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Old 10-09-19, 18:25
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Default Who Do You Think You Are - Mark Wright 11th Sep

On BBC1 at 9 p.m. and repeated next Tuesday at 11:15 p.m.

Warning - may not be the Mark Wright you're thinking of! Though hopefully you will have seen which one it is in the opening credits of the other episodes.
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Old 10-09-19, 18:59
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It's tomorrow, isn't it?
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Old 10-09-19, 21:48
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Yes, tomorrow is the 11th Sep.
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Old 10-09-19, 21:49
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Oh, I didn't notice the date!! I was looking in the TV guide for it.
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Old 11-09-19, 21:05
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Best one of the series
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Old 11-09-19, 21:09
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Agreed Marg. In fact I would say THE best of the series. A thoroughly interesting story that was a bit different to the usual and I did like Mark Wright.
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Old 11-09-19, 21:18
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I stayed awake! The first time in this series.....

Mark Wright came across as a very genuine person ( I liked him when he was on Strictly, too). Having discovered through DNA that I have previously unknown East End Jewish ancestry I personally found it very interesting. I would love to have a one to one with an expert on the Bevis Marks records.
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Old 11-09-19, 22:13
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Mark Wright lives in Essex but his family roots are in the East End of London. His great-grandfather, George Wright, died at the age of 45 when Mark's grandfather, Edward Wright, was only about 19 or 20. Edward's mother Annie lived to the age of 90. Her father, who served in the army, was said to have come to England from Italy via Poland. George Wright's father Edward Wright was said to have disappeared to America for three years, buying horses from the Native Americans and selling them to the US Army.

Mark went to Stratford library in the East End and met a researcher who showed him the birth certificate of his 2xg-grandfather Edward Wright, born on the 6th Jul 1872 in Barkingside near Ilford in Essex, and the certificate of Edward's marriage to Ellen Anson on the 8th Aug 1893 at St Paul Bow, with his occupation given as carman. A newspaper article from about 1895 said that he was convicted of stealing straw worth £2 5s and was sentenced to 6 months of hard labour in jail, and another one from 1898 said that he was found not guilty of stealing bricks.

Mark went to the Royal Victoria Docks with an historian who told him what the docks were like in those days, and showed him that on the 1911 census Edward was living at Quadrant Street in Canning Town, with 5 of his 9 children still living at home. The minute book of the Poor Law Board of Guardians had an entry agreeing to supply boots for the Wright children. The historian also showed Mark a mugshot of Edward from the Police Gazette, which listed his aliases and several previous convictions.

Mark then went to Bishopsgate Institute to meet an historian, who showed him a passenger list from 1914 where Edward, aged 40, was listed in a group working for the Atlantic Transport company, bringing horses over from the US to Britain to be used in WW1. Army service records showed that Edward joined the Army Veterinary Corps in 1915 as a horseman, giving his age as 38 although he was actually 42 or 43.

Mark then looked at Annie's line. He looked through old family records including her birth certificate - she was born Annie Simons on the 5th May 1910 at 64 Ernest Street, her parents being Joseph Simons and Annie Simons nee Smith. Joseph and Annie sr's marriage certificate gave their fathers' names as Henry Simons and William Henry Smith respectively. Mark looked for census records and found Henry Simons and his wife Rebecca on the census with Henry's occupation given as Passover Cake Maker. Their children's names included Leah and Solomon.

Mark went to Toynbee Hall to meet a Jewish social historian, who showed him Rebecca Elboz's birth certificate, which showed that she was born on the 14th Oct 1845 at the Portuguese Jewish Hospital on Mile End Road, suggesting that her family were Sephardi Jews. Her father was named as Solomon Elboz, a hawker. Mark was shown a map from 1899 of Jewish East London, and then went to the Bevis Marks synagogue and met the beadle and curator, who showed him an entry in the minute books of the managing board dated 1857, saying that Solomon Elboz was given money to pay for his hawker's licence. Mark was then shown a family tree drawn up from the synagogue records, going back as far as his 9xg-grandfather David / Antonio de Mendoza, a master swordsman, born in about 1660 at Jaen in Andalucia, Spain. (David was his Jewish name, Antonio his Spanish one.) Mark said that some of the Wright family live in that area now.

Mark went to Andalucia to meet a master swordsman. He then went to Jaen Cathedral and met a specialist Sephardi historian, also called David Mendoza, who was his 6th cousin twice removed, who showed him the Catholic baptism record of Antonio de Mendoza, the son of Pedro de Castro and Ana de Morales. At that time in Spain, Jews had been forced to convert to Catholicism and many were questioned by the Spanish Inquisition if suspected of practising Judaism in secret. The Inquisition records of David / Antonio's nephew Miguel Mendoza mentioned his uncle Antonio of Cadiz. Mark went to Cadiz and met an historian who showed him the Inquisition records on Antonio - he was arrested on suspicion of practising Judaism in secret and aiding others to do the same. His assets were frozen and he was sent to a secret prison in Seville.

Mark went to Seville, where Antonio was sent in 1696, and looked through the records of his case. In 1698, the order was given to torture Antonio, who still didn't confess. The records of his Auto da Fe (trial) showed that he was condemned to the loss of half of his assets and jailed for 6 months, and banned from going within 12 miles of the coast or borders.

Mark then met a Jewish genealogy specialist who told him that Antonio had claimed to be in danger in Seville and had asked to be sent somewhere safer, which led to him being moved to a prison near the Portuguese border. The records from Miguel's second arrest, in 1729, said that he had spent 16-17 years with his uncle Antonio and family in Amsterdam, where the family were all practising Jews. Antonio would have changed his name to David in Amsterdam. A list of Inquisition victims showed that Miguel was burned at the stake.
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Old 12-09-19, 06:44
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I did have to laugh when he started to look on the census for a William Henry Smith.... and in London too!!!! I thought good luck with that.....but he appeared to find the right one straight away!!! I hope any newbies looking for Smiths don't think it's that easy.

I loved the bit with the Spanish master swordsman: he looked like a character out of El Cid! Mark was very good if that was his first attempt at sword fighting. He compared the footwork to his grandfather's boxing days and wondered if it was an inherited skill. It could explain why Mark did so unexpectedly well in Strictly too.

They certainly saved the best programme until last.
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Old 12-09-19, 06:48
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Margaret in Burton View Post
Best one of the series
Marg, I misread your post last night as "one of the best of the series" ...so ended up saying exactly the same as you. I was very sleepy at the time. Sorry!
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