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"Genealogy Today", by Betty Lou Malesky, CG
From the Green Valley News, Sunday 15 September 2013, page B1

Cindy Crawford Finds Her Ancestry

Super-model Cindy Crawford appeared on Who Do You Think You Are? (WDYTYA) on Tuesday evening, August 27. I haven't paid a lot of attention to the program this season, but found this one of the best yet.

The series has been running on The Learning Channel (TLC). By the time this article appears, it will have ended. A good move this year has been the ability to watch episodes missed on Whether they will be available after the series ends is indeterminate from the website. Try viewing episodes you missed at

I feel did an excellent job with the construction of the shows this season. The Cindy Crawford show in particular was interesting, easy to follow, and entertaining at the same time. Crawford came across as a very down-to-earth, likeable person. She was enthusiastic about finding out more about her family and seemed to be taking an active part in the research.

Cindy was impressed that she is distantly connected to Earnest Hemingway. No matter who we are, it seems we are always enthusiastic about finding a connection to a famous person, but little time was given to the Hemingway link except as a step to the Trowbridge line.

Instead of trying to tell a complex story involving several ancestors, they led Cindy on the trail of her tenth great grandfather, Thomas Trowbridge, a Puritan who arrived in the Massachusetts Bay colony between 1633 and 1636 as part of the Great Migration. He was one of four children of James Trowbridge, a woolen merchant in Taunton, Somersetshire, England.

Trowbridge settled in New Haven, Connecticut. While Cindy knew her family had long attended the Congregational church, she was intrigued to learn they were Puritans. In Hartford, she learned Trowbridge was in court in 1641 for not paying taxes and other bills. In 1644 his estate was seized to pay his debts.

After that, he mysteriously disappeared and his children were put with a foster family, their mother evidently having died. Cindy discovered Thomas had remarried in Taunton, England in 1640. He served as a Captain in Cromwell's army during the English Civil War and evidently never returned to his family in the colonies.

Cindy was directed to Taunton Castle to see where Thomas Trowbridge fought. There a British historian awaited her with further details about the siege at the castle in 1644, the only holdout against King Charles by that point in the war. The Royalists prevented food from getting to the rebels who nearly starved before surrendering.

When the commercials are removed from the one-hour program we are left with about 35 minutes of actual show time. Over 1,000 hours of research had to be condensed and developed into a coherent study for the television audience. Many essential steps in the research process had to be omitted due to time constraints.

One thing that bugged me! Cindy uncovers a connection to "unbelievable royalty," a reference to her being a descendant of Charlemagne, whom they designate "the father of Europe." She found this connection to be very humbling. Last month I wrote about the discovery that all of us of European descent are descendants of Charlemagne who lived from 748 to 841. This truth has been spread across the Internet and the genealogy world so I don't know how the people at could have missed it.

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