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AragornElessar
03-31-2012, 04:55 AM
I have been meaning to start this for a couple of weeks now, but for some reason...

Anyone else watching? We love this show and look forward to it every Friday. This week's episode IMO was the best one so far this season w/Rita Wilson learning about her Father's life before he emigrated to the US from Bulgaria and WOW!!

She found out he'd had a first wife and she had a half brother who both had sadly died not long after her Half Brother was born. He'd been drafted into the Bulgarian Army, but then discharged due to stealing some plastic bottles and his punishment for that was 3 years of what sounded like Solitary to Dad and I, and at that time Bulgaria and Nazi Germany were allies, so I leave it to your imagination just what the conditions of his imprisonment were like. Worst was to come though.

He had told them he'd been in a Labour Camp, but managed to escape and that was true. Rita was able to go to Sofia and w/the help of a researcher, was able to access her Dad's Secret File. He had been targeted by the Secret Police as someone to keep an eye on due to getting to know someone at the Turkish Embassy or Consulate and attempting to leave Bulgaria for the US and a chance at a better life. What he went through in that Labour Camp...Undescrible what human beings will do to each other. :(

However, during all of this one of the researchers she'd met w/before going to Sofia had managed to find a Half Brother of her Dad's that no one even knew existed. The reason for that being he had been in the same Labour Camp, in fact he and Rita's Dad managed to see each other for a bit before they were separated again, but he had survived the Camps. He couldn't leave the Camp w/Rita's Dad because his wife and two children were also in the Camp and the risk to them was just too great if he'd tried it. He's now in his 90's, but sharp as a tack. Once he got his arms around Rita in a huge hug, he didn't want to let her go. As the meeting between the two went on, he also had something very special to give to Rita.

Rita's Father wrote him a letter from New York describing his new life and how he hoped they were all well and in his thoughts always. Her Uncle still had it and told her how much he had hoped that someday someone from the US side of the Family would come looking for their roots in Bulgaria and they could give the letter back. W/Rita's search thanks to this show, that very thing was able to happen. :)

As I said...Love this show and I remember we've had threads for the other two seasons, so was surprised not to see one for this season. Been going to start one as I said, but w/Rita's episode tonight decided it was the time to do it.

Edie Falco is next week and looks just as incredable a story as Rita's was tonight.

Amy L
03-31-2012, 05:14 AM
I was practically bawling through Rita's episode!

As a related TV show, Finding Your Roots on PBS began last week. I'm fairly sure I'm (very distantly) related to Cory Booker through his recently discovered white great-grandfather in Louisiana!

Allskate
03-31-2012, 05:25 AM
I was practically bawling through Rita's episode!


Me too! I wonder if Rita's mother had any idea about any of the things Rita learned in Bulgaria. I'm so happy that Rita got to meet her uncle and that he got to meet her.

I love this show. I'm always amazed at the information they manage to find.

AragornElessar
03-31-2012, 05:36 AM
Did you two see Reba's episode?

When the researcher told her that all of the people in the US that have the same name as Reba's I forget how many times Great Grandfather on her Mom's side can claim descent from him, I just burst out laughing so hard I literally did fall out of my chair. :o :D When Dad asked what was so funny, and once I was able to speak again, I told him, "I just see it now...Thousands across North America bolting straight upright and going, "I'm related to Reba McEntire!?!"

:D

Martin Sheen's episode was pretty amazing too, as was Blair Underwood's.

I saw that was coming on PBS the other night, but I can't remember why we didn't watch it. What night was that again?

Amy L
03-31-2012, 05:46 AM
The PBS one is on Sundays.

Susan1
03-31-2012, 04:38 PM
That show is partly what got me going on this genealogy research (other thread). I know I'm not going to find out that any ancestors were famous or did anything great. And I can't fly to foreign countries with a camera crew and talk to people.

I was particularly interested in Martin Sheen's episode because he is from Dayton, but he didn't talk about that much. When's Rob Lowe's episode on? His family is also from Dayton - the home of famous actors, huh?

merrywidow
03-31-2012, 05:20 PM
I actually had tears in my eyes when Rita met her father's half brother. I watch both shows & have spent years doing genealogical research into my various family lines. I think I am most proud to have passed the gen. research bug on to my daughter & to a niece.

AragornElessar
03-31-2012, 09:24 PM
Not sure when Rob's is on, as they haven't been doing who's up next week until just the last couple of episodes.

That explains it then Amy. Sunday night is Amazing Race night and also the Gold Medal Game at the Women's World Curling Championships were also taking place last Sunday. Even though Canada wasn't in it, I'm a Curling *fan* and as long as the game's good, then I'll watch it. Anyway...Thanks for that and since there's no TAR tomorrow night, I'll at least be watching. The Country Music Association's awards show will be though, so not sure if my parents will watch, but I will as I've always enjoyed Dr. Gates' programs in the past. :)

skatesindreams
03-31-2012, 10:27 PM
I've been watching since the beginning of the series.
I also follow the UK (original) version.

Love all of Dr. Gates programs, as well.
I've learned so much.

lise
04-01-2012, 02:08 AM
i loved Rita's and i've been watching it since it started too!

Buzz
04-01-2012, 02:35 AM
I know this show but do not get the chance to watch too often.

victorskid
04-01-2012, 02:42 AM
I really enjoy WDYTYA and have watched all the episodes of each of the the US series. I haven't seen the original (British) series but happened to be at the Family Record Centre in London (England) when they were filming part of one episode.

====================

There were two episodes of "Finding your roots" on last Sunday - I recorded and then watched both of them. There's only one episode tomorrow but, like the others, it will include two people. One of them is Barbara Walters and the other is Geoffrey Canada.

It's a 10-part series apparently and, according to my online TV Guide, the next one will be Kevin Bacon & Kyra Sedgwick.

I believe that last week's two episodes might be repeated on some PBS stations early tomorrow morning - check your local listings.

Bailey_
04-01-2012, 05:33 PM
I too cried during Rita Wilson's episode. What a tremendous gift, to learn all that information about her father. Although, I just kept thinking to myself - I'm sure now that she has this information, she would just love to be able to ask him more... What an inspiring story of resilience, love, family, and opportunity... For him to see his daughter marry and live such a life of opportunity, wealth, travel, and success -- it must have been a dream come true for a man who came from such tragic and humble beginnings...

skatesindreams
04-01-2012, 05:43 PM
The thing that I appreciate most about these shows are the unexpected/unknown - and often wonderful - things that people discover about their families.

For example: John Lewis' incredible connection to his great-grandfather.
Rita Wilson and her unknown uncle.

Marilou
04-02-2012, 05:26 PM
I LOVE this show. For me, it is absolutely "must see" TV. Loved the espisode Friday. What Rita Wilson's father gave up to come to North America and the risks he took to have a better life were inspiring. I also loved the Helen Hunt episode, particularly her discovery of the great-grandmother who was involved in the temperance/suffragette movement.

I have been researching mine & my husband's family history for about 3 1/2 years, and the thing that brings the most excitement is discovering when a family member has played a roll, small or large, in a major historical event. Not only does it help to know your own roots, but it also provides an even greater historical understanding and perspective.