Interesting episode. Quite a bit of variety in the stories, even though all the guests were second or third generation Americans.
I was a little confused about Sanjay's story though. At the start of the show, Skippy said that Indian geneology is verbally handed down, yet they were able to find the rolled books that went back hundreds of years.
Oh! Oh! (raises hand) I think I know that one. Someone correct me if I'm mistaken but, they did that in the British "Who Do You Think You Are" series also. It has to do with a religion. I don't honestly remember for sure so I'll not get more specific, except that it has to do with a pilgrimage, and when the males make it, their names were recorded on those scrolls. That is why the keepers of the records were called priests. Hope I got that right.
I felt like I understood a bit more about Martha, who comes across as a very tough cookie, in hearing more about her father. I mean, I had heard some things a while back, about how strict he was with her, even kicking her in the backside supposedly. If he was being that mistreated in his own life it begins to make a type of sense. Back in the 1970s, "polack jokes" were very very common. (I think Archie Bunker uses those insults on All in the Family
, too.) I remember joke books of nothing but that, and all the jokes that were always crass and in bad taste. I never, ever understood why. But it was a major meme in the seventies. Then it just seemed to vanish as quickly as it arrived. Thank heavens. (My first stepfather even called me 'the little polack', and I'd think, puzzled, 'I'm not Polish.' In fact there were no Slavic surnames in our town.) But back then it was a real slur, which was his only aim. So I can imagine someone who was actually
Polish and had a Polish-sounding surname during that time would've just been reamed
at work, school, home, everywhere. I don't know why it never occurred to me before that maybe that had been something Martha's family was subjected to. I've gone into detail just to illustrate how bad it must've been for her father and how constant, and how mystifying (the jokes implied they were stupid, mostly) and frustrating and how it might've driven him to react once he got home. I even remember 'comedians' telling 'jokes' like that on various mainstream television shows.
I love Margaret/Moran's parents. She's had them in her specials before, and of course, a lot of her act is riffing on her mom and her childhood. Margaret seemed a little subdued or something. I wanted that specialist researcher to be allowed to talk more in detail about what she found. She mentioned that Margaret had one really interesting ancestor who did a lot of things but we never heard what those things were. I wanted more from that story.
Sanjay Gupta seemed very touched by what had been found. I was really happy for him.
The Salt Lake City genealogy center had me in awe. So vast, so organized, so clean. I so want to go, even just once.