Ancestry.com has been heavily supporting? pushing? advertising? a new TV show on NBC called Who Do You Think You Are? The show, produced by Lisa Kudrow and an adaptation of a British show, lets us in on the ancestry of some famous people as said famous people look into their background with the help of Ancestry.com and lots of money. I've watched 4 Friday night episodes of the 7 NBC has slated. The celebrities actually visit the places their ancestors lived and died during the research process. They marvel over their discoveries and talk about how they've changed or grown as a result.
It may sound like I don't like the show (maybe it's just the sarcastic sounding voice in my head when I reread my post), but that's not the case. I guess you could say I'm just a little jealous. I'm the genealogist in my family. Either the members of my family aren't interested or they're dead. I find my ancestors fascinating and have made real connections between their lives and the history of this country that I never would have connected to otherwise (because remembering my history classes is torture).
Through census records and visits to libraries around my hometown, I've found out that my paternal great great grandmother was from Ireland, coming to America during the Potato Famine. My paternal great great grandfather has a building named after him at one of our many great higher learning institutions. My maternal great grandmother married a man ~40 years her senior when she was in her early twenties. What I wouldn't give to travel all over the U.S. and find more links to my ancestors. At the moment, many of my trails are dead ends.
So I watch, hoping that I might get a sliver of information from the celebrities' searches that could help me with my own. And as I watch I try not to wish I had a boatload of money to do what they can. If you were ever thinking about looking into your ancestors, this is the show to get you motivated. If you were already looking... well, you can sit in on my pity party.