In the fourth installment of season two, Genealogy Roadshow returned to New Orleans, Louisiana in this week's episode. Featuring D. Joshua Taylor, Director of Family History at Findmypast, it was yet another wonderful display of the emotional impact of exploring your past.
The opening story explored the challenge that many people in Louisiana and Mississippi have faced in the years since Hurricane Katrina; lost records, photographs, and other ephemera, that held potential clues. The concept of rebuilding may appear to be a monumental one, even unachievable, but as Josh Taylor says, "You absolutely can, it's not impossible."
We met the Sentilles family first, who lost much of what they had of their family history in that disastrous storm, and they asked the research team at Genealogy Roadshow to help them rebuild that history. Of course, this process is not unique to the southeast of the USA; families around the world have been dealing with the losses incurred by natural disaster throughout history.
In this one family alone, we saw their lines touch on major points in American history. Plymouth, the War of 1812, the Civil War; all leading up to Hurricane Katrina. In the end, we received this gem, again credited to Josh Taylor:
"While we might lose records, we might lose property; we never lose our family history, we never lose who we are."
The entire hour was a captivating twist of stories, and featured several classic New Orleans angles, as well, including voodoo and the unique blend of heritage and culture that is at the very soul of the city.
Our community was once again active on Twitter, and we got not only a great hour of family history, but inspiration and advice as well.
"... inspiring me to work faster and harder on scanning my pictures and documents." @catekunzi
"I'm in tears waiting to hear the rest of this story." @nelleFamTree
"Looking for solid facts to prove (or disprove) the myths!" @kmjordan73
"There is so much American history that isn't taught. Thanks, Genealogy Roadshow." @Anocksoonamoon
There are two more episodes remaining this year's season, and we certainly hope that you will join in the fun. Watch Genealogy Roadshow on Tuesday nights on your local PBS station, and enjoy great conversation on Twitter with us, following the #FMPRoadshow hashtag.