Thursday, November 2, 2006

Sam Champion's roots on ABC Good Morning America

The second installment about the ABC Good Morning America hosts and reporters is available on ABC's web site here. Just click on the video of the beautiful Irish scene. This segment was shown on Wednesday, 1 November, and there are two more to go.

The video itself, and the printed report, are very well done, and show the beautiful Irish countryside, describe the reasons for emigration to the USA, and shows some Irish cousins of Sam Champion, the weatherman on GMA.

The next GMA segment was today, and there will be one tomorrow also. I haven't seen these live, but seeing it on the ABC web site is almost as good!

I wish I had Irish roots so that I could visit an old homestead and pub, or find cousins there. Alas, I don't have any to my knowledge. Maybe I can find a rich client that will want to visit and I can live vicariously for a week or so on the Emerald Isle.

It's interesting to me that even though Megan Smolenyak Smolenyak (they didn't even try to say her name in this one!) had a chart showing 12 generations back for his paternal Champion line, they concentrated on Sam's mother's Irish line with the Hampston surname.

These videos are professionally done and tell the story well, and might bring more "new genealogists" interested in tracing their family history into local societies.

How can local societies attract these potential members? Only by having sufficient publicity to draw them to the society, and sufficient society programs to teach them research techniques and resources, and personal contact - assigning a mentor or shepherd to help them get started and to be a help when they get stuck. Is your local society reaching out in this way?

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