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Mary Berry's episode

Discuss the brand new series of Who Do You Think You Are? featuring the likes of Julie Walters, Brian Blessed and Billy Connolly

Re: Mary Berry's episode

Postby ritah » Sat Sep 13, 2014 2:11 pm

I have just caught up with this episode and thoroughly enjoyed it. Full of information and Mary herself was exactly what the 'celebrity' should be - attentive, interested, empathetic to her suffering ancestors and most of all did not interrupt and speak over the professional genealogists. More like this please.
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Re: Mary Berry's episode

Postby ksouthall » Sun Sep 14, 2014 6:11 pm

callbrian wrote:Hi
I'm wondering whether the Christopher Berry, Colin found is correct?
Although possible, he would have well into his 60s around the time of the younger childrens births.
There is another possible 8th June, 1831, Middleton, Norwich although no age is given.

I agree with Brian. Christopher Berry was referred to as "the younger", so the burial Colin found is more likely to be for "Christopher Berry the older". This was likely to be his father or uncle.

The burial Brian found could relate to either Mary Berry the stay maker's father or brother.

With reference to this episode, I thought it was one of the best of this series so far, along with Brian Blessed's. The range of records shown was good as I would not necessarily have considered checking workhouse records for lists of suppliers.
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Re: Mary Berry's episode

Postby ksouthall » Sun Sep 14, 2014 6:17 pm

I have found out the following about the Berry printing family:-

BERRY, Christopher

The founder of a family of booksellers and bookbinders in the parish of St John Maddermarket. An apprentice of Thomas Goddard, he became a freeman of Norwich as a stationer 25 Feb. 1747/8, having previously opened a shop at 13 Dove Lane (N. M. 28 Nov. 1747). In 1757 he took over the business of James Carlos at the sign of "the Bible and Dove" in the same street (N.M. 27 Aug. 1757). In 1761 he was the Master of the Union Coffee House Lodge of Freemasons (Le Strange and Amherst & Le Strange). After building up a successful business he died 2 Jul. 1770 and was succeeded by his sons, John and Christopher II (N. C. 7 Jul. 1770 and 21 Jul. 1770). See also the entries for the Berry family below.

BERRY, Christopher II

With John Berry (probably his brother) he ran the business of his father, Christopher, from 1770 until at least 1783, and perhaps 1787 or 1788. His name appears on Land and Window Tax papers for the parish until 1783 when his place is taken by his son John II (N.R.O. 23A). John II was only in partnership with John for a short period (circa 1784/5) before his name disappears, and it seems that Christopher II may have returned from a retirement to run the business in partnership with john circa 1785-7. If this was the case, he presumably died circa 1787/8; thereafter john’s name only is found on the Land and Window Tax papers. Christopher II was the master of Robert Cordran and William Tooke Robberds,

BERRY, Christopher III

John Berry ran the family business alone for a short period until' his death in July 1789. Thereafter he was succeeded by Christopher Berry III who was apparently his son. From 1795 until at least 1807 Christopher III was in partnership with Christopher IV and Robert Rochester (N. M. @ 3 Jun. 1795, A catalogue of books ... by Berry and Rochester, Norwich, 1805, and poll books for 1799, 1805, and 1806). At some time before 1810 either Christopher III or IV was replaced in the partnership by John III.

BERRY, Christopher IV

Possibly the son of Christopher III or perhaps more likely the son of John II, he was in partnership with Christopher III and Robert Rochester from 1795 until circa 1810 (subscription list to Blomefield 2nd ed.). Thereafter he was probably in partnership with a third ' John Berry (Berry) and these names appear on imprints until circa 1823.


He was in partnership with Christopher II from 1770 until 1783, and with John II, who was probably his nephew, from circa 1784/5. He was working with Christopher II again circa 1785-7, and alone from circa 1787/8 until his death in 1789 aged 42 (N. M. 1 8 Jul. 1789). In 1777 he was temporarily in partnership with Martin Booth to sell the library of the antiquary Thomas Martin (D.N.B.). He was succeeded by Christopher Berry III who was apparently his son.


The son of Christopher II, he became a freeman by patrimony 2 Mar. 1782, and was in partnership with his uncle John Berry circa 1783-5. Possibly the father of Christopher IV?

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Mary Berry's episode

Postby coopernicola » Tue Sep 16, 2014 10:47 am

Rather belatedly I've watched this episode and it was great, everything we expect from WDYTYA. We followed a number of ancestors and their lives, leaving some interesting unanswered questions for after show debate. Mary's interaction with the various experts she met was lovely and the bread making section was actually relevant as it gave a good insight into bakery conditions & production (I loved that she insisted on taking out her own loaves).
It was also good to see Peter Higginbotham of the marvellous workhouse website, and nice to go 'backstage' at Norfolk archives. It's worth mentioning that although us ordinary folk would not be able to do this we do occasionally get to handle the original parish records (I did this week at my local archive) and it's really thrilling.
More episodes like this please.
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Re: Mary Berry's episode

Postby JaneyH » Wed Sep 17, 2014 11:54 am

I finally watched this episode on iPlayer last night.

I agree that it was an excellent programme; much more rooted in some thorough research, rather than than concentrating on one thing very obviously linked to the person being featured. The emotion really showed on Mary Berry's face as she discovered that her ancestor had put his wife and six children into the workhouse in the early 19th century. This, for me, was particularly poignant, as my great-grandfather did the same to his wife and children in the early 20th century. While I accept the notion that workhouses were Victorian institutions I struggle to comprehend that my grandfather spent time in such a place ... in the 1920s.
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Re: Mary Berry's episode

Postby Caerportus » Thu Sep 18, 2014 5:03 pm

Brilliant episode, lovely lady, real Genealogy.
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Re: Mary Berry's episode

Postby Joanne Penn » Sun Sep 21, 2014 6:37 pm

Christopher was buried 20th June 1831 at Norwich, St Giles. The arrangement for him to pay maintenance was unusual. I found only one other example of this in the whole book. Most men who abandoned their families were ordered to taken before a magistrate, where an order to pay maintenance would be made. Christopher was not taken before a magistrate. The amount he paid was reduced twice in the following weeks, firstly to 15 shillings and then to 12 shillings. If Christopher did abandon his family, then he received special treatment for some reason. It is also possible that the whole arrangement was voluntary and that he did not actually abandon them, they were just in such dire circumstances at the time, that the workhouse seemed their best option.
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Re: Mary Berry's episode

Postby Markymoomoo » Fri Sep 26, 2014 4:17 pm

I really enjoyed Mary's episode. The bread making segment seemed far more natural than Tamzin and her ice cream making. This episode was how genealogy should be. What I like to do is try and find the newspaper articles she is shown - I managed to find all of hers :)
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Re: Mary Berry's episode

Postby Harriet » Fri Oct 10, 2014 4:07 pm

I enjoyed this one, and when the surname Houghton was mentioned I paid close attention as I have Houghton from St Giles Norwich.
Following the programme I looked up my records for my Houghton family and that Mary and I are distant cousins!
Her Robert's father was William Harmer Houghton and traces his descent back to Edmund Houghton (married Ann Osborn 1715 Cathedral Church Norwich). Their youngest daughter was my ancestor Sarah Harmer Houghton b.1731 St Giles Norwich, who married Matthew Wilde in 1758 St Michael Coslany Norwich. They are my 5x great grandparents.
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