I watched the latest episode of “Who Do You Think You Are” tonight. It is actually the first one that I saw as it aired – the previous ones I watched online. This one was with Kim Cattrall. It was a little different in that she was looking for information about her maternal grandfather. He abandoned his family in the 1930’s and no one knew what happened to him after that. So instead of going back several generations, she was looking at the (relatively) recent past and going forward.
As is usual with this show, Kim managed to have amazing good luck on her quest, with one happy coincidence after another. It started with one of her Aunts producing a newspaper clipping from 1980 of Kim’s cousin, daughter of her grandfather’s younger sister in her wedding dress. Per the article the dress was made by her grandfather’s mother (Kim’s great-grandmother) for her daughter who married in 1949 and was now being worn again by the granddaughter. Kim goes to the address mentioned in the article as the home of her grandfather’s sister 30 years ago. No one answers the door. Ever resourceful Kim knocks on the neighbor’s door and that neighbor just so happens to know the sister in question and is willing and able to give her the current address. The kindly neighbor also tells Kim of the existence of a second sister. (Is this too good to be true or what!) Oddly enough, when Kim meets with the two sisters they have a good conversation, but the sisters can’t provide any further information on Grandpa – he abandoned them too!
A hired researcher is quick to the rescue finding that just a year after he abandoned his wife and three daughters, Kim’s grandfather married again! Kim is off to the town where the second marriage took place. After a quick perusal of the marriage and birth registers and an old city directory, she is off to the village where Grandpa lived with bride number 2. She stops at a pub. (Here’s where I fully expected one of the patrons to be intimately connected with the family – silly me!) No worries, though. A quick look in the phone book and she immediately locates the widow of wife number 2’s brother. She then meets with her grandfather’s sister-in-law and niece and eventually learns that her grandfather and his second family relocated to Australia in the early 1960s. A quick look on Ancestry and she has the death records for Grandpa as well as his second bride.
Now, we need to remember that Grandpa’s whereabouts have been a family mystery since 1938. All I can say is wow! I wish I could break down my brick walls this easily! Anyway, it does make for a good show, and while most of the other episodes have featured heart-warming stories of fine upstanding ancestors, it was quite a departure to feature a bigamist!
In any case, the show was good. It was entertaining. And in an ideal world, we would all be finding our ancestors and errant relatives with such ease!!