Another wonderful episode of Genealogy Roadshow hit screens across the United States this week, and as we have come to expect this season, it was an hour of incredible stories and adventures through history. Filmed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the stage was set for dynamic and extraordinary story telling.
As each story progressed, it became clear very quickly that this episode was going to pack a punch. From the very first story, in which an incorrect published source was proven wrong, to a complex tale of Quaker turned militia and historic fraud, the three hosts, D. Joshua Taylor, Director of Family History at Findmypast, Mary Tedesco and Kenyatta Berry, weaved their way through each with grace. Certainly there were many highlights, but there was one story that captivated us.
Rennard East wanted to know how and when his family arrived in Philadelphia. His story included a series of events in the early 1900s that changed the course of history in the United States. In a tumultuous time, with racial tension causing common and frequent crimes throughout the country, but especially in the southeast, one of his family members was the victim of a lynching.
The events garnered national attention, and resulted in changes to how these types of crimes were handled at the time. The entire situation surrounding this event was certainly difficult for us to watch and hear; and you certainly cannot begin to imagine the impact of this history on Mr. East and his family. It was difficult, yes, but it is a story that needs to be told.
This episode included several individuals who displayed a simple and honest respect for their ancestors, and the stories they heard. There was excitement, astonishment, and surprise, of course, but there was an underlying tone throughout the hour of that recognition. The simple truth that their stories were unique, they laid the foundation for the future that we are now living out, day by day, and that each story is important in the course of history. Each story deserves to be told, no matter how tragic or entertaining.
From our community chat on Twitter, we saw the energy of the show as each story developed, and the audience reacted to the twists and turns of history.
"I loved everyone's excitement tonight!" @CarolinaGenGirl
"Never can pick just one [favorite story] but the loyalist and the lynching are near the top of the list." @WhoHunter
"'It's that story that connects me to the past' - YES!" @kmjordan73
Another wonderful hour of family history, and we thank all of those who participated with us on Twitter as we explore these discoveries for ourselves. Join us next week as the series takes us back to New Orleans, and the Board of Tirade building. Participate in our weekly conversations by following hashtag #FMPRoadshow on Twitter.