Saturday, 14 February 2009

Believe or not, J K Rowling's genealogy on Ancestry

An article in the February 8 Sunday Telegraph mentions that Harry Potter creator J K Rowling's ancestry includes the marriage of her great-grandfather Louis Volant, a WW1 hero, to Eliza Mary Ann Smith. They were married in Gorleston, Norfolk, on January 22 1900. According to the Telegraph Eliza's father worked for the Coastguard.

The story caught my attention as Gorleston was my home as a child.

On ancestry.co.uk, checking the 1901 census, the couple is found in Gorleston with Eliza's birthplace shown as Kessingland, Suffolk, England about 1875. In the 1891 census she is the eldest daughter of seven children of Henry and Elizabeth Smith. Henry's occupation is timekeeper. From the birthplaces for the children the family moved from Kessingland to Gorleston ca 1895.

In 1881 Eliza is living as niece in the home of Frederick and Mary Holt at the Swan Inn, Barnby, Suffolk. The inn is still operating and a recent review suggests some decent local food may be had.

For those who believe that everything on the Internet must be true there's an alternate Ancestry version of the family tree. The Gibbons Family Tree has Harry Potter with Living Rowling as the mother, Adolph Hitler as the father, Pope John Paul I as the maternal grandfather and Mother Theresa as his wife!

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