Actress Julie Walters kicks off the new season of Who Do You Think You Are tonight. She is hoping to find some skeletons in her closet and the show does not disappoint.
In researching her Irish ancestry she makes several discoveries. Her great grandfather Anthony Clarke was one of the early founders of The Land League. It was formed to protect farmers from being thrown off their land in the 19th century. The Land League eventually went on to win the right to buy land for the tenant farmers and in later years, many had their own plots of land. However, she is shocked to hear that he was accused of murder after attacking a man with a knife.
But while her great grandfather Clarke fought for the land rights of farmers, Ms Walters discovers another relative – great great great grandfather Cummins Buchanan, stole land from others for his employer when they fell behind their rent and also voted against any reforms which would have helped the poorest in Ireland.
Julie goes through a range of emotions as she is confronted with the good and the bad in her family history.
About Brian Gallagher
Brian is the International Social Media Specialist for Ancestry, working closely with our United Kingdom, Sweden, German and Australian teams.