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

Blog

Facing the past in Ruby Wax’s Family Tree

In this week’s episode of Who Do You Think You Are? Ruby Wax confronted the hidden past in her family tree.  The episode proved cathartic for Ruby who came to a better understanding of her parents’ lives, particularly her mother’s.  The personal revelations perfectly illustrated that it is one thing to know ‘history’ in general terms, it is quite another when that history has directly impacted your family. When family cannot or will not speak about events it is possible

Continue Reading

Tags

, , , , , , ,

Revealing Roots in Lisa Hammond’s Family Tree

This week’s episode of Who Do You Think You Are? showed how family history research can reveal previously unknown histories from both the recent and distant past.  Using original documents and newspaper accounts Lisa Hammond was able to reconstruct the military service of her grandfather during World War 2, a part of his life that was unknown even to his children.  At the other end of the spectrum Lisa delved deep into her family’s past and discovered that their roots

Continue Reading

Tags

,

Caribbean connections in Noel Clarke’s family tree

In this week’s episode of Who Do You Think You Are?, Noel Clarke knew his family tree would bring him directly to the Caribbean island of Trinidad.  Both his mother and father had emigrated to England from the island.  But in telling their story, he discovered a rich, and sometimes difficult, heritage which connected him deeply to several of the islands of the Caribbean.  His family story reflects the experience of many Trinidadians, and the events which affected their lives

Continue Reading

Tags

,

Courage of Convictions in Fearne Cotton’s Family Tree

This week’s episode of Who Do You Think You Are? with Fearne Cotton delved into the difficult subject of conscientious objectors during World War I. The episode also exposed the precarious nature of success in nineteenth century Britain.  The episode made extensive use of newspapers, and as always we have taken the story further with our own investigations into the topics covered using the newspapers in the Archive. Fearne began her journey by looking to her Welsh roots.  As a

Continue Reading

Tags

,

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

Continue Reading

Tags

,

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

Continue Reading

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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

Continue Reading

Tags

, , , , , , , , ,

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

Continue Reading

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , ,

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

Continue Reading

Tags

, , , , , ,

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

Continue Reading

Tags

, , , , , , ,