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Monty Don gets the Who Do You Think You Are? treatment!


Published on 12 Aug 2010 17:00 : who do you think you are : 0 comments : 651 views

Last night, Monty Don became the latest celebrity to appear on Who Do You Think You Are? The episode focused on two branches of his family tree, his maternal Hodge and paternal Keiller lines.

One of the ancestors focused on was Monty's great-grandmother, Charlotte Augusta Hodge. Charlotte was one of nine children born to the Reverend Charles Hodge and his wife, Ann. Charlotte was left behind in England when her parents and four of her elder brothers emigrated to New Zealand in the 1850s.

While taking a look at the large Hodge family in the birth records this morning, Genes Reunited has discovered that there was actually a tenth child - Charlotte's twin. The image below shows the record of Charlotte Augusta Hodge's birth in East Retford, Nottinghamshire in the July/August/September quarter of 1846. Nine lines below Charlotte is an entry for a Harriet Vere Hodge, born in the same district.

The death index for the same quarter of 1846 reveals that Charlotte's twin died soon after her birth. Reverend Charles and Ann Hodge's youngest child was born four years after this tragedy and was also named Harriet, presumably in memory of the child they had lost.

This fresh information may help Monty understand why his great-great-grandmother, Ann Hodge initially emigrated to New Zealand without her husband and family in 1850. It was speculated last night that this showed a wish to escape from her husband. However, we feel that Ann's emotional state following the loss of one child and the recent birth of another must have played some considerable part in her actions.