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# Friday, 04 February 2011
Discover Who You Are Sweepstakes Opens Tonight!
Posted by Grace

You're watching NBC’s new episode of "Who Do You Think You Are?" tonight, right? While celebrities explore their genealogy on the show, we want to give you the opportunity to explore your own genealogical history with our Discover Who You Are Sweepstakes!

So what's the prize? Four lucky winners will get Discover Your Roots Kits, which include a bookazine for genealogy beginners, a Family Tree University course, a subscription to Family Tree Magazine, our State Research Guides CD and the Family Tree Pocket Reference eBook -- a $205 value!

You can enter each week in February, by doing one or both of the following things:

  1. Comment here on the blog during "WDYTYA." You could write about a technique or resource you learned about from the show, or (if you missed the show) something you're looking forward to learning about your own genealogy.
  2. "Like" Family Tree Magazine on Facebook, and comment on or "like" our statuses about "WDYTYA."

We'll pick a winner each Monday and post their name here and on Facebook. Good luck, and happy watching!

This contest will run until Feb. 27, 2011. Official rules can be found here.

"Who Do You Think You Are?" | Genealogy fun

Friday, 04 February 2011 14:13:25 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [59]
Friday, 04 February 2011 20:03:33 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)
Looking forward to hearing how they research Vanessa's African American roots!
Friday, 04 February 2011 20:06:42 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)
Looking to find ancestors to appreciate even more the family we have alive. Always start your research with your immediate family.
Pat Cate
Friday, 04 February 2011 20:25:31 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)
I'm greatly enjoying watching the WDYTYA visit to the National Archives in search of Vanessa Williams' Civil War ancestor. Having made the same journey myself, it is fun to relive it through the show.

Thanks, Family Tree Magazine, for putting on this sweepstakes! Count me in. :)

Friday, 04 February 2011 20:48:06 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)
When they showed the tin type picture you could see how dark it had become with age. What process did they use to make a copy for Vanessa that looked like it turned out to be a pretty good copy?
Friday, 04 February 2011 20:48:44 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)
Very moving to see that Vanessa's ancestry was so mixed and how interesting her discovery was.
Friday, 04 February 2011 20:57:01 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)
I enjoy seeing Vanessa learn about her grandfather and his work in the court. I also have a grandfather who was in the House of Representatives in 1899 and a justice of the peace. I will be looking for more info on him. Love the Show.
Tina Telesca
Friday, 04 February 2011 20:57:35 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)
One question I have is if "regular people" go to the Archives, just what actual paperwork can they access? Can we see the action Civil War Pension papers.
Friday, 04 February 2011 21:11:41 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)
If you send off to the Archives for the Civil War Pension Papers, do they send copies of everything in the file? If there happened to be a tintype of my ancestor like Vanessa's ancestor, would they make a copy of it and send with the file? The show is awesome!
Danette Duckworth
Friday, 04 February 2011 22:00:47 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)
The show was great it was interesting to see her ancestors from two different lines were both such brave and honorable men yet one came from slavery while the other was born in freedom.
Kathy McArthur
Kathy McArthur
Friday, 04 February 2011 22:01:57 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)
The show tonight was wonderful. I'm so glad it's back. I can't decide which part of the show I liked best: "Never", The bravery of her ancestor who enlisted during the Civil War, finding another ancestor was an elected official during the post-Civil War era, or listening Ms. Williams read the glowing tributes to her ancestors.
Vicki Griffin
Friday, 04 February 2011 22:43:29 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)
What a great sweepstakes! I enjoyed the program tonight and was surprised at all the information she was able to find. I'm still hoping to find my German immigrant great-grandfather's place of origin and I hope one of the programs will focus on immigration.
Friday, 04 February 2011 22:52:54 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)
Last season seemed like the celebrities traveled the globe meeting professional genealogists in all sorts of places, and were basically handed their family histories as each episode unfolded. This first episode tonight seemed at least to me that Vanessa was participating in the research process, and was more realistic in her discoveries. (Even though I'm sure there was a lot done behind the scenes to make it play out in an hour show). But I loved that she was taking notes all along the way. I'm so glad this series came back for a second season. Can't wait to see more. :o)
Saturday, 05 February 2011 09:44:47 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)
To find a tin picture from the civil war....boy I was actually envious but grateful for her. I have spent 12 years trying to find Isaac DeForest's (born in Nova Scotia), parents. His son William went off to the civil war and died within 6 weeks in a battle and he got married before he left. I wish I could have a photo then I would have an idea what Isaac looked like. Great show!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Wish I was a celebrity so my search could be helped, although if you do the hard work I think you appreciate it even more.
Saturday, 05 February 2011 13:43:57 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)
This would have been very nice if I had received the notice on 02/04...I received it today 02/05.
Helen Pluche
Saturday, 05 February 2011 17:37:18 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)
I love the use of a local historian to find Civil War information. I have never done that, but would love to start.
Micki Gilmore
Saturday, 05 February 2011 21:05:32 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)
I found the show very interesting as usual. I was amazed at how much information was found. I would appreciate tips on how we might find information at the Archives also. I was not aware there was so much information available. Is it available at all the archive offices, or is it more pertaining to that region? How much information do we need to know ahead of time before we go to the Archives to do research, does it need to be very specific?
Marna K
Sunday, 06 February 2011 19:34:35 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)
Photos! To me this is the best find. The show always makes me want to travel to these places of my ancestors, but it is just not possible. Good thing there is internet.
Sunday, 06 February 2011 19:46:02 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)
Kudos to Lisa Kudrow and NBC for sharing with us a 2nd season of this wonderful show! My interest in genealogy was sparked almost 40 years ago and I thoroughly enjoy watching WDYTYA. I found it amazing that they were able to produce a pretty decent picture from the tintype. Can't wait to see the next episode!
Monday, 07 February 2011 12:19:45 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)
Unfortunately I was unable to catch the show but it sounded great. Maybe I'll be able to catch a rerun? Wish I could go dashing off to all the places I need to research! :>
Monday, 07 February 2011 17:29:49 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)
Can't wait for the next show.
Wednesday, 09 February 2011 09:08:18 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)
Love this program. Have had fun researching my own roots and have found some interesting things but have some roadblocks I need help with. Thank you.
kaye smith
Thursday, 10 February 2011 11:48:36 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)
I am enjoying the new season; however, it would be nice if there was at least one show dedicated to an "average" person doing his/her genealogy. I understand celebrities make for good TV and sponsors but adding a "real episode" would be more interesting. Also I think that the show glosses over much of the hard work that is done behind the scenes. It does not show the dead ends, brickwalls, or other problems that can occur and gives a false impression that you can find everything you need without much difficulty. Perhaps a season ending show could be devoted to the problems encountered in the different shows during the season and how they were resolved.
Steve McCarver
Thursday, 10 February 2011 11:57:55 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)
Thanks for the wonderful show. Am looking forward to future show to get more research ideas.
Thursday, 10 February 2011 12:05:01 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)
I would love to learn more about how to put my family history into a Scrapbook format and how to write my my family history properly.
Dana Baker
Thursday, 10 February 2011 12:18:20 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)
I'm addicted! WDYTYA has the same effect on me as DALLAS had on me many years ago. I can't wait for Fridays! I've been researching my family history for over 40 years and this show brings my passion to the BIG screen. I feel authenticated by it. I just want to shout, "see what I've been doing for all these years!"
Marg Putzke
Thursday, 10 February 2011 13:32:51 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)
The program has given me dfferent avenues to look at. Being an avid scrapbooker I have be able to make a srapbook with all the material I have collected. Those that look at it are impressed not only with the scrapbook itself but with the material I have put into it.T
Barbara Van Wagnen
Thursday, 10 February 2011 13:57:44 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)
I watched every one of your WDYTYA and it gives me lots of encouragement to continue my search for two great grandfathers, one that died before my grandmother was born and my grandfathers parents because he was given up for adoption. I have made some progress over the last five years but keep running into dead ends. My dad pasted away just last month at 90 and he was kind enough to let me send his DNA in but haven't figured out how to us the information yet. He was very helpful with a lot of information that he remembered and I am thankful for having him with his good memory for so many years. I am addicted to your show and watch each one over and over again. Thank you so much for what you have done to inspire me.
Connie Baumberger
Thursday, 10 February 2011 17:07:17 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)
I have a brick wall on my Robinson family (James Robinson 1761-1833) and decided to have my yDNA test. It tied me into the Robinsons in the DE/PA area who were Scotch-Irish. Even though I now have several cousins, I still don't have a paper trail from KY back to the DE/PA Robinson family.
Glenwood Robinson
Thursday, 10 February 2011 18:24:29 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)
Vanessa was so lucky to find the photo in her ancestor's Civil War papers. I wish I were so lucky!!
Susan Graben
Friday, 11 February 2011 14:45:39 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)
I watched last week's show and look forward to seeing today's. I watched all of last year's as well. They are all wonderful. I would love to make my own documentary about my family. I think my biggest learn is to talk to more people, especially historians, librarians, etc. and also to videotape my and my family's reactions.
Friday, 11 February 2011 19:23:07 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)
One of the best things about watching Who Do You Think You Are is the boost it gives me to keep researching my roots. Sometimes, I get discouraged when I keep hitting the same brick wall over and over and sharing in the excitement of someone discovering "who they are" energizes me to look once more!
Friday, 11 February 2011 19:53:14 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)
Last season, the Matthew Broderick episode of WDYTYA helped me solve a family mystery of where my great-great-great grandfather is buried. Civil War historian and expert, Brad Quinlin, helped Matthew find that his ancestor was killed in the Atlanta campaign in the Civil War was ultimately buried in the Marietta National Cemetery as an unknown soldier. That got me to thinking about my own ancestor killed at the Battle of Kennesaw Mountain, Ga. And I went hunting and found records that showed my ancestor was also buried in Marietta. A trip to Marietta to find my ancestor's grave led to an unexpected encounter with Brad Quinlin in the Marietta National Cemetery. Over the next few months, Brad graciously helped track down that my ancestor is buried under the wrong name due to a clerical error. This error is in process of being rectified and a new headstone is in process. All thanks to WDYTYA and Brad Quinlin! I've been eagerly waiting for the new season! Last weeks was great and looking forward to seeing Brad Paisley!
Suzanne Harmon
Friday, 11 February 2011 20:02:22 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)
oops I mean Tim McGraw...wrong country singer...sorry!
Suzanne Harmon
Friday, 11 February 2011 20:25:13 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)
I need to spend more time with land/property records. I always forget about that.
Susan Hussmann
Friday, 11 February 2011 20:28:50 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)
WDYTYA is sooo interesting. i love genealogy. so far i've traced my ancestry (on my dad's side) back to 1758 when they came to the US, but before that, it's like i hit a wall. i know they converted to Methodism by John Wesley, and came to the US to spread Methodism. but i'm hoping the show can show me some new resources i can use short of actually going to Wales itself. it's kind of expensive to travel to Wales, especially with a baby, so i dont know. i agree with whoever said it'd be cool to have an episode where an ordinary person can research their own ancestry on the show
--Kat (Woodfill) Childress
Friday, 11 February 2011 21:19:29 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)
I am a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution and have enjoyed tracing my family tree for many years. Even with my experience I still have many unanswered questions. I am so excited that the producers of WDYTYA have done such an excellent job of relating to all of us how important our family histories are.
Jan (Alexander) Kaesberg
Friday, 11 February 2011 21:26:29 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)
Every time I watch WDYTYA, I am inspired to renew my work on my own family tree. I found this weeks episode with Tim McGraw to be especially inspiring because I also have a few ancestors who settled here before the Revolution. I feel that WDYTYA has done much to inspire interest in genealogy.
Vicki Griffin
Friday, 11 February 2011 21:46:29 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)
Tonight's show was really wonderful. It was neat to see the various records, ones we don't usually know about or see, like the subsistence records from New York and to hear how a book fooled some Germans into thinking they could get free land, etc. It was very inspiring to see a rags to riches story and the familys connection to George Washington.
I know pwople keep saying they wished they would do normal people not just famous ones, but in my mind even famous people have family stories that are interesting.
Kathy McArthur
Friday, 11 February 2011 22:09:53 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)
Tonight's show was really special for me. Isaac Chrisman is my 6th great grandfather, so seeing all this great information about him was so interesting! And finding out that I am related to Tim and Tug McGraw was an added bonus! Each week I am inspired more and more to continue on with my research. Just makes me wish I had more time to devote to it.
Danette Duckworth
Friday, 11 February 2011 22:12:13 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)
Tonights episode on Tim McGraw was one of the best yet! Subsistence records, the Donelson line....the whole show was packed with great ideas!
Andrea v
Saturday, 12 February 2011 00:53:21 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)
While watching the FEb 11 episode with Tim McGraw, I about fell out of my chair when they mentioned Jost Hite - someone I had read a lot about during my Edmondson family research in the Shenandoah Valley... and one of my ancestors married one of the Hite daughters so I am related to Tim! Yehaw! Eat your heart out all my country-music-loving friends!!!
Susanne Besecker
Saturday, 12 February 2011 12:32:41 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)
I love this show. It gives me the inspiration to continue with my research. I've hit a brick wall with my Dawicki side of the family and can't because it goes back to Poland. But I will give it another try because of this show.

Saturday, 12 February 2011 13:04:02 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)
I love to watch this show it makes me what to find out as much as I can and get motivated. I would love to learn more about the Palatines The Golden book. I have had a lot of family come over from Germany and is curious if any of my family had to go through that also.
Saturday, 12 February 2011 14:13:52 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)
Loved the Tim McGraw show; first one I've been able to watch. Would be interesting to know who and how many of the historians/genealogists on the show charge a fee for their research and how much. Does the average person watching the show realize genealogy research for the most part is not free?

Am genealogy beginner and personally using Internet and (which I love and has been a great resource/membership fee required) to research my family, and find that there are some good free resources, but most charge a fee or need a membership. Would be interesting to know what the 'average' non-famous person has had to spend in dollars to find their ancestors and family histories. I have also been visiting local family members to collect info and photo's, and contacting some by e-mail; also visiting local cemeteries to document burial sites by taking pic's of headstones, and visiting locations where family members have lived and taking pic's of the buildings, etc., as they are today. Regardless of having to spend $$$ for information, genealogy is such great fun; especially when you find your first 'horse thief' and have a good laugh over it!
Arla Woodling
Thursday, 17 February 2011 15:54:26 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)

The discovery that my paternal great grandfather, always referred to in the family as a major in the Union Army, had fought first as a private for the Confederacy was of great interest to me. Unfortunately, I have hit a brick wall so far in the search for this ancestor's line. This is the line with which I would like help.
Ruth Foster
Friday, 18 February 2011 11:03:41 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)
What a well produced and interesting series. Basic genealogy is mentioned adequately with advanced research techniques appealing to the entire viewing audience.
Christine Banvard
Friday, 18 February 2011 20:36:33 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)
So cool seeing Rosie in the Jersey City Public Library, where my gen club, the Hudson County Genealogical and Historical Society has met. It was cool to see NJ Room Director Cynthia Harris walk across the room on camera- cool! We've had a Board Meeting in the same restaurant, too! This is really neat!
Ellen Healy
Friday, 18 February 2011 20:50:44 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)
I'm so happy that Rosie could find her Irish ancestral homeland. I have been trying for over 20 years to do the same but here in South Carolina they didn't keep records until 1915 and my great great granfather passed in 1895 and I only have this from his gravestone. I don't have his parent's names or why/when they emigrated here.
Ruth Krems
Friday, 18 February 2011 21:15:51 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)
I just finished watching WDYTYA and I really felt for Rosie when she visited the workhouse where her relatives had lived in Ireland. I am constantly humbled by the hardships I find my family endured as I grow my family tree!
Cheryl Stiff
Saturday, 19 February 2011 22:04:04 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)
I loved the all the episodes so far. The Rosie show was of particular interest since my name is Rose, and my ancestors also come from Ireland. It was great seeing how Rosie discovered her roots.
Thanks to my cousin June Finlay, we are discovering family in Ireland and the ancestral homeland of Anahorish, Londonderry.
Rose Ober
Monday, 21 February 2011 08:14:04 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)
After watching the Rosie O'Donnell WDTYA I found out more about the Irish poor. My grandmother always said times were hard. The poor work house was sad, all those families being separated. Thank You.
Monday, 21 February 2011 08:40:51 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)
Searching for her family showed a different side of Rosie. Finding the information about her mother's family was sad but gave her information that she would not have known. The search for the Irish side of her family makes me want to look again for my Parker ancestors who came from Ireland.
Mary Lou Gravatt
Tuesday, 22 February 2011 01:26:30 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)
I was most looking forward to watching Rosie's episode, I've always admired her very much. I loved learning about the famine and workhouses, how very sad! In my own research, we have a line that is in the deep south, my greatest fear when I get to that part of that line is to find out they are mean slave owners, my greatest relief would be to find out they were helpers to the slaves, like I would have been!
Wednesday, 23 February 2011 00:58:46 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)
I really love the show. It's my first time commenting. I am hoping to learn ways to find unknown relatives and to go as far back as I possibly can for health reasons. I have a rare disease(genetic so they say) and it's important to me especially for my children.I have a very important uncooperative family member(They are the key for names and birthdates) that won't divulge any information about our history. I've ran into roadblocks because of it. The furthest that I've gotten was the Blackfoot Indians tribe. I am learning many techniques from your show, but I am looking forward to finding a way past this roadblock.
Sherrie Hayden
Thursday, 24 February 2011 12:14:24 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)
What a wonderful series. I use the episodes in my genealogy and local history classes for librarians and archivists to talk about the difference between seeing someone do the research and doing it yourself. If only the general public realized the enormous amount of work that goes into each episode. I'd love to know where the dead ends are. We all encounter them in our family research.
Miriam Kahn
Thursday, 24 February 2011 14:05:42 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)
I saw a new side of Rosie O'Donnell in this episode. Very interesting. Thank You.
Thursday, 24 February 2011 16:42:10 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)
I love what WDYTYA to see what I can learn next. The show has helped me through a couple of brick walls, and I'm hoping for help on a couple more. Awesome show!!!
Shay Farnsworth
Thursday, 24 February 2011 20:48:19 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)
I didn't get to see last weeks program. I enjoyed the other two. I was impressed when Vanessa Williams found a tin type of her Union Soldier in the box at the National Archives. I have been researching since 1980 but never have I had such and experience as this. I like the way that they tied Tim McGraw to George Washington, the young man who surveyed the land his great whatever lived on. This is what I want. I don't want just names and dates of birth and death. I want facts that will make them come alive to me. I was born after all my grandparents died and any information that would show them to be people would be valuable to me. I wish I knew something about how they lived and some of the things that happened in their life other than dates. What kind of people were they? Something that would maybe show their personality. I am at a loss as how to get past certain a great grandparent. On ancestry people accept what others put on with no proof to show kinship. I have several brick walls that have held me up in finishing my genealogy.
Mary Ellie Pitts
Mary Ellie Pitts
Saturday, 26 February 2011 12:01:27 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)

Fascinated by Kim Cattrell's story. I have a Great-Aunt who showed up at the age of 16. She was not known to the 2 other legitimate
sisters. Would love to know more.
Comments are closed.