30 - Editorial - Who do we Think we are?

07:33PM BST - Friday, 15 June 2007

Contributed by: Jerry Green

Record Offices, parish record holders other historical sources of family information are expecting a rush of visitors - either through their doors or via e-mail or telephone -in the wake of the BBC1 television series Who do you think you are?, which began in mid October and is scheduled to go for ten weeks.
Established personalities, like Private Eye editor lan Hislop, 'Goodie' turned bird-spotter Bill Oddie and petrol-head Jeremy Clarkson, will show how - no doubt with BBC researcher assistance - they have delved into their families' past to find out more about their ancestors.
No one called Bunting appears to figure among the participants. But it seems highly likely that across the UK at least the series will stimulate a goodly number of Buntings, Buntons, Buntens et al to take up the genealogical torch in an effort to find out more about long-lost relatives.
There are often dark secrets about uncles or cousins that, as children, we heard whispered by our parents or grandparents, though they would demur from talking about further, except perhaps through tantalising references to a certain incident or maybe a relationship 'not being very nice'. The BBC series will undoubtedly whet many appetites to bring such mysteries out into the daylight.
A pull-out supplement to the Radio Times accompanying the series lists the many information sources available to family history researchers. They include over 20 archive and record centres, many of them in and around London, as well as half a dozen useful website references. To go with the TV series, the BBC has itself established a new website at [www.bbc.co.uk/familyhistory].
It would be nice to think that Who do you think you are? will also encourage people to make contact with organisations like the Bunting Society, and hopefully, in due course, become members. If you have kindred who till now have shown little or no interest in joining the society, but who have been 'turned on' by the BBC series, then please let them know that by coming along to the next Gathering - scheduled for Saturday October 15 2005 - they could well, under expert 'hands on' guidance, find out a lot more. There is a good chance that their place on one of the many Bunting family trees on display in the hall can be pinpointed.
At this year's Gathering, several looks of delighted amazement were elicited from people who were able to confirm ancestral links - contributing in its own way to the ongoing Society aim of connecting (thereby enlarging) the existing known trees and reducing their number. In theory, it should be ultimately possible to trace the relationship between any two Buntings!

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