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Your Ancestors

(67 Posts)
NanKate Sat 08-Jun-19 17:15:49

On a BBC Programme this morning they asked listeners to phone in and describe any ancestors who were famous or had interesting jobs.

My great-grandfather was a Music Hall artiste
My grandfather was a singer, dancer and comedian in the Music Hall
My grandmother was his scriptwriter

What about your ancestors and how far back can you go ?

PamelaJ1 Sat 08-Jun-19 18:15:59

Our family is spectacularly uninteresting.

tanith Sat 08-Jun-19 18:21:57

My Great Grandfather was Josh Arch he was the leader of the National Agricultural Labourers Union in 1882 the first successful union to be established and later became the first labourer to become a member of Parliament at the age of 59.

My Bil traced my maternal family back to the 1500s verifying his research by spending many hours checking and copying out parish records in rural Wales and England. He had it all collated including some copy certificates and wills in a printed folder I read through it now and then.

MiniMoon Sat 08-Jun-19 18:25:39

Nobody of note in our family. My cousin traced my paternal grandmother 's family back to about 1600. They were all farmers.

Anniebach Sat 08-Jun-19 19:05:04

My g g g grandmother’s sister was deported for stealing bread.

My g g Uncle was a well know composer and conductor, has a monument to his memory in Liverpool.

My g Uncle was physician to the Queen, her father and her grandmother.

Traced my maternal family back to 1500s.

We named our elder daughter after her g g grandmother, was surprised her second and thirds names were the same as her g g g grandmother and g g g g grandmother.

Septimia Sat 08-Jun-19 19:15:22

Back to the 1500s with various branches of my family. Most of them were pretty ordinary but one moved from Scotland to Woolwich when he joined the army - a surprise bit of information to me. He returned to his home town before he died but the rest of his family stayed in the London area.

However, perhaps one of the most interesting was my paternal great-grandfather who, when he wasn't working as a painter and decorator or a gas fitter, was a conjuror!

Loislovesstewie Sat 08-Jun-19 19:26:01

No famous ancestors, but one of mine was sentenced to death for bestiality! With a sheep! Poor thing, the sheep that is!

EllanVannin Sat 08-Jun-19 19:44:00

One of my ggg uncles was a clockmaker in Cumbria and there are still one or two longcases with his name in them.
This is on mum's side of the family. I saw one on Ebay a few years ago for sale in the USA at a few thousand dollars.

Dad's ancestry would be too much of a giveaway of the family name but is of interest in Roman times. There was also the jester to Henry V111 who was connected.

One of dad's relatives was a bookbinder who was also famous for his gold-leaf designs----Liverpool.
Then there was the 17th century builder/designer of fireplaces in stately buildings. I do have his name somewhere.

Jenty61 Sat 08-Jun-19 19:54:58

On my side of the family they were fairground travellers from Ireland. My great grandmother was a flower seller in the uk, I remember helping her on Saturday mornings. My grandad was a rag and bone man and I used to go out with him in his brown lorry.
On my husbands side they were local smugglers.

crazyH Sat 08-Jun-19 19:55:15

My maternal uncle was an eccentric, famous crow-catcher in our village. Yes, you heard it right, crow-catcher. Where I come from, crows are consummable. So he earned enough to keep himself in gunpowder and always smelled of the stuff. He was a recluse. He lived in our outhouse. Believe me, you always knew he was returning home, when you heard the thousands of crows cawing in fear. My mum had 2 other sisters, but it was my mother who gave him food and shelter. My kind, lovely, generous mum and dad.

paddyann Sat 08-Jun-19 20:03:02

I have music hall song and dance men in my tree too and one very famous singer who had a film made of his life .Most proud of my granny who was a suffragette and thats where I get my political interest from .Other than that we have policemen and millworkers and farmers and shirtmakers and a milliner all in Scotland and Ireland .The scottish side I've traced to mid 1700's the Irish isn't so easy with the loss of records during the rebellion but I live in hope of getting further back .Only problem is it becomes addictive .

Humbertbear Sun 09-Jun-19 10:03:31

One of my mother’s cousins was the Leader of a world famous orchestra and another was a well known novelist. I have a second cousin on my father’s side who sits in the House of Lords ( we never speak) . Oh, my father’s cousins were well known variety artistes. Female twins who married male twins who were also performers. But I’m OST proud of my great grand parents and grand parents who came here as poor immigrants and built a life for themselves and the rest of their descendants.

Matelda Sun 09-Jun-19 10:10:26

My only famous ancestor was a Pilgrim Father on the Mayflower in 1620. His eldest son hurried back to England and I shared his surname as I was descended through twelve generations in the male line. Then I got married, failed to hang on to my own name, and spoiled it for my sons, (though I don’t think they care much).

missdeke Sun 09-Jun-19 10:16:31

Back to the 1500s on my mother's English side, although nothing on the Swedish. My youngest daughter goes back to the Lennoxes of Elizabeth 1 time, whilst my granddaughter on her father's side is a descendant of the Plantagenets.

Newatthis Sun 09-Jun-19 10:17:49

My Dh's 2nd cousin was a movie star in LA in the 40's and went on the marry the ex wife of the owner of 'Sea Biscuit' (the famous race horse). My 2nd cousin was a war hero pilot during the 'D' day landings and is buried in a small village in France. the villagers honour him every year.

wot Sun 09-Jun-19 10:19:47

Yes but I lost the post I was writing.

Blinko Sun 09-Jun-19 10:33:58

Wow tanith, Joseph Arch! I guess you'll have heard the song which begins

When Arch beneath the Wellesbourne tree his glorious work began...

Years ago, some amateur film making friends made an allegorical story about Arch and his legacy. That's where I heard the song. Stirring stuff!

Peardrop50 Sun 09-Jun-19 10:52:34

My famous ancestor is my great Uncle Jack Wilson of Wilson, Kepple and Betty. They were a sand-dance act and appeared often at the London Palladium. I do remember him coming to our house for dinner when I was a small child and eating all the daffodils from a vase on the table, or so I thought.

I haven't looked back at my ancestry but would love to find some excitement, the madame of a brothel, a highwayman or perhaps an inventor of the wheel. A thread for another time perhaps.

Opalsusanna1 Sun 09-Jun-19 11:00:30

On my paternal side, my g.g.grandfather was the youngest son of an acting family. His father was an actor manager who worked with Thomas Ternan who was the father of Charles Dickens' mistress. His eldest brother married one of two acting sisters, Frances Cranmer Oliver. Her sister Martha or Pattie was an actor/manager in the 1860s and her portraits are in the National Gallery. Her husband was the heir to Phillips auctioneers and when she died, he married his niece by marriage, Katie Hastings, who was also an actor until her death in 1890. Her son, my grandma's cousin, also went into acting and married a star of operettas. When that marriage failed, he went abroad and came back to London with a mistress who became a Gracie Fields impersonator. He had 3 sons in his sixties that I'm in touch with, after believing that he had died childless.
The eldest sister of the original surviving 6 brothers and sisters married an actor manager and had 3 children, one of whose daughters was known as The Disappearing Lady in Edwardian London as she married one of the Maskelyne sons who were famous magicians and she was the leading ladies in their playlets and some of their most famous illusions.

I've loved researching them and have written a blog about them.

Purplepoppies Sun 09-Jun-19 11:07:28

My great grandfather was a famous aviator. ?

Barnet Sun 09-Jun-19 11:11:50

Christopher Saltmarshe, an ancestor of my mother's, married Emma Rawson, his cousin. Her brothers were Jeremiah and Christopher Rawson who are featured in the BBC's Gentleman Jack.
Emma and Christopher Saltmarshe were good friends of Anne Lister.
Very proud of this family connection!

tanith Sun 09-Jun-19 11:15:31

Blinko no I’ve not heard that song or the story do you have any links to them I’ve looked but can find nothing.
We did go to the Tolpuddle museum and tree a few years ago maybe I should visit again.

Rosina Sun 09-Jun-19 11:37:57

One of my gggggg ancestors painted a portrait of Elizabeth 1 . Other than that, like Pamela, we are quite an uninteresting bunch.

Marieeliz Sun 09-Jun-19 11:46:19

My grandmother was the daughter of the Sexton of St Bride's Church Fleet Street. That is the only surprise for me as my grandfather was from Gilsfield in Monmouthshire he must have travelled to London and then they all moved to Liverpool. It didn't do them much good as both of them died of TB at a young age. That is as famous as it gets the connection with St Bride's.

Pittcity Sun 09-Jun-19 11:48:07

I have an illegitimate son of an Earl and a London philanthropist who left a bequest for female descendants. Unfortunately the money ran out just before I could claim.