If you enjoy watching the hit show Who Do You Think You Are? you will be pleased to learn that another genealogy-related TV show will premier this coming Monday, September 23rd, on the PBS network.
Genealogy Roadshow is the American version of the hit Irish TV series and has a format similar to that of Antiques Roadshow. Participants with “unique claims and story lines” will be chosen from an audience and genealogists will research to find the truth. Genealogists Joshua Taylor and Kenyatta Berry will be the hosts of the show.
The first season consists of four episodes (23 September-14 October), filmed in Austin, Detroit, Nashville and San Francisco. I read that one show will be from Nashville, where researchers will try to determine whether or not an individual is related to Davey Crockett, as his family legend claims. Another episode to be from San Francisco, about the earthquake in the early 1900s.
I saw a 5 minute clip of Genealogy Roadshow at last month’s FGS Conference in Fort Wayne and it should be a hit with anyone interested in family history.
Genealogy TV shows, while very interesting, can be deceiving. The whole research process may look quick and easy on a one-hour TV show, but you don’t see the hours it took to find all those documents and the information needed to trace one’s family history back several generations.
In April of this year the Lima Chapter Daughters of the American Revolution presented the “Women in American History Award” to former Lima TV personality VaLaire (Rilee) Orchard. As a child she was in some of the “Our Gang” movies. Her 18-year TV career in Lima began in 1953 and later she was a radio talk show host on WIMA, Lima, from 1971-1986. VaLaire related her experiences and the challenges of doing live TV shows and commercials. It was interesting to hear her tell how TV has changed over the years and she brought back memories of TV shows I remember from the 50s and 60s.
I am old enough to remember black and white TV and how exciting it was when our family got a color TV. I’ll never forget watching Bonanza in color the first time. In fact, I have heard that many people purchased a color TV just to watch Bonanza in “living color.” And who could forget that NBC peacock?
I watched quite a bit of TV with Grandma and Grandpa Miller during the summer days. Kids’ shows were usually on in the morning: Captain Kangaroo [with his side-kicks, Mr. Green Jeans, Bunny Rabbit, and Grandfather Clock], Mighty Mouse, Howdy Doody, and The Mickey Mouse Club. Afternoon TV was mainly game shows: Concentration, Password, and Queen for a Day.
Westerns filled up the TV evening hours. Who can forget Gunsmoke, The Rebel, Maverick, Paladin, Cheyenne, Bronco Lane, The Rifleman, Wagon Train and Sugarfoot, to name a few. Reruns of those old westerns are now shown on the Western Channel.
Back in the 50s and 60s we didn’t throw away broken down items or appliances like we do today. We got them repaired. When the TV didn’t work we called a TV repairman.
In the Chatt area we called on the local TV repairman, Jack August. Jack would come to our house with his big TV-repair tool box, full of vacuum tubes, resistors, tuners and other now obsolete TV-repair items. I don’t know how Jack knew which tube was bad, but I noticed that it was usually the one that was dark and burned-looking in the inside. He was good and he always fixed our TV.
In those days we never ever would have dreamed of having a remote control. Changing channels was unwanted exercise back then, usually for youngest in the family. In addition, there were only three channels to chose from back then.
I still like to watch TV and this coming Monday I will be watching Genealogy Roadshow. You might want to tune in, too.