Posts Tagged ‘NBC’

This show is right up my alley because it has to do with genealogy and connecting with your roots.

Hence the title of the show.

Anyone who knows me in person knows that I diligently work on my family tree.. over achiever that I am, I’m doing both my mother and father’s family at the same time!

Anyway..

The limited series :: I hope there’s more in production :: delved into the family trees of Sarah Jessica Parker, Emmet Smith, Lisa Kudrow, Matthew Broderick, Brook Shields, Susan Sarandon so far with Spike Lee to be shown next week.

The celebrities themselves are hands on with the research .. to an extent. I mean, the good folks at Ancestry.com have a way of turning up some incredible documents as well as the professors and historians making cameo appearences and making things a hell of a whole lot easier for them then it would be for you and I.

But the stories.. oh my God, the STORIES are incredible. Like, did you know that:

Sarah Jessica Parker has an ancestor that was one of the last woman tried as a witch in Salem.. but was released because there was some type of ordinance passed that discontinued the whole “witch” thing?

Emmet Smith was found, through DNA testing, to be 80% African .. one of the highest percentages known?

That Brooke Shields can trace her Italian roots back to an ancestor who originally migrated from France and started the first Italian bank which grew into one of the largest in the world.. and that her French roots go back to include the most prestigious of Kings?

But Susan Saradon’s story is the one that really broke my heart.

She was trying to find information on her maternal grandmother, who had left her small young children and then disappeared. No one knew anything about her save for a picture that someone had from a long time ago. She was able to find out that her maternal grandmother’s family was from Tuscany and had strong roots there but back in the day, her great-grandfather came to the United States skilled in making statues.. thinking he would have a better life.

He didn’t.

Him and his wife settled into an NYC tenament where 6 of their 9 children died. His wife died also. It was found that Susan’s grandmother got pregnant when she was 12 by her 18 year old neighbor. They were probably forced to marry and I guess life being what it was, she wound up leaving for the bright lights of the clubs in Manhattan. She remarried but that marriage didn’t last either.

With a little more digging, Susan was able to find out that her grandmother married a 3rd time and this marriage had lasted 30+ year.

She lived out her life an hour away from NYC and I wondered .. as I’m sure Susan did .. if this woman who had gone through so much ever wondered what had happened to her own children. I’m going to assume that she did. The pictured they had shown of her as an elderly lady :: her nieces through marriage were found and a meeting was filmed :: showed a great sadness to her.

Usually at the end of the show, the celebrity would have a conversation about what they had discovered with one of their family members. This didn’t happen this time because I’m assuming that the knowledge and emotions would be too hard for Susan’s mother to show on camera.

If you have a chance to watch it.. please do. I highly recommend it.

The shows are also listed On Demand if you have it..