to the colonies to attain wealth. 

But to get back to Courteney Cox, her family history brings up one important aspect of family research. You need to know the history that surrounded your family. What was happening that might have influenced your family. It could be anything. Weather, politics, war, to name a few. 

Courteney Cox needed to know the politics in her family to understand where to look for records that would affect her family. Fortunately for her, Ancestry did it for her. Now this is not a put-down. This is advanced genealogy. And this is what we all strive for.

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