Who Do You Think You Are – The British Newspaper Archive Blog

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Community and Family Divides in Lulu’s Family Tree

In this week’s episode, singer Lulu traveled to her home-town of Glasgow, Scotland, to discover more about her mother’s family. Having been sent to live elsewhere as a baby, Lulu’s mother did not have a relationship with her parents, and so Lulu knew very little about the family. With the help of archivists, historians, and historical sources, Lulu was able to reconstruct the story of a family struggling to make love work across religious divides in 1920s Glasgow. We used

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Crime and clogging in Craig Revel Horwood’s family

The Clog Dance

This week’s episode of Who Do You Think You Are? took us down under and all over Australia. Craig Revel Horwood was able to learn how his ancestors on both sides of his family came to be in Australia and what activities occupied their days, from mining for gold to clog dancing. Convicts in the family Craig’s family history journey began with his sister’s retelling of their great-great grandfather Moses Horwood being convicted of theft and transported to Australia. While it is

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Newspapers – More than obituaries

This week thousands have assembled at Who Do You Think You Are? Live in Birmingham to demolish those brick walls, learn new tricks of genealogy, and hear about the latest news of family history.  Most of us have searched the newspapers for obituaries, but much more can be revealed about our ancestor’s lives than the memorials at their death.  Today, we will take a look at the divorce courts, bankruptcy notices, illegitimacy cases, and committee minutes. The mid- to late

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Shared passions in Sophie Raworth’s family

Last night, the final episode aired of this series of Who Do You Think You Are? It explored the ancestry of BBC anchor Sophie Raworth, and provided an opportunity to reflect on the discoveries of this series, particularly the passions and professions that have been shared throughout the generations of a family — oftentimes unknowingly! Sophie’s family was no exception to this pattern. Musical Motts An early discovery in last night’s episode was that Sophie has several ancestors who were involved in

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Tragedy and triumph in Warwick Davis’ family tree

  “I won’t be embarrassed by what I discover, bring it on! Let’s have an adventure.” – Warwick Davis In last night’s episode of Who Do You Think You Are? we joined Warwick Davis, best known for his acting career, as he uncovered a few family secrets including bigamy and multiple marriages on his mother’s side of the family, as well as tragedy and another successful performer on his father’s side. Searching for a Local Pub Warwick wanted to find out

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All in the (McKellen) family

  ‘Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player That struts and frets his hour upon the stage And then is heard no more’. – William Shakespeare, Macbeth, Act V, Scene V These are the lines with which Sir Ian McKellen opens his episode of Who Do You Think You Are? As a septuagenarian, looking backwards to discover from whence (and from whom) he came, it is fitting that he should read these particular lines of Macbeth’s. Furthermore, they are

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Cheryl’s Maritime and Military Ancestors

In this week’s episode of Who Do You Think We Are?, we found out about Cheryl’s four times great-grandfather, John Wood Laing, who was born in Newcastle towards the end of the Industrial Revolution. At the age of 19, he became a mariner’s apprentice and, ten years into his career, became a master, or captain. Since Newcastle was a shipbuilding hub at the time, it was not surprising to discover that there was a branch of mariners in Cheryl’s family

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Twiggy on Who Do You Think You Are? – Grace Meadows in the newspapers

Twiggy used historical newspapers during her WDYTYA? episode to research the life of her great-great-grandmother, Grace Meadows.   Grace Meadows charged with stealing bank notes The York Herald printed the following article about Twiggy’s ancestors on Thursday 9 July 1874. Grace Meadows and her 14-year-old daughter Lucy were charged with stealing ‘three Bank of England notes for £20 each’ from Lucy’s employer. The newspaper article states that Twiggy’s ancestors were initially discharged as there was no evidence. Grace Meadows was said

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Mary Berry’s ancestors in the newspapers: Christopher Berry and Robert Houghton

Mary Berry uncovered some fascinating newspaper articles during her Who Do You Think You Are? episode, revealing shocking information about her ancestors Christopher Berry and Robert Houghton.   Christopher Berry declared bankrupt in 1811 On Saturday 14 November 1811, the Norfolk Chronicle printed the following announcement about Christopher Berry, Mary Berry’s great-great-great-grandfather. He was described as a ‘bookseller, printer, stationer, dealer and chapman’ who had been ‘declared a bankrupt’. Because of his bankruptcy, people indebted to him were advised not

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Sheridan Smith on WDYTYA: Newspapers reveal a shocking arson story in her family tree

You can find fascinating information about your ancestors at The British Newspaper Archive. Sheridan Smith did just that during her Who Do You Think You Are? episode, uncovering a story about her great-great-grandfather Benjamin Doubleday.   Benjamin Doubleday and the fire at the Woodman Inn On Friday 5 July 1895, the Sheffield Daily Telegraph reported that a fire had taken place at the Woodman Inn. The newspaper stated that Sheridan Smith’s great-great-grandfather was seen at the scene and ‘appeared in

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