Fas­ci­nat­ing fam­i­lies

Who Do You Think You Are? Magazine - - TV&RADIO - Jonathan Wright

The name Va­lerie Bertinelli doesn’t im­me­di­ately call to mind con­nec­tions to English roy­alty. Nev­er­the­less, the ac­tor, who first sprang to fame as a teenager in 1975 in the sit­com One Day At A Time has both Ital­ian and English roots, as she ex­plores in the lat­est episode of WDYTYA? USA to re­ceive its UK pre­miere.

Va­lerie be­gins her re­search with her Ital­ian fam­ily, and the en­gross­ing tale of how her great grand­mother, Maria Pos­sio, came to em­i­grate to the United States. How­ever, it’s Va­lerie’s meet­ing with Else Churchill at the So­ci­ety of Ge­neal­o­gists in Lon­don that pro­vides the key to the big­gest rev­e­la­tions, as the ac­tor learns she’s de­scended from James Clay­poole (1634-87), a lead­ing light in the growth of the Quak­ers, who em­i­grated to Philadel­phia, Penn­syl­va­nia.

Via her 8x re­moved grand­fa­ther’s coat of arms, she e learns that his son, Adam, mar­ried one Dorothy Wing­field, who could trace her lin­eage di­rectly back to me­dieval war­rior king Ed­ward dI (1239-1307), aka Ed­ward Long­shanks or the Ham­mer of the Scots.

In an­other new episode, Frasier and Cheers star Kelsey Gram­mer learns how his an­ces­tors in the Dim­mick fam­ily were pi­o­neers along the Ore­gon Trail, the wagon route that linked Mis­souri to Ore­gon, in the north-western United States. In the middle of the 19th cen­tury, prior to the build­ing of the transcon­ti­nen­tal rail­way, thou­sands braved the trail, drawn by the prom­ise of cheap and plen­ti­ful land out west. It’s re­search that draws on pa­pers now held at the Spe­cial Col­lec­tions and Univer­sity Ar­chives at the Univer­sity of Ore­gon Li­brary, pa­pers in which Joseph Gragg, the nephew of Joseph Dim­mick se­nior, Kelsey’s 3x great grand­fa­ther, re­calls life on the road as part of an ex­tended fam­ily. And death, too: one of Joseph’s sons, Thomas, who had spent a hot day hunt­ing buf­falo, died of cholera af­ter drink­ing bad wa­ter.

and Ac­tors Va­lerie Bertinelli

in the Kelsey Gram­mer star

WDYTYA? USA new se­ries of

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.