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

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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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Behind the scenes: Who Do You Think You Are? LIVE

In this month’s ‘behind the scenes’ blog post, Scott and Andrew from The British Newspaper Archive’s scanning team tell us about their trip to London to attend Who Do You Think You Are? LIVE.   ************** Welcome to the second update from the newspaper scanning team in Boston Spa, Yorkshire. We are now in full operation and working to the high standards that the original Colindale team set for us. Who Do You Think You Are? LIVE In February, we

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Top tips for searching the newspapers

The British Newspaper Archive attended Who Do You Think You Are? Live at London Olympia this month, helping a number of people track down their ancestors in our newspapers. Don’t worry if you weren’t able to attend the family history show – we’ve asked our lovely team to share their top search tips here so that you can take advantage of them too.   1) Put “quote marks” around a name This will tell the website that you only want to

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Who Do You Think You Are? Magazine special offer

The lovely people at Who Do You Think You Are? Magazine have sent us this special offer to share with you: *********************** Try five issues for just £5! Build your family tree and discover your ancestry with Britain’s best-selling family history publication. Packed with practical advice, from getting started in genealogy to expert tips, Who Do You Think You Are? Magazine shows you how to build your family tree using online resources, such as the census, as well as where

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