The television show “Who Do You Think You Are?” originated in the United Kingdom about nine years ago and is hugely popular each season there. They also love their historical programs. So the history channel in Britain, called ‘Yesterday’ is joining forces with web site findmypast.co.uk to bring to the British viewing public a mixture of history and genealogy.
The new show is titled ‘Find My Past’ and has a unique concept. Researchers have found descendants who are unaware they are related to people involved in different British historical events. Using the databases on the web site findmypast.co.uk with some 650 years of documents and records (vital records, passenger lists, censuses, military documents, parish records) as sources the adventure begins.
A legendary British historical incident is selected and then ordinary citizens are linked via their ancestors to that occurrence. Three individuals will be brought to a location of an historical event and informed that they all have an ancestral connection to an event. Each then works on their own ancestral path at researching their family lineage and finding the shared bond. At the end of the show all information is revealed.
It will show the viewing public, everyone might have some tie-in to an historical event, not just celebrities. Information about the event, the people and quite a few fascinating and intriguing details will be recounted. It offers a major human interest story tied to genealogy and history.
‘Find My Past’ starts October 20, 2011, a Thursday evening at 9 p.m. in the United Kingdom on Yesterday Channel (note the episodes are not available for Internet viewing). Each episode is one hour and the show will be a ten-part series. Some of the features in the series are The 1940 Battle of Britain, London’s Jack the Ripper, Mutiny on the Bounty of the South Pacific, Dunkirk and D-Day from World War II, The Unsinkable Titanic, The Tay Bridge Disaster of 1879 in Scotland, A Victorian Royal Scandal, World War I Battle of the Somme and Emily Davison, a suffragette who threw herself under the King’s Horse.
Just like “Who Do You Think You Are?” came ‘across the pond’ to American audiences, we can hope a similar television program as ‘Find My Past’ reaches our shores in the near future.< Return To Blog It all started when my dutghaer was 3 months old. She would be the only child and I wanted her to learn that she had more family out there. That was 28 years ago.I began with a handwritten family group chart that I hand copied out of a book. It was tough going as my Dad rarely talked about his family and we had lost contact with them after he passed. Here it is 27 years later, thousands of relatives later, tall tales sorted through and amazingly enough, contact with my long lost cousins on my dads side. Ironically we'd been searching for each other for 30 years!I still have the hand printed first group sheets and the first hints that I found. Yes, the computer and the internet have been a wonderful tool but I remember the excitement of digging through actual records, holding old musty paper in my hand and the wonderment of learning about the ancestors.And that is why I still do it. The mystery, the sleuthing and finally getting my man/woman. They are the stuff inside me, the genetic memory, the reason why for so many things. And I thank them every time I discover something new.