This week’s episode of Who Do You Think You Are? featured actor Kelsey Grammer who strangely reminds me of my step-father. They look a lot alike but my step-father was such a terrible human being, Kelsey seems like such a warm kind man...in any case...
Kelsey's parents divorced when he was very young and his
grandmother, Evangeline, became a strong presence in his upbringing. Evangeline, like Kelsey, was not raised by her parents either. That is where Kelsey's research began; trying to answer the question why didn't Evangeline's parents raise her. As it turns out, Evangeline's father abandoned her mother resulting in her mother filing for divorce in the early 1900s.
It turned out that both of Evangeline's parents were likely alcoholics. I say likely because the mother's death from cirrhosis of the liver is not necessarily caused by alcoholism; likely but not definitely.
Upon discovery of the circumstances surrounding Evangeline's upbringing, Kelsey opened up a bit about his own struggles with addiction. The episode went on to highlight the search from Kelsey's grandmother’s parents in California back to pioneers who traveled the
Oregon Train in the 1850s which some viewers may have found most interesting but I myself loved watching Kelsey see the parallels between his own life and the lives of his ancestors. That is what I love about genealogy research for myself and for those I help with their own family history research.
Another statement Kelsey made that I just loved reflected the addictive quality of genealogy research; the gist of which was - - some blanks get filled in and new blanks open up. And so one digs further.
Next week's season finale on Wednesday, August 27 will feature actress Minnie Driver.