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Old 22-11-21, 22:57
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Default Who Do You Think You Are - Joe Sugg 23rd November

On BBC1 at 9 p.m.
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Old 23-11-21, 23:30
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Episode summary:

Joe Sugg, the younger brother of Zoe Sugg AKA Zoella, grew up in Laycock, Wiltshire. He had heard that his mother's family came from Wiltshire but had a connection with Ramsgate. Joe went to visit his mother and sister and looked at old family photos, including some of his maternal grandparents Richard Chapman and Carole Chapman nee Philpot. Carole grew up in Ramsgate and met Richard at an RAF base. There was also a photo of Carole's parents, Harry and Doris Philpot. Joe's mum showed him the marriage certificate of Harry's parents, Henry Philpot and Mabel Louise Pritchard, who married in 1911 in Ramsgate aged 25 and 24 respectively. Mabel's father was Albert Le Mesurier Pritchard, a telegraph operator.

Joe looked up the 1861 census entry for Albert and found him in Jersey, age 16, with his parents Thomas and Emily Pritchard. Thomas was a clerk and there were seven children altogether. Albert was a messenger for a telegraph company, and his older brother Adolphus Pritchard was a clerk, also for the telegraph company. Joe went to the Science Museum and met the curator of technology and engineering, who told him about what clerks and messengers would have done working for the telegraph company. She showed him a newspaper report from 1863 about how an underwater cable was used to send messages from London to Jersey, with "Mr Pritchard" (Albert) one of the people taking part in the tests, having moved to London. She also showed him burial records from St Helier, Jersey, for Thomas in 1870 age 62 and Adolphus in 1871 age 28, who both died of phthisis (TB).

Joe went to the Pathology Museum in London and met a medical historian who showed him a report in the Lancet from 1872 which said that Jersey was a health resort with many people having moved there for their health, and that phthisis was common among the natives. More burial records from St Helier showed that Emily died in 1872, and two of Albert's sisters, Emily Elizabeth in 1874 and Helena Sophia in 1875, all also dying of phthisis. On the 1881 census Albert was in Ramsgate, a telegraph clerk, with his wife Hannah age 35 and 5 children.

Joe went to Ramsgate and met a genealogist who showed him Albert's pension records, which showed that he rose from being a clerk in the submarine telegraph company in Jersey on 10 shillings a week to "clerk in charge" in Ramsgate, on 50 shillings a week plus a house. He retired in 1897 and died in 1901. The genealogist showed Joe his family tree, which showed that Emily / Emilie's parents were Thomas Le Riche born in 1771 and Marie Sorel born in 1775, with Marie's parents being Jean Sorel jr and Marguerite Thacker. Jean's parents were Jean Sorel sr and Marie Le Marchand, Joe's 7xg-grandparents. A record from Jersey dated 23 Jul 1753, in French, said that Marie Le Marchand, refugee, wife of Jean Sorel, was buried. Joe went to meet a genealogist who specialised in French family history, at the French Church in Soho, who told him that French refugees would have been Protestants, also known as Huguenots, and that the Sorel family came from Frennes in Normandy. In 1685 Protestantism was outlawed in France and Protestants were not allowed to leave the country. Jean and Marie were born after this date, and their families would have practised their religion in secret. Children had to be baptised Catholic within 1 day of their birth by law, so there was a Catholic baptism record for Jean jr dated 1735. In 1747 a law was passed allowing the authorities to take Protestant children from their parents and put them into Catholic convent schools. A list of French Protestants who had left France and were living in Jersey in 1750 included the Sorel children.

Meanwhile, Zoe had been working on Richard Chapman's family tree, and had got back as far as their 5xg-grandparents William Sanford Wapshare and Couth Anna Austen. William was the minister at St Thomas, Salisbury, so Joe went there and met the current vicar, who told him that William was the minister there when the Doom painting from the 1470's was discovered in 1819. The baptism register from 1814 showed that William baptised his own son, William Henry Wapshare and their abode was given as "Close", i.e. the Cathedral Close. Joe went to the house where the Wapshares used to live, and met an historian who had traced Couth's line back to Joe's 10xg-grandfather, John Austen born in 1624, citizen and jeweller of London. John's son Henry Austen went to Eton. Joe met an historian in the jewellers district of London, who showed him an apprentice record dated 1638 which said that John Austell, son of Henry Austell of Peasmore, Berkshire, yeoman, was apprenticed to Edward Cook, citizen and goldsmith of London. Another record from 1647 had John as the master taking on an apprentice in his turn. To be a master, he would have had to belong to the Goldsmiths' Livery Company.

The 1666 Hearth Tax records showed John Austin, goldsmith, living at Foster Lane in the City of London, with 16 hearths. The house would have burnt down in the Great Fire of London, as did the Goldsmiths' Hall, also on Foster Lane. Joe went to the rebuilt Goldsmiths' Hall and met a librarian who told him that the records show that John Austin was Prime Warden of the Goldsmiths Company in 1667 and 1668, and so would have been in charge of rebuilding after the fire, and that the Company sold many previous gold and silver items which they possessed to raise money, but had kept a few, including a cup used at the Coronation Feast of Queen Elizabeth I. John died in 1670 and the inventory of his estate included a lot of jewellery, including more than 1600 diamonds, and a list of his debtors, including the Duke of Albemarle.
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Old 23-11-21, 23:31
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Another interesting one, and I was impressed at how easily Joe deciphered that old handwriting! I was surprised that he hadn't come across the name Le Mesurier before, though. And wondered whether his Austen line was any relation to Jane Austen?
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Old 23-11-21, 23:36
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I enjoyed that, even though I still don't know who he is!

OC
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Old 24-11-21, 14:17
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He and his sister are YouTube influencers OC . I'm not sure what that actually means as I can't imagine why anyone would be influenced by anything on YouTube...but then I'm old! I had never heard of him until he was on Strictly Come Dancing a few years ago and he has since become a presenter on some television programmes. I thought that was a really interesting episode. Goldsmiths' Hall is absolutely stunning!!!!
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Old 24-11-21, 17:28
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Sue from Southend Sue from Southend is offline
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I enjoyed this one too. I liked Joe when he was on Strictly and he came across as a thoughtful, intelligent chap last night.
I also learnt something! I had no idea that protestants in France were forced to baptise their children in the Catholic Church so now need to have another look for a couple of my Huguenot ancestors in Catholic records.
I agree, Ann that the Goldsmiths'' Hall was spectacular and I wonder who inherited all that fabulous treasure!
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Old 24-11-21, 17:28
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Thank You Ann. I don't watch Strictly and very rarely watch YouTube, so he has passed me by.

I've always been interested in jewellery, even as a child and I was delighted to discover that a branch of my family were jewellers, including one goldsmith. I am in complete awe at the skill these men had. I felt it would have been a nice touch if they could have tracked down a piece made by his ancestor, but perhaps nothing still exists. What a shame.

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