Closson Press

Schuylkill Roots Book Helps "Who Do You Think You Are" Guest Celebrity Find His Roots

May 01

Is there a genealogist out there who is not familiar with NBC’s, “Who Do You Think You Are?

Quoting from the web site, “NBC's acclaimed alternative series "Who Do You Think You Are?" follows some of today's most beloved and iconic celebrities as they embark on personal journeys of self-discovery to trace their family trees. From Ireland's freedom fighters to the American Revolutionary War, and from the African nation of Cameroon to Bulgaria, this season will reveal the fabric of humanity through everyone's place in history.

During each episode, one of the celebrities is taken on a surprising and deeply emotional quest into his or her family history, resulting in a compelling reality format. Each week, viewers follow some of America's best-known celebrities into their ancestral pasts, as they uncover stories of heroism and tragedy, love and betrayal, secrets and intrigue that lie at the heart of their family history.

At the same time, "Who Do You Think You Are?" celebrates the twists and turns of a great nation and the people who made their way here in search of freedom and opportunity. As each celebrity discovers his or her unknown relatives - most of whom overcame hard times, the show will take viewers back through world history to expose how the lives of everyone's collective ancestors have shaped our world today.”

On March 9, Closson Press received an e-mail from Heather Ross, the story producer of “Who Do You Think You Are” asking if a book published by our press could be used in one of their genealogy documentary shows. The book would be shown in a scene at the PA State Library, where their main character would use it to find out about the death of his great-great-grandfather.

Mary asked who the celebrity was and Heather could only reveal that it was a male and he was a nice guy. He will remain anonymous until it is officially announced. This episode is slated to air On May 11th at 8/7c on NBC. We hope you’ll tune in to find out who HE is. If you’re searching that area, he could be one of your “kin.”

The book: Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania Coroner’s Inquest Records by Phillip A. Rice and Indexed by Jean A. Dellock

AND IT IS OFFICIALLY ANNOUNCED: American actor and comedian best known for starring as a cast member on Saturday Night Live. He also has had a notable breakthrough in the film industry in 2011, starring that year in Hall Pass, Horrible Bosses and A Good Old  - JASON SUDEIKIS!


Phil and Jean are cousins and have pooled their time and genealogical talents to produce over 80 books on Schuylkill and surrounding counties. Their books have opened doors for many genealogists since 1989.

Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania Coroner’s Inquest Records, Volume 1 was published in late 2010. Phil was approached by Joanne Vaughn to see if they could strike a reciprocal agreement. She was willing to photocopy the material if Phil would agree to put it in book form. Noticing the poor condition of the records, he wanted to help preserve them so the answer was yes. Colleen, in the County Courthouse Archives, was happy about this arrangement also because it simplified her research.

Phil said the hardest part of producing the book was the sadness he felt in finding a significant number of unknown infants in the records. There were also many unknown men and women which was understandable because in those days men and women used to jump the box cars to travel and often missed their target and were run over by trains.

Life was harsh in the coal regions during the 19th and 20th Century. Safety was nonexistent, because it cost the mine owners money to provide a safe workplace for their employees. Shoddy workmanship, on the timbers; old or unsafe explosives, usually resulting in a premature explosion are just a few of the horrors. This book is a record of coroner’s inquests into deaths from 1811 to 1909 and includes well over 11,000 entries including many immigrants (primarily Irish and later into the 1800’s, an influx of Eastern European (Poland, Czech, Lithuanians, etc.) as well as Italians.


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