Else Churchill from the Society of Genealogists expresses her delight at the success of the show and tells us how popular the talks and lectures have been this year.
Presenter, columnist and producer, Richard Madeley will be appearing at Who Do You Think You Are? live on Sunday 26th at 10am and 11am to talk about his episode of the television series.
As one half of the well-known husband and wife television duo, Richard Madeley has gained huge popularity from his time presenting This Morning and Richard & Judy. But with the couple’s decision to pursue solo careers, Richard feels that this transitional period is what makes him want to uncover his familial roots, to understand, as he puts it, “why I am the way I am.”
Born to an English father, Richard has already traced his paternal side back to the Victorian era. It is his mother’s Canadian heritage which he wishes to explore and so his journey starts across the pond in Nova Scotia, Canada.
Richard traces his five times great grandfather John Hicks, whose pioneering spirit led him to become one of the earliest European settlers in Nova Scotia at a time when the province was a vast, dangerous wilderness. John Hicks was one of thousands of New England immigrants who came to Nova Scotia in search of a new life and so this becomes Richard’s next port of call.
Once there he is proud to discover a female ancestor who participated in one of the first collective political actions of US women, nearly three centuries before women in America got the vote; a feistiness of spirit which reminds him of when he was first attracted to Judy.
Richard then discovers that his eight times great grandfather Ezekiel Woodward fought in King Philip’s War – a bloody conflict between New England colonists and local Native American tribes which began in 1675.
Finally, Richard goes back another generation and discovers that his other ancestor William Beamsley came to the new world in search of both religious freedom and a better life in the 1630s. He joined the Massachusetts Bay Colony, which was led by wealthy puritan John Winthrop.
Richard has discovered a wealth of adventurous ancestors, who have travelled from England to the New World, New England to Nova Scotia, Scotland to Canada, in search of better lives. This pioneering spirit has led them to be there for pivotal moments in the creation of the new world, and it is this daring spirit which Richard admires when he reflects, “My ancestors came with burning hope in their hearts, with burning optimism and a determination to face down their fears”.
Come and listen to Richard talk about his ancestry experience on Sunday in the Celebrity Theatre. To guarantee your chance to listen to Richard’s story, you can reserve a ticket for just £2 when you buy your tickets for the show.
Click here to buy your tickets.