My first research into family history began when I was assigned a heritage report project in middle school. For me, that was in the early 1980s. But, as I continue my research now and hear about how new shows like "Who do you think you are" are inspiring a new batch of genealogists, I'm left to wonder more about a miniseries that is often cited as inspiration for researchers that are my age and older. "Roots" first aired in 1977 and then received 36 Emmy nominations, of which the show won nine as well as a Golden Globe and a Peabody Award. The final episode, which originally aired on 30 January 1977, saw a record viewership and remains today the third-highest rated television program in the US of all time, according to the show's Wikipedia entry. Today, I will see for myself what all the hubbub was about, because the first disk of the 7-disk DVD set has reached the top of my Netflix queue and I'll be watching it tonight.
I'm doing the genealogical happy dance this weekend. A few months ago I wrote about the Hartwell family and their involvement in Paul Revere's famous ride. This week, I found some more documents that further link this family to the Revolutionary War. And with today being Independence Day here in the United States, it's only natural that we take another look at this family.