Tuesday, May 17, 2016

The Original 29: via the Genealogy Roadshow

I'm currently watching the season premiere of Genealogy Roadshow on PBS. What a wonderful episode, so far!!!
Josh Taylor assisted in helping a young woman of Navajo heritage, named Charlotte. She never knew her father and his family. Turns out that her paternal grandfather was one of the "Original 29", a group of native Navajo speakers who helped the US Government during WW2. The Navajo language is very complicated language and has no written alphabet and language. The US Government needed an unbreakable language to be used against the Japanese during the war. It turns out that every other language and code the government used would always be decoded and broken by the Japanese. At least until the US government hired the Navajo--the Original 29--and used their language to keep things coded. And it worked! The Japanese were never able to crack the Navajo code.
Another high point was the discovery of family photos that Charlotte got to see for the first time. They were provided by her paternal aunt, Nancy. At the end of the segment, Charlotte met her Aunt Nancy for the time.
But this is what we do as genealogists. We find the stories. And sometimes, we find relatives we did not know we had. And our world becomes a bigger place, and a more intimate place. What other hobby expands our world and makes it more intimate, at the same time??

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