Category Archives: Celebrity Trees

A great opening to the Who Do You Think You Are? 13th series (UK)

Well that was a great first programme in the UK series of Who Do You Think You Are?

wdytya2016_dyer

East Ender Danny Dyer, who plays the landlord of the Queen Vic in the BBC’s Eastenders , discovered he was descended from Thomas Cromwell and Royalty including Edward III and there up to William the Conqueror. From the early research, into his more recent ancestors, it was not looking very positive with tales of relatives in and out of the workhouse and other hardships. Then suddenly, with the discovery of a gateway ancestor, the actor found himself related to nobility and finally the ultimate top of the social pile – the King of England!

This article on TheGenealogist got it right. See:

https://www.thegenealogist.co.uk/featuredarticles/2016/who-do-you-think-you-are/danny-dyers-cockney-and-royal-roots-371/

Who Do You Think You Are? special
Who Do You Think You Are? on the BBC

Anita Rani: Celebrity at the Who Do You Think You Are? Live Show 2016

 

Who Do You Think You Are? Live will run at the NEC from 7 to 9 April. Anita Rani is due to appear on Saturday April 9 at 10.15 to 11:00 and 12.15 to 13:00. To book tickets go to here.

The 38 year-old Countryfile presenter, who is of Punjabi descent but raised in Bradford, was reduced to tears on the WDYTYA? TV programme earlier this year when she heard about the horrific circumstances in which her maternal grandfather, Sant Singh lost his first wife and children during the Partition of India.

Who Do You Think You Are? Photographer: Stephen Perry
Who Do You Think You Are? Photographer: Stephen Perry

Who Do You Think You Are? Live is packed with exhibitors that can help you trace your  own ancestors whether you are a beginner or a seasoned family historian. There will be a number of useful talks being held in a number of places inside the National Exhibition Centre hall including Breaking Down Brick Walls in your family history research by Mark Bayley of TheGenelogist, seen here at a previous year’s show.

Talks at Who Do You Think You Are?
Mark Bayley of TheGenealogist delivers one of his popular talks

The Society of Genealogists will also be running an extensive programme of talks by leading genealogists over the course of the three day show and they promise that there will be a choice of many different talks to attend covering a vast array of subjects from: Different Research Techniques, How to Record your Findings and Using Parish Registers to My Ancestor was an “Alien,” The Luck of the Irish and My Ancestor’s made Hats.

Will you be going?

 

Discover Your Ancestors Bookazine on Special Offer

You can save over 50% on Discover Your Ancestors Bookazine Issue 4 in S&N Genealogy Supplies offer of the week – only £3.99!

This 196 page bookazine contains in-depth articles, research advice, social history, ‘how to’ features, case studies, places in focus, and much more! The family tree of Daniel Craig, the current James Bond, is revealed. It is ideal for both experienced researchers and those just starting out. Also includes a FREE cover disc with over £130 worth of resources!

Discover-Your-Ancestors-Magazine-Issue-4

Head over now to S&N Genealogy Supplies

Frank Gardner’s Family History explored on Who Do You Think You Are

On Thursday night the BBC  aired the latest episode of Who Do You Think You Are?

It fascinatingly explored the maternal line of the BBC’s Security correspondent, Frank Gardner. His mother’s family turn out to have been descended from William the Conqueror in a direct line that went through a Tudor knight who, having picked the wrong side in the power struggle between the Duke of Somerset and Warwick, ended losing his head at the Tower of London.

Frank was seen in the broadcast to be incensed by the unfair treatment of his ancestor Sir Michael Stanhope, who was beheaded on being found guilty on circumstantial evidence.

The programme traced the journalist’s maternal line through 28 generations back to William I.

A slightly different angle on Frank’s family history has been discovered in this article published on TheGenealogist website. A diplomatic incident involving Frank Gardner’s father!

Frank Gardner featured article on TheGenealogist

 

Discover Your Ancestors Periodical for September now released

 

As September rolled in and autumn replaces summer, family history research returns to many people’s mind. What better time, then to read about this fascinating subject of researching your family tree in an online periodical designed and written by a team of best in class journalists to support and guide you through your genealogical journey?

In this month’s edition of Discover Your Ancestors Periodical you can read the following articles:

‘A true and perfect inventory’: Melvyn Jones describes the domestic comforts of a late 17th century farming family
Picturing the past: Nick Thorne explores how a free online image archive adds atmosphere to family history research
A day at the museum: For the last 400 years, museums have helped people to experience the world’s treasures
WDYTYA? is back: The popular genealogy TV show returns looking at  various celebrity trees
Are benefactors in the frame: Unique research into the lives of people who donated paintings to Glasgow’s museums
The legacies of history: Jill Morris explores wills from the 14th to 19th centuries, available online
History in the details: Jayne Shrimpton on clogs
Regulars: News & Events / Books / Place in focus: Northumberland / Classifieds

http://www.discoveryourancestors.co.uk/subscribe

Discover Your Ancestors Periodical - September

 

Jerry Hall traces her ancestors from Blackburn to Texas

Model and former wife of Sir Mick Jagger, Jerry Hall is a Texan who moved to Europe in her teens. Her father’s family, however, emigrated to the USA from Lancashire in the 1880s. Jerry’s mother’s side were from pioneering roots, trailing west across America at the time of the Frontier.

Hall’s investigations into her family history take her all over the USA as she traces the movements of her pioneer ancestors, who at various times owned large chunks of farmland, often fighting native Americans in order to hang on to their newly acquired property. “I can’t believe such important information was lost all these years!” she gasps.

Read a full article here…and find out more about Jerry Hall’s ancestors.

Sir Derek Jacobi’s Ancestral Story

The Sir Derek George Jacobi’s story  on Who Do You Think You Are? was one of equal contrasts. Though we found out that he is from working class roots in London, with a boot maker for a grandfather, as we delved further back in time we discovered that his family are from much grander stock, one having mixed with Louis the Sun King until his religious belief had him imprisoned and he escaped to England.

Sir Derek’s ancestor was Joseph de la Plaigne, a financier and French Protestant from Bordeaux who had to conceal his religious beliefs from his monarch in order to remain in favour with the Catholic Louis XIV. In 1701 de la Plaigne was found out to be a Protestant and incarcerated in prison at Loches in the Loire Valley. Making his escape he, like many Huguenots, made his way to England.

In 1708, at the age of 70 and living in England, Joseph de la Plaigne married Salome de la Bastide. Researchers have found that the wedding took place on the 7th August at St. Mary Magdalene, Old Fish Street, London. The couple’s son, Guillaume, was born soon after this with his christening taking place on the 28th May 1709. The now elderly Joseph died not a long time later and researchers from TheGenealogist website have been able to find his will in the Prerogative Court of Canterbury Wills collection accessible on TheGenealogist where if you are a subscriber you will be able to search for images of the actual Wills that  had been lodged with the PCC for probate. In de la Plaigne’s case the document shows that Joseph was born at Bordeaux and was living in the Parish of St Anne’s, Westminster when he made the will.

To see a copy of the will and to read TheGenealogist’s full article on Sir Derek Jacobi’s family history click this link. TheGenealogist website has a broad suite of resources to find ancestors in the records.

Derek Jacobi, Who do You Think you Are? Wills of his ancestor

Jane Seymour’s Ancestors also found in TheGenealogist’s London Jewish Seatholders

 

The family story of Joyce Penelope Wilhelmina Frankenberg, known better by her stage name of Jane Seymour, is an emotional rollercoaster of a ride. Her Father’s family are Jewish while her mother was a Dutch Protestant who had endured being in a Second World War Japanese concentration camp.

The television episode followed Jane as she discovered more about her two great-aunts, Michaela and Jadwiga who had experienced the horrors of Poland under Nazi occupation.

TheGenealogist website, meanwhile, has discovered that Jane’s paternal grandfather, Leon Frankenberg, had come to Britain after his family had fled persecution in Eastern Europe. He was the lucky one as he established his own business and became a respected member of his local synagogue community as recorded in the London Jewish Seatholder’s records now searchable on TheGenealogist.

 

Read full article on TheGenealogist site and discover more about Jane Seymour’s family history.

 

Did you see Paul Hollywood on Who do You Think You Are?

Did you see the first programme in the 12th series of Who Do You Think You Are? on TV?

Paul Hollywood, from The Great British Bake Off, was taken back to his grandfather’s WWII experience in North Africa where his grandfather was sent as soon as he had completed his training. At Medjez el Bab in Tunisia, Norman’s Light Anti-Aircraft division were protecting the infantry from enemy air attacks at the time of the major Allied offensive to take Tunis from the German forces. With the enemy throwing bombs and missiles at them it was hard on these men.

From there Paul travelled to Italy, where he learnt about how his grandfather was part of the landing force that became trapped on the beaches at Anzio for four months, surrounded by Germans and all the while under constant aerial bombardment. Paul gets to see the landing area where his grandfather and the other men would have felt like sitting ducks, with death and devastation all around them. Norman and his comrades finally managed to land and their gun was then transported five miles inland. Unfortunately for them the regiment was soon surrounded by the enemy in a dangerously exposed area. Huge numbers of men had no choice but to dig themselves into 7ft long fox holes and spend months trapped, coming under repeated German shell attacks.

In May 1944 and thanks to Norman’s regiment’s extraordinary efforts, the stalemate at Anzio was broken. The next month the Allied armies went on to liberate Rome, but not without the loss of 14,000 lives. Paul’s grandfather brought back from this conflict a visible memento of his terrifying time. He had developed a facial tic that stayed with him until he died.

Researching his line even further back, Paul Hollywood was seen in the Who Do You Think You Are? programme to use TheGenealogist’s ‘family forename search’ to find Alexander McKenzie, a Wood Turner who had come down to Liverpool from his native Glasgow.

Following his Scottish family line up to Glasgow he then found that the next generation in the McKenzie family was a Glasgow Policeman, down from the Highlands, who had a certain amount of trouble avoiding alcohol.

Paul then discovered that his great, great, great, great grandfather Donald McKenzie, was a Highland postman with quite extraordinary stamina. Not being able to afford a horse with which to cover his rounds delivering the mail to 30,000 people, Donald simply ran the 120 miles with the mail every week.

Paul_Hollywood
Paul_Hollywood

With thanks to TheGenealogist for using part of their article. Read the full piece that reveals even more about Paul Hollywood’s family history by clicking this link:

https://www.thegenealogist.co.uk/featuredarticles/2015/who-do-you-think-you-are/paul-hollywood-248/

The BBC announce the schedule for Who Do You Think You Are? 12th series

The BBC has now announced the order in which the Who do You Think You Are? episodes will be broadcast for the 12th U.K. series.

This popular genealogy TV programme kicks off with Great British Bake Off judge Paul Hollywood on 13th August, on BBC One. The series will be aired every Thursday evening at 9pm, with a one week break in between Mark Gatiss and Frances de la Tour’s episodes on 15th October.

Although the schedule may still be subject to change, Frances de la Tour’s story will close the series on 22nd of October.

 

 

Paul_Hollywood
Paul_Hollywood