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Myths and Truths

Tracing Your Roots, Series 4 Episode 2 of 5

30 minutes
First broadcast:
Monday 07 September 2009

Sally Magnusson presents the series exploring the practice of researching family history, with the help of resident genealogist Nick Barratt.

Lucille White has been trying to get to the bottom of a family that her great, great-grandmother may have been the illegitimate daughter of Louis XVI, but stories handed down from one generation to the next are often history as the teller would like it to have been, not as it really was. Birth, marriage and death certificates may not tell the whole story, so Sally and Nick investigate how to widen the search in order to disentangle myth from truth.

  • Lucille White

    Lucille White has been trying to investigate a family story that her great, great grandmother was the illegitimate daughter of Louis XVI. Sally shows the original source of the rumour, a letter written in 1911 to historian Professor Munro Price who believes the story is worth investigating further.

  • Carol Johnson

    Carol Johnson got in touch with Tracing Your Roots with a strange request. She is puzzled as to why when her mother is English her father is Irish, she is often assumed to have eastern roots. Nick Barratt looks her family tree for any clues and Dr Jim Wilson from Public Health Sciences at the University of Edinburgh sends her DNA off to a lab in London to try and find out if she really does have eastern roots.

  • Anna Cook

    Anna Cook was brought up with the tale that her great, great grandmother had been violently attacked before her marriage by her jealous step brother. But it was never really spoken about in detail. Tracing Your Roots reporter Henrietta Harrison takes Anna to Berkshire Records Office to check Broadmoor Hospital’s records, where the stepbrother was thought to have been sent after the attack.

  • Neil Thomas

    Neil Thomas wrote to Tracing Your Roots with a wartime mystery he wanted to solve. His father's one claim to fame was that he was the last man to leave French soil after the evacuation of Dunkirk. Nick Barratt sifts through war diaries at the National Archives to find out whether his claim is true.



  1. Image for Tracing Your Roots

    Tracing Your Roots

    Inspirational family history stories and key genealogy advice. Sally Magnusson and Nick Barratt…

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