19 December 2010

David Tennant and Family History

I really like the show "Who Do You Think You Are?" (and you need to watch Lisa Kudrow's episode - I balled like a baby!) Anyways, after moving to Scotland I learned that there's been 6 seasons here and one of the episodes was about David Tennant. You should already know about my obsessive trait so needless to say I added this DVD to my queue quickly.

why hello there handsome.... (via google images)

It was a very interesting family history journey and it really made me think about my own journey.

I was really moved with what he said at the end of the episode (and to get the full effect read it with a scottish accent):
"...you're having to deal with your reactions to issues that are still very much alive. And dealing with people that made choices and decisions with their lives and died a long time ago. But they passed a bit of their DNA on to you and you now feel like you have to go back and figure out why they did what they did. You want your family to be people that you admire and be inspired by..."
I think we all want that. I know I do.

As I search through older census reports I always hope that the slave column is empty. I understand it happened and is a part of history but I don't understand how people could think they're better than another human being, make them slaves, and treat them horribly and like trash. I'm very happy to report that so far that column has been empty and I really hope it stays that way. But what if it doesn't? Then I'll keep going.

Our ancestors are people just like us. I think some people put their ancestors on pedestals and forget that they're people who have made choices (and sometimes we may not like those choices). They make decisions based on their circumstances, learned values from the society they're raised in, and the knowledge that they possess.

We're all bound to find something we don't like that our ancestors did. For example, she or he may be a convict.

Does that mean we should hide it? Ignore it? Tell anyone that gets close that they worked at the prison instead of being in the prison? No! (hahaha... seriously no hard feeling here.)

That is part of the ancestor and by learning what led him or her to make that decision provides an opportunity to learn more about him or her.

Personally I don't care that my 2nd great grandpa was a convict. In fact I want to know why he stole such stupid things. Did he steal them for someone who really needed them (like Robin Hood) or was he just a clepto?

You know what? The beauty of having a convict in the family tree is that the prison records are a gold mine complete with a picture! Full of information that you won't find anywhere else.

I don't think my extended family meant harm when they hid that fact that he was in prison (twice) from my sister and I. I think it goes back to what David said, "...You want your family to be people that you admire and be inspired by..."

I think they want to remember who he ended up being not who he was. But we shouldn't hid and ignore who he was because that made him the man they want to remember.

PS - If you like this show (or just like David Tennant) I recommend this episode, I'm not sure if you can get it in the states though.


Laura said...

I hope we can get it in the states, I want to see that episode and the other 58. I love that show and hope they do more over here!
PS - you crack me up.
PPS - I love you lots. :-)

Ivon said...

Sounds like a fun series to watch while you are there. My poor great grandfather was in prison twice. He is a hard learner. :)

Love you.

Nancy said...

It makes your family history more interesting! My mom told me that some of our relatives were active in the underground railroad. If it's true, it makes me proud. They must have been very brave!!

Kim said...

I keep meaning to watch this show ~ thanks for the reminder!

Anonymous said...

I loved that show, I only caught the Lisa Kudrow episode but it was very touching.
I want to watch some more.
It's on Hulu.com