18 January 2007

Ancestors in the Attic - week 11

It has been several weeks since I last saw an episode of this half hour program on History Television Canada. It ran at 8:00 pm on Wednesday, to be repeated twice out of prime time for the benefit of night owls and addicts.

Did absence make my heart grow fonder? Not regarding the host's performance. Is the line between irreverence and demeaning so fine?


The family history in this episode was encouraging. The first item, on coffin ship immigration in the Irish famine era has very nice supplemental material on the web site that vividly portrays the horrors of the voyage. The second item, supposedly seeking the grave of a women from the Ottawa Valley, showed the value of land records. But it seems that the grave location was previously known; the program web log says "she wanted to know why her g4-grandmother, “Granny” Martha Gardiner West is buried in Penatanguishene." The third, the expert panel segment, was the most problematic where it claimed that a picture found at the Toronto Archives was of the person in question. Perhaps so but the images shown didn't make the point.

Overall this material made for a better web site than TV. I won't be burning any late night oil to see this episode again.