Ancestry.com

Truth Is Better Than Dull Old Family Fiction

I’ve been told all my life that I come from a family of horse thieves. How else can you explain turning out a last name like Croasmun when a perfectly simple-to-spell version, Crossman, exists?

But family stories aren’t always as they seem.

Take actress Sarah Jessica Parker’s family story, which says she’s from a family of recent immigrants. Good people, but historically speaking, Sarah Jessica is pretty certain her family’s history is reasonably uneventful. Then she agrees to let professionals help her with her family tree on the premiere episode of Who Do You Think You Are? and Parker quickly discovers her family roots are anything but mundane.

Parker is the first of seven celebrities appearing in the U.S. version of the internationally known series, Who Do You Think You Are? Going into the series, each participant knows very little about his or her family tree. But with the help of researchers, Ancestry.com, snazzy finding tips, and history pros, each one walks away with a new – and better – understanding of the family that came before them.

I’m planning to watch the series with my kids, which means I’ll have the perfect opportunity to entertain them during commercials with family truths about coal miners, immigrants, and icemen. Yes, ice delivery is exciting when you’re 5 years old. It’s even better when Mommy can log into Ancestry.com and show you proof in a census record.

Who Do You Think You Are? airs at 8/7c on Friday, March 5. You can catch a preview at http://www.nbc.com/who-do-you-think-you-are. And check back here after the show for my recap, or chime into the discussion at http://www.facebook.com/ancestry.com.

About Jeanie Croasmun
Jeanie Croasmun has been working at Ancestry.com while futilely attempting to prove the horse thief story in her family history for over seven years. During that time, she learned enough about her family to determine that the story is likely a great work of fiction. But the search continues ...

14 comments

Comments
1 candace clawsonMarch 3, 2010 at 7:00 pm

I myself, am looking forward to this program. as far as family goes, i myself and my husband also have ancestors that were involved with the salem witch trials. anyway, i can hardly wait until friday to view the program !

2 HaydnMarch 4, 2010 at 1:05 am

Anybody know when it will be aired in the UK?

3 RobinMarch 4, 2010 at 2:09 am

Is Ancestry down AGAIN?? For the past half hour I am unable to attach any records. No notice about maintenance issues.

4 Roger G. ByerleyMarch 4, 2010 at 6:11 am

How appropriate! This article gets to the point; like has been said,”you can’t stand the truth”
SHARE! Your knowledge, share your life, share your photo’s, just share;
and eventualy the truth will be known
by a grandchild or perhaps a great great granchild…share please!

5 Andy HatchettMarch 4, 2010 at 6:20 am

Roger Re: #4

I’ll gladly “share” with anyone but sharing implies an interaction between two or more people.

What I will *not* do is lay out a smorgasbord of information for people to just wander by and pick and choose what they want and leave.

That, imho, is not “sharing”.

6 Nancy BondMarch 4, 2010 at 7:29 am

something is wrong again with the site. no member connect, no ability to modify search in newspapers. what’s up????

7 Kirk SellmanMarch 4, 2010 at 8:33 am

Roger Re: #4

I agree.

8 BromaelorMarch 4, 2010 at 9:03 am

On the contrary! The problem with far too many trees on Ancestry is that they are fiction!
“Ancestor grabbers” are very keen on copying information, but not so keen on doing the research themselves! In fact many Ancestry users actually believe that wholesale copying of trees is “research”! Just take a look at their trees, no sources, no support files, no real research!
I will allow anyone to access my private trees, but only after they have proved to me that the person they are looking for is genuinely a member of their tree.

9 robert hendryMarch 5, 2010 at 8:38 am

talk about opening up closets! This is the most interesting tour I have ever taken. I have gone back to early 1800 on both sides, inlaws from syria, england, scotland, (grandma was married twice)

10 Tom RockneMarch 5, 2010 at 8:03 pm

Review of the show.

As predicted, part infomercial, part music video, total waste of time.

11 candace clawsonMarch 5, 2010 at 8:25 pm

I want to express my excitement. I would like to mention that I found out that bridget bishop 1667-1692 is my distant cousin! She one of them who got accused of being a witch in the salem witch trials. my husband is related distantly to rebecca nourse, (she’e his distant cousin) she was also accused of being a witch at the salem witch trials.

12 dklartMarch 5, 2010 at 8:38 pm

The site has come to a grinding halt. Everything is down. A banner is states, “we sure are busy”.

13 Mary RobertsMarch 5, 2010 at 9:33 pm

Just finished watching Who do you think you are? Loved it. Have been anticipating it for a very long time and thought it lived up to what was being promoted. Got chills several times when Sarah learned something new. It’s the same kind of rush you get when you find something new on your own tree. Had celebrity envy for the very first time in my life wishing Ancestry would do this for the everyday folk. Think it could be just as interesting.

14 Dannie BakerMarch 6, 2010 at 2:56 pm

The program “Who do you think you are?” last night was very enjoyable. I dread but look forward to the one about American Indian heritage. I have so many American Indian lines in my family and can’t track any of them very far back. Maybe your show will help in that research.

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