Wednesday, August 28, 2013

WDYTYA Cindy Crawford reflections

I just watched the latest episode of Who Do You Think You Are with Cindy Crawford (I currently don't have a TV, so I watch it on the TLC website on Wednesday nights after work).

I had been looking forward to seeing this particular episode, but found it frankly a bit disappointing. 

Cindy was researching her 10th great-grandfather Thomas TROWBRIDGE (do you seriously have to go all the way back to 10th great-grandparents before you find anyone somewhat interesting?), and at first got excited because I thought it might relate to New England genealogy.

It really didn't, however. Cindy's grandfather returned to England after bringing his family here and fought on the Parliamentary side in the English Civil War, in which he served as a colonel whose mission was the defense of the anti-Royalist stronghold of Taunton. 

I've really gotten into English history, so this part was neat. I also pretty recently discovered that I have a 10th great-grandfather, Sir Thomas Scriven, who fought in the Civil War on the Royalist side.

Then various genealogist trace Cindy's Trowbridge line back to early European royalty, and to... GASP!... Charlemagne. 

Maybe I'm jaded because I've been researching genealogy for so long, but Charlemagne had 20 children; probably most people with western European ancestry descend from him (e.g., me). It's not that it's not a neat thing to be able to say, "Charlemagne was my 33rd great-grandfather", but having royal/noble/aristocratic descent is not that unusual. If you're of English descent and you go back far enough, you are likely to eventually come across dukes, earls, and even royals.

A majority of people of predominantly English ancestry descend from King Edward III (again, yours truly included).

For me in general, the further back ancestors are, the less interest I have in them unless they were especially interesting or prominent. 

I would have preferred that a New England branch of her tree be explored, in addition to the research on Thomas Trowbridge, instead of "King Bernard of Italy was your 39th great-grandfather!"