Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Watching Find My Past Television episodes

I received an email on Monday fromElizabeth at (I am a subscriber) that said:

"I wanted to let you know you that Find My Past, the hit UK television show, is now available to view via Find My Past, now entering its second season, links living individuals to real historical events found in their family tree and now is the only place in the US where you can watch the show!

"Register on for free and watch Find My Past episodes that aired in the last 30 days at no cost. Missed an episode or want to watch your favorites again? Findmypast subscribers can watch all episodes for an unlimited time. Every episode will be available to watch on a week after it airs.

"Find My Past the TV show is an exciting series which unites ordinary members of the public with their ancestors. Each week in the new 10-part series, we reveal how three people are related to someone from a significant historical event by searching the ancestry records on findmypast. We follow their journey as each person discovers which of their ancestors played a role in modern history.

"At the end of every episode, we unite the participants and reveal how each person's family history is connected to monumental world history– such as the sinking of the Titanic, the WWI Christmas Truce, and the Great Fire of London. Hosted by Chris Hollins of BBC Breakfast, Watchdog and winner of Strictly Come Dancing 2009, the hit UK Television series is now available for the first time to watch online, exclusive to findmypast registered users. The remaining five episodes will be shown after Christmas." 

That sounded interesting, and since the U.S. version of Who Do You Think You Are? was cancelled, I feel deserted by genealogy why not watch a show or two?  After all, I paid for a FindMyPast subscription so I should get my money's worth!

If you are not a subscriber to already, you will need to register (for free) to watch the recent television show episodes. 

The home page for looks like this (two screens):

In the middle of the second screen above is the link to the television show episodes - with a "Watch now" button.  I clicked on it and saw:

There were ten episodes in Series One of the Find My Past shows, and there are currently seven episodes in Series Two (this year).  With a free registration, you should be able to watch the more recent ones in Series Two.  With a subscription, you can watch any of them.

I chose to watch Episode two in Series One - the Titanic:

I watched this in full screen mode on my computer last night - it's 45 minutes with only a few short interruptions for advertising Find My Past.  

It was apparent to me that the show did the genealogical research before hand - picking persons on the Titanic who survived and had their story told, and then they did research in order to find relatives/descendants who were asked to be on the television episode, and then told the story of their relative/ancestor.  When they presented the research to the relative/descendant, they did it as a researcher would - working back in time, showing an ancestral chart, then surprising them with the news about their relative/ancestor on the Titanic, etc.  It was interesting to see the records found in the search, but the fascinating thing for me was seeing the newspaper stories found telling the stories of the survivors.  Many were from the New York Times, and can be found in their archives today.

Watching this television episode was great fun - I got my genealogy TV fix - and I learned a lot.  They used film footage from sailing on one of the sister ships to provide vintage context.  Now I'm wondering where they obtained the pictures of the Titanic as it was sinking.  Perhaps from the film?  

I will try to watch an episode a week just to take a break from my research and normal activities.  

Thank you to FindMyPast for providing these television episodes for their subscribers who are not in the U.K. 

Copyright (c) 2013, Randall J. Seaver

1 comment:

Dave Lucey said...

This is great Randy, thanks for sharing. I miss WDYTYA, this will help!