Watching "Friends" actress Lisa Kudrow learn her great-grandmother
had been beaten and set on fire was a turning point for Rebecca
"I can't even begin to imagine the pain of finding something like that out," she said.
But the recent episode of NBC's "Who Do You Think You Are?" also spurred McGinnis' desire to delve into her family's past.
"I hope to find truly interesting and unique stories in researching
my family tree," said the daughter of the late Beatrice Dowden, a
Hopedale native born in 1930, and the late Lt. Col. William McGinnis,
who grew up in Milford. "I think it will also be interesting to find
The TV reality show that traces celebrities' roots might not spark
the nation's curiosity the way "Roots" did in 1977, but "we have
definitely seen a slight uptick in … requests that mention the show,"
said Joseph Keefe, archives specialist at the National Archives and
Records Administration in Waltham.