Last week during a channel surfing session, I came across the Oprah show, which had an interesting theme, genealogy. Oprah talked to Lisa Kudrow, an actor who is part of a new NBC television show called Who Do You Think You Are? This program documents the journeys of seven American celebrities, who research their family heritage across the globe. I decided to record last week’s episode of the show, which airs 8 pm EST on NBC, and was pleasantly surprised with the experience.

As a student of history, I have always been interested in genealogy and family history. In my family, we have been lucky enough to have written records, clippings, and photographs that document the history of my paternal grandfather’s branch of the family. In my aunt’s home sits two volumes of pure genealogy published in 1915 and 1923 that tell the story of my family in America and list all the known ancestors of the period. However, we have never looked that closely at the old dusty volumes until a few weeks ago. What I found in those books delighted my whole family, particularly my grandfather. My family came to America from Surrey, England in 1638, only 18 years after the Pilgrims landed on Plymouth Rock! This inspired a renewed interest in genealogy for me, and some interesting stories to uncover.