My journey through the world of writing and everything that lies in between…

The Generations Project

It probably wouldn’t come as a surprise to you that I absolutely love anything related to genealogy.

I haven’t really started research on my own yet–I’ve been following my parents’ trail, when they did a lot of family history research about twenty years ago. Phil and I went up this past weekend and I spent a few hours going through the steamer trunk from the “old country” which had tons of photos and other family memorabilia (from a 70+ year old scrapbook of my great-grandmother’s, to my grandmother’s baby book and other little things).  I even got to see a picture of the infamous Frank Whetzell the man who was a moonshiner/bootlegger in rural Alabama and often caused a great deal of strife for local law enforcement and his wife, Aley, until he disappeared.

I saw other pictures too, of my mom’s side of the family, and of them in the “old country” in the tiny village of Hažlín, Slovakia (which still only has no more than 2000 people living there). There isn’t much on my mom’s side of the family since most of her relatives came over fairly recently, her mother’s side a little more than 100 years ago and her father’s side only about 80 years ago. Dad’s side is pretty well established here, some parts of his family going back to the early 1600s and the French Huguenots.

Anyway, it seems the genealogy fervor has caught on in the media as well. I’ve been watching on PBS the show “Faces of America” where celebrities’ families are examined (from cellist Yo-Yo Ma, to Kristi Yamaguchi, to Meryl Streep and Mario Batali). Another show is coming on NBC called “Who Do You Think You Are” where family histories of Lisa Kudrow, Sarah Jessica Parker and others are examined.

But I think the best show I’ve seen so far examines everyday Joes like me. It’s on BYU, but it’s also online. It’s called The Generations Project. I’ve been considering trying to apply for the show, even though I know it’s highly unlikely I’ll be chosen 😛 But now comes trying to figure out which story would be compelling enough to have researched on television. I don’t know if I will try it or not, but it’s tempting.

Anyway do you have any interesting family legends that you’d like to research further?


Comments on: "The Generations Project" (9)

  1. I love genealogy. In fact that’s where I got the idea for my book. If I ever get published I owe my ancestors from Iceland.

  2. I want to learn more about my great-great-great grandmother Evelyn Stough, just because I like the way her name sounds!

    • Then you should 🙂 Genealogy is a lot of fun and sometimes you find out things you never thought you would.

      For example there’s a chance I *may* be distantly related to Thomas Jefferson (there’s rumor that an uncle of his or another Jefferson family member had grX9 grandmother Jemima out of wedlock and that she was mixed). I’m really wanting to find out if this is true or not 😛

  3. The most interesting bit of history in my family is that some distant relative explored with Daniel Boone. I don’t know if it’s true or not, but I’d love to find out.

  4. Whenever I see commercials for that show, I always wonder if the culled out the celebrities with big shockers in their genealogy — but then again, everyone’s past has some wonderful surprises!

    My great grandfather supposedly served the last Emperor of Vietnam. There must be a lot of stories there.

  5. I did some genealogy research a few years ago through and it was a lot of fun

  6. Chris Hicks said:

    My family is so messed up… I would love to see if there was something interesting, maybe find some distant relative or something.

    I know my great (great?) grandfather was Native American and rumor goes he was chief. I would love to know what that story is, what tribe it was and where they are now.

    • My family is messed up too–especially my dad’s side. Great great grandpa was a bootlegger/moonshiner and often caused a great deal of trouble with the local law authorities. There’s even newspaper clippings about the legendary Hatfield/McCoy type shoot out between him and a neighbor!

      And then one day he disappeared. No one knows what happened to him; however there was a body found along the railroad tracks one day but they couldn’t identify who it was…

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