Featured Articles

2012 Articles

The Traditions of a Classic British Christmas 25th December 2012

At this special time of year, people come together to celebrate Christmas and to enjoy the festivities with family and friends. However, have you thought just where and when some of the other traditions such as the Christmas tree and greetings cards originated from? TheGenealogist has taken a look into the past to offer some insights into the traditions that have developed in the U.K. over the years.

Ronnie Barker: From Bank Clerk to Comedy Legend 1st November 2012

Here we take a look at comedy legend, Ronnie Barker. Born on 25th September 1929, Ronnie was an English actor and comedian best known for his roles as Norman Stanley Fletcher in the British comedy, 'Porridge', various characters in the British comedy television series, 'The Two Ronnies', and as Albert Arkwright in the British comedy television series 'Open All Hours'.

Were any of your ancestors ghost hunters? 20th October 2012

As we approach the time of year for Halloween when the annual activities of carving pumpkins, apple bobbing, visiting haunted attractions, playing pranks, telling scary stories, and watching horror films is commonplace, TheGenealogist takes a look back at our ancestors' views on the subject of the paranormal.

John Bishop 19th October 2012

John Bishop completes this year's line up of celebrities taking the journey into their past on BBC's 'Who Do You Think You Are?' and discovers that he's not the only entertainer in his family...

John Barnes 18th October 2012

John had a successful football career, winning 3 awards and being given an MBE for his services to the game. His father, Ken, had a strong military career and also enjoyed sport, whereas his maternal Grandfather was heavily involved in forming new workers' unions.

Celia Imrie 17th October 2012

Actress Celia Imrie takes centre stage for the latest instalment of BBC's 'Who Do You Think You Are?'. With her father's working class Glaswegian roots and her mother's privileged ancestry it looks set to be a great episode with a wide variety of characters being discovered.

William Roache 30th September 2012

William Roache, taking part in this year's 'Who Do You Think You Are?' series is well known from TV's Coronation Street, playing Ken Barlow. He has ancestors from the medical profession, and some darker characters...

Alex Kingston 25th September 2012

Alex, the eldest of three daughters, was born to Anthony Kingston, a butcher, and his wife Margarethe, sister of Walter Renneisen, a well known German actor. This episode will help Alex and her father understand the circumstances surrounding the tragic loss of her great grandfather William Henry Keevil during WW1.

Hugh Dennis 20th September 2012

The actor and comedian Hugh Dennis known for his roles in Outnumbered and on the panel of Mock the Week is the fifth person to take part in this series of 'Who Do You Think You Are'. The show concentrates on Hugh's grandfathers, who both fought in the First World War with nearly disastrous consequences...

Annie Lennox 10th September 2012

Annie is a reflection of her ancestral heritage, as 'Who Do You Think Your Are?' reveals, coming from a line of strong women who fought hard to survive in the impoverished areas of Scotland's emerging industrial cities.

Patrick Stewart 29th August 2012

'Who Do You Think You Are?' Series 9 continues this week following the lives of Patrick Stewart's ancestors. Were any of Patrick's ancestor's actors or performers? Where did the acting gene come from?

From South Africa to the West Midlands via Middle Earth - the life of J.R.R. Tolkien 25th August 2012

The power and speed of The Genealogist website allows us to take a look into the history and family of a very famous author, whose personal life could have been lifted from the pages of a novel. As we say goodbybe to the Olympics, we look at the story of a boy who went on to create another famous set of rings.

Gregg Wallace 10th August 2012

Gregg Wallace finds food for thought from the past in the latest episode of the current series of Who Do You Think You Are? Gregg's episode is set to be an emotional one, with tragedy surrounding different branches of his maternal ancestry, plus a mystery to solve regarding his great grandfather.

Samantha Womack 1st August 2012

The first episode in this year's 'Who Do You Think You Are?' series features the actress Samantha Womack, best known for her role as Ronnie Mitchell in EastEnders. Born Janus in 1972, Samantha spent several years travelling around the UK with her mother...

The Records within our Genes 30th July 2012

DNA testing is great for breaking down brick walls, finding unknown relatives or discovering your genetic ethnicity. This is a fairly new experience for family historians, and it can sound rather daunting - our article explains how easy (and painless!) DNA testing is, and what it can do to help you.

Gold Rush: the 1908 London Olympics 1st July 2012

The planning and preparation for the London 2012 Olympic Games has been far from easy, but spare a thought for the organisers of the Rome 1908 Olympics, who had to withdraw when Mount Vesuvius exploded and devastated the city of Naples. The Olympics were instead given to London and our Edwardian ancestors got to experience the first ever Olympics to be held in the UK.

Let the Flavour Flood Out 1st June 2012

Let flavour flood out: the story of how two brothers influenced the nations drinking habits. Having a cup of tea is an essential part of the day for most of us, and in the year to celebrate all things British, we take a look at how a Yorkshire lad established one of the largest drinks companies in the world while his brother wasn't exactly teetotal!

An Introduction to Directories 30th May 2012

The red covers of Kelly's "Post Office Directory" are so familiar to all of us, that particulars as to how the great annual volume is compiled may be interesting. For about forty years, it was an official publication, under the control of the General Post Office, and compiled by their employees.In 1844, the late Mr Frederic Festus Kelly undertook the work as a private venture. His relative, Festus Kelly, who supervises the compilation of this popular directory, explained how the information is gathered and put together.

The Victorian Jubilee 20th May 2012

As people in the UK and around the world celebrate the Diamond Jubilee of Elizabeth II, we are looking back in time to see how our Victorian ancestors celebrated their own Diamond Jubilee. Queen Victoria succeeded her uncle William IV on the 20th of June 1837 and reigned for 63 years. She currently holds the title of the longest-reigning British monarch in history and is closely followed by her great-great grand-daughter Elizabeth II, now in her 60th year as Queen.

Something Old, Something New 10th May 2012

Finding marriages can be both tedious and hard work but it doesn't have to be when you have access to the largest and most diverse collection of marriages online. These include GRO marriages 1837-2005, parish records, non-conformist records, overseas BMDs, banns, licenses, and more. We look at some unique tools that can directly find marriages without long winded searching.

When the Unthinkable Happens 15th April 2012

On the 15th of April 2012, we mark 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic. This is a story of what happened to three very different people and how they found the odds stacked against them and the very different ways they dealt with the tragedy.

"Our Kate" - the real life Rags to Riches story of Catherine Cookson 1st March 2012

The life of Catherine Cookson could easily have been lifted from the pages of one of her best-selling novels, an illegitimate child raised in the North East in the early 1900's, who dreamed of a better life, married a school master and eventually became one of Britain's wealthiest women. We take a look at the amazing story of the girl from South Shields who became the most widely read novelist in the UK with sales reaching over 100 million.

Celebrating Dickens 7th February 2012

On the 7th of February 2012, we marked two hundred years since the birth of the author Charles Dickens. Celebrations of his life will take place around the country, including a wreath laying ceremony at his grave in Poet's Corner, Westminster Abbey and at his birth place in Portsmouth. Attending the ceremony at Westminster is the largest ever gathering of his descendants, including his Great Great Grandson Mark Dickens who gave a reading to the congregation.

Becoming Cary Grant: the story of Archie Leach 6th February 2012

Included in the 1911 census is the famous actor Cary Grant, aged 7 and living with his parents in Bristol. The British born actor was ranked 2nd in 1999 of the 100 greatest film stars of all time, nominated five times for a Golden Globe and twice for an Academy Award. The 'Grant' family tree provides a true rags to riches story from poverty stricken origins in a Bristol workhouse to the glamour and wealth of Hollywood.

Discover the working history of your ancestors 1st February 2012

Your occupation defines who you are, particularly when descendants are trying to create a profile of your life. Knowing what your ancestor did for a living allows you to take a real glimpse of what their life would have been like on a day to day basis. TheGenealogist offers a wealth of information to help you find out what your ancestors did for a living.

Agatha Christie: Queen of Crime 20th January 2012

Born Agatha Mary Clarissa Miller, she was the youngest daughter of New Yorker Frederick Alvah Miller and Clarissa Boehmer, daughter of a British Army Officer. We look at her troubled ancestry and her life which takes you to the dramatic settings used in her books.

TreeView gets radical new features 1st January 2012

TreeView, our free online tree building program, has now launched some great and unique new features and 5 additional brand new views. For the first time ever online, TreeView has made it possible to draw your own custom family tree...

Every year the popular BBC series Who Do You Think You Are? brings us a host of new and exciting stories. We have taken a look at each celebrity as they journey into their family history, and you can read about their discoveries in our articles.

Archive

All articles are Copyright © of the author and TheGenealogist. These may not be reproduced in whole or part without prior permission.