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General => The Common Room => The Lighter Side => Topic started by: loopylu on Monday 10 May 10 13:37 BST (UK)

Title: WDYTYA The Reality A Letter to BBC
Post by: loopylu on Monday 10 May 10 13:37 BST (UK)
Hi All,
i am writting a letter to the producers of WDYTYA, asking for a more realistic series, as to just how hard Genealogy really is. :(
The TV series is good, but they make it look so easy.
WHAM here is your relative ;D
Bam here is your certificates  :D
OH and look you can park any where. WRONG.  >:(
They always find the Births, Deaths and census records.
oh and the passenger lists.  ::)
They don't say be prepared for the long haul and the dis sapointments. :'(
Not everyone can just jump on the nearest plane or train  8)
They don't mention all the expense, or where you can find documents. ;)

When this letter has been completed and is ready for mailing, a copy will be added here, along with any reply.

Your comments and suggestions are welcome.

just add it here.



GOOD LUCK TO YOU ALL IN YOUR SEARCH.

AND YOU CAN FIND ME IN THE CHAT ROOM

LOOPLU
Title: Re: WDYTYA The Reality A Letter to BBC
Post by: AlexLiggins on Monday 10 May 10 13:43 BST (UK)
Well done Lu. I entirely agree with your comments though I doubt if there will be any results
alex
Title: Re: WDYTYA The Reality A Letter to BBC
Post by: loopylu on Monday 10 May 10 13:43 BST (UK)
Alex, i can but try...lol
Title: Re: WDYTYA The Reality A Letter to BBC
Post by: Chelle71 on Monday 10 May 10 13:50 BST (UK)
Nice one Loopy ,

Your so right , we spend pain staking hours for our relations and come back with results is this them when theres maybe 2 of the same name in the area.

  You would of thought that a programme so viewed that it is would explain like the BBC programme Heir Hunters does as to saying where the certs are bought from and how hard it can be to get them . And also how Heir Hunters as well as asking joe public where these records can be found , torment is a terrible thing lol


Chelle
Title: Re: WDYTYA The Reality A Letter to BBC
Post by: Crisrbow on Monday 10 May 10 14:30 BST (UK)
Excellent lu - Now I think EVEYONE should put pen to paper and let the BBC know Lu isn't just a lone voice!

I certainly am writing....

Chris
Title: Re: WDYTYA The Reality A Letter to BBC
Post by: loopylu on Monday 10 May 10 14:30 BST (UK)
thanks cris
Title: Re: WDYTYA The Reality A Letter to BBC
Post by: duckweed on Monday 10 May 10 14:39 BST (UK)
Just one Problem. It is not BBC that makes the programme.
Title: Re: WDYTYA The Reality A Letter to BBC
Post by: loopylu on Monday 10 May 10 15:42 BST (UK)
ok, so i shall find out who the producers are and send my letter to them, not a big problem.


loopylu
Title: Re: WDYTYA The Reality A Letter to BBC
Post by: millymcb on Monday 10 May 10 16:34 BST (UK)
I agree with the sentiments - but on balance I have to say I would rather the precious minutes of WDYTA were filled with interesting stories and historical facts rather than information about parking problems, lengthy searches and postal delays!


Milly ;D ;D
Title: Re: WDYTYA The Reality A Letter to BBC
Post by: jobarnesmum on Monday 10 May 10 17:29 BST (UK)
Lu - excellent -- and while Milly makes a valid point I think it is important for newbies to know its not all wham! bam! thank you mam!

A one-off programme by the makers of WDYTYA and the BBC could help that loads

 ;D ;D ;D

Title: Re: WDYTYA The Reality A Letter to BBC
Post by: loopylu on Monday 10 May 10 17:30 BST (UK)
cheers for your support jo
Title: Re: WDYTYA The Reality A Letter to BBC
Post by: Siamese Girl on Monday 10 May 10 18:02 BST (UK)
The only trouble is it would be very boring if the programme was more truthful. Celebrity orders a certificate. Lots of film of celebrity waiting for the certificate to arrive. Eventually the certificate arrives. It is the wrong certificate. Celebrity's mother says she has some old family photos - two episodes are wasted as mother fails to find them although there is some interesting footage of the mother's attic. Celebrity is told that as they have no interesting ancestors who lived in East Europe but only ag labs from Lincolnshire the programme is going to be shelved ......    ;)  ;D

Carole
Title: Re: WDYTYA The Reality A Letter to BBC
Post by: Lynntony on Monday 10 May 10 18:40 BST (UK)
The thing is that we're talking about celebrities here and, as we all know, these are people who, in real life have gophers (go fors!) to do all their running about ! At the end of the programme they have all their history on a plate - with none of the satisfaction of finding anything out for themselves!
I actually feel sorry for them!( OK! Almost!) Everyone here knows the pleasure of finding that elusive relative after hours/days/weeks of searching, or finding the connection that ties up all the loose ends in a particular family branch. They don't, and probably never will. Our search is the more satisfying for it.

The bottom line is that the show is entertainment, and has set many a person on the journey back through time. The ones with no staying power will fall by the wayside - the ones that are left are in for a history lesson unlike anything they were taught at school and all the more interesting because the people they are reseaching are people they can relate to.

Maybe a voice-over at the end of the show to let viewers know that research is a long, sometimes tedious, drawn out process would help.

Tony
Title: Re: WDYTYA The Reality A Letter to BBC
Post by: Ceryswyn on Monday 10 May 10 18:49 BST (UK)
The only trouble is it would be very boring if the programme was more truthful. Celebrity orders a certificate. Lots of film of celebrity waiting for the certificate to arrive. Eventually the certificate arrives. It is the wrong certificate. Celebrity's mother says she has some old family photos - two episodes are wasted as mother fails to find them although there is some interesting footage of the mother's attic. Celebrity is told that as they have no interesting ancestors who lived in East Europe but only ag labs from Lincolnshire the programme is going to be shelved ......    ;)  ;D

Carole

They don't have to show all he waiting around, just mention it at least. A line such as "Well it took a few tries and a bit of expense to find the right one but here is my Great aunt aggies birth cert" would do the trick.
Title: Re: WDYTYA The Reality A Letter to BBC
Post by: Paul Caswell on Monday 10 May 10 19:11 BST (UK)
How about suggesting a one-off "How Did We Do Who Do You Think You Are" :) with its catchy abbreviation HDYDWDYTYA. ;)

They should film every step, each clip dated and timed and then only throw away the really boring stuff. Substitute those with ... 18 fruitless telephone calls later ... or  ... six hours later and still turning pages ... or something.

I'd love to hear about every blind alley, along with what they stumbled upon while getting there. They could explain the techniques they are using and which databases they are consulting. I'd be fascinated and I think it would be quite a hit. I'd hope all the extra detail they left out of the episode.

Paul
Title: Re: WDYTYA The Reality A Letter to BBC
Post by: Ceryswyn on Monday 10 May 10 19:36 BST (UK)
hehe that'd be awesome Paul. I love the catchy title!
Title: Re: WDYTYA The Reality A Letter to BBC
Post by: AlexLiggins on Monday 10 May 10 20:57 BST (UK)
I still think tje Beeb should have gone ahead with a Programme about Parky (Michael Parkinson) instead of branding  him as 'boring
'I'm still with you Lu.
 I seem to remember the early programmes on BBC2 explained a lot more..

Alex
Title: Re: WDYTYA The Reality A Letter to BBC
Post by: richarde1979 on Monday 10 May 10 21:03 BST (UK)
They had these complaints sent to them already and answered them in the official Who Do You Think You Are Mag, to the effect of they have to balance the need to cram everything in and entertain with the need to educate. They did show more in the first sereies, but now consider the magazine as providing  extras and background.
Title: Re: WDYTYA The Reality A Letter to BBC
Post by: Maggie1895 on Monday 10 May 10 21:10 BST (UK)
Celebrity orders a certificate. Lots of film of celebrity waiting for the certificate to arrive. Eventually the certificate arrives. It is the wrong certificate. Celebrity's mother says she has some old family photos - two episodes are wasted as mother fails to find them although there is some interesting footage of the mother's attic.
Carole

I do appreciate this is a thread with a serious point to make - and one with which I agree - but I'm afraid I'm still laughing about the reality show genealogy would make, and particularly all the shots of mother's attic.   That's exactly what they'd end up with if they ever filmed my farcical attempts to organise my family photographs...
Title: Re: WDYTYA The Reality A Letter to BBC
Post by: Plummiegirl on Monday 10 May 10 21:19 BST (UK)
One thing that I think we all miss here is often the celebrity was probably not doing any research before being approached by the production team.  And I think that some quickie research may be done prior to contact.  Then once celeb say OK I am up for that, the "team" takes over.  You will notice that many of the celebs do go home to parents & other family members for photos & sometimes stories.

Also in most programmes the usually only touch on one side of the family very briefly then the rest of the programme concentrates on the more intersting side.

I do not think we can blame the celebrities for how easy the makers of the show make genealogy look.  And although it's all paid for & when they turn up at archives etc., it is all ready for them, it does give us all an idea of what is actually being held in archives around the country (and worldwide) that can be accessed.
Title: Re: WDYTYA The Reality A Letter to BBC
Post by: jobarnesmum on Tuesday 11 May 10 08:21 BST (UK)
Plummiegirl - Knowing Loopy lu as I do I think I can say that that is Lu's point ......She isn't blaming the celebs ....she says the makers need to be aware that a lot of newbies thinks it is that easy, that is why she is suggesting a type of here is how its done ....

Paul ...that's the sort of thing Lu means.... A how its done type thing and maybe show "ordinary bods" doing their searches....

Apart from anything else even if they did assist Lu with her family - her family history is anything but boring ...I can tell you as can other in the chatterbox......

Jobarnesmum



Title: Re: WDYTYA The Reality A Letter to BBC
Post by: jobarnes on Tuesday 11 May 10 08:30 BST (UK)
Loopy Lu  :)

I think what you are doing is an excellent idea, some people think its easy but as you you my family history was originally for a school project, we had several resources and were allowed the help of one adult other than our teacher, and although my teacher knew a bit, she was surprised how difficult it was for some pupils to find their families.

Me, I was lucky - my mum was interested in what we began to find and helped me, well she still does....
What I really wanted to say was - the difference in searching between countries within Great Britian and NI needs to be explained as well. I dont think people searching only one country will realise how things differ.
i.e on Scotland's People you see the cert, on English & Welsh records you don't and .....Ireland well thats a whole other story ...


sorry to waffle on and I hope you understand what I am trying say ....

JO
Title: Re: WDYTYA The Reality A Letter to BBC
Post by: xinia on Tuesday 11 May 10 08:34 BST (UK)
Yes the Scots certs are so good.  cos they have parents names on which is great, and there is no delay in sending off and hoping, or sending off and getting wrong cert..
Brilliant.  that is if you have Scots rellies.  like me  I have oooooodles of them.. bless them.

Xin
Title: Re: WDYTYA The Reality A Letter to BBC
Post by: DudleyWinchurch on Tuesday 11 May 10 08:42 BST (UK)
Oddly, what might bring out the difficulties more than most things, and it must be about due now given the proliferation of genealogy shows, could be a really well-done "Christmas special" or similar spoof show.

Starting with a common name like John or Mary Smith and a fairly common occupation, they could research a real person (I'm sure there would be lots of volunteers and could make them a spoof celebrity).

The stacks of alternatives to wade through and the strategies required for any small step forward (or is that backward) would quickly become apparent.  And it might present an opprtunity to demonstrate how to go into the family memories and some of the more obscure databases to separate out all the possibilities that arise.
Title: Re: WDYTYA The Reality A Letter to BBC
Post by: Siamese Girl on Tuesday 11 May 10 11:05 BST (UK)
Armstrong and Miller did an excellent spoof a couple of years ago http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c65QRaR16io

Carole
Title: Re: WDYTYA The Reality A Letter to BBC
Post by: millymcb on Tuesday 11 May 10 16:49 BST (UK)
Love that sketch - but I wish I could find records for the 1921 and 1931 Census ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D

Milly
Title: Re: WDYTYA The Reality A Letter to BBC
Post by: Elie on Wednesday 12 May 10 08:39 BST (UK)
They make it seem so easy because the show is a commercial for @$!&%try, a site which I know all of you love.

Title: Re: WDYTYA The Reality A Letter to BBC
Post by: drodgers34 on Wednesday 12 May 10 09:26 BST (UK)
professional researchers just get you to your ultimate brick wall quicker
Title: Re: WDYTYA The Reality A Letter to BBC
Post by: rancegal on Wednesday 12 May 10 09:32 BST (UK)
  Thecompany that makes WDYTYA is 'Wall to Wall'. If you look at the WDYTYA website, it does have more interesting stuff about what they do. Fiona Bruce said after she had initially agreed, she heard no more until a phone call one day told her to be ready and to bring warm clothes and her passport. No other info. She said it was like being kidnapped!
       Every time there is a series we get at least one letter on the BBC board from someone who a) thinks the programme is made by the Beeb, and b) thinks we are a team of 'BBC experts' who have all FH knowledge at our finger ends and are only waiting for them to ask for it, and c) it's all free.
 Sadly, none of these things are true
Title: Re: WDYTYA The Reality A Letter to BBC
Post by: Mark1973 on Wednesday 12 May 10 13:41 BST (UK)
You have to remember this is the celebrity version of getting things done, park where you like, get what you pay for ;D
Title: Re: WDYTYA The Reality A Letter to BBC
Post by: mike175 on Wednesday 12 May 10 14:09 BST (UK)
Sadly, I think this could be a lost cause. I've become very disillusioned with all sorts of "factual" programmes because they short-circuit most of the tedious detail work in order to show the more exciting bits which will appeal to a wider audience.

We have to accept that these programmes are for entertainment, and aren't instructional videos, but there have been many notable exceptions such as the much missed Fred Dibnah with his brilliant series on our industrial heritage. There was a man who could keep you fascinated while he hammered in a rivet! . . . 8)

Mike.
Title: Re: WDYTYA The Reality A Letter to BBC
Post by: les_looking on Wednesday 12 May 10 14:57 BST (UK)
Personally i enjoy the programme AS IT IS, after watching the USA wdytya,
CONSTANTLY referring to Ancestry i for one realise how well made ours is in comparison, at the end of the day it is a tv programme and no format is going to please everyone, ie after certain "celeb's" have aired we have people saying that was boring or good or should have done this etc.

They have their own forum, magazine, dvds, software and tv programme so not sure what else they can do to point people in the right direction,
how many of us watch heir hunters and get annoyed when they constantly repeat what they have found?
I am pretty sure that at the end of the programme they give the links to online,
if they dont you only have to type in WDYTYA and it brings up so many links you will spend hours searching, and most important sooner or later you will end up at Roots and get all the help you want ;)


All about opinions, ie they supposedly shelved Parky for having a "boring" family, he hasn't been the only one and only because he made it public we knew, again who has the right to say any of our ancestors are boring but they remember have to think about viewers, i am pretty sure most of us would like to see "ordinary" people because of our experiences of doing our own history and reading on this forum about others, but is that what the viewers want?
As others have said we all watch tv and think you have got to be joking how easy they make it seem, but the reality of how they got the results would in most case make pretty tedious viewing.
Title: Re: WDYTYA The Reality A Letter to BBC
Post by: drodgers34 on Thursday 13 May 10 00:40 BST (UK)
The "Interesting ones" are falling into categories now.

Theres the slave ancestors (oh surprise surprise a slave owner too ?)
The holocaust (was it just the one or two out of 50 that survived)
The Royal connection (once you get the link theres too mich info to publish)
The disposessed scots or irish
WW1 WW2 or US civil war
Rags to riches to rags in 3 generations


Would it be OK for us to 'do' parky in rootschat ?
Title: Re: WDYTYA The Reality A Letter to BBC
Post by: Ruskie on Thursday 13 May 10 01:05 BST (UK)
The "Interesting ones" are falling into categories now.

Theres the slave ancestors (oh surprise surprise a slave owner too ?)
The holocaust (was it just the one or two out of 50 that survived)
The Royal connection (once you get the link theres too mich info to publish)
The disposessed scots or irish
WW1 WW2 or US civil war
Rags to riches to rags in 3 generations


You've really hit the nail on the head drodgers!  ;D

I'm generally fairly happy with WDYTYA. You can't really show too much of the tedious details involved in Family History research in an hour long programme, and you can't show 'experts' instructing the celebs on every single aspect of where to look, and what to search for - there would be so much repetition if every week each celeb was shown how to search Ancestry for example. That would get so monotonous.

Although I either don't know, don't like or don't care about many of the celebs, I still find their stories interesting and there's something satisfying about seeing them with their usually very ordinary parents and families.

I do agree though, that the odd less interesting story such as one of ag labs, would make a pleasant change. (Or anything that isn't on drodgers list.  ;))
Title: Re: WDYTYA The Reality A Letter to BBC
Post by: Canterburynorth on Thursday 13 May 10 05:14 BST (UK)
drodgers I think its a great idea to do 'parky' on RC.

I am a big fan of WDYTYA UK and Australian versions, I think they are fine as they are , its was watching a programme that got me interested in family history, and I never expected it to be easy just from watching it, I am so glad I saw that show as I now have the best hobby in the world! Even the boring bits are exciting to me :D
Title: Re: WDYTYA The Reality A Letter to BBC
Post by: Jean McGurn on Thursday 13 May 10 15:23 BST (UK)
Many years ago Gordon Honeycombe who was a newsreader on ITV researched his own ancestry. ITV filmed his efforts - think it was a series of 6 half hour programmes.

This was the days before the Internet so was quite interesting. It showed him going to the record offices and eventually going to the Channel Islands where he had found his ancestors had lived and died.

Gordon alsowrote a book with photo's of his travels plus how he proceeded and where to go, which I got out of my local library and found it so fascinating it started me off of doing my village history.

From what I remember it was Gordon who initiated the research and not ITV. He wanted to find out more about his name and where it came from. Think it was only filmed because of who he was.

Jean

Title: Re: WDYTYA The Reality A Letter to BBC
Post by: Ruskie on Thursday 13 May 10 23:38 BST (UK)
Many years ago Gordon Honeycombe who was a newsreader on ITV researched his own ancestry. ITV filmed his efforts - think it was a series of 6 half hour programmes.

This was the days before the Internet so was quite interesting. It showed him going to the record offices and eventually going to the Channel Islands where he had found his ancestors had lived and died.

Gordon alsowrote a book with photo's of his travels plus how he proceeded and where to go, which I got out of my local library and found it so fascinating it started me off of doing my village history.

From what I remember it was Gordon who initiated the research and not ITV. He wanted to find out more about his name and where it came from. Think it was only filmed because of who he was.

Jean



Well that's a great idea for a programme which woudl still work today. The celebs would have to be genuinely interested, so most of their own leg work, and of course it can be edited to fit into X number of programmes. Of course they need not be people in the public eye, but it'd pull in a larger audience if they were.  ;)

I'd watch that!
Title: Re: WDYTYA The Reality A Letter to BBC
Post by: Sarndra on Friday 14 May 10 23:40 BST (UK)
Hi All,
i am writting a letter to the producers of WDYTYA, asking for a more realistic series, as to just how hard Genealogy really is. :(
The TV series is good, but they make it look so easy.
WHAM here is your relative ;D
Bam here is your certificates  :D
OH and look you can park any where. WRONG.  >:(
They always find the Births, Deaths and census records.
oh and the passenger lists.  ::)
They don't say be prepared for the long haul and the dis sapointments. :'(
Not everyone can just jump on the nearest plane or train  8)
They don't mention all the expense, or where you can find documents. ;)

When this letter has been completed and is ready for mailing, a copy will be added here, along with any reply.



Unfortunately that's what you get with reality tv.  This doesn't just affect WDYTYA...but also programmes like Time Team....i know archaeologists...there's a lot of hard slog to get even one iota of evidence at times... in a lot worse conditions.  These things are planned and edited to pieces... it's the nature of the beast, but yes i do agree, it gives a skewed image of the true work in researching our family.

Cheers
Sarndra
Title: Re: WDYTYA The Reality A Letter to BBC
Post by: FraserandFraser on Tuesday 29 June 10 17:43 BST (UK)
Fraser's offered to do a WDYTYA program with a member of the public possibly as a prize, but never received a response. We wanted to make it in the Heir Hunters style and show just how hard some research can be, but also how quick we could do it with all the tools. The BBC still has to be very careful when dealing with prizes though, dont want to be following a BBC staff members family people may find out.

For your info as well some Heir hunters are to be repeated in the summer in fact quite a lot may be as much as 8 weeks worth of series 2 and 3, in the 9.15am slot on BBC1, I am told.

We are filming series 5 at the moment but they are not due to be shown until Christmas, but if any one has any stories please just drop me an email.

Neil

Title: Re: WDYTYA The Reality A Letter to BBC
Post by: Deb D on Wednesday 30 June 10 02:12 BST (UK)
Oh nooooooo!  Neil, ... didn't hear about that, down here in Oz!  Would definitely have entered!
Title: Re: WDYTYA The Reality A Letter to BBC
Post by: drodgers34 on Wednesday 30 June 10 03:08 BST (UK)
Perhaps a way to get closer would be to have a 30m program after an episode entitled "Making WDYTYA" They still feature the celebrity but show some of the nitty gritty stuff

That way they could touch on some of the issues

- Professional v amateur research
- Decision process on which ancestors to study in detail
- Some of the areas to look for particular subject matter

They do it well with Dr Who - could be be a subject ?
Title: Re: WDYTYA The Reality A Letter to BBC
Post by: Ruskie on Wednesday 30 June 10 04:11 BST (UK)
Perhaps a way to get closer would be to have a 30m program after an episode entitled "Making WDYTYA" They still feature the celebrity but show some of the nitty gritty stuff

That way they could touch on some of the issues

- Professional v amateur research
- Decision process on which ancestors to study in detail
- Some of the areas to look for particular subject matter

They do it well with Dr Who - could be be a subject ?

This is a fabulous idea, and should have even wider appeal than the programme alone.  ;D
Title: Re: WDYTYA The Reality A Letter to BBC
Post by: jksdelver on Wednesday 30 June 10 11:37 BST (UK)
I agree entirely. Her in doors recorded one on TV the other day and that archivist actually took the burial register out of the record office. She was showing the celebrity where a relative lived and died and then produced the register to show where she was buried in the PC up the road
Title: Re: WDYTYA The Reality A Letter to BBC
Post by: Plummiegirl on Wednesday 30 June 10 12:09 BST (UK)
DRODGER

Dr. Who - Confidential
Torchwood - Declassified
WDYTYA - Reality/Tracked/Explored and a myriad of others
Title: Re: WDYTYA The Reality A Letter to BBC
Post by: millymcb on Wednesday 30 June 10 21:24 BST (UK)
When it first started they did do an extra programme (on the red button bit) with Nick Barratt. But they say they don't need to do it anymore as all the information is on their website and in the magazine.  I'd lstill ove to see a proper behind the scenes programme on BBC3.

Milly
Title: Re: WDYTYA The Reality A Letter to BBC
Post by: LizzieW on Saturday 10 July 10 01:41 BST (UK)
At least it's better than the American version.  What a load of twaddle that is.  Back to 1700 at the click of the fingers - and always related to rich and famous or royalty.  When they find someone normal, they just abandon that part of the family
Title: Re: WDYTYA The Reality A Letter to BBC
Post by: Plummiegirl on Saturday 10 July 10 10:41 BST (UK)
The US programmes do make it look easy,  but what we must remember is that if a celeb in the US is found to be a descendant of one of the early settlers, the records for this time are very comprehensive, so that can make their search look far easier.

I must say that I found Brooke Shields to be far more real in her reactions to what was found and less gushing like SJP.
Title: Re: WDYTYA The Reality A Letter to BBC
Post by: LizzieW on Saturday 10 July 10 12:06 BST (UK)
I agree records of the settlers are easy to find, but Brooke Shields didn't appear to be a descendant of early settlers.  She wanted to know about her maternal grandmother, but all she found out was that her grandmother's parents were probably German (but that wasn't taken any further) and the reason she was unpleasant later on in life was because her parents had died and she must have had to look after a younger brother who then drowned. 

After that they switched rapidly to her Italian father's side of the family, where of course they found she was related to rich European bankers.  Having rushed through that and back to the 1700s or thereabouts, they then just as quickly switched to another side of the family and surprise, surprise, found she was related to English and European royalty.
Title: Re: WDYTYA The Reality A Letter to BBC
Post by: deeiluka on Saturday 10 July 10 12:45 BST (UK)
I thought it might just be of interest to some of you to read the comments of one of the researchers involved with making the Australian series of WDYTYA. Some of us on the Australian board were commenting about the first series, when Stoodly found our comments and joined Rootschat so that she could contribute. Again, she joined in when the second series was broadcast.

Many of the comments you have been making on here were also made on those threads.

Anyway....just for interest....here's what Diana (Stoodly) had to say at one stage.......

http://www.rootschat.com/forum/index.php/topic,409372.225.html message #227


Dee    :)

Title: Re: WDYTYA The Reality A Letter to BBC
Post by: LizzieW on Saturday 10 July 10 15:39 BST (UK)
I note that one comment Diana Stoodly made was:

Quote
After Series 1 of WDYTYA? in the UK the BBC did broadcast a programme which involved "ordinary" folk with extraordinary family mysteries to solve. I hasten to add that I haven't seen it but it bombed in the ratings and wasn't repeated. Like it or not television, even SBS, is all about ratings. If enough folk aren't tuning in, it just won't be broadcast again.

Perhaps the reason it "bombed" in the ratings was because it was put out on BBC4, rather than BBC1. ::) ::)
Title: Re: WDYTYA The Reality A Letter to BBC
Post by: jobarnesmum on Monday 12 July 10 14:06 BST (UK)
maybe it should be re- shown they repeat everything else !!!
Title: Re: WDYTYA The Reality A Letter to BBC
Post by: rnewfie on Tuesday 13 July 10 01:08 BST (UK)
Pardon me for stating the b******* obvious, but this is nothing to do with reality, this is a TV programme.
The only reason they are made is for entertainment value.
We all sit there and think, "If only it were that simple", but literally, every second counts on TV.
I personally, find that I always watch these programs. Susan Sarandon was on today and was quite interesting, despite the fact that the nearest she got to a king or queen in her past was that her grand-mother knew Frank Sinatra.
I wouldn't bother writing to the BBC, or whoever produces these programs, because they will continue to be made, because millions of people watch them and that is the b all and end all of it. If people complain about the fact that they are not very realistic, then they may not produce them in the future, which would be a shame.

WDYTYA --> WYSIWYG
Title: Re: WDYTYA The Reality A Letter to BBC
Post by: sue 1950 on Wednesday 21 July 10 17:23 BST (UK)
Sorry for butting in, but the shows are only about one hour long, they have to get as much info down to make the show interesting, agree in real life it isn't so quick.
Title: Re: WDYTYA The Reality A Letter to BBC
Post by: millymcb on Wednesday 21 July 10 17:35 BST (UK)
I agree with that and I would probably get annoyed if they wasted time telling me all the details - but this week's one on Bruce Forsythe really made me laugh.  ;D ;D

SPOILER - DON'T READ ANY MORE IF YOU DON'T WANT TO KNOW WHAT HAPPENS!




They found a passenger list for his grandfather accompanied by a woman, Fanny who was listed as his wife  (He was already married to Bruce's grandmother at the time and they found no divorce and remarriage so she wasn't really his wife).  But she was using his surname. 

So all they had to go on was that Joseph was saying he had married someone called Fanny ?  and the age she gave on the passenger list.

They probably did have the right couple (although they didn't show any cross-checking to prove it)... but then the voice over said something like... "and further research told us that her name was Fanny Something (can't remember the name).  She was born in X in X year in X place, and worked as a milliner in a shop which is where he probably met her."

Now that is some extrapolition from the name "Fanny"!!!!!

So from then on, he is looking for a marriage and children of Joseph to this Fanny X.  And when he finds the children he says - yes that is Fanny, with the right name. 

Now presumably they had already found the births of these children and therefor discovered her maiden name- but it is a bit back to front to give him that name first and then let him use it to track down the births.

Encourages very bad practice tut tut ::)

Milly
Title: Re: WDYTYA The Reality A Letter to BBC
Post by: coombs on Wednesday 21 July 10 17:37 BST (UK)
I can say this now passenger lists are NOT to be relied on. Many are faded and incoming ones from 1890 onwards are not reliable. Many list just surnames of the passengers and some may not have survived.

WDYTYA has lost its appeal a lot.
Title: Re: WDYTYA The Reality A Letter to BBC
Post by: millymcb on Wednesday 21 July 10 18:07 BST (UK)
It came right in the end when they gathered the facts of his later life - but it really made me laugh when they just came up with such a huge leap :o ;D

milly
Title: Re: WDYTYA The Reality A Letter to BBC
Post by: coombs on Wednesday 21 July 10 18:35 BST (UK)
Johnson is a common name and I had to think at the time when they found a Joseph F Johnson on the 1885 passenger lists aged 56, a gardener travelling with a Fanny, that they had the right passenger list entry. Sorry but to me that is not quite enough evidence to prove it is him alone. For all they knew she could have been a daughter. There must have been a few Joseph Johnson's who were gardeners.

They must have had another piece of evidence to prove that was the right one on the list but they never mentioned it.
Title: Re: WDYTYA The Reality A Letter to BBC
Post by: DudleyWinchurch on Wednesday 21 July 10 19:00 BST (UK)
Missed the programme and just watched it today on IPlayer (using that for the first time).

I disagree with the "too great a leap" thing and think that they showed him doing exactly the right thing.

It began because someone on the other side of the Atlantic suggested that their Joseph F Johnson was his Joseph Forsyth Johnson.  The evidence seemed unlikely so he followed it up to see how much there was and how it fitted together.  He treated each peice with the right amount of scepticism.  He questioned each piece and phrased it carefully as possibilities and not certainties untill he had unravelled it all.  Finally, he had various examples of Jos./Joseph (F/orsyth) Johnson travelling to and fro at the right times, lots of other pieces of evidence from certificates and newspapers and calling cards to show that the person to be found under that name, whenever he could be found was not just a common "gardener" but a major landscape gardener who had carried out major projects that were well documented, sometimes with reference linking to the previous ones.  There was also evidence like the calling card that recorded many of the place names grouped together to show that it was all the same person and linked evidence of the two separate families.

On the basis of all this separate evidence, Bruce finally concluded that yes, it was not just a rumour, but clearly the same person and that these were indeed his relatives.  He then went on to follow up what happened to him and find his final resting place.

In my opinion, it was a great piece of research, using not just the obvious sources and jumping to what would be a dramatic but not necessarily accurate conclusion, but cross-checking with all sorts of other comtemporary evidence to find an interesting but uncomfortable story about someone not very distant from himself and his immediate relatives.

This is the real "meat on the bones" that makes family history so fascinating.
Title: Re: WDYTYA The Reality A Letter to BBC
Post by: millymcb on Wednesday 21 July 10 23:50 BST (UK)
My point about the "leap" was not about the rest of the programme... as I said - it all pieced together in the end ...BUT..
My problem was in the huge leap of logic from "Here is a wife called Fanny" to "here is her maiden name, year and place of birth, occupation and how she met him"...all in the space of 3 seconds with absolutely NO sign of any research whatsoever... PLUS the added error of using information they found later to tell Brucie the maiden name which he then used to verify the later information - which was where they presumably got the maiden name from in the first place. .

All the following information was very well researched and all pieced together very well to tell the story of the Joseph Johnson who went to New York on the boat with Fanny - and yes they did research it thoroughly and cross checked it all and had lots of evidence....

BUT ... (as coombs says) I too would have liked a little bit more proof that he was the original Joseph Forsythe Johnson who had left his wife and run away! Hopefully they did have more evidence but just did not tell us ... otherwise it could have been a very well researched piece of family history about someone completely random.

Normally I don't get bothered by omissions on this programme, I just presume they have done the research but could not fit it in - but in this particular instance I think they missed out telling us about something important. And at the end of the programme I think that they probably did have all the right people - but had not shown me enough proof of the pivotal event for me to be 100% sure. 

I may watch it again on iplayer (good isn't it?) - as I can't remember anything concrete which linked the Gardener in Georgia with the one from England directly...  as neither family knew about the other I can't imagine what they might have had.

Milly
Title: Re: WDYTYA The Reality A Letter to BBC
Post by: coombs on Thursday 22 July 10 13:29 BST (UK)
Also in the past some of the celebs have been surprised at things that happened a lot in genealogy. Babs Windsor found she had a bit of Irish ancestors in her who settled in London then she found her paternal line originated in Suffolk and she was surprised as to why a Suffolk man would be in London. Babs, in the 1800s London was full of Norfolk and Suffolk people. Many Londoners claim Norfolk and Suffolk and Essex blood plus other areas of the UK.

My ancestor is on the 1900 US census. He says he arrived in America about 1887. I then found the passenger list in 1886 of someone with the right name and travelling with a daughter whose name and age matched that of my ancestors youngest daughter. The surname Musgrave is a lot less common than Johnson. I then found that a Margaret Musgrave married a Thomas Prosser in the right area of America in 1889 and the 1900 census says she was born in March 1871 in England and arrived in 1887. With that I think I can conclude that I have the right passenger list entry thanks to info given on the 1900 census and ages matching but with a commoner surname I'd want a bit more proof.
Title: Re: WDYTYA The Reality A Letter to BBC
Post by: Nick29 on Sunday 25 July 10 09:11 BST (UK)
I would think that doing American genealogy would be quite difficult, because for a long time there appeared to be no uniform way of doing things.   I have family that emigrated to the US (some were indeed early settlers), and the amount that I've been able to find has really been pot luck, dependent on where they came from, and where they settled.  I think in the UK we take a lot for granted when it comes to historical documents.