Friday, 10 October 2014


Supermodel and actress Twiggy, born Lesley Hornby, was the subject for this week's Who Do You Think You Are?, the 100th BBC episode overall. At last someone whose name I recognised!

Tracing back through her maternal grandmother uncovered a story of poverty, a deadbeat dad, the workhouse and, in the previous generation, non-violent crime. Her great-great-grandmother, Grace Gillies, served time for larceny, then mended her ways to become a landlady. Unusually she died in a rush into a shop holding a sale in 1897  -- all well documented in newspapers.

Twiggy took the revelations more or less in her stride with an understanding attitude to her ancestor's weaknesses and appreciation of the strength needed to pull through and make the best of things.

This must have been a relatively inexpensive episode to research, all familiar English records and newspaper articles easy to find with increasing digitisation. There was no travel outside London beyond Kent.

This final episode in the current BBC series, the 10th season, continues to inform and entertain.

UPDATE:  The Deceased Online Blog has found records for burials of Twiggy's ancestors in the company collection.


Molly McLeod said...

Do you subscribe to a site that shows UK TV programmes? I have to wait until my brother records the programme then sends a copy on disc!

Deceased Online said...

Very good show that focused mostly on Victorian urban records. We've got many of Twiggy's ancestors' burial records on Deceased Online and our blogger Emma Jolly has dedicated her latest blog to these records,