The episode featured Anne Reid, whose has lately appeared in the Last Tango in Halifax, she was in Dinner Ladies and I learnt that she played Valerie Barlow in Coronation Street at the start of her career. Anne's story was interesting, she found out that her great grandfather was a school teacher who didn't turn up for work, who turned to forgery, was eventually convicted and transported to Tasmania. A convict whose family always thought he was a clergyman.
What Anne failed to realise, or at least it appeared that way, was that each and every one of her ancestors stories is not just black and white or one dimensional, but that the action of one ancestor directly affects the others. How you look at or feel about an individual person affects how you view another, Anne considered her ancestor to have been wronged and that his actions were the result of something someone else had done, and this may well have been the case, she never seem to consider that her ancestor just may have been no good and that his family could no longer cope with the fall out of his actions.
My own family history has many a character whom I could blame for how their actions affected the lives of others, my great great grandmother for instance had three illegitimate children (one being my great grandfather.) She moved in with a man who brought them up as his own and whose name the family took, who then disappeared without a trace. Instinctively, I feel sorry for him and dislike her and I shouldn't. I will never know whether she was incredibly strong willed and he a pushover or she was naive, and he just used her to cook, clean and warm his bed at night. Another ancestor abandon her family, leaving her youngest son, aged just four to be looked after by his sister. My ancestor then cleared off with the man who played the piano at the local pub, she irritated me as well! I later found out that she too had been left behind with her maternal grandparents when the rest of the family set out to London looking for a better life.
I've learnt that I have no right to poor scorn onto anyone until I have the full facts, nine times out of ten these people have had a hard life and their actions are just the result of this.
In my research, I have found, on the whole, life was not life but survival and that one man or woman's individual story is not a separate one, it is linked to others and eventually to us.
My website, is dedicated to all my family members long gone, good or bad and whose stories you can read by clicking on any of the links above or on the link below.