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

Tue Sep 30, 2014 9:03 am

Hello everyone,

The series is almost at an end! On Thursday, comedian Billy Connolly receives the Who Do You Think You Are? treatment in an episode that focuses not on Glasgow as you might expect, but thousands of miles away in India. As ever, post your thoughts on the programme below.

If you’re feeling inspired by the Big Yin's story, make sure you remember to pick up a copy of our October 2014 issue (out now!), which contains a guide to the best websites for tracing British family in India.

On Saturday 4 October we’ll also be running a live web chat with Peter Bailey from FIBIS – check out our live web chats section nearer the time for more details.

Best,
Jon

Re: Billy Connolly's episode

Thu Oct 02, 2014 9:25 pm

Hi
another fine episode in the WDYTYA? tradition.
Strangely, one of my lady learners discovered, only last week, that one of her relatives was on board HMS Shannon. This was one of the ships that was sent to aid with the relief of Lucknow.
If interested this is a link for the HMS Shannon and the crews involvement!
http://www.memorials.inportsmouth.co.uk ... hannon.htm
regards
Brian

Re: Billy Connolly's episode

Fri Oct 03, 2014 7:24 am

Once it got going, at one point I was willing it to start, this was a brilliant episode. Normally a larger than life character, I liked the 'real' Billy Connolly and he appeared genuinely interested. When he said that he knew virtually nothing about his family, this was indeed true.

The series has not overwhelmed me, but I will be sad to see it go.

Re: Billy Connolly's episode

Fri Oct 03, 2014 11:58 am

Really enjoyed this one

I loved hearing about the Indian history – A most fascinating time and I too wished i could
have seen India at the time of the Raj - it was so interesting i didn’t want it to stop.

I would love to find out more about his interesting family and what happened to them.

It was good they showed how long it can take to trawl through old records – rather than have
someone sit there & produce the record for you.

I thought the lady at the hospital going through the medical records was so lovely.

Perhaps WDYTYA should take note and produce more in the next series that were like
the last few celebrities shows.

Re: Billy Connolly's episode

Fri Oct 03, 2014 1:00 pm

I thoroughly enjoyed the Billy Connolly episode and it was special for me as three branches of my family were in India in the 19th century. One of my army ancestors was based in Bengal, around Meerut, Cawnpore and Lucknow, in HM 16th Lancers but luckily for him and his family he had retired before the mutiny and went to live in Mussourie. Another branch spent the 1880s to 1890s in Bangalore in the Civil Service, so it was fascinating to see the area.

I have enjoyed the whole series, as I always do. There is always something interesting and, even if it does not relate to my own family history in any way, it is always interesting from a social history point of view and usually a good story.

Re: Billy Connolly's episode

Tue Oct 07, 2014 8:30 am

I managed to watch this on Youtube last night. Certainly enjoyed the episode very much and Billy Connolly came across as a delightful subject for the research, with courteous and natural but not "over the top" responses to findings.

Two aspects of the program troubled me.
1) when looking for his grandmother's birth record, the sudden jump from the 1911 and 1901 censuses which suggested either Lankarkshire or Ireland, to saying no birth was found and the sudden production of an Indian Office register for a baptism in Bangalore!!! What a massive leap without any hint of what suggested the need to search in the IOR.
2) the assumption that ? was it John O'Brien's wife had an Indian mother because she was described as "East Indian" on their child's baptism register. While I would agree that the term "East Indian" indicated someone of mixed race, and usually coming through the female line, it is a big leap to assert that any particular person was fully Indian.
Sylvia
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