Discover your ancestors' stories!

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12 October 2020
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Have you been inspired by David Walliams and Jodie Whittaker's journeys of discovery on the BBC show Who Do You Think You Are? Find out more about tracing your own ancestors with our quick guide.

Did you enjoy the latest episode of Who Do You Think You Are?

In episode two of Who Do You Think You Are? - 19 October, David Walliams discovers the story of his paternal great grandfather - whose prolonged and traumatic experience on the battlefields of France and Belgium left him with such severe symptoms of PTSD that he could never return to peacetime life with his young family.


Quick links…


On his mother’s side, David unearths the story of a great-great grandfather who became blind as the result of pioneering eye surgery in the 1880s. David’s amazed to find out that, like him, his ancestor became an entertainer - first a street musician and then a travelling showman, running fairground attractions with the help of his wife and children.

In episode 1, Dr Who star Jodie Whittaker explored the romantic story she had been told about how her beloved paternal grandmother Greta came to be given the middle name of Verdun - also the name of a First World War battle, and uncovered much more about Greta’s eldest half-brother’s forgotten sacrifice. 

On her mum’s side, Jodie got to the bottom of how her great-great grandfather worked his way up from being a child labourer in a Yorkshire coal mine to a mine owner - and how, controversially, his sons kept the family’s mines open during the biggest strikes of the 1920s.

Of course, it's not just celebrities who have stories to tell about their ancestry, your own family history will have twists and turns, tales of hardship and success… it's all there waiting to be discovered!


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In her Who Do You Think You Are? episode Jodie Whittaker visited the National Coal Mining Museum in West Yorkshire, a fascinating visitor attraction which also holds a library of records on miners. In our latest blog we take a look at the archives, libraries and museums that have reopened in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic. Read more…


 More about Family Tree

The Family Tree team have been helping people trace their ancestors since the 1980s.

Things have changed a bit since then, with the internet becoming a vital research tool, but there's still many tips and tricks to discover, obstacles to overcome, and different ways to take your research further.

That's why we now provide the following popular services (just click on the links below to find out more):

We have all the expert info you need to get started on your family history journey (beware, the journey could take years, but it's so much fun!) and since it's completely free, the email newsletter is a great place to start.