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.
The BBC 2 TV programme: Nelson in His Own Wordsis on our screens today, or can be seen on the iPlayer for 30 days.
Horatio Nelson was Britain's greatest naval hero and this programme shows us how he was also a prolific letter writer. The correspondence reveals that Nelson was a very different and more complex man than the hero that Britain created after his death. Using Nelson's letters this drama documentary exposes Nelson's skilful and manipulative use of PR to advance his career, and shows how he was careful in his praise of his rivals - in case they threatened his own prospects. And the letters reveal how his passionate love affair with Lady Emma Hamilton changed his life forever. The programme stars the highly regarded RSC actor Jonathan Slinger as Nelson.
In a twist, TheGenealogist have a fascinating article on their website that reveals more of Nelsons words but this time as featured in his last will and testament that can be found using their resources. Of particular interest is the codicil that Nelson wrote just before the Battle of Trafalgar "in sight of the combined fleets of France and Spain" that asked the King and Government to provide for his mistress, Lady Emma Hamilton. With the great victory that Nelson delivered, but losing his life in the process, the authorities heaped money and titles on his family while ignoring his very last wishes in the codicil he had written on the day of his death!
English or Welsh family tree brick walls? Why not get some help?
There's a well received beginners level course, delivered weekly to your computer to study when you want, which offers information packed, step-by-step tutorials. Provided by Nick Thorne (a.k.a. The Nosey Genealogist), it's great for those people new to family history who would like some expert guidance on how to find their way around those potential difficulties and pitfalls that we all stumble across when researching our family history.
Also of great benefit to those who are a bit more advanced, this course quickly takes the student on to look at the many different record sets and archives that you may not have thought to look. Places that your ancestors may be hiding in full sight.
Nick Thorne is a leading family historian (with a number of years of researching family histories behind him) and in the course there are also some contributions from Mark Bayley, Head of Online Content from TheGenealogist.co.uk
Topics covered in the 12 months include:
The census collections; The Parish records; The Parish Chest; Dade Registers; County Record offices; Nonconformist; Religious records; Clandestine marriages; City and Town Directories; Census substitutes; Apprentices; Professionals; Army ancestors; Royal Navy ancestors; RAF forebears; Merchant Navy ancestors; Illegitimacy; The Workhouse; Poor Law; Death records; Burial; Wills; Rural ancestors; Bankrupts; Black sheep; Genetics and DNA; Occupations; Maps and Charts; The National Archives; Family Search Centres; Passports; Manorial records; Old Newspapers and much more!
It costs £9.95 a month but there's currently a special trial offer available. It's well worth checking out at http://familyhistoryresearcher.com/trialoffer/
Here are some of the things people are saying about this course:
"You communicate in an understandable way! Thank you for the modules that I have had so far." P. Martin."I have enjoyed the time as a FHR member and thank you for your helping hand in trying to solve a problem printing out the guides." T. M. U.K."I would like to thank you for the resources, which I have received weekly, they are very interesting and informative, also a big thank you for thebrilliant customer service." P. Beilby."I am finding the course very useful, even though I have been doing family history for many years." Kind Regards, H. Stephens.