Who Do You Think You Are: “Alex Kingston”

What I watched: Who Do You Think You Are“Alex Kingston” (original air date: September 19, 2012)

How I watched: Streamed

Snacks: Cookies

kingston500

Synopsis: Alex Kingston tries to discover more about her great grandfather who died in the First World War, and see if there is any truth to the rumour that there is some Jewish ancestry in her family.

Why I watched: It was an especially busy and rainy day, I wanted some comfort television with a documentary/history bent.

Notes: I have no idea who Kingston is, but this episode was fascinating to me because of the two ancestors that she researched. The first, her great-grandfather, was a professional in the early era of photography and image projection, a vocation that brought him into the First World War as a sound range engineer.

She also was trying to determine if she had any Jewish ancestry and in so doing she came across family members from the Jewish community who lead very colourful lives. One of her ancestors, a woman, was widowed quite young with 4 children under the age of 10. She opened a brothel to avoid slipping into poverty (in the Victorian period this could mean illness and death) and by the end of her life was an upper middle class woman with several properties to bequeath. She also remained a widow in order to keep all her property her own and to avoid laws of primogeniture wherein her accumulated wealth and property would go directly to her eldest son (who was a waster) she placed all her properties into a trust which would go directly to his daughter, her granddaughter (who she raised, because her son was in prison or something).  Very interesting.

Recommend: If you are interested in history, yes.

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