Who Do You Think You Are? – Jason Donovan

31 Aug

Last night’s episode of Who Do You Think You Are? featuring Jason Donovan was an enjoyable and interesting programme, but not outstanding. For me this series has so far lacked any really memorable (for the right reason) episodes.

I was a little surprised to find Jason Donovan on the UK version of the show rather than the Australian version, but that didn’t really matter as I was keen to learn a bit more about Australian family history. Whilst we learnt quite a bit about convicts (was anyone really surprised that he had at least one convict ancestor?), I would have liked to learnt more about everyday records, like those of birth, marriage and death.

That being said the stories uncovered were interesting, focusing mainly on three individuals, the two earliest ancestors being different sides of the same coin, convict and guard. It was the second of these, William Cox, that provided the most interesting story, travelling to Australia with his family and ending up as a pioneer paving the way for the growth of the Australian nation.

I was a bit confused by the preview of programme which said that they uncovered a miscarriage of justice, sure the punishment of transportation was harsh, but there was no indication why this should be seen as inappropriate for the time or any irregularities in the trial.

This episode did produce my favourite line of the series so far, when Jason told his first cousin once removed that he had been “too interested in myself for too long”. I don’t think it is just Jason that feels this, I think many people at one time or another realise this is case and wants to find out more about where they came from.

4 Responses to “Who Do You Think You Are? – Jason Donovan”

  1. nickyinsussex August 31, 2010 at 5:23 pm #

    I think it’s always a shame when a professional genealogist is introduced who seems to have done the research already!

  2. John Gasson September 3, 2010 at 7:11 am #

    I totally agree, in this I was hoping to learn more about Australian research but it had already been done. I guess they didn’t have long enough either on the programme or for extensive filming in Australia.

  3. Cathy Jensen May 23, 2011 at 11:24 am #

    I know this threat is a bit old but it takes a bit longer for these programs to air in Australia. I quite enjoyed hearing about William Cox, who was a humanitarian in an age where it wasn’t always the case. The name William Cox rang a bell and immediately after the program I checked my husbands family history, and yes, his Gt x 4 Grandfather James Schofield was on a list of convicts assigned to and maintained by William Cox in 1823. It’s nice to know that James Schofield was assigned to someone like Cox who would have treated him fairly.

    • Anonymous September 8, 2011 at 11:08 pm #

      I was watching the show and new my ancestor convict Thomas Carpenter worked with William Cox cross the mountains I was greatful for the free family history.

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