Tonight on PBS is the premiere of Texas Ranch House—the network's latest effort to shuttle people back to live as their ancestors lived, to learn of the challenges they faced, and to bitch and moan about the loss of modern conveniences.
At center stage will be Lisa Cooke, an "avid genealogist" from California who looked forward to adopting an 1867 persona.
I like to think of it as extreme genealogy. Some people want to rock climb. Some people want to jump out of airplanes. But for me to put on the clothing, to step onto the soil of a ranch and really live firsthand for an extended period of time the way they did. That's extreme. It's, I'm sure, every genealogist's dream and certainly mine. [Link]Frankly, my dream is to live a life free of disease, hard labor, and inconvenience—the same dream, I suppose, my ancestors had in 1867. "Extreme genealogy" for me is transcribing until my hand cramps up, or traversing a ten-acre cemetery in a single afternoon. And if I go down to my great-great-grandfather's lower pasture to fix a stone wall, it's only because a wall needs fixing.