A Family Tree With Index Cards and Black Tape

I try not to watch TV in real time.  I love my DVR.  This week, I caught up on some episodes of Elementary.  The show is a modern interpretation of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s books. The show features Jonny Lee Miller and Lucy Liu as Sherlock and Watson.  I enjoy the different ways the show incorporates the original books.  Sometimes it is very obvious such as Sherlock’s battle with his arch enemy, Moriarty.  Other ways are more refined such as Sherlock being a recovering drug addict.  Drugs are very prevalent in the books.

The episode I just watched was called “Hounded.”  It began with a spin on the “Hounds of Baskerville” story.  The story opens with Charles Baskerville dying after being chased by an animal.  Not long after, this “animal” is captured after chasing the dead man’s brother, Henry (Henry lives).  It turns out the animal is actually a robot built by a company owned by the dead man’s cousin, Roger.

This is where genealogy enters the picture.  The three men (Charles Baskerville, Henry Baskerville, and cousin, Roger Stapleton) are the last living heirs to a vast fortune left by patriarch Hugo Baskerville.  There is a great scene with Sherlock and Watson standing in front of a large family tree created with index cards and black tape.

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It appears all branches of the family tree have died out.  Sherlock proposes that there may be an unknown heir from a non-paternity event. He goes on to describe an illegitimate child as a “cross pollination event”.  An interesting way of looking at it!

I was cracking up as Watson says,”So all we have to do is look through 120 years of birth records to find our new suspect?!”

The genealogy laughs continued when Sherlock was explaining his ideas to Henry Baskerville as to who killed his brother.  Henry says to Sherlock, “He or she could have been born anywhere in the world sometime in the last century to anyone of several dozen people!!”

A plan is hatched to have Henry “kill” his cousin, Roger.  Therefore, since the last heirs are eliminated, the killer/unknown heir will come forward to collect his or her fortune.  Sure enough, with a few minutes left in the show, Miss Laura Lyons appears to collect her money.  She claims to be the daughter of Ike Stapleton, the dead older brother of cousin Roger.  She also worked for Roger and had access to that robot animal who caused the death of Charles Baskerville at the beginning of the episode.

I always enjoy when genealogy is part of a tv show.  I really enjoyed the way it was incorporated into Elementary. A huge thank you to the writers for not portraying family history research as a one click find your answers. I also enjoyed the large black tape family tree.  I wish I had a wall to go crazy on in my house!

 

 

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