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.