I just finished watching the latest WDYTYA. There was much less genealogical research and much more story arising from the facts that were found. This edition of WDYTYA confirms what many of us who are more family historian than genealogist seek in our research – namely, the stories behind the research. Uncovering a few facts that lead to a convincing story is far more satisfying than facts that only lead to a research log.
I found myself moved from tears of sadness (as Lisa read the account of the murder and burning of the Jews of Ilya) to the warmth of a whole body smile as she talks to Tomek, and then the gentle tears of joy as Lisa’s father and Boreslav get connected via a video call. This is the ‘payoff’ that many of us seek – taking scraps of a family’s remembered story and building upon it… adding story to story… finding new chapters and new character in the story… and finally being able to tell a new, expanded story.
The research, the hard search for accurate facts, the hours spent at the computer or in the county court house, organizing files and photos, documenting sources, filling out family group sheets, and so much more is all worth the effort when they lead to a new and improved version of the story. Of course, the new version of the story is not always as gut-wrenching as Lisa Kudrow’s, and it doesn’t have to have a happy ending. Because the story, in and of itself, is enough when it is my story… our story!
I enjoyed the first two editions of WDYTYA as a genealogist / family historian. I watched tonight’s edition first and foremost as a human being. I found my heart singing along with the music at the end.