Bruce Forsyth & Secret Bigamist Great-Grandfather? | Who Do You Think You Are
▶ SUBSCRIBE FOR MORE 🔔 : http://bit.ly/WDYTYAyt Bruce Forsyth receives a letter from America from a woman who claims to be related to Bruce through Bruce's great-grandfather, Joseph Forsyth Johnson. The letter suggests that Joseph Forsyth Johnson was married to two women at the same time and that he died at sea. Bruce is determined to investigate these claims and discover the truth for himself.Bruce starts by visiting his cousin, Alan Johnson, who gives him a cache of family photographs and the diary of his great Aunt Christina, which he takes with him. Alan also gives him Joseph's business card - a vital aid for Bruce in tracking Joseph and his family's steps in the late 19th century.Bruce follows the business card to Bond Street, London, where Joseph opened a landscape gardening shop. Knowing that Joseph worked in America at some point, Bruce tracks down the passenger lists for Joseph's journey and is in for a shock. He heads off to New York on Joseph's trail, which then takes him to the American South.Bruce's quest to uncover his great-grandfather's secret history ends back in New York where he finally discovers Joseph's fate. Joseph was a man who was both an extraordinary pioneer in his field, but also a man who bucked the social mores of the day and paid dearly for it, leaving a trail of confusion and unhappiness in his wake.▶ WATCH MORE WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE: http://bit.ly/WDYTYAClips ▶ J.K. Rowling | Who Do You Think You Are?: http://bit.ly/JKRowIing ▶ David Tennant | Who Do You Think You Are?: http://bit.ly/DavidTenn ▶ Martin Freeman | Who Do You Think You Are?: http://bit.ly/MartinFre ▶ Gary Lineker | Who Do You Think You Are?: http://bit.ly/GaryLine
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CHECK OUT THE WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE WEBSITE ⇨ http://bit.ly/WdytyaBBCThe showbiz legend traces the colourful life of his great-grandfather, Joseph Forsyth Johnson. His first visit is to a cousin, genealogy enthusiast Alan Johnson, who has an extensive collection of family documents and photographs. These include a diary kept by one of Joseph’s children, Christina, which makes reference to a visit by her father from the USA to England in 1894, and a business card that lists Joseph’s CV.According to research by social historian Katherine Hughes, Joseph subsequently set up a landscape gardening shop on upmarket Bond Street. London. Yet she also finds hints that all wasn’t well in Joseph’s family. The 1881 census shows his family living in Wilmslow, Cheshire, suggesting a schism. By 1891, Elizabeth had returned to London, to Tottenham. The census shows the couple’s children working in comparatively humble jobs – Christina was a kitchen maid.Katherine also reveals that, in 1885, Joseph sailed for New York. He didn’t travel alone, but in the company of Frances Clarke, a 26-year-old linen draper’s assistant. The couple are shown on ship’s records as man and wife.Bruce follows Joseph to New York. Beginning at the Municipal Archive, he learns that Frances was probably pregnant when the couple set sail with the first of the couple’s three children. Joseph became a superintendent of horticulture in Brooklyn, responsible for overseeing work at Prospect Park, a position he lost after clashing with local commissioners.Better fortune awaited him in Atlanta, Georgia, where his work on Piedmont Park was hugely acclaimed. He also designed Inman Park, an elegant garden suburb. Joseph had joined high society.And yet, as so often in Joseph’s story, there’s a twist in the tale. A city directory from the early 1900s lists Frances as a dressmaker and Joseph’s widow, but liner records show him heading from the UK to the USA in 1903. Joseph, it seems deserted his second family, just as he did his first. Bruce has one final meeting in the south, with Linda Mundy, whose letter keyed off his research and whose husband is descended from Joseph and Frances, and her family. He’s able to tell them that he’s found no evidence that Joseph was a bigamist, for the simple reason that Joseph and Frances never married.This leaves one final matter to research: Joseph’s death. Bruce learns that Joseph died suddenly in New York in 1906, not at sea as Linda’s side of the family thought. He left just $389, barely a month’s income when he was in his prime. Bruce goes to see Joseph’s grave at Brooklyn’s Evergreens Cemetery. It’s an unmarked plot. Bruce, who has now commissioned a headstone, lays flowers and sadly walks away.