As you write your memoir, you may seek information reaching back several generations. Or perhaps after writing a first memoir focusing on your life as you recall it, you will decide to develop a second, research-based book that documents your heritage.
If that topic interests you, you’re probably already a member of ancestry.com, tracing your roots and discovering fascinating information about the generations that preceded you. I suggest you also check out the TV show “Who Do You Think You Are?” This show was on NBC for three seasons, and after it was canceled it was picked up by TLC, which is now running a full season. Each episode follows the journey as a celebrity traces his or her ancestry, uncovering all sorts of interesting material. In the process, viewers learn how to go about a thorough genealogy search. The producers help the celebrities, of course, whereas you’re on your own! They do use ancestry.com to pull up documents, but the celebrities also meet with genealogists and view photos and paperwork in person. Perhaps you wouldn’t have as much access to these experts as the producers of a television show, but the professionals seem genuinely interested in enlightening descendants about relatives whose accomplishments have gone largely unacknowledged. By the way, the TV show has a spinoff book of the same name.
If you do any sort of genealogical search and turn up interesting history, please email us at WriteMyMemoirs about it, and we will share here it on the blog.