Friday, February 25, 2011

WDYTYAs Kim Cattrall Finds Trail of Missing Grandfather

Kim Cattrall is the featured celebrity on this week's episode of NBC's Who Do You Think You Are? She had learned from her Mother and Aunts that their father 'abandoned' them and they never heard from him again. George Baugh was described by his family as "very, very clever."
Kudos to the producers for tackling this difficult family story of division. Many families experience the loss of family members for a myriad of reasons. The story of these individuals are often left out of the family picture and story.
Kim was an active participant in the discovery of her Grandfather George, but I kept asking more questions than she. When we learned George left his family, and his own siblings described him as being in trouble, I said let's look at those criminal court records or juvenile police records - What kind of trouble did he really stir?
These records might have shed more light on why he ran away or left the town when he did. Where there other connections with his wife's family that would have prevented his escape?
I felt very sympathetic with the family members as they discovered more of the trail of this George. We have all learned tough information about a family member that discouraged or disappointed us. Kim kept a very positive attitude about everything, but George.
There was a shortage of records in the beginning of the show, but later records included City Directories, Telephone Books, Birth and Marriage Registers and Family Photographs. This show will certainly get you thinking about discovering the invisible characters in your family.
To find these folks and include them in your story, consider the following tips.
1. Always be willing to ask the difficult questions.
2. Try to think from the opposite point-of-view.
3. Keep an open mind when using oral history.
4. Don't give up until you find the whole picture.
WDYTYA is giving all researchers the opportunity to see some successful research projects presented in a linear format. The stories keep to come together easily, but they still show remarkable characters in the settings of time and place.
I'm already looking forward to the next episode with Lionel Richie. Join me in keeping the story alive.

4 comments:

Margie said...

Mark, you are so right to think of both sides of the question. My gr grandfather put my grandmother and her sister in an orphanage on Christmas Eve, 2 months after their mother died. (Gramma was 14, aunt was 11). There was family in the area. Where were they? Why did they not help him raise the girls? My aunt cried Christmas morn when there was no doll under the tree for her. Sad, sad, sad

Dr. Bill (William L.) Smith said...

Welcome to the Geneabloggers family. Hope you find the association fruitful; I sure do. I have found it most stimulating, especially some of the Daily Themes.

May you keep sharing your ancestor stories!

Dr. Bill ;-)
http://drbilltellsancestorstories.blogspot.com/
Author of "Back to the Homeplace"
and "13 Ways to Tell Your Ancestor Stories"
http://www.examiner.com/x-53135-Springfield-Genealogy-Examiner
http://www.examiner.com/x-58285-Ozarks-Cultural-Heritage-Examiner

TCasteel said...

The show was interesting because I had just discovered the same thing about my mother-in-law. Her grandfather had abandoned his wife and children when they were small and nothing was known of him after that.
Just 2 weeks ago I found him...lving in another county, married to another women and he also had children!
Regards,
Theresa (Tangled Trees)

Anonymous said...

Ya know, I had a stronger reaction to the story in the Lionel Richie episode. Despite the great strides his ancestor made toward equality, I couldn't get past the fact that he abandoned his wife and children. You're right -- we do have to look at everything and ask the tough questions. But, we can't just brush off something huge and negative because there is so much positive in someone's life.

J. Mark Lowe
J. Mark Lowe Reviews
Springfield, Tennessee Speakers
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