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NBC just announced a new show called Who Do You Think You Are – a show that will trace the ancestries of celebrities, promising to find certain unusual connections and “revealing previously unknown stories about their ancestors.”

Finally, a show for me. I’m all for genealogical research. It’s the core theme in my first novel. I used my own family history curiosity to guide my novel. (And see how clever I am since Janeology rhymes with genealogy.)

But celebrities again?

I wonder how entertaining this show will be in the long run. Will it find anything more shocking as learning last year that George W. Bush is a distant cousin of Al Gore? Or that Strom Thurmond’s ancestors once owned some of Al Sharpton’s ancestors?

I guess finding out something nefarious about one’s great-grandfather is more interesting than learning he was baker. If you wanted to do your own version of Who Do You Think You Are, there is a whole website devoted to finding that black sheep in your family – www.blacksheepancestors.com The site will help you search through criminal and asylum records in search of your long lost murderous progenitor. Imagine the cock-tail party conversations you could have”

“So, what’s new?”
“Actually, I just found out I’m descended from Attila the Hun?”
“Really?”
“I always suspected it.”
“Why is that?”
“I used to cut in line in Middle School and I’ve always preferred off the shoulder outfits.”

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