Using newspapers, the professional genealogists used by Who Do You Think You Are? were able to document the accident in an article titled The Burning of the Gipsy on the front page of the Daily Picayune newspaper in New Orleans. The story was also printed in newspapers across the country, such as the Liberator in Boston, Massachusetts. Newspapers provided facts about the event that could not be found in any other record. The same researchers also used newspapers to learn about historic events that occurred in places where the family lived, such as the yellow fever epidemic in Plaquemine in 1853.
You can learn more about Jim Parsons’s experience on the Ancestry.com web site at http://www.ancestry.com/cs/us/who-do-you-think-you-are or you can watch the full episode on on your computer or handheld device on the TLC.com web site at http://www.tlc.com/tv-shows/who-do-you-think-you-are/videos/jim-parsons.htm.