I'm so excited and thrilled with my experience in the new PBS "Genealogy Roadshow". I know I'm not the only one who feels this way. Genealogist in Tennessee and many other states who conducted the research on so many interesting families and the families themselves can't wait to share the results. It's only days away from airing, September 23rd at 8 PM on PBS, so circle that date on your calendars. I wanted to share this article with you written by one of our local reporters, David Snow, with "The Eagle Post". Thank you Mr. Snow for the interview, kind article and the time you took to write it.
Local genealogist lands on PBS
Local genealogist lands on PBS
Posted: Wednesday, September 18, 2013 12:00 am
Whether people know it or not, everybody has an interesting family history. There is something noteworthy in everyone’s historical background, and the search to discover one’s roots is as exciting as finding the secrets.
Now, imagine a group of people seeking expert help in finding out about their families’ past — something like the TV show “Antinque Roadshow,” where people bring artifacts to be appraised, but instead seeking information about themselves instead of their treasures.
That’s what you will get with “Genealogy Roadshow,” a new TV series that airs on PBS at 8 p.m. Monday. The show will feature Angela Rodesky, a professional genealogist from Clarksville who helps one person find the truth about his family tree.
Rodesky began pursuing genealogy as an hobby nine years ago while she and her husband, Lt. Col. Terry Rodesky of the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) were stationed in Germany. When they returned to the States, she turned that hobby into a profession.
“I was subcontracted through PBS to do the research on a family that happens to live here in Clarksville,” she said. “As far as being ‘on the show,’ I am on the show standing in the background as (the family) is receiving their information.”
The four-episode show is hosted by Josh Taylor, and originated as a reality show in Ireland. It will feature families from Nashville, Detroit, San Francisco and Austin, Texas, seeking their past based on a family story or heirloom.
“I was the ‘boots on the ground,’ so to speak,” Rodesky said. “I did the research for the whole family that will be airing on Sept. 23.”
Rodesky’s research began from tidbits of information provided by the family. The family that she researches thought it may be related to a well-known Tennessean, so the information led Rodesky to death records, birth certificates, newspaper clippings and a trip to a cemetery where the headstones were sinking at the site.
“I had to make sure that wherever I stepped, I didn’t fall into a grave, which was kind of an adventure in itself,” she said.
Rodesky said her research took a month to complete. Along the way, she found murder, questionable legal counsel, drugs, liquor and a letter that confirmed what the family suspected.
“Now, not only does the family have proof, but now, the whole state of Tennessee is finally going to know the truth,” she said.
In becoming a professional genealogist — her business is called ARodesky Genealogy — she finds many aspects of her work interesting.
“Learning about the different journeys that the individuals went on, how tough or easy it was for them, solving those mysteries that families always want to find out,” she said. “It seems that some of the clients I have come to me and say, ‘Oh, I know I’m related to royalty” or Jesse James. Everyone seems to want to be related to Jesse James.
“The path that you take in finding out what their life was like, and then you get to take what it is that you find and you give it to the client and you see the expression on their faces and they say, ‘That makes so much sense now why I like this or why my daughter looks like that.’ History does repeat itself. There are many aspects about it that I love doing.”
Rodesky said a lot of her clients are intimidated by what she may find in her search through their family history.
“What you find is part of the history and the past,” she said. “You might not agree with what you find that your ancestors have done, but that doesn’t make it wrong for you to want to learn about it. It’s just interesting to know where you came from and the trials and tribulations that they went through to get to where they were at and to make you who you are today.”
To contact Rodesky for genealogical research, call her at 913-702-6489 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
David Snow is the editor of The Eagle Post. Reach David at 270-887-3295 or email@example.com.
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