Tracing Your Roots is the series that helps put branches on your family tree.
Sally Magnusson and genealogist Nick Barratt uncover aspects of the UK’s social history through personal stories as they follow the genealogy trail back in time, and give you the tools to explore your own family history.
18 August 2007
This week we search for branches which are missing from the family tree.
At certain points in time some ancestors disappear from official records without a trace.
But dedicated detective work is often all that's needed to track down these missing persons from the past. Nick Barratt shares his tricks of the trade.
Stories in this week's programme...
A Signpost to South Africa
Paul Etherington’s family history research took a sudden intercontinental leap when he came across an inscription in a Yorkshire graveyard describing an ancestor’s son as “now in Port Natal.” Following the trail to South Africa, Paul discovered a whole new branch on the family tree and an extended family stretching across the world.
Gravestones Tell Tales
Genealogy can now be done via the internet in the comfort of your own home. But a visit to the graves of your ancestors adds flesh to the bones of computer research. Names, dates, relationships, quotations and symbols containing family history clues are etched into these historic slabs of stone. Archivist Fiona Scharlau shares the secret of interpreting these clues with reporter Claire White.
The Man Who Created Fairgrounds
Frances Nicolaisin grew up hearing vague rumours that members of her extended family "went to California to grow oranges”. When Frances' daughter married and moved to California, Frances made it her mission to uncover the identity of these mysterious fruit-growing ancestors. In the course of solving this puzzle Frances met a distant relative who invented the fairground attractions that made Disneyland famous.