Wednesday, October 9, 2019

GenFriends: Special Guest Jennifer Utley from A New Leaf and Season 6- Day 3 of Relative Race!

Two genealogy TV shows this week had us doing double duty this week on GenFriends.
Melissa Barker and I welcomed special guest Jennifer Utley to talk about the new show from Ancestry called "A New Leaf"  This 30-minute broadcast is now part of the Saturday morning  line up of NBC's 
Jennifer explained that the concept for the show is to use everyday people and find out what inspired them to want to begin their family history journey. Historical perspective and how connecting with your past can help put things into perspective today and in the future.
This show is meant to be for a younger audience. Pop up explanations on research and events in history are shown throughout the show. It is hoped that people will be engaged, learn and become interested in discovering their own family roots.
The first episode of "A New Leaf" features a young woman named Nadia who desires to learn about her African American heritage. Her desire is to be able to choreograph a dance using the elements of the story that is uncovered.  Using DNA, building a family tree and a visit by a historian on African American dance, Nadia and her mother Stephanie are able to learn about many generations of their family.  They are able to read an ancestor's own words in a Slave Narrative and get inspiration form family photos.  Nadia is able to craft her dance for her master's project using all that she learned and felt from those who had gone before. 
There will be 11 episodes of "A New Leaf" with two additional episodes recapping the journeys and sharing how beginning their family history has affected them.

If you missed the first episode, you can watch it here.

After our interview with Jenn, we moved on to our discussion on Relative Race!
We are on Day 3 of Season 6!

Day 3 started with Team Black, J.D., and Jenn finding it difficult to get moving! Melissa and I agreed we would have been feeling the same way! It must be exhausting physically, mentally and emotionally!
Team Blue's Anitra was given copies of the photographs her cousin had shown her the night before.
Ray from Team Red was still trying to process the information he had received on Day 2 about the passing of his biological mother. Ray touched all of our hearts as he asked "Why? Why was he the one given up for adoption? Why did his biological mother keep his older brother and not him?"
It's everyone's hope for Ray that these questions are answered in a way that is healing for him on this journey.
Team Green started the day with the knowledge they had the advantage of having their relatives guide them to their home instead of using paper maps! They also received a wonderful, inspirational poster form Chris' cousin's 12-year-old daughter.

With their new destinations texted to them, it was time for each team to hit the road.
Team Black tried texting uplifting words to the other teams, but like many of us would do on a flip phone, JD was having trouble! At one point he texted the wrong team!! lol!

Goo Goo Blah Blah, was the name of the challenge each team had to get through before getting the address to their relative's home.  A series of phrases spoken by toddlers had to be deciphered. At first, it seemed it should be easy enough, especially for those with children and grandchildren. That was not the case as these toddlers were saying some crazy phrases! Closing your eyes seemed to help a bit!  Another fun game that would be perfect for a family reunion!

As the teams raced to their relative's homes, Team's Blue and Red had trouble with getting directions from locals. It seemed no one knew where the streets were!
Team Black was able to arrive without too much trouble and of course, Team Green had their relative on the phone the whole way giving them directions!

Team Black met Jenn's 1st cousin who was able to share some WWII history with her. She had a letter from a great uncle who died in the war and explained to Jenn that he had received the purple heart. Jenn discovered that her own father was in possession of the medal!

Anitra from Team Blue was able to meet another cousin on her father's side. This time she was welcomed by a first cousin who was raised by their shared grandmother! Anitra was assured that her family had wanted her and that her grandmother had tried to adopt her but for some reason, it wasn't allowed.   Anitra is moving forward and getting so many answers to her questions!

Team Green's DeShae met her Uncle David! It is most likely that one of his siblings is DeShae's biological parent, but he had no idea which it is. He explained he had been estranged from the family for several years around the time she would have been conceived.  Although he couldn't help her with the answer to her question of who was her parent, he did give her a copy-the the last copy-of the Love Family history and gave her several photos of her ancestors. As Melissa says in this GenFreinds episode, DeShae met many family members on Day 3!

For Team Red's Ray, another cousin connection gave him another new name to add to his chart. That name was his brother's name. Ray was able to see photos of his big brother and see how similar they were. Both played football and as Ray remarked when looking at his brother's football photo, they also most went to the same college and their football photos were very similar. The question of "Why" remained unanswered on Day 3.

The Skype call again was full of support and love for and by each team. This season the teams have truly bonded and are behind each other's quest to find biological family.

The winner of Day 3 receives a benefit of not having to take the selfie when reaching their relative's hometown!
And that winner was Team Black!
They came in only 3 minutes behind their allotted time!
We all thought it would be Team Greem because of their benefit in having Uncle David guide them to his home!
Unfortunately for Team Red, they received their first strike of the race.

Can't wait to see what Day 4 has in store for everyone!

Watch as Melissa Barker and I welcome Jennifer Utley to talk about "A New Leaf" and then turn the time over to Day 3 of Relative Race!

On this week's episode of Genfriends, Melissa and I talk about an interview Dan did with Extreme
Genes. Here's the link. The interview is about 11 minutes in, but take some time and listen to the whole show! It's well worth it!

Contact our panelists:
Melissa Barker-A Genealogist in the Archives
Cheri Hudson Passey-Carolina Girl Genealogy

We'd love to hear your thoughts about Day 3!
Didn't get to see it or want to watch it again?
Here's the link.  Or download the app.

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Thanks so much for stopping by!
Helping you climb your family tree,

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