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Who Do You Think You Are?

Through the latest BBC series of Who Do You Think You Are? Discover the secrets of the stars family history with a range of guides and case studies to help you in your own search.

Who Do You Think You Are (WDYTYA) will cover the following people throughout the new series.

First Up? Una Stubbs

Una Stubbs was born at Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire. She first appeared on television as one of the Dougie Squires Dancers on the British television music show Cool for Catsin 1956. She also worked in cabaret, clubs and revues in London during these years and was one of Lionel Blair's dance ensemble.

Her first major screen role was in Cliff Richard's 1963 film, Summer Holiday. She also appeared in Richard's next film, Wonderful Life (1964). A few years later, she made her breakthrough in television comedy, playing Rita, the married daughter of Alf Garnett in the controversial BBC sitcom Till Death Us Do Part (1966–75).

In the first episode of the new series a photograph brings Una face to face with Annie and Arthur, the grandparents she never knew, even though she was in her 20s when they died. She also uncovers the motivations of her great-grandfather, a garden city pioneer.

Minnie Driver?

Driver was born in London, the daughter of Gaynor Churchward (née Millington), a designer and former couture model, and Ronnie Driver, a Welsh businessman and financial adviser from Swansea. Driver was brought up in Barbados and was educated at Bedales and the Webber Douglas Academy of Dramatic Art. Driver has Welsh, Italian, Irish, Scottish, and French ancestry.

In this episode, Minnie Driver, uncovers the ancestorial mystery of her late father’s secret family and the reason he seems to have discarded a wartime medal. “It reads like a movie script,” she remarks.

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Lesley Sharp

Adopted as the second daughter of mature Scottish parents, Sharp grew up in Formby, Lancashire. Childhood holidays were spent in Edinburgh. Sharp started acting because, as a child, she felt "invisible" and didn't "quite fit in." She has said that her inspiration to act came from watching Dick Emery on television. Her father worked for the Inland Revenue and was not keen on her taking up acting, preferring her to follow in his footsteps by becoming a civil servant. Her adoptive mother died of cancer when Sharp was 15. The adoption was never a secret in the family, but it was only after leaving home that she met her genetic mother — a working class woman unable to keep her because the father was a married man.

Sharp moved to London at 18 and, after initially failing to get into drama school, worked at the Department of Education and Science at the Victoria & Albert Museum. Responsible for filling in the warders' overtime sheets, her poor numeracy skills resulted in frequent mistakes before she was eventually asked "very nicely, but firmly" to leave.

In this episode - Adopted as a young baby, Lesley journeys into the ancestry of her birth father and finds “women who had illegitimate children but just got on with it”, Barnardo’s boys sent overseas and a remarkable family history story about her great-great-grandfather.


Gary Lineker

Lineker was born in Leicester to Barry and Margaret Lineker (both born 1939). His middle name came from Winston Churchill, with whom he shares his birthday. He has one younger brother, Wayne who is two years his junior. Lineker's father was a greengrocer in Leicester and he grew up with his family in the city, playing football with his brother Wayne.

Lineker first attended Caldecote Road School (Caldecote Juniors), Braunstone in Leicester (east of the Meridian Centre) although he lived outside the borough. He went to the City of Leicester Boys' Grammar School (now City of Leicester College) on Downing Drive in Evington, inside the borough of Leicester due to his preference for football rather than rugby, which was the main sport of most schools near his home. As a result he lived with his grandmother, who lived in the city, while attending school. Lineker was equally talented at both football and cricket. From the ages of 11 to 16 he captained the Leicestershire Schools cricket team and had felt that he had a higher chance of succeeding at it rather than football. He later stated on They Think It's All Over that as a teenager he idolised former England captain David Gower, who was playing for Leicestershire at the time.

In this WDYTYA episode - Gary, the footballing legend himself, revels in two forebears, James Pratt and Thomas Billingham, who operated on different sides of the law. Despite coming from similar backgrounds, a lucky break sees one of the boy’s fortunes changed forever.


Nick Hewer

Nick was born in Swindon on 17 February 1944. He lived in Old Town, and was educated at Clongowes Wood College, an exclusive Jesuit boarding school, located in County Kildare, Ireland. Hewer moved to London in the 1960s. His Irish Catholic mother, Patricia Hewer née Jamison and English Protestant father, John David Radbourn Hewer (who studied veterinary medicine) had met as students at Trinity College Dublin. He has two sisters and two brothers. His grandfather, John, began as a vet in Swindon on Drove Road in 1912.

In this episode - Nick Hewer pulls no punches on The Apprentice, the hit TV show — neither did his English Civil war ancestors in their quest for power. Find out all about his amazing story on this WDYTYA episode.


Nitin Ganatra

Born in Kenya to Indian parents, actor Nitin who plays Masood in EastEnders moved to England when he was just three years old. “His episode is very much about anchoring himself,” says series producer Colette flight. “Nitin made some very emotional and tragic discoveries.” A roller coaster of an episode on WDYTYA.


Sarah Millican

The home-loving RT columnist Sarah Millican is astonished to uncover adventurous ancestors. One risked his life off Britain’s coasts, while the other left the Orkney islands to work for the Hudson’s Bay Company in Canada with horrific consequences.


Marianne Faithfull

Sixties icon Marianne Faithfull explores thevery interesting ancestorial life of her half-Jewish mother, Eva, part of the artistically adventurous scene in 1920s Berlin: “what a woman, I had no idea.”


John Simpson

Knowing his lineage was entwined with that of Wild West entertainer and flying pioneer Samuel Cody, the journalist is amazed to discover the true relationship, and gain a better perspective on his great-grandmother: “She was a heroine in her own right.” From newscasting to family history, a great story is told in this episode.

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Getting Started on Your Own

You might think that starting out building your family tree is going to be a daunting task. Well, it doesn't have to be. Below you will find the most common sets of records to help you start or finish your genealogy research and build that family tree. See Getting Started with Genealogy for more information

Census Records

A census is an official enumeration of the population in a particular area. In addition to counting the inhabitants of an area, the census generally collects other vital information, such as names, ages, citizenship status, and ethnic background. Each census can prove to be invaluable in painting a portrait of a family at a particular place and time.

Ancestry.co.uk - Genealogy, Ancestry, Family Trees
Search over 7 Censuses ALL on Ancestry.co.uk today
1901 Census England Wales Channel Islands Isle of Man Scotland
1891 Census England Wales Channel Islands Isle of Man Scotland
1881 Census - Free England Wales Channel Islands Isle of Man Scotland
1871 Census England Wales Channel Islands Isle of Man Scotland
1861 Census England Wales Channel Islands Isle of Man Scotland
1851 Census England Wales Channel Islands Isle of Man Scotland
1841 Census England Wales Channel Islands Isle of Man Scotland

Birth Marriage & Death records -

Civil vital records—for Births, Marriage and Deaths —mark the milestones of our lives, and are the foundation of family history research. Chronicling the personal moments of our lives through the objective perspective of the public record, vital records can offer details often found through no other genealogical resource. They can be useful in proving or disproving other sources, give you a more complete picture of your ancestor, help you distinguish between two people with the same name, and help you find clues to earlier life events.

With these records, you can gain access to information regarding your ancestor's lives, such as the locations and causes of their deaths, the names of children or parents, their wedding dates and locations, and the many other details that help us record and remember the important moments in the lives of our families.

Search for BMD records here!

Search Census and BMD records here for the UK and USA

 

Church -

Church records contain information about baptisms, marriages, burials, and membership. In addition to the name of the person, church records often provide information about family members.

Search Church records here!

Cemetery -

Some of the cemetery records included are tombstone inscriptions, burial permits, and death indexes. These records usually show names, birth and death dates; sometimes, they include information on surviving family members.

England Cemeteries & Tombstones | Wales Cemeteries & Tombstones

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