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Old 05-07-17, 19:13
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Default Who Do You Think You Are - Charles Dance 6th Jul

On BBC1 at 9 p.m. and repeated at midnight next Mon / Tue night, also on BBC1. It sounds like an amazing episode (in the proper sense of the word!, not as in "amazing" as some celebs respond to every small discovery.)
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Old 06-07-17, 19:33
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Been looking forward to this all day. It's been a very busy one and now I want to relax with one of my favourite programmes. I only hope I get to see it. With only half an hour to go there is a lot of thunder rumbling around and the lights keep dipping. PLEASE don't let there be a power cut!
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Old 06-07-17, 20:59
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Deja vu - I did a tree for my best friend who is has Futvoye ancestors and we now know is a cousin of Charles Dance. Amazed!
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Old 06-07-17, 21:41
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As usual, so many unanswered questions! And I was sidetracked by a couple of small but irritating errors. A gross is 144, not 120. Surnames were not assigned to a child on a birth certificate until relatively recently, so the rather garbled explanation for the disparity of surnames on the birth certificate TRANSCRIPTION wasn't accurate. And they weren't having an affair if they had seven children together!

Apart from that nitpick, I enjoyed this programme although I didn't warm to Charles Dance.

OC
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Old 06-07-17, 22:12
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Yes, I was annoyed about the "gross" mistake too. I think she said it was 20 when it should be 144. Also Charles Dance said that "under-house-parlour-maid" was the lowest of the low, but scullery maid, for one, would have been lower, surely?

I will type the summary up tomorrow.
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Old 07-07-17, 10:19
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Episode summary

Charles Dance has two grown-up children and a 4-year-old daughter. His mother was a servant from the age of 13, starting as an under-house-parlour-maid. His father, Walter Dance, died when Charles was 3 or 4, and Charles believed he was an engineer.

Charles went to see his brother Michael, 10 years older than Charles. Walter Dance wasn't Michael's father, but their mother never told him who his father really was.
Michael told Charles that their maternal grandparents were James Perks and Marion Gold from the East End of London. Charles went to the Bishopsgate Institute in East London to meet an historian who showed him the marriage certificate of James George Perks and Marion Elizabeth Gold. Their fathers' names were shown as James John Perks and George Frederick Gold, an insurance agent. George's birth certificate from 1848 showed his name as George Futvoye Gold Booth, the son of George Booth and Emma Booth, formerly Futvoye. The 1861 census had George sr and Emma as Gold, with George jr and more children: Ann, Edward, Emely, John, Alfred and Charles. The historian had found out that the couple were actually married to other people: George Gold to Hannah Stroud and Emma Futvoye to Abraham Booth, so when Emma registered the birth of George jr she had combined George sr's first name with her married surname for the father's name.

Charles went to Derbyshire to find out about the Futvoye family, at the archive of the John Smedley Mill. He was told that the Futvoyes came over to England from Spa in Belgium in 1791. Emma's parents were Charles Francois Futvoye, 1777-1847, an artist, and Sarah Cook. Emma had 11 siblings including George Futvoye who was Deputy Minister of Militia in Canada. Charles was shown portraits of Charles Francois and Sarah, and was told that one of Charles Francois's works was held by the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge. He went there to see it and it was a woodcut, maybe a design for a plate. On the back it said "Futvoye, 83 High Street, Marylebone, London".

Charles was shown the account book of Charles Robeson, an artists' supplier, which listed Charles Futvoye's purchases of large numbers of pencils, brushes, etc. Charles went to see a specialist art historian at Claydon House, Buckinghamshire, which has a "Chinoiserie" style room. An 1829 edition of the Morning Post had an advert for Mr Futvoye, teacher of India and Japan painting, etc. So he taught oriental painting at 83 High Street, Marylebone. Charles visited the address which is now a book shop.
Charles met another historian who said that there were many artists in Spa because it was a popular tourist resort, and that the Futvoyes were specialists in oriental art there, and had to leave for political reasons as there was a violent uprising in Belgium in 1789. Another edition of the Morning Post, from June 1814, had an advert placed by Mrs Futvoye, Charles Francois's mother, widow of Mr Futvoye, teacher of oriental art to the royal family.
Charles then turned to his paternal line. He knew that his father, Walter Dance, died in 1949, and thought that he was in his 50's when he died and had been divorced before he married Charles's mother. Charles had a photo of Walter in an army uniform, which he showed to an historian who said that it was not a First World War uniform but a Boer War one. He showed Charles the attestation papers for Walter Dance dated 23 Jan 1900, giving his age as 25 years 8 months, so he was actually born in 1874 and was 72 when Charles was born. The service papers showed that he enlisted for the duration of the Boer War, and that his next of kin was his wife Louie Rowley Morris and that they had a daughter Norah born 11 Dec 1898.

Charles went to the Royal Fusiliers Museum at the Tower of London to find out more, as that was Walter's regiment. The medal roll listed 8953 Sgt Dance, W. Charles looked at the 1911 census online, which showed Walter, age 37, with Louie, age 41, and Norah, age 12. It showed that Louie had had two children and one had died before the census. A genealogist told Charles that the other child was another daughter, Mary Rowley Dance, born on the 13th May 1903 in Lewisham. Father's occupation on her birth certificate was Electrical Engineer. Her death certificate showed that she died on the 16th Jul 1908 at 100 Goldsmith Avenue, Acton, the family's home address at the time, age 5, cause of death "fracture of the skull caused by being accidentally struck by a scaffold pole". Charles went to Goldsmith Avenue to see the house where they lived.

Later electoral roll entries showed Walter at Keith Road, Hayes, Middlesex, from 1912 to 1924, with Louie, and also Arthur Dance and Lily Mary Ann Dance. Another genealogist showed Charles an advert in the Surveyor Magazine from 1923 placed by "WD" of Ruislip, looking for a job in South Africa. Norah had married a South African, Hugo Hugo-Brunt, in 1921. Walter and Louie appeared on a 1924 passenger list travelling to South Africa. The South African archives showed that Norah had died in 1993, and left a will naming her granddaughter Nonine as executor. The genealogist gave Charles Nonine's address in Pretoria, and he went to visit her. She had a trunk of memorabilia left by Norah, including photos of her and of Walter, and her autobiography, which said that Walter was one of five brothers who lived in London and Broadstairs as children. It said that Walter had had to go back to England from South Africa for an operation, and that Louie had died soon after they returned to England. Walter's second marriage, to Charles's mother, would have been very soon after Louie's death.
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  #7  
Old 07-07-17, 10:23
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Louie Dance's death was registered Oct-Dec 1932 in Brentford district, age 62. Walter Dance married Eleanor M Perks Jul-Sep 1938 in Islington. So not "very soon" after Louie's death!

There is a 1939 Register entry for Walter Dance, born 1874, and Eleanor M Burfield (Perks) born 1911, at Bromsgrove. I don't know why they didn't include that in the programme.
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Old 07-07-17, 10:29
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Interestingly enough, the new GRO birth online index has "..." for mother's maiden name on the 1848 entry for George Futvoye Gold Booth, indicating that he was illegitimate. Some of the other children do have mother's maiden name shown.
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Old 07-07-17, 12:54
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Charles' mother remarried in 1950, the year after Walter's death. Perhaps the story about a quick remarriage was confused and it was she who remarried with indecent haste, not Walter.

I really wanted to know why the Perks family were so poor that their daughter went into service aged 13.

Also wanted to know why Michael, Charles' half brother, made no comment about Walter.


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Old 07-07-17, 13:05
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I wish I could find an unknown relative who would produce an ancient battered suitcase, stuffed full of documents and photos relating to those in my tree who are still a mystery to me!

I was quite taken with Charles Dance's attitude.....until he speculated as to why his S. African family hadn't made any attempt to contact him, the unspoken thing being "Since I am so famous". I thought that was a touch arrogant.

It was a fascinating programme; one of the better ones, I thought. Usually, when they only trace back to a father it is all about the war and military stuff which I think has become a bore but this was something else! It must be very difficult to discover that a parent - even one you don't remember - wasn't at all what you had always been led to believe. It was an excellent start to the series.
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