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Season 10: All Episode Talk

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Cryer spent a lot of time on James but it was interesting getting info on indentured servitude and how that works (length of service). I'll watch Laverne 's tomorrow on tlc go. The slave ones are usually so rough as record keeping is/was abysmal and so utterly sad with families being split apart.

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I told my husband last night that I'm not interested in the celebrities, but the history connected to their ancestors because it helps explain why certain migrations took place. And I can connect some of those experiences to my own family. 

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I watched Laverne Cox first because I am a big fan of her character on Orange is the New Black.  I think she is great and I applaud all her openness about her trans experience.  Her mom was adorable too!  Any time this show (or Finding Your Roots) covers a guest's ancestors' slavery I get very emotional.  I'm glad Ms. Cox found her politically active & former slave GGGF.   I also liked that the family story she investigated all took place in her home state.  It meant the episode could spend more time on her story vs. watching a travelogue of the guest flying or driving from place to place.  On a very shallow note, I found her vocal fry and up-speak super annoying. In a few segments, she sounded very "on" and as if she were doing a dramatic reading versus just having a conversation with the genealogists.  

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I loved how earnest and interested both Cryer and Cox were on their episodes. I enjoyed seeing their reactions to the information they discovered.

However, I found myself getting a little bored in both episodes. I wished that they also looked at an additional ancestor or line. Especially in Cox's episode - it seemed they mainly focused on that ancestor because he owned land which was unusual but they never were able to definitively answer how he happened to become a landowner. I started to become exhausted during the last genealogist segment who kept repeating "Oh I have one more document to show you" but only raised more questions. I found myself wanting to hear another ancestor's story rather than just the one person.

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I like episodes like Jon Cryer's that go waaaay back and encompass another continent. Loved seeing Durham cathedral and imagining it being used as a big prisoner of war jail. I knew about indentured servitude, but always thought it was more or less voluntary- an unpleasant choice to work for next to nothing for several years, in return for passage to the new world and a chance at a fresh start. I had no idea it was something prisoners of war could be forced into (I don't think they mentioned what would happen to anyone who didn't sign the contract?) I liked seeing it turn out well for the poor guy, although I'm sure it didn't for most.

Laverne is on my IHL, and this just reinforced that. I watched Liv Tyler's episode right before this, and she was so natural, just stomping around like a normal person. Laverne poses and struts like she's on a red carpet at all times, even if she's just going into some tin roofed county courthouse in the sticks. Also, I really didn't need to hear her big revelation that 'slavery...it was all about...MONEY!!!' Oh, say it isn't so! Ugh. Also, nothing gets my back up like fake crying; again, Liv Tyler had tears trickling down her cheeks several times as she contemplated her ancestor's story. Laverne 'choked up' and made crying faces, but nothing emerged from her tear ducts. I did enjoy seeing her chagrin at finding out she's not native American; I was surprised she had so little European blood, though. She's very beautiful, but I wanted to see old photos of her as a little boy-or did I miss that?

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1 hour ago, sempervivum said:

I like episodes like Jon Cryer's that go waaaay back and encompass another continent. Loved seeing Durham cathedral and imagining it being used as a big prisoner of war jail. I knew about indentured servitude, but always thought it was more or less voluntary- an unpleasant choice to work for next to nothing for several years, in return for passage to the new world and a chance at a fresh start. I had no idea it was something prisoners of war could be forced into (I don't think they mentioned what would happen to anyone who didn't sign the contract?) I liked seeing it turn out well for the poor guy, although I'm sure it didn't for most.

Laverne is on my IHL, and this just reinforced that. I watched Liv Tyler's episode right before this, and she was so natural, just stomping around like a normal person. Laverne poses and struts like she's on a red carpet at all times, even if she's just going into some tin roofed county courthouse in the sticks. Also, I really didn't need to hear her big revelation that 'slavery...it was all about...MONEY!!!' Oh, say it isn't so! Ugh. Also, nothing gets my back up like fake crying; again, Liv Tyler had tears trickling down her cheeks several times as she contemplated her ancestor's story. Laverne 'choked up' and made crying faces, but nothing emerged from her tear ducts. I did enjoy seeing her chagrin at finding out she's not native American; I was surprised she had so little European blood, though. She's very beautiful, but I wanted to see old photos of her as a little boy-or did I miss that?

I like Laverne Cox but lately it seems like she's channeling RuPaul on Drag Race.  This was particularly evident when she was hosting GlamMaster earlier this season.  I don't know if she realizes she is doing this.  Haven't had a chance to see this episode as I was watching finales of two other shows.

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I like episodes like Jon Cryer's that go waaaay back and encompass another continent

The problem with these kinds of stories is that it's become a pattern of the show to use a particular point in a family tree as a jumping off point for a history lesson. This episode was decidedly less about Jon Cryer's ancestor and more about the Scottish Civil War, and the ensuing indentured servitude of surviving Scots in the rebellion. Which is fine but it's not particularly personal. I mean, this isn't great-great grandpa Cryer we're talking about here. This is the mother's father's mother's mother's father's mother's father's mother (or, something indirect). The more they jump around like that, the less connected I feel the story is to the celebrity. It's like the show just went through the tree until they found something they could make a show out of.

I find the episodes that are about more immediate ancestors, like great-grandparents they never knew much about, more compelling and connected to the celebrity in question.

Is this really the 10th season? Wow I didn't realize it had been on that long.

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1 hour ago, iMonrey said:

I find the episodes that are about more immediate ancestors, like great-grandparents they never knew much about, more compelling and connected to the celebrity in question.

Same here. If they are going to go back to 9X grandfather, they need to balance that out with a closer relative. I loved Laverne's episode because it wasn't that long ago and Bolan was doing things that were really extraordinary for a person of color at that time.

After watching the genealogist waving a hand over the various spellings of Bolan's name, I felt a little bit better about the times I have very grudgingly allowed a differently-spelled name into my tree, despite all the signs pointing to the person being the right person! 

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2 hours ago, iMonrey said:

I find the episodes that are about more immediate ancestors, like great-grandparents they never knew much about, more compelling and connected to the celebrity in question.

I agree with you, but sometimes there is no compelling story to be told with an ancestor that close (or there isn't enough info to make a compelling story for television). 

For example, my 4X great grandfather was written about, especially an encounter he had with Indians as a scout in 1793 in Ohio. The story puts his life into a fuller context. With his son, my 3x GG, all I have is standard documentation -- census, birth, death, marriage records, etc. Although his life may have been as equally interesting, I haven't been able to unearth anything other than those records. For many of my ancestors, I don't have much more than names and dates. So I like the history, especially if I have ancestors who lived in the same area around the same time. It helps give some backstory to why they may have come to the US. 

I appreciated Jon's story because I found the history interesting, even though his ancestor was only a small part of it. For Laverne, it is difficult as a descendant of a slave because the records can be so hit or miss and generally don't go back much before the Civil War. The fact that they were not only able to connect Bolan to his slave owner, but that she willed him land for use during his lifetime, was an amazing discovery. 

Yes, it would be interesting to learn about more than one ancestor, but I think because of all the research that needs to be done before filming even starts, they have limit it due to time considerations/cost. 

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I imagine that knowing your ancestor was probably a slave and seeing it in print is a very sobering thing.

Here is my shallow post-Laverne’s pointed fingernails were bothering me. And also when she went to move her hair out of her eyes, but didn’t really move it or tuck it away-it just got smoothed down and it was in the exact same place.

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I grew up a couple of towns over from Saugus, MA, and the Ironworks is still open as a history museum (in the National Park system). Makes no sense to me that they'd fly Cryer's mother to Boston for the reveal but not go a half hour north to where he served his indenture. Must have been some weird reason to avoid both that AND Concord.

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Fun Fact: Jon Cryer is married to none other than Lisa Joyner, one of the hosts of Long Lost Family!  TLC’s keeping it in the family this season.

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7 hours ago, iMonrey said:

This is the mother's father's mother's mother's father's mother's father's mother (or, something indirect). The more they jump around like that, the less connected I feel the story is to the celebrity.

That is still a direct ancestor though. It is several more generations back, but your ancestors are your ancestors and BOTH their parents no matter what their gender. There is no jumping, it just goes back another generation and the number of grandparents double with every generation. Now if it was his mother's father's mother's mother's father's mother's father's BROTHER, then it would not be a direct ancestor.

I think with Cryer, they went farther back because he indicated he knew all of his great grandparents (and his mother seemed to know her great grandparents too) so they seemed to already have a much better awareness of their recent family history than most people do. When I did my mom's side of the family tree she was shocked to discover that we were English. Yet her own father actually lived with his English immigrant grandfather as a child and he never told her. It's crazy how recent history can be so easily lost in families.

Edited by Jadzia · Reason: typos
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3 hours ago, kassa said:

I grew up a couple of towns over from Saugus, MA, and the Ironworks is still open as a history museum (in the National Park system). Makes no sense to me that they'd fly Cryer's mother to Boston for the reveal but not go a half hour north to where he served his indenture. Must have been some weird reason to avoid both that AND Concord.

Didn't it look to you like they were sitting in the Union Oyster House with no one in it?  Or was it an old tavern?

33 minutes ago, Jadzia said:

I think with Cryer, they went farther back because he indicated he knew all of his great grandparents (and his mother seemed to know her great grandparents too) so they seemed to already have a much better awareness of their recent family history than most people do. When I did my mom's side of the family tree she was shocked to discover that we were English. Yet her own father actually lived with his English immigrant grandfather as a child and he never told her. It's crazy how recent history can be so easily lost in families.

 

 

7 hours ago, iMonrey said:

The problem with these kinds of stories is that it's become a pattern of the show to use a particular point in a family tree as a jumping off point for a history lesson. This episode was decidedly less about Jon Cryer's ancestor and more about the Scottish Civil War, and the ensuing indentured servitude of surviving Scots in the rebellion. Which is fine but it's not particularly personal. I mean, this isn't great-great grandpa Cryer we're talking about here. This is the mother's father's mother's mother's father's mother's father's mother (or, something indirect). The more they jump around like that, the less connected I feel the story is to the celebrity. It's like the show just went through the tree until they found something they could make a show out of.

I think because Cryer probably knows so much about his ancestry they had to pick someone in the tree whose origins weren't already traced and needed a little digging to find.  I have ancestry in Massachusetts way back to that era (I'm also a Mayflower descendant) and most of my ancestors from that time and place appear in published genealogies and there is TONS of stuff online and on Ancestry.com about them.  This man was a dead end because he came over as an indentured servant, so it was a way to make them have to do some research plus give Jon some new information he likely couldn't have found any other way.

What bothers me is that this show only goes into one tiny branch of the tree and doesn't put it in context.  I feel like they used to go into more relatives, but now focus in on one or two people and no one else.  I am pretty confident that with that many roots in early New England Jon is probably also a Mayflower descendant several times over, plus is related to many Revolutionary War heroes and even founding fathers.  If it's true in my tree and my friends' trees, it's likely true in his.  Once you find you have ancestry that far back in New England it inevitably goes back to the same relatively small group of people on some branch of your tree.  And when you go that far back you're descended from an awful lot of people!

Edited by Yeah No · Reason: Typo.
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I liked both episodes.

 

I've always liked Cryer and was glad to see he seems to be as nice as I thought he was.  I appreciate how excited he was for all the little details.  They really had some amazing finds with his family.

 

I appreciated Laverne too.  Sometimes its hard to not focus on the affected voice and particular mannerisms, but then I remember I have no idea what kind of physical issues a trans person must deal with.  I mean, she's a large person who likely isn't exactly delicate, so that change must be hard.  I really loved that Laverne's mother still clearly loves her child - I always assume most trans people have been disowned but her mom was still a mom.  I kind of expected to see the twin brother but I don't even think he was mentioned.

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21 hours ago, sempervivum said:

I like episodes like Jon Cryer's that go waaaay back and encompass another continent. Loved seeing Durham cathedral and imagining it being used as a big prisoner of war jail. I knew about indentured servitude, but always thought it was more or less voluntary- an unpleasant choice to work for next to nothing for several years, in return for passage to the new world and a chance at a fresh start. I had no idea it was something prisoners of war could be forced into (I don't think they mentioned what would happen to anyone who didn't sign the contract?) I liked seeing it turn out well for the poor guy, although I'm sure it didn't for most.

 

Guys, Saugus MA is my hometown and I actually emitted a small scream when I saw "Scots" and "indentured servitude", because I knew that they used indentured workers at  Saugus Iron Works! Which still stands, as does the Scots' House, where they all lived, also in Saugus. I kept hoping they'd go there. 

13 hours ago, kassa said:

I grew up a couple of towns over from Saugus, MA, and the Ironworks is still open as a history museum (in the National Park system). Makes no sense to me that they'd fly Cryer's mother to Boston for the reveal but not go a half hour north to where he served his indenture. Must have been some weird reason to avoid both that AND Concord.

I was curious about that too, @kassa. Saugus is a pretty nothing town with not much to recommend it. The town government is provincial and conservative. Maybe they refused to allow permits for filming? (Probably didn't want the traffic disrupted. Its that kind of town). I visited the Iron Works on countless field trips. Its pretty interesting. Fun fact: it utterly failed as a business venture, it was only open for 22 years. From the National Park Service:

"Although the Saugus Iron Works operated for about 22 years, it eventually went out of business, a victim of mismanagement, high production costs, fixed prices, and competition from imported iron. The Saugus Iron Works produced respectable quantities of bar iron, but could not return a profit to its shareholders, who finally refused to advance more capital to the failing enterprise. The company’s debts became so great that creditors brought suits to recover their loans. Court decisions caused production to decline and skilled workers to leave."

10 hours ago, Yeah No said:

Didn't it look to you like they were sitting in the Union Oyster House with no one in it?  Or was it an old tavern?

It looked like the Oyster House or the Bell in Hand. (is that even still there?) It was definitely in that neighborhood.

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That is still a direct ancestor though. It is several more generations back, but your ancestors are your ancestors and BOTH their parents no matter what their gender. There is no jumping, it just goes back another generation and the number of grandparents double with every generation. Now if it was his mother's father's mother's mother's father's mother's father's BROTHER, then it would not be a direct ancestor.

I understand that -  technically - the person they're talking about is a "direct" ancestor. However, you may notice that the show tends to obscure, or avoid showing altogether, how that connection is made. In Cryer's case, we were able to see a line of descendants that the camera panned over very quickly, and then cut to the ancestor in question. There seems to be a very deliberate avoidance of tracing a direct line from the celebrity to the ancestor when it goes back that far.  It's certainly downplayed. So it does seem like the show itself is aware that the connection is something  less than compelling in terms of immediacy and/or directness. It doesn't "feel" like it's a "direct" ancestor when you have to jump around like that, and the show seems to understand that.

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Fun Fact: Jon Cryer is married to none other than Lisa Joyner, one of the hosts of Long Lost Family!  

Ha! I did not know that!

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17 hours ago, Lovecat said:

Fun Fact: Jon Cryer is married to none other than Lisa Joyner, one of the hosts of Long Lost Family!

And Jenn Utley, who is the Ancestry.com DNA person who works with Lisa and Chris on Long Lost Family, was the person who talked to Jon about his DNA.

6 hours ago, Pepper Mostly said:

It looked like the Oyster House or the Bell in Hand.

I would expect no less from tavern names in Massachusetts!

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Oh, and I almost forgot--there was a YA novel written about the Iron Works in 1650, by Mary Stetson Clarke, who lived in Massachusetts and wrote several  historical novels that take place there. My mother gave me "The Iron Peacock" for my 12th birthday in 1966, the year it was published. If any of you are into YA or have kids that like historical novels, its a good read! 

https://www.amazon.com/Iron-Peacock-Mary-Stetson-Clarke/dp/1887840672

Edited by Pepper Mostly
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6 hours ago, Galloway Cave said:

And Jenn Utley, who is the Ancestry.com DNA person who works with Lisa and Chris on Long Lost Family, was the person who talked to Jon about his DNA.

I totally ship Jenn and Chris. And if that’s wrong, well, I don’t want to be right :)

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On 5/22/2018 at 10:22 PM, Yeah No said:

Didn't it look to you like they were sitting in the Union Oyster House with no one in it?  Or was it an old tavern?

 

I think because Cryer probably knows so much about his ancestry they had to pick someone in the tree whose origins weren't already traced and needed a little digging to find.  I have ancestry in Massachusetts way back to that era (I'm also a Mayflower descendant) and most of my ancestors from that time and place appear in published genealogies and there is TONS of stuff online and on Ancestry.com about them.  This man was a dead end because he came over as an indentured servant, so it was a way to make them have to do some research plus give Jon some new information he likely couldn't have found any other way.

What bothers me is that this show only goes into one tiny branch of the tree and doesn't put it in context.  I feel like they used to go into more relatives, but now focus in on one or two people and no one else.  I am pretty confident that with that many roots in early New England Jon is probably also a Mayflower descendant several times over, plus is related to many Revolutionary War heroes and even founding fathers.  If it's true in my tree and my friends' trees, it's likely true in his.  Once you find you have ancestry that far back in New England it inevitably goes back to the same relatively small group of people on some branch of your tree.  And when you go that far back you're descended from an awful lot of people!

Given that Jon's relatives last name was Adams and he had been in Massachusetts since the 1600's I wondered if John Adams was on Jon's family tree. I'm sure they would have mentioned it if Jon was a direct descendant of John Adams, so I assume not, but was curious to know if he was a distant cousin to John Adams.

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I was curious about if he was related to John Adams. That would have been amazing. My family is Pierce from New Hampshire. I'm hoping to discover that I'm a descendent of Franklin Pierce. My daughter is descended from 2 Kings (William the Lion of Scots and one other I can't remember) from her dad's side. She's so proud. 

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1 hour ago, Mom2twoNonna2one said:

I was curious about if he was related to John Adams. That would have been amazing. My family is Pierce from New Hampshire. I'm hoping to discover that I'm a descendent of Franklin Pierce. My daughter is descended from 2 Kings (William the Lion of Scots and one other I can't remember) from her dad's side. She's so proud. 

I'm related to the Pierces myself.  When Ancestry.com had a "find famous relatives" function several years ago I got matched as a 5th or 6th cousin of Franklin's and there are several Pierces in my tree.  I know that Barbara Bush is also related as is GW.  Her maiden name was Pierce.  Franklin's genealogy is easily found online so I hope you can find out.  It sounds like you are, though.

As for John Adams, I have several in my tree and none of them is THE John Adams, although again I think I'm a distant cousin.  This man couldn't have been given that he came over as an indentured servant and I don't think that's the case with the other Adams family.

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Just finished both episodes. Enjoyed Jon Cryer's and I didn't know about the Scottish POW's being indentured to the New World.

I quite enjoyed Laverne Cox's episode.  I've never seen Orange is the New Black so I didn't know her at all. I thought she seemed pretty natural. I know she is not a super-model, but she looks like one and moves like one, so I took her "posture" during the show to be just slightly more toned-down than other women I've seen who are very conscious of how they look. Nothing unusual or fake about it to me.

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I think for this show I have learned that the key to finding it interesting is to watch it without trying to do other things.  On first watch I wasn't into Jon Cryer's episode, because I missed key details, but on the 2nd watch (actually watching it), I found it very interesting.  lol.  I liked how it blended some European history with American history.

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One thing I found surprising about both Jon Cryer's and Laverne Cox's episodes was that both were handling ancient documents with their bare hands. Usually the guests are asked to wear gloves. At one point Jon actually had the palm of his hand resting on the opposite page of a 17th century ledger he was reading. Think of how delicate that thing must be!

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1 hour ago, iMonrey said:

One thing I found surprising about both Jon Cryer's and Laverne Cox's episodes was that both were handling ancient documents with their bare hands. Usually the guests are asked to wear gloves. At one point Jon actually had the palm of his hand resting on the opposite page of a 17th century ledger he was reading. Think of how delicate that thing must be!

They have addressed this on prior shows (or maybe I read it somewhere).  There are conflicting thoughts on this.  Some historians feel that the use of gloves makes it more difficult to manipulate (eg turn pages, pick up)  the paper and leads to rougher handling.  So they feel that people using gloves can actually damage the paper more than people using their bare hands.

Does it seem like this season is shorter than usual?  When they showed the guests in the beginning it just seemed like there were fewer than in past seasons. It made me wonder if some had been cut due to things like the "me too" movement.  I remember that happening on Finding Your Roots, but when I just went to google it all that I could find were articles on the Ben Affleck slave thing.

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I believe the reason they went so far back for Cryer is that he specifically wanted to know if he was Scottish. That was family lore but they had no real knowledge.  This particular ancestor was the one that came over from Scotland.   

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What drives me crazy is wondering why the US version has a different style of opening and way different music from every place else in the world. It actually tales me out of the show for a bit. 

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I watched the Megan Mullalley episode.  Maybe it's just me, but it seemed like she was jumping to conclusions that may or may not have been substantiated by facts.  I also was irritated by her over-the-top reactions.  Not a fan of hers, so that may be coloring my viewpoint, but it just seemed like a bit much.

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I was a tad bored with MM's episode & i think it was due to the focus just being on Elizabeth. There really wasn't any talk about others in MM's tree unless they were E's rotten husbands or kids. Usually more generations are discussed.

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As soon as Megan found out Venible was an (alleged) abolitionist and got all excited, I actually said out loud “That doesn’t necessarily make him a good person”.  Then it turns out he was a drunk and a wife beater.  Great guy.

 

In the paper committing Elizabeth to the sanitarium, you could very clearly see the words “eight children” below the line they were highlighting, but there was no mention of any kids besides the first two.  And why did they not look at any census besides 1900 to find out more about her family?

 

I missed the beginning -  was Megan descended from one of the first two Mullally boys, the ones whose father died of consumption?

Edited by Mittengirl

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Wow, the Megan Mullally episode was odd. I can't believe they spent so much time on a guy that wasn't even a blood relative. I mean, going to DC for the Civil War archive of her STEP-great-great-grandfather was a waste of time. Also it seemed like the episode had to hide a lot of key info from Megan in order to make the contrived story unfold for her in a roundabout way. They could have easily found that 1900 census record at the beginning, not sure why they had to present that at the end.

Also, what was with all the drama of "Do they move back to Macon?" I mean, she already knew the son, her great grandfather, had moved from Macon to begin with when he was a man, so it was already obvious the family was already living there.

If this was the most interesting branch on the family tree, the rest of it must have been downright snoozeworthy.

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So much time spent on Venable, who wasn't related to Megan.  I didn't really enjoy the episode, kind of boring.  Lots of drunks and abusers in her family, though.

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In the paper committing Elizabeth to the sanitarium, you could very clearly see the words “eight children” below the line they were highlighting, but there was no mention of any kids besides the first two.  And why did they not look at any census besides 1900 to find out more about her family?

They did refer to other Venable children when discussing the lawsuit she had won against the Mullaley sons over her property (she wanted the other children to have a share, basically).

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7 hours ago, Mittengirl said:

I missed the beginning -  was Megan descended from one of the first two Mullally boys, the ones whose father died of consumption?

Yes.  I believe that the younger son, the one who was one month old on the census, was the great-great grandfather who committed suicide.

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On 5/23/2018 at 9:35 AM, Pepper Mostly said:

Saugus is a pretty nothing town with not much to recommend it.

How can you say this???  What about the giant orange dinosaur?  Hilltop Steakhouse’s pen of “cattle” on their front lawn and the 30 foot tall cactus? A glazed donut from Kane’s is worth the trip to Saugus for cripes sake!

(I grew up in Melrose...hi!)

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(Waving! HI!)

Alas, the Hilltop is gone, along with all the plastic cows. The cactus will be going soon too, I don't doubt.

I do concur on Kanes' though. Best donuts anywhere.

I love Melrose, I lived there for about 6 months when I was 19, (VERY long ago!). I've lived in Salem since the 80's, which suits my unconventional soul!

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2 hours ago, ShelleySue said:

Yes.  I believe that the younger son, the one who was one month old on the census, was the great-great grandfather who committed suicide.

The younger one, Charles, yes.

I guess I'm the only one who enjoyed MM episode. I've never seen her in anything so she was a new face to me. I loved her reactions and despite this being so sad, I laughed. Sort of like you laugh at MASH through all the tragedy. Every time they handed her a document, it was a court case. You had to laugh. I'm glad that she can look back at the lousy men in her history and still have a great attitude.

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On 5/22/2018 at 10:02 PM, Lovecat said:

Fun Fact: Jon Cryer is married to none other than Lisa Joyner, one of the hosts of Long Lost Family!  TLC’s keeping it in the family this season.

She is Jon's second wife and they adopted a baby girl in 2009.   Would be interested if Lisa is going to have a search done for the child's genealogy since she has all of those resources at her disposal.

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I really liked Megan's story too, Ina123. In fact this is the kind of episode I enjoy best. I don't want history lessons about wars and specific battles in wars. I want something more personal. This was certainly not a flattering story so I thought it was generous of Megan to share it with the world. 

When it was revealed that her great great grandfather had whipped his wife when she was in the early stages of pregnancy, it did occur to me that maybe the reason he did that is because she got pregnant with another man's child. Which would mean Megan isn't really a Mullally by blood, but only in name. 

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Does it seem like this season is shorter than usual?

Six celebrities - the same number they did in Seasons 5 and 8. They did eight in Seasons 2, 4, 6 and 9 (last season) but only five in Season 7. There were twelve in Season 3 and seven in the first season. It's erratic. But yes, we're already halfway through the season.

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I found the MM episode interesting but I don't know how much I would pursue genealogy if I had results like that in my search.  It was good to be reminded of women's lack of rights and dependency on their husbands even if they were bums.  It would have been nice if a good story could have been presented along with this very depressing one.  I was also reminded of a great great aunt on my family tree who was put into a mental institution at the age of 17.  I later learned that she had epilepsy and died at the age of 27.

I also found the visit to the National Archives interesting because I am planning to do some military research later in the summer.  The downside to this episode to me was how much it stood out that they are advertising Ancestry.com and their professional experts.  So much of Megan's story could have been covered at home with the internet instead of hopping all over the country. I suppose that is true for most of these episodes.

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The thing I liked best of Jon Cryer's episode was Jon.

His demeanor, curiosity and genuine interest and empathy for his nine times great grandfather,  made the story meaningful.

The thing I didn't like was that there were huge gaps. Like James Adams marriage and did he have children. Also in Jon's ancestors that went from Maine to MA. Who were they and why did they leave MA then end up in Indiana?

Also. I decided to watch this show for the first time because of Jon/Lisa. I love Lisa and would like to see her on this show.

Edited by stormy

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3 hours ago, stormy said:

The thing I liked best of Jon Cryer's episode was Jon.

His demeanor, curiosity and genuine interest and empathy for his nine times great grandfather,  made the story meaningful.

The thing I didn't like was that there were huge gaps. Like James Adams marriage and did he have children. 

Am I not understanding? Of course James had kids.

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I felt bad for Megan Mullally (she should change it to Offerman after this).  Everyone on her tree is an alcoholic and an abuser.  It sounded like Elizabeth ended up with Alzheimers.

But I was appalled at her taste in clothing.  I'm the queen of comfy clothes but that red sweatshirt with the monkey heads?  And the sweater with the giant swan?  What was she thinking?

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