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When Jason Sudeikis set off to uncover the fate of his grandfather, whose story was a mystery to him, he probably didn’t expect to find three generations of fatherless sons, but that’s exactly what he discovered on Who Do You Think You Are? Included was an immigrant ancestor, Sudeikis’s great-great-great-grandfather, whose story unfolded with the help of passenger lists as family members came to America to start a new life. But tragically, his life was cut short by a mine explosion – an event that reverberated through the family tree for generations. Who Do You Think You Are? is sponsored by Ancestry.com and airs Fridays at 8/7c on NBC. Missed the episode? Watch it online.
Events and decisions in a single family member’s life can have long-term effects, sometimes affecting family for countless decades. And the outcomes can be good or bad. A decision to immigrate to a new country may bring with it opportunities not available back home. The loss of a job can be the trigger that launches a small, family-run business. Learning more about the stories of family members provides insight into the people they became. It may even shed a bit of light on who we are today, too.