The original question asked by the family was to find out more about their great grandfather, Louis Roberts. They had always heard whispers and secret comments that he might be the son of a Tennessee governor, but they didn't know who exactly. The question asked wasn't to find out if there was any specific relation to Governor Austin Peay. Those of us who have done genealogy research as a hobby or profession know that you might be surprised as to what you find. Even those of you who have requested research on your ancestors know that sometimes there might be a surprise on the next document, maybe even a “bombshell”.
I believe I stated in an earlier blog posting that I was given a limited amount of information on the Roberts family. The goal was for me to thoroughly complete my research and easily fit the puzzle pieces together without redesigning the pieces to make them fit. At the same time I was not allowed to speak with the family or their friends. When doing research it’s helpful to speak with others in collecting some additional information, but I wasn't allowed to do that in this case. I understand why as I’m sure most of you do; the producers wanted this to be a surprise to the family. They wanted capture their honest reactions on tape when the reveal took place. In watching the show you had to opportunity to see all of the reactions from all of the reveals. I can say after speaking with Marguerita Page she was honestly surprised on a couple pieces of information given to her that day. One being as I stated earlier she wrote in asking for information on her great grandfather thinking he was related to a political figure in Tennessee. So imagine her surprise when the family member she is receiving information on isn't her great grandfather but her great grandfather’s cousin and information about his connection to the deceased Governor Austin Peay. Before that shocking unexpected reveal she also learned about some of the unflattering activities that Albert Roberts had participated in. She acknowledged some of this activities but wasn't aware of all of them.
I know many of you have questions and have requested more information on the process that brought me to that box, how I was contacted and what information was found that didn't make it on air. I will be doing my best to answer those questions over the next few blogs, I can’t answer all of them in one blog or it would be a book. Please keep in mind that I can’t answer everyone’s questions out of respect for the family, my clients. With all of that being said my next blog post will be about how I was contacted and some of the research process.
Again I look forward to hearing your comments and questions.