Timeless: Taxi Drive to NASCAR

Posted by Crista Cowan on March 18, 2018 in Entertainment, Research

One of my favorite things about family history is uncovering the stories of ordinary people.  People who lived their lives in unassuming ways but still managed to do pretty incredible things.  All too often, though, those stories get lost to time in the face of bigger and brighter personalities.  Family history is a way to turn the light back on some of those stories from the past and make sure that those people are remembered.

I wrote last week about the TV show, Timeless.  It really is one of my favorites and last week’s season premier did not disappoint with its exciting traipse through World War I France and the encounter with Marie Curie and her daughter, Irene.  This week, however, the “Time Team” is off to 1955 where they will meet a man whose name is not quite as well known as Madame Curie.

Born in Danville, Virginia in the summer of 1921, Wendell Oliver Scott was the son of an auto mechanic.  In February of 1942, 20 year old Wendell, registered for the World War II draft.  On his draft card, he listed his employer as the Danville Taxi Company.  You could say driving was in his blood.

He served in the Army and when the war was over, he returned home.  He got married.  They had a couple of kids.  He followed in his father’s footsteps and became an auto mechanic.

Five years after he turned in that draft card, in 1947 (coincidentally, the same year that Jackie Robinson broke into baseball with the Brooklyn Dodgers), Wendell started racing cars.  That put him on a path that led him to become the man who broke the color barrier in professional racing.  After more than 200 races won in the minor leagues, he earned a spot in NASCAR’s top series in 1961, at the age of 40.

There are so many nuances to Wendell’s life that can’t really be explored in a brief blog post or even a more detailed newspaper article.  I’m excited to see what parts of his story are shared tonight on Timeless.  But, as I’ve learned more about him this week, I’m reminded that there are stories in every family, every life.  As family historians, we are so lucky that we get to discover, preserve, and share these stories in ways that can inspire the future.

Past Articles

How Do I Find My Irish Cousins among My DNA Matches? (This Works for 331+ Other Regions, Too.)

Posted by Paul Rawlins on March 16, 2018 in AncestryDNA

Isn’t It Time You Were Irish? Has Saint Patrick’s Day left you wondering about your Irish ancestors? Who they were? Where they came from? How they got here? Whether you really have some? Ancestry—and AncestryDNA—can help. You’ll find more than 200 million Irish records on Ancestry.com, and AncestryDNA can help you track your Irish roots Read More

ICYMI: New Record Collection Arrivals

Posted by Paul Rawlins on March 16, 2018 in Collections

Just in case you might have missed them during the harried hustle of the holidays or the long winter’s night, we asked three of our favorite family historians to dish on some of their favorite new records on Ancestry. Ten years between U.S. federal censuses is just long enough for families to move, people to Read More

Timeless, Marie Curie, and WWI

Posted by Crista Cowan on March 10, 2018 in Entertainment, Women in History

Here at Ancestry, the Research and Editorial Team (of which I am a part) loves the TV show, Timeless.  It makes sense.  The show centers around a group of time travelers.  And, what family historian do you know that doesn’t wish they could travel back in time to the places their ancestors lived? (If you Read More

5 Genealogy Goals for the Family Archivist

Posted by Denise May Levenick on February 12, 2018 in Guest Bloggers

Genealogists wear many hats — researcher, writer, preservationist, archivist. We always want more time to track down our elusive ancestors, but if you inherited family photos, documents, or keepsakes, there’s no time like the present to safely preserve your treasures for the next generation. Here is a list of family history tips to help you Read More

The Pros Share Their #GenealogyGoals for 2018

Posted by Jasmine Vasquez on January 2, 2018 in ProGenealogists

January is a time to take stock of the past year and make plans for the new one ahead. In addition to resolutions about food and exercise, it’s the perfect time to set some goals related to family history. Not sure where to start? Two Ancestry professional genealogists recently shared the pet projects they plan Read More

RootsWeb Security Update

Posted by Tony Blackham on December 23, 2017 in Website

Update: RootsWeb updates can be found on RootsWeb homepage. We want to share an important security update with you. Last Wednesday, December 20, Ancestry’s Information Security Team received a message from a security researcher indicating that he had found a file containing email addresses/username and password combinations as well as user names from a RootsWeb.com Read More