Well that, sadly, was the last in the series of the UK edition of Who Do You Think You Are?
In Wednesday’s show we saw Sophie Raworth discover that green fingers ran in her family. There was also a very interesting insight into the Priestly riots against Nonconformists in Birmingham in 1791. Sadly it had a bearing on her ancestors as they migrated to New York in search of a better life. something that was not to be.
Well that was a great first programme in the UK series of Who Do You Think You Are?
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!
We are all looking forward to the very delayed (!) start of the new series of Who Do You Think You Are? on the BBC.
We had been expecting it to start, as usual in August…then we were told it would be after the Olympics. Well it certainly is after the Olympics as it is kicking off with the first programme on Thursday 24th November. This show promises to be a fascinating look at Cockney actor Danny Dyer and his connection to a man at the heart of the Tudor court of Henry VIII who lost his influence and his head when he fell out with the king.
Have you recently got in contact with a family member you’d lost touch with?
BBC1 documentary series Family Finders is looking to hear from people who have lost touch with loved ones, and have managed to track them down, either independently or with the help of specialist agencies. The cameras will be there to capture the moment as the two sides are reunited and meet each other for the very first time. They are also looking for people who have already been reunited and are meeting up with their newly found family again.
Countryfile presenter and Strictly Come Dancing contestant Anita Rani was born in Yorkshire to Indian parents. But it is her maternal grandfather’s story in the turbulent period of Partition that takes Anita to the Punjab to see if she can find out more.
Ahita Rahi Nazran, better known as Anita Rani (born 25th October 1977) is an English radio and television broadcaster born in Bradford.
Her mother Lakhbir (Lucky) Kaur, works at the Bradford Royal Infirmary as a liaison officer and is of Sikh descent. Anita’s father, on the other hand, is Balvinder Singh Nazran and he is a Hindu. Both her parents were born in India, although her father came to Britain when he was four, so Anita says he’s a Yorkshireman through and through.
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.
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.
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:
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.
There is a new series on Tuesday night on BBC TV and on the iPlayer that gives all of us a great insight into a bit of social history. These types of programmes can give us family historians a better understanding of our ancestor’s times and so make more sense of their lives.
24 Hours in the Past is a living reality documentary in which six celebrities travel back in time to the 19th century, spending four full days experiencing the relentless graft of the working poor in Victorian Britain.
Impressionist Alistair McGowan, former minister Ann Widdecombe, actress Zoe Lucker, world champion hurdler Colin Jackson, actor Tyger Drew-Honey and presenter Miquita Oliver are the volunteers, whose first 24 hours lands them in the dustyard, where they have to sift through mountains of dirt, rotting veg and old bones. Presented by Fi Glover, with historian Ruth Goodman.
I was intrigued to read on TheGenelaogist’s website, that their researchers have discovered the real story of James Freeman, as played by Russell Tovey in the BBC TV series Banished. As they say in their article “Freeman’s real story is fascinating, if a bit gruesome.”
I won’t spoil it for you, as you can read it all by heading over to their featured articles on their website here:
What I can tell you is that the Transportation records to be found on TheGenealogist website is a fabulous resource for discovering convict ancestors that this country wanted to send away “to parts beyond the seas”.