Dan’s mother grew up in O’Neill, Nebraska, home of the World’s Largest Shamrock, so he was aware of his Irish heritage (as if his gorgeous red-haired cousins aren’t proof enough). And my Mom has always told me that Grandpa Adair told her his people came over during the Great Irish Potato Famine. Still, neither Dan nor I have spent much time researching our family trees.
That changed on Friday night after we watched the new NBC program “Who Do You Think You Are?” This is reality TV that I get – no challenges or games or edited drama. Although the show is sponsored by Ancestry.com and its accompanying product placement, the premise is straightforward and fascinating.
The program helps celebrities use Ancestry.com and professional historians to trace their genealogies. We watched Emmitt Smith discover a relative named Mariah, a slave and mother who found a way to keep her four children together even within the slave trade in Alabama. By the time Smith visited a charity school full of children in the country of his origin (discovered through DNA swabbing) – children who would otherwise be sold into slavery today – I was completely hooked.
But that’s not all. Dan signed up for the free 14-day trial membership at Ancestry.com and guess what? My family tree traces back to Ireland pretty quickly.
Our people were the Divine’s from Dublin. How charming is that?