Who Do You Think You Are? aired Friday night with celebrity Gwyneth Paltrow. Oscar-winner Paltrow is the daughter of actress Blythe Danner and producer Bruce Paltrow and recently appeared on the genealogy TV program.
Starting with old photos of her great grandmother, Paltrow began her search at the New York Public Library where she learned that her maternal grandmother, Ida Danner, wasn’t born in Barbados as the family thought. However, by searching through census records she learned that Ida’s parents were from the West Indies. Determined to learn more about the family’s connection to this island nation, Paltrow travelled to Barbados where she found additional information about her great grandmother Rosamond Stout, and why she left that country at age 18.
Turning to her father’s side, Paltrow then sought information about her paternal grandfather Buster, and his somewhat harsh upbringing. From census records, school records, death certificates, and other records, she was able to piece together the challenging circumstances that led to these conditions. Tracing further back, Paltrow also learned that one of her ancestors, Tzvi Hirsch, was a rabbi and a master of Kabbalah, which she also practices.
See sharing family history with WDYTYA for ideas on getting started on your own genealogy.