One family history TV show ends, another starts


The latest series of Who Do You Think You Are finished last night with Tracey Emin discovering her gipsy roots. Available on iPlayer until 10pm 19th October (2011).

So the Yesterday channel has timed a new family history programme well, starting next week. With the title ‘Find My Past’, this is closely connected to the genealogy website of that name, which says: “Each week, we take three members of the public on a journey to discover how they are related to someone from a significant historical event, by searching the records on findmypast.co.uk.” More about the TV programme. Ten part series on 9pm, Thursdays starting 20th October. I doubt it will have the production values of the BBC series, but looks plausible.

I have enjoyed nearly all of WDYTYA this time round, although Sebastian Coe was unexciting and Alan Carr annoying. The production team managed to slip in some history research shots, missing from some previous series, although there was still a lot of jumping back in time via the help of experts. I liked last night’s sequence which started with an online search not finding a matching Hodgkins family in the 1881 census. Then, to cope with enumerator or transcription error, the researcher kept all the other known search details (such as year of birth and place) but reduced the surname to *kins – the * representing a wild card. The surname had been recorded by the census taker as Hotchkins.

Notes

1. Link to FMP info on the television programme no longer available (at summer 2016).

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