Our weekly genealogical treat, Who Do You Think You Are? returned to our screens last night, this time featuring the actor John Stamos, who was looking to find out more about his paternal grandfather's line (John and his father were named after this grandfather).
The story begins with tragedy, as Stamos discovers (in some beautifully preserved Greek records at the Greek National Archives) that his grandfather was an orphan by the age of 13. Stamos is visibly shaken by this news, stating that he couldn't imagine growing up without both parents, but attributing his grandfather's success later in life to the hardships that he endured as a child.
But what happened to the parents? Stamos couldn't glean this information at the Archives, and so it meant a trip out to notarial archives to meet a historian who showed Stamos that his grandfather's mother had sold some land in 1916. This was deemed no ordinary transaction, however. To sell this land - which is likely to have come as part of a dowry - Stamos' great-great-grandmother would likely have been in dire straits financially.
Stamos learns some shocking news; his great-grandfather Vasilis was murdered in 1905. A translation of a local newspaper piece states that he died 'by pistol'. Stamos heads to his family's village to get to the bottom of what happened.
What he discovers in his ancestral home is a tale of quarreling families, high drama and cruel betrayal fitting of any Greek tragedy. His journey takes him to the home of a relative he never knew that he had, he hears the story of his great-grandfather's life and death and even visits the cemetery where he's buried. If you didn't catch this week's episode, we'd heavily recommend you catch up on the TLC website - it's one of the best episodes we've seen!
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