With Who Do You Think You Are? delving into Matt Lucas’s roots, Andrew Chapman reveals the diversity of the actor and comedian’s Jewish origins
A census allows us as family history researchers a snapshot of the country at a particular time. It gives us the chance to find out where our ancestors were on census night. This is very important for us to discover details of family members, dates and places of birth and so on. But a census also allows us to look at where our ancestors' home was in relation to its neighbouring properties.
In February 2022 Elizabeth II became the longest reigning British monarch with 70 years devoted to her country. The summer of 2022 sees Britain and the Commonwealth mark the Platinum Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II with particular festivities held from 2nd to the 5th June over a four day public holiday. Whether you are a Royalist or not, it is quite a remarkable thing that we are marking.
Andrew Chapman surfs some waves from Richard Osman's episode of Who Do You Think You Are? and uses online resources to get a deep sense of place over time. "To me, Brighton's always been my home town," he says. "My whole family are from here – I know my granddad's family are, I know my nan's family are as well. I don’t know how deep those roots go."
Once again it's great to welcome Who Do You Think You Are? back to our screens over the next few weeks. It's a surprise to look back and realise that the show has been on TV since way back in 2004, and has had no fewer than 18 series over that time.
Andrew Chapman introduces the new series of Who Do You Think You Are? by exploring some of the hard-working ancestors of TV presenter Sue Perkins. Sue describes herself as a very driven person, who feels 'a historical hand in the small of my back moving me on'. Her episode kick-starting the new 2022 series of Who Do You Think You Are? certainly corroborates that. 'The engine of social history is grafters,' she observes, 'and I have a real sense that whatever privilege I have is on the back of people who had nothing and worked for every scrap.'
As the countdown to the tennis season at SW19 gears up with the tournament’s schedule start on the 27 June 2022, TheGenealogist has released the IR58 landowner and occupier records for the Merton area in the 1910s. These property tax records include the listings for both the past and present grounds of The All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club allowing us to see what became of each.
A recent stop in the Leicestershire market town of Ashby-de-la-Zouch found me looking at its magnificent ruined castle that is now looked after by English Heritage. The castle I learned was built by William, Lord Hastings, who had been a favourite of Edward IV, after 1473. Erected on the site of an older manor house with two large towers and some smaller buildings it had begun to go up by the year 1483, when Hastings met his untimely death.
Harrow School was founded in 1572 by John Lyon, a local landowner and farmer, under a Royal Charter of Queen Elizabeth I. When he died in 1592, his estate was given to two beneficiaries: the school and for the maintenance of two roads that ran to London 10 miles away. These were the Harrow Road and the Edgware Road and it seems that they received by far the greater share of the money while the school's share provided just for the salary of The School Master and some other small provisions.
One of the most fascinating aspects of researching our ancestors is finding out about where they lived. Records that give us an address allow us to do this and with the intelligence that these provide our next move is often to turn to a map. If the recordset is linked to mapping this is even easier for us as researchers however not all maps are equal. Thankfully TheGenealogist has addressed this with their recent update to the 1939 Register by linking all the results from this pre-WW2 survey to its Map Explorer interface.
During World War I Lady Byron strongly supported the war effort and was behind the sending of matches to soldiers serving overseas in boxes labelled 'A Match for Our Matchless Troops from Lady Byron'. She also was behind a 'Give Him Socks' campaign. When her husband Lord Byron died on 30 March 1917 that same year she was appointed Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire (DBE) for her creation of the Bluebirds' Nest, a rest home on Hampstead Heath for nurses serving on the Western Front. The house she chose to use was number 11 Tanza Road near Parliament Hill.
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.
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