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John Simpson's episode

Share your thoughts on the most recent series of the show, which features the likes of Sarah Millican, Nick Hewer and Gary Lineker

John Simpson's episode

Postby Jon Bauckham » Wed Sep 25, 2013 11:53 am

It doesn’t quite seem possible, but the final episode of the series will be shown this evening!

At 9pm on BBC One (10.35pm in Wales), broadcaster John Simpson learns more about the figure that looms large in his family tree – Wild West showman Samuel F Cody.

Please share your thoughts below.

All the best,
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Jon Bauckham
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Re: John Simpson's episode

Postby g w aldous » Thu Sep 26, 2013 7:54 am

Yes thats another series over :( .
this episode was probably one of the most boring to me it went on too much about sam cody who is in reality nothing to do with his ancestry but has a very minor role in his family tree. it ended with me quite disappointed that it was the last one for now and that it didn't really answer much. sorry if this is a bit harsh but as you can see when a really good episode is transmitted people post on here straight away I was very surprised that there were no posts here .
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Re: John Simpson's episode

Postby phsvm » Thu Sep 26, 2013 9:06 am

Well I'll post now to say I really enjoyed this episode. It was different which in a series is sometimes good to keep the subject fresh and catching the views attention. We were promised that this series would be different and so it has proved.

To say Sam Cody is "is in reality nothing to do with his ancestry" is a bit harsh. Blood may be thicker than water but that doesn't mean it's more important. To me, researching family history is more about the people that made 'the family' than blood lines. If you work on the basis that only blood relatives are important then researching could be pretty boring at times. Similarly, using this criteria, we wouldn't have seen the wonderful story that emerged about Lesley Sharpe's upbringing and background.

I've been fascianted by the history of my mother's first husband who died during the war. He was a rear gunner in a Lancaster which collided in fog with another aircraft over Belguim. One of his ancestors was a famous Canadian palentologists who discovered the first dinosaur remains in Cananda in 1884 and after whom a museum in Calgary is named. If I only stuck to blood relatives in my research I'd have missed all this which would have been a shame. Maybe he does only have "a very minor role" in my family tree but it's no less interesting for that. I'm obviously not a purist when it comes to researching!

For my money last night's episode was good. John Simpson in another environment and away from the war hardened journalist we often see added to the programme.
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Re: John Simpson's episode

Postby ritah » Thu Sep 26, 2013 3:34 pm

I enjoyed this episode very much. It had a documentary feel to start with but gradually all the threads were woven into John's story. I agree with phsvm that it is not only our direct blood line which is important but the many outside influences which made our forebears, and therefore us. One of the most interesting things for me in all these programmes is when the subject of the programme is shown photographs of relatives they had never had the chance to meet and try to spot any likeness.
John just about managed to keep to his wife's request not to cry although he was obviously very moved at times. To those who wonder why people cry over long dead relatives perhaps they should consider the word empathy.

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Re: John Simpson's episode

Postby MysticDave » Thu Sep 26, 2013 7:21 pm

This was quite disappointing really as it was one edition I made a point of watching, as I have a high regard for John Simpson. It smacked of a certain desperation to get a "serious BBC figure" in each series - each series seems to have its standard set-up - along with a bit of moralising about modern families. It sounded like they had found no-one of any real interest (I am beginning to think my own tree beats most of this lot hands down!) and so, focussed on one person, to0 whom he was not related and indeed, who even cut out JS's actual ancestor. I was just thinking about which way they would go next in the tree when the prog ended with JS mumbling about regrets over his mother and how he would stay in touch with his rellies.
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Re: John Simpson's episode

Postby 2012girl » Thu Sep 26, 2013 11:00 pm

I found this a very interesting episode, and covered a little bit of everything. Sam Cody was the man who his Great Grandmother ran off/ended up with so of course he's relevant to the story. I have quite a few 'step fathers' in my tree and although they may not be blood relatives, I find it very interesting to know their background and where they fit in to the picture. We then found out more about the King side with the mysterious poisoning and coroners inquest. The sad premature death of his Grandfather and then all the lies on the 1911 census, and haven't we all come across that one during our research! Also very poignant due to the estrangement between John and his mother. All in all a very good end to the series
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Re: John Simpson's episode

Postby meekhcs » Fri Sep 27, 2013 10:28 am

So looking forward to this episode as I admire John Simpson. Copied it because I couldn't watch it live. Put it on last night only to find the whole episode ruined by atmospherics!!Hopefully catch the re run Tuesday evening.
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Re: John Simpson's episode

Postby LHarvey » Wed Mar 04, 2015 10:36 pm

This show has only just been shown in Australia.
I'm assuming it is the same as what was shown in the UK a while ago.

I found this story so fascinating.
I suppose that through my own family research I can relate, as I had previously discovered that my uncles were present at the Doncaster meet as well, and would have spent time with Cody.

I had previously received information about Cody from a book called The Balloon Factory, by Alexander Frater, which I had read prior to seeing this show.

One of my uncles was Alban Joseph Roberts, inventor, and my other uncle, Fletcher Roberts.

Thank you very much for the show John Simpson, as I found that as your history was unfolding, mine was as well.

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