Genes Reunited Blog
Welcome to the new Genes Reunited blog!
- We regularly add blogs covering a variety of topics. You can add your own comments at the bottom.
- The Genes Reunited Team will be writing blogs and keeping you up to date with changes happening on the site.
- In the future we hope to have guest bloggers that will be able to give you tips and advice as to how to trace your family history.
- The blogs will have various privacy settings, so that you can choose who you share your blog with.
The British Newspaper Archive
Read about historical events at the time they were happening. Perhaps you'll discover your ancestor in their local newspaper?
The first episode of Who Do You Think You Are certainly didn't disappoint us this week. It was the story of EastEnders actress Samantha Womack (nee Janus). We did wonder if her story might be as exciting as a soap opera, and it certainly didn't disappoint us. It started with her talking very emotionally about her father's suicide. She thought that learning more about his family might give her clues as to why he took his own life. That's often the way with family history isn't it? There will be some trigger that starts off your curiosity.
Samantha started by visiting her grandmother and asking lots of questions. This is a great way to get started with family history. Visit your living relatives and ask them everything they know. Make sure you write it all down! Her grandmother was able to give her quite a few names that really helped Samantha with her research. Our tree builder on Genes Reunited is free. Why not add the information you know about your relatives to it?
She started by looking in to the story of her great grandfather, Alexander. He lied about his past so that he could then fight in the First World War. The story she'd been told by her grandmother was that he had been injured in a gas attack, but in reality he had been shot in the lung and subsequently suffered breathing difficulties. The first family similarity appeared though. Alexander had been a musician, as was Samantha's father.
The story then moved on to his wife, Samantha's great grandmother Beatrice Garraud. Her name had been mis-spelled, making it tricky finding her in records. However, Samantha did discover that Beatrice and her brother had been brought up in orphanages after their mother left to make a new life in the USA. We follow Samantha trying to discover more about Jessie.
If you have relatives who moved abroad why not take a look at our passenger lists to see if you can find them?
We don't want to give too much away, but the story is a mixture of both sadness and happiness. If you missed it you can catch up on it here.