This American television series, which first premiered on NBC in 2010 now airs on TLC. In each episode, a celebrity travels to find their about their ancestral roots and genealogy. I recently caught a rerun of an episode that featured singer Kelly Clarkson.
In the episode, Clarkson begins by looking at her family tree on ancestry.com with her mother. One of the tree branches ended with her three times great grandfather, Isaiah Rose, because nothing was know beyond that point. Clarkson decided to learn as much as she could about him.
Clarkson learned that Rose was born in Ohio and fought for the Union during the Civil War, so she traveled to Ohio to do some more research. Once there, she learned that Rose was taken as a prisoner of war in Georgia during the Battle of Decatur, which was part of the Atlantic Campaign. Clarkson follows his tracks to Georgia and visits the prisoner of war camp where he was held in Andersonville, Georgia to get a sense of what the camp was like. She read documents and looked at photographs that were very shocking and moving.
She then learns that he was marked as escaped, and he probably got away while he was in transit from Andersonville to another prisoner of war camp. Around this time, Clarkson learns, Rose was wounded by a Union soldier who mistook him for a Rebel. Rose suffered a bullet wound to the leg that left him permanently disabled.
After his war experience, he moved back to Ohio, so Clarkson did as well to do some more research. She learns that he was a sheriff and a member of the state Senate. At the Ohio State House, she learns even more about his political career from newspaper articles. The episode ends with Clarkson visiting Rose’s grave and reflecting on her pride in his patriotism and his strength to not give up.
The premise of the show is very interesting, and definitely sparked a greater interest in me to find out more about my family’s history.