St Patrick’s Day Research Seminar Reprise

May your blessings outnumber

The Shamrocks that grow.

And may trouble avoid you

Wherever you go.🍀

On Wednesday, March 17th, the Family History Library hosted a free all-day seminar focused on Irish family history. Although I had other leprechauns to catch that day, I logged in at the top o’ the morning to find a pot of gold for someone beginning Irish research. The good news is that the recordings from these sessions are available for a limited time on the Family History Library Facebook page.

The day began with a keynote presentation by David E. Rencher, CGO+ who serves as the Family History Library’s director. His session was titled, “Three things I wish I’d known when I started my Irish research!” 

Spoiler Alert! Here are the three things he wished he had known:

First, the Irish enjoy the stability of surnames. Finding clusters of surnames can help a researcher focus on a specific geographic region of Ireland. If the researcher has the surnames of husband and wife to cross reference, it can leverage the power of intersection to narrow the search even more. Rencher used an example of two surnames he knew of a married couple who had children in Ireland. By using the geographic clues, he was able to narrow the search so that he found the family in the third parish. A great time saver! To be honest, it might not help with Murphys or Kellys, but check out John Grenham’s website. Enter an Irish surname and a distribution map will appear along with other information including variant spellings. This website offers a limited free surname search as well as subscription features, so check it out!

Second, early in his career Rencher was influenced by co-workers when they told him “[a]ll the records in Ireland were destroyed.” This is one of the myths in genealogy. It is true that the Public Record Office experienced a fire in 1922 that destroyed many records that would aid genealogical research, but there are records that help compensate for this record loss. 

So, what were the key record losses?

  • The 1821-1851 Irish Censuses (a few fragments for some counties survive). In 1821 Ireland began to enumerate every person in the household and took note of who had died. It is a significant loss! 
  • Two-thirds of the parish registers of the Church of Ireland
  • Original wills and administrations dating to the 1500s (fragments and copies did survive)
  • Court records prior to 1900

But, there was a massive effort to recover lost information so there are potential substitutes. Rencher briefly discussed the work of antiquarians and genealogists who made abstracts and transcriptions from the records housed in the Public Record Office before that fateful date. These files are listed on Family Search wiki, “Irish Genealogical Collections by County,” by the name of the collection (antiquarian), its repository(ies), whether or not the collection is found at the Family History Library, and the associated diocese(s).🍀

Finally, Rencher wished that he had paid attention to friends, associates, and neighbors, commonly referred to in genealogy as the FAN club. He admonished listeners to note the factors that brought their people to America. If they landed in New York and head to Kansas, there was a reason. He recommended that a researcher note all those who served as witnesses, godparents, etc, and the localities from which they came. The social circle might just hold the clue needed to advance the research.

Other sessions currently available on the Family History Library Facebook page are:

Once again, these presentations are available for a limited time. Although St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated one day each year, ancestors can be found all year long!

Good Luck!!! 🍀

© 2021 Lynn Broderick, a.k.a., the Single Leaf. All Rights Reserved.

The Story of “The Dirty Little Irish Kid” Revisited

Wishing you a pot o’ gold,
And all the joy your heart can hold.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

I first heard the story of “the dirty little Irish kid” a number of years ago. It was once again brought to my attention as this St. Patrick’s Day approached. It is a common story told locally among descendants and throughout the world by church leaders. One version goes like this:

“Many years ago an elder who served a mission [for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints] in the British Isles said at the end of his labors, “I think my mission has been a failure. I have labored all my days as a missionary here and I have only baptized one dirty little Irish kid. That is all I baptized.” Years later, after his return to his home in Montana, he had a visitor come to his home who asked, “Are you the elder who served a mission in the British Isles in 1873?” “Yes.” Then the man went on, “And do you remember having said that you thought your mission was a failure because you had only baptized one dirty little Irish kid?” He said, “Yes.” The visitor put out his hand and said, “I would like to shake hands with you. My name is Charles A. Callis, of the Council of the Twelve of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I am that dirty little Irish kid that you baptized on your mission.”

This story first caught my attention because of my connection as a descendant of Irish immigrants. I am familiar with the poverty and struggles that my ancestors had to overcome. Who is not impressed when someone is able to overcome the challenges of life? And, to do it alone, wow!

I was awed by how this young, supposedly orphaned, child was able to make such a religious commitment, immigrate to America, and rose among the ranks in church leadership. I was also disturbed from the first time I heard this story that the former missionary would profess failure or claim success based on statistics. Spiritual work is not a sales position. It’s not something that can be tallied. Spiritual work is intangible. The only measurement that would have, should have, counted is that this young boy’s life improved because of this missionary’s service. Somehow, somewhere, this missionary misunderstood. It wasn’t about him at all.

Not only that, when I finally decided I wanted to know a bit more about this Irish boy, I learned that I had it wrong. Charles Albert Callis was born on May 4, 1865 in South Dublin to English parents. This was true. But, when Charles’s father died in Dublin in 1867 at the age of 27, his widowed mother, with four children in tow, moved back to England. It was there on a Liverpool bridge that the missionaries noticed a little boy out after dark and offered to walk him home. It was at this boy’s home that they met Susannah Callis, the boy’s mother. The family was then taught, baptized,  and, shortly thereafter, immigrated to Utah. Not quite the orphan I thought, even though the definition of “orphan” is dependent on time and place. To the missionary, this single mother and her children were forgotten or discounted except for “the dirty little Irish kid”—at least the way the story is told.

By age 16, Charles worked in the coal mines of Utah twelve hours a day to help support his family. I wonder if this is where the “dirty” descriptor was acquired. According to reports, he took interest in learning and ultimately, through the support of a mentor and self-study, passed two bar exams. As an attorney and a missionary, he became a great asset to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Nephi Jensen once wrote of this “dirty little Irish kid: “C. A. Callis in many respects [is] a very remarkable man. He is one of those heroic souls who have come up from the depths…

“His personality is not striking. His appearance gives you no true idea of the caliber of the man. He is undersized and there is nothing prepossessing about his countenance. But when he commences to talk you begin to enlarge your estimation of him. His voice is soft, round, and full. There is a charm in it. You listen and soon discover that you are not in the presence of an ordinary man.

“He is a leader. He does things without being told. Nor does he stick tenaciously by the past. He is always discovering new ways of doing things. While others are waiting for opportunities to do good he is making them.”[1]

I’m still in awe of “the dirty little Irish kid” and all that Charles Albert Callis achieved in his lifetime. I just wonder about his mother’s loss and her influence upon her children, his sisters’s stories, and if, in the end, this family was happy.

From this example, are there any lessons to be gleaned about how we tell our family stories and how we listen to the stories written or told by others?

 

[1] Nephi Jensen Journal, July 1907, pp. 65–67, Archives & Manuscripts, BYU. Quoted in Richard E. Bennett, “Elder Charles A. Callis: Twentieth-Century Missionary”; accessed 16 March 2021: https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/ensign/1981/04/elder-charles-a-callis-twentieth-century-missionary?lang=eng

 

Ancestors: How did they live? Who did they love? What did they learn?

Three questions. Three questions that Steve Rockwood, CEO at FamilySearch International, asked in his closing remarks at RootsTech Connect. How did your ancestors live? Who did they love? And, what did they learn? This is the expanded vision at FamilySearch as this work continues to go forward. The organization is committed to assisting people, using its combined resources, in transforming the name of an ancestor into real person. A pinch. A dash. Voilà! The real story.

Rockwood shared that FamilySearch has helped people make connections to their ancestors for over 125 years, but he believes that this is only one-third of its mission. Past, present, and future, FamilySearch seeks to connect each person to a record and the records to each other to create one family tree. One family. He says it’s “all about stories.” 

In 2016, Rockwood compared genealogists and family historians to heart specialists. You can read about it here and here.  In this session he suggests that those involved in this work can turn, change, and heal hearts by exploring the questions in the title of this post as they pertain to our ancestors:

How did our ancestors live?

Who did our ancestors love?

What did our ancestors learn?

I might add that we ask ourselves:

How do we live?

Who do we love?

What are we learning?

We might also want to look to our posterity and ask:

How will they live?

Who will they love?

What will they learn?

Steve Rockwood went on to say, “Your real story matters. Your story deserves to be remembered. It’s your story that has lasting value.” 

Do you agree?

During RootsTech Connect I checked out the mosaic—a family portrait of attendees. When I zoomed out, I saw an artistic rendition of a world map. When I zoomed in, I saw individual portraits of friends, colleagues, and people I’ve never met. We make up the world. We each have a story. Since our stories make up our world, let’s assist one another and write some good ones, you know, ones with happy endings! 

Disclosure of Material Connection: I am designated as an official ambassador and compensated speaker at  RootsTech Connect. Nevertheless, I have been with RootsTech since its inception and with its predecessor for many years as a paid participant. As always, my coverage and opinions are my own and are not affected by my current status. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

© 2021 Lynn Broderick, a.k.a., the Single Leaf. All Rights Reserved.

RootsTech Connect Begins February 24th–25th Depending on Your Time Zone!

The RootsTech team began with one goal: to bring joy to all people. After ten years of exponential growth in the genealogical community, the team was required to cancel plans for in-person events in London and Salt Lake City due to the pandemic. But, this did not stop them.

Thanks to technology, the 4-pillar RootsTech plan became RootsTech Connect—a virtual, interactive conference with lasting opportunities. In fact, the opportunities will last for at least one full year!

This global event has local offerings with keynote speakers from around the world sharing their messages around the clock. Sports, music, theatre, and inspiration will speak from the Main Stage at RootsTech.org. All of this will begin on Wednesday, February 24th or Thursday, February 25th, depending on your time zone. If you are in Salt Lake City, this means that the festivities begin Wednesday at 5 p.m. MT with the Expo Hall preview while sessions will be launched at 9 p.m. in the same time zone. If you are in London the Expo Hall opens just as Wednesday turns into Thursday with sessions launching at 4 a.m. On Thursday in Sydney, sessions launch at 3 p.m. with the Expo Hall opening for review at 11 a.m. that same day! (See schedule below.)

If the time zones don’t confuse you just a bit, how about the fact that eleven languages will be engaged, plus additional languages for other learning opportunities. Specifics will be provided on the website when RootsTech Connect launches.

As of meetings held this week, RootsTech Connect is approaching 325,000 total registrants from almost 225 countries and territories! Approximately 90% of those registered will be attending for the first time. The good news is that there is room for more to join. If you haven’t already done so, register! (After you finish reading this post, of course!)

A sneak peek at the website indicates that all registrants will be treated to a global educational experience. There are 746 sessions and 280 vignettes with tips and tricks to assist you in accomplishing your family history goals. Not sure what to watch first? Look for the Guide Me instructions on the website.

RootsTech is all about connection. From its earliest days “unconferencing”, informal meetups to discuss aspects of genealogy, happened. The RootsTech team found a way to make it happen virtually. There will be chat rooms for each session. All you will need to do is click Connect on the session you watched to leave your question or comment. Speakers will visit chat rooms to answer questions and discuss the topic for the duration of the conference. You will be able to communicate with other attendees, exhibitors, and cousins, if you are participating in Relatives at RootsTech. These opportunities will disappear after the conference so plan your schedule accordingly.

Registration now requires that you create a FamilySearch account. If you have an account or register for an account, you will have the opportunity to create a playlist, chat with speakers, exhibitors, and other attendees, and participate in Relatives at RootsTech. For the latter opportunity, you must also upload or input your family tree. You are not required to provide a family tree to register for an account. If you’re new to genealogy, you just might not have one.

It is important to note that even if someone at RootsTech does NOT show up on your Relatives at RootsTech list, they might still be your relative. This is an opt-in system that requires a person to have a tree. Also, errors exist and not all parent-child relationships are verified, so your connection is only as accurate as that branch on the FamilySearch FamilyTree.

Regardless, always read the terms of service and other policies. Although you would be limited without an account, you will still be able to view the main stage, the sessions and the Expo Hall.

The RootsTech team began with one goal: to bring joy to all people.

Let me know how RootsTech Connect brings joy to YOU!

Wishing you all the best!

Disclosure of Material Connection: I am designated as an official ambassador and compensated speaker at  RootsTech Connect. Nevertheless, I have been with RootsTech since its inception and with its predecessor for many years as a paid participant. As always, my coverage and opinions are my own and are not affected by my current status. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

© 2021 Lynn Broderick, a.k.a., the Single Leaf. All Rights Reserved.

Finding Your Roots, Season 7, Premieres Tonight on PBS

Henry the Sleuth meets Henry Louis Gates, Jr., host of Finding Your Roots

Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates, Jr. premieres its seventh season tonight on PBS. This critically-acclaimed series will feature 20 guests in 10 episodes. These guests hail from a variety of fields, many well-known, whose family histories will be revealed in the context of historical events. PBS says, “that [the stories] illustrate the power and diversity of the human experience.”

The Finding Your Roots team uses traditional research coupled with DNA testing to structure the stories and compile them into a book of life.

The season’s schedule is as follows:

Episode 1: “To the Manor Born” with Glenn Close and John Waters

Episode 2: “Against All Odds” with Andy Cohen and Nina Totenberg

Episode 3: “No Irish Need Apply” with Jim Gaffigan and Jane Lynch

Episode 4: “The Shirts on Their Backs” with Tony Shalhoub and Christopher Meloni

Episode 5: “Write My Name in the Book of Life” with Kasi Lemmons and Pharrell Williams

Episode 6: “Country Roots” with Clint Black and Rosanne Cash

Episode 7: “The New World” with John Lithgow and Maria Hinojosa

Episode 8: “Laughing on the Inside” with Lewis Black and Roy Wood, Jr.

Episode 9: “On Broadway” with Audra McDonald and Mandy Patinkin

Episode 10: “Anchored to the Past” with Grethen Carlson and Don Lemon

This season promises to be the best one yet, so check your local listings and tune in to Finding Your Roots!

 

Copyright ©2021 Lynn Broderick and the Single Leaf. All Rights Reserved.

Secrets in Our DNA airing on NOVA

Tonight on PBS stations in the United States, Secrets in Our DNA will be airing on NOVA. The show’s promotion says,

Some 30 million people have sent their DNA to be analyzed by companies like 23andMe and AncestryDNA. But what happens once the sample is in the hands of testing companies, and how accurate are their results? NOVA explores the power of genetic data to reveal family connections, ancestry, and health risks—and even solve criminal cold cases. But alongside the benefits of these rapidly growing genetic databases are serious unintended consequences.

DNA has been such a benefit to so many in genealogy. It has also challenged families as secrets are revealed. However you view DNA, whether as a tool in your genealogy tool box, or not, I invite you to join with me in watching this episode.

 

Copyright ©2021 Lynn Broderick and the Single Leaf. All Rights Reserved.

‘Tis the Season for RootsTech 2020 Giveaways

Don’t let the photo deter you from entering… Read on! This post is friendly to all!

‘Tis the season for RootsTech 2020 4-Day Pass Giveaways and I may have one just for you! The pass retails at $299, but you can currently register for $169 using the promo code HOLIDAY. If you win a RootsTech giveaway RootsTech will reimburse you. If not, you have a discounted pass to attend this amazing conference.

The RootsTech conference is scheduled for Wednesday, February 26 to Saturday, February 29, 2020 at the Salt Palace Convention Center. This year’s theme is “The Story of You.”

As I’ve mentioned, there are three reasons I enjoy RootsTech:

  1. Keynote addresses from individuals whose life experiences and successes are varied. RootsTech has brought in speakers from the tech industry, the science community, the writer’s circle, the political realm, the entertainment industry, the sports arena, the bloggers’ sphere and, of course, the field of family history and genealogy. I have never been disappointed. This year RootsTech has announced that David Hume Kennerly, a Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer, will keynote Friday’s session. Additional announcements are forthcoming.  
  1. RootsTech offers a customized learning experience with over 300 sessions from which choose. I’ve heard in the past individuals lamenting because there were too many choices and the participants were placed with the difficult task of choosing one favored session over another. The good news is that if a session fills quickly, there is always another quality session to attend.
  1. The Expo Hall provides the greatest gathering of organizations, societies, and vendors to explore the latest in the field of family history and genealogy. There’s the Demo Theater with 15-minute presentations about some of the products on the floor. Also, new this year RootsTech will host a large enclosed classroom in the Expo Hall with scheduled in-depth sessions on some of the products and services offered by sponsors and vendors. The Discovery Zone will still offer interactive displays that provide opportunities to come to know your heritage in fun and unique ways. The Heirloom Show and Tell is back, where you can bring a small item or a photo of a larger item and have an expert tell you more about its historical significance. And, as requested by past participants, this year there will be more dedicated hours for participants to survey and engage with what is happening in the Expo Hall.   

In addition to my initial three reasons, one cannot forget that the RootsTech venue, the Salt Palace Convention Center, is within walking distance of the Family History Library. Prepare now to access some of the greatest collections on earth that will help you find your ancestors! There are about 600 reference consultants and volunteers from all over the world on hand to provide helpful assistance at no cost to you.

This 4-day pass allows entrance to the daily keynote addresses, your choice of over 300 RootsTech sessions, entry into the Expo Hall, and all of the evening events. This 4-day pass does NOT include sponsored lunches or Lunch & Learn sessions, computer labs, transportation, lodging accommodations, meals, or any other expenses that you may incur.

So, how do you enter this giveaway? Tis the season for genealogy football!

Share one of your genealogy touchdowns OR share your prediction(s) for what NFL teams will make it to the Super Bowl!  

What is a genealogy touchdown?

A genealogy touchdown—that glorious moment when research comes together and you feel like spiking the ball in celebration (a.k.a., doing the genealogy happy dance as it has been described for generations). This option is open to all interested in family history and genealogy, including those who do NOT like football, but it is void where prohibited. Football terminology is not required and entries may be of any length. 

Submit entries via my Let’s Talk Family History page. Each entry is one chance to win. Participants may submit more than one entry if the entries are submitted separately.

I ask your permission to include quotes from your entry(ies) in future posts. If your submission is used, proper attribution will be given. If you’d rather not be quoted in a future post or you would rather remain anonymous, please indicate this with your submission. The more you enter, the greater your chance to win!

As mentioned, this contest is void where prohibited. Please remember that I will not use your email address for any purpose other than to notify you if you are the winner. The contest runs from now until to Monday, December 23, 2019 at midnight MT. The winner will be notified by Monday, December 30, 2019 by email. As mentioned before, if you have already registered with RootsTech and you win, RootsTech will reimbursed you for the full amount that you’ve prepaid.

Enter today! Good Luck! Hope to see you at RootsTech 2020!

About RootsTech

RootsTech, hosted by FamilySearch, is a global conference celebrating families across generations, where people of all ages are inspired to discover and share their memories and connections. This annual event has become the largest of its kind in the world, attracting tens of thousands of participants worldwide.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I am designated as an official ambassador to the RootsTech Conference and, as such, I am provided complimentary admission and other services to accomplish my duties. Nevertheless, I have been with RootsTech since its inception and with its predecessor for many years as a paid participant. As always, my coverage and opinions are my own and are not affected by my current status. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

© 2019 Lynn Broderick, a.k.a., the Single Leaf. All Rights Reserved.

 

On This Day Of Remembrance: the Sicily-Rome American Cemetery & Memorial

The Memorial Building of the Sicily-Rome American Cemetery and Memorial

Recently while I was in Italy, I had the opportunity to visit the Sicily-Rome American Cemetery and pay my respects to the soldiers who sacrificed so much for freedom and, specifically, to free the Italian people from their fascist regime at the time. It was World War II and the Allied forces were sent through Sicily to protect Mediterranean access to the ports, break through the Gustav line, and free the city of Rome. I have a personal connection to these events. My cousin’s grandfather was one of approximately 3,000 Italian civilians killed when Allied troops bombed Rome. World War II always felt distant, but my soul wept for my cousin as he recounted the events of that day and I watched as he attempted to reconcile his feelings of personal loss as he learned that he had an American cousin. The war also became more personal to me. 

The cost of war is incalculable. As I looked upon the alignment of grave stones, I saw evidence of the American sacrifice. The Sicily-Rome American Cemetery and Memorial was dedicated on July 30, 1956. There are 7,861 burials arranged in arcs on 77 acres of land. Four hundred ninety soldiers are tombed in 488 graves whose identity remains unknown. Latin crosses number 7,738 with 122 Stars of David standing intermittently by their sides. Two Medal of Honor recipients are buried in this cemetery along with 26 sets of brothers. The cost of war is incalculable. 

“If ever proof were needed that we fought for a cause and not for conquest, it could be found in these cemeteries . Here was our only conquest: all we asked of Italy was enough of her soil in which to bury our gallant dead.”

Lt. General Mark W. Clark

The Sicily-Rome American Cemetery is located in the town of Nettuno about 38 miles south of Rome. A chapel was erected with the names of 3,095 soldiers who were still missing in action, lost or buried at sea at the time the memorial was built. If the soldier has been found, it is noted by a marker. It also has a map room. The Visitors Center is informative. Laden with artifacts, films, and interactive displays, it seeks to educate those in attendance about the role the Allied troops fulfilled in Italy during World War II.

This is not the only American cemetery on foreign lands that commemorates the service and sacrifice of members of the U.S. Armed Forces. The most noted is the Normandy American Cemetery in France. For more information about these cemeteries and where they are located, visit the American Battle Monuments Commission website at http://www.abmc.gov. 

“Time will not dim the glory of their deeds.”

 —General of the Armies John J. Pershing

World War II is only one of many wars that provides information about the times in which our ancestors lived. The records left behind can provide much context to their day-to-day lives. One essential question when researching any individual is, “Did this person serve in a war or is this person related to a person who served in a war?” If so, there is history for you to discover. One of the first places to look to learn if an ancestor served in the military is the 1910 and 1930 United States Federal Census. These censuses do not gather information about all American wars, but it’s a good place to start. 

The 1910 U.S. Federal Census can be accessed for free through familysearch.org. It is also found on ancestry.com, findmypast.com and fold3.com. The enumerator was to asked if the person was a “survivor of the Union or Confederate Army or Navy.” Abbreviated responses are recorded in column 30: “UA” = Union Army, “UN” = Union Navy, “CA” Confederate Army, and “CN” Confederate Navy. 

The 1930 U.S. Federal Census can be accessed for free through familysearch.org. It is also found on ancestry.com and fold3.com. A Civil War veteran will have the abbreviation “CW” in column 31. Other veterans will have the following abbreviations: “Sp” = Spanish-American War, “Phil” = Philippine Insurrection, “Box” = Boxer Rebellion, “Mex” = Mexican Expedition, and “WW” = World War I.

All U.S. Federal Censuses can be accessed at the National Archives and Record Administration (NARA). It is the greatest repository for information about your ancestor’s United States military service. Original records can be viewed onsite. Microfilmed records may be found in many branches located throughout the United States. Some microfilmed records can be found at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah and other repositories. Check the NARA website for more information. 

World War I and World War II draft registration cards can be found for free on familysearch.org. They are also available on ancestry.com and fold3.com. Findmypast.com only has the United States World War I draft registration cards. The cards indicate registration, but not necessarily service. Be aware that an ancestor may have filled out more than one card for World War I because there was more than one draft registration. I have found additional and helpful information on a second card.

Brothers-in-Arms by Paul Manship

Memorial Day is a day of remembrance. Let us never forget the sacrifice of those who fought that we might be free. This particular sculpture stands at the Memorial Building of the Sicily-Rome American Cemetery. It is titled, Brothers-in-Arms and was created by Paul Manship. It represents two branches of our military forces—Army and Navy. It is moving to witness this work and consider the relationships among soldiers as they fought in the trenches for a common cause. It was not a time of reflection for them. It was a time for action.

May we remember why they fought and who were the recipients of their sacrifice.

May we pass the torch responsibly to the next generation! 

 

If you need assistance in discovering your ancestors who served in the military, contact me. I’d be happy to help.

© 2019 Lynn Broderick, a.k.a., the Single Leaf. All Rights Reserved.

 

 

It’s the Relative Race Season Finale!

Relative Race has become tradition at our house. When I learned at RootsTech 2019 that the season 5 premiere was going to conflict with our own family’s 10-day journey to Italy, I had to think about it…lol :-) You probably guessed that, hands down, the plans for our Italian journey won. Nothing compares to meeting new found family or returning to see family members that have been recently discovered.

In contrast to the premiere, the Relative Race finale will air TONIGHT at 9pm ET/7pm MT on this rainy evening and our family will gather here at home. This year my son requested that the theme for dinner reflect our heritage—Zuppa Tuscano. The recipe is found at the end of this post.

Season 5 was filled with so many choice moments. From Team Red’s (Maria and Elizabeth) gratitude tour on a quest to find their biological parents to Team Blue’s (Chonta and Demetrius) desire to meet and greet Demetrius’s biological father, a box of tissues was required in large supply at times when viewing these episodes. A good cry, especially happy tears, is good for the soul. 

“Ultimately it’s all about family.” —Dan J. Debenham, host of Relative Race

Tonight Team Red and Team Blue face off in western challenges to compete for the $50,000 prize. Team Red is competitive and athletic. They came in first a number of times during the past 9 Relative Race days. Team Blue are former Marines. To say they are competitive would be an understatement. They too have come in first a couple of times. Both teams have received mystery boxes whose worth will be revealed at the end of the competition. I think the winner will come down to who had the best night’s sleep the day before the finale. Every team I have ever interviewed mentioned the demand of the 10-day schedule. [Although this season travel to the teams’ first destinations were given 2 days. Team Black had over a 17-hour allotted time to reach Davie, Florida. Exhausting!]  

Relative Race is fun and engaging. It changes lives on and off the screen. I was recently among a group of parents. When Relative Race was mentioned, I was not surprised by the show’s popularity. One set of parents shared the joy Relative Race brings into their son’s life. One Sunday night the family was visiting grandparents and returned too late to watch the show when it aired live on BYUtv. This son has autism. If you understand autism, you understand the importance of routine. Because BYUtv makes the show readily available online once it airs, the family watched the show and the boy didn’t have to miss a thing!  

Michael and Austen, Team Red, were the winners of the $50,000 prize on Season 4 of Relative Race.

Relative Race is about families and friends watching families find and connect with one another. There is something magical and meaningful about the shared experiences of Relative Race. I hope that you’ll take time to watch the season finale with your family tonight at 9pm ET/7pm MT on BYUtv or at byutv.org. If you’re reading this at a later time, no problem. BYUtv.org has you covered. You may watch all episodes from seasons 2-5 on demand. Relative Race is a great show to binge-watch on a rainy day or if you need an afternoon break from the heat of the day or any time you have a reason to chill. 

While in Italy, our family took the time to watch the Relative Race premiere, but not live TV at 2 a.m. With a cousin that asked to take a selfie, I have a feeling that he too may have seen the show. Maybe it’s time for Relative Race to go global. It’s a thought.

As summer approaches, if you’re planning such a journey, take the advice of Michael of Team Red from Season 4. He told me at RootsTech to make sure that I “pack my patience.” I did. Fortunately, I didn’t need it—at least this time around.

P.S. Here’s our recipe just in case you, too, are experiencing colder than normal and/or wet, cloudy days.) :

Zuppa Toscano

1/2 lb. Italian sausage (hot or sweet)

4 cups chicken broth

2 large potatoes washed and diced

3 cloves or 1 tsp. minced garlic

1 bunch of scallions, chopped

1-2 cups kale, chopped

1 cup of half & half or milk of any percent or just leave it out (that’s Italian!)

salt and pepper to taste

a sprinkle of red chili flakes (if you like it spicy)

  1. Fry the sausage until brown and drain off excess grease.
  2. Add chicken broth and potatoes and bring to a boil.
  3. Add garlic and scallions, boil until potatoes are soft (about 10 minutes).
  4. Add kale and boil for 5 more minutes.
  5. Add half & half, or milk, on low for another few minutes (or skip this step).
  6. Salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Add red chili flakes, if you like it spicy.

Makes about 6 cups of soup. One cup is approximately 280 calories.

 

© 2019 Lynn Broderick, a.k.a., the Single Leaf. All Rights Reserved.

Ease into the New Year with #FindingYourRoots

It’s been a hectic and joyful holiday season. As many rush to fulfill New Year resolutions, I prefer to ease into the month of January. This year I’ve been looking forward to easing into the new year with Finding Your Roots hosted by Henry Louis Gates, Jr. He’s back with Season 5 of his award-winning PBS show to introduce 25 notable guests and their genealogies over a 10-week period. Each episode has a theme and Dr. Gates will introduce each guest to their “Book of Life.” If you like stories, you’ll love this show. The reveal through the “Book of Life” demonstrates the possibilities of what a person may find when they pursue their family history. Each episode is worth watching!

The show is scheduled to air tonight at 8 p.m. ET, 7 p.m. Central and Mountain Time, but check local listings. I learned this morning that KUED, the PBS station originating from Salt Lake City, will push back its scheduled airing of this episode from 7 p.m. to approximately 7:30 p.m. to allow for the U.S. President’s prime-time address and the U.S. Democratic response, which will be covered by the PBS NewsHour.  

Episode 1 is titled, “Grandparents and Other Strangers—The Stories Encoded in Our DNA.”  It features Andy Samberg, a member of the comedy music group, Lonely Island (@thelonelyisland), and a former cast member of Saturday Night Live. It also features George R. R. Martin. Mr. Martin, (@GRRMspeaking), tweeted about this episode saying, “…I’m not the man I thought I was …” You might know his work The Game of Thrones, which was awarded the Emmy for Outstanding Drama Series in 2018.

The remaining episodes are themed as follows with their featured guests listed:

  • Episode 2: Mystery Men with Felicity Huffman and Michael K. Williams.
  • Episode 3: Reporting on Reporters—Truth Tellers with Christiane Amnapour, Ann Curry, and Lisa Ling.
  • Episode 4: Dreaming of a New Land (Between Worlds) with Marisa Tomei (Italian roots), Sheryl Sandberg (Russian roots), and Kal Penn (Indian roots).
  • Episode 5: Freedom Tales with S.Epatha Merkerson and Michael Strahan.
  • Episode 6: Roots in Politics with Paul Ryan, Tulsi Gabbard, and Marco Rubio.
  • Episode 7: No Laughing Matter with Seth Meyers, Tig Notaro, and Sarah Silverman.
  • Episode 8: Hard Times with Michael Moore, Laura Linney, and Chlöe Sevigny.
  • Episode 9: Eye of the Beholder with director Alejandro G. Iñárritu, artist Marina Abramović, and painter Kehinde Wiley.
  • Episode 10: All in the Family with Ty Burrel and Joe Madison.

The final episode will feature a summer camp for children that uses genetic genealogy. Check out Finding Your Roots: The Seedlings,filmed at Penn State University, and follow 13 youth explore their family histories. A curriculum for teachers is available to download and customize for their classrooms.

Additionally, Henry Louis Gates, Jr. gave the keynote address at RootsTech 2018. It is still available to view at your leisure.

Until next time … All the best in the New Year!

 

Disclosure of Material Connection: I am designated as an official ambassador for RootsTech and, as such, I am provided complimentary admission and other services to accomplish my duties. Nevertheless, I have been with RootsTech since its inception and with its predecessor for many years as a paid participant. As always, my coverage and opinions are my own and are not affected by my current status. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Copyright ©2019 Lynn Broderick, a.k.a., the Single Leaf. All Rights Reserved.