Who Do You Think You Are? 2011
June Brown was the first celebrity to feature in the new series of Who Do You Think You Are?
Best known for playing Dot Cotton in EastEnders, June is the oldest person ever to take part in Who Do You Think You Are? As June delved into her past, she learnt more about her Jewish roots and how her family had no choice but to migrate across Europe.
June discovered that her great-great-great-grandfather, Isaac Bitton, was a bare knuckle boxer. Our research led us to this picture of Isaac in action.
Isaac died before the earliest census was taken, but we've managed to track down his widow, Elizabeth Bitton, in the 1841 census on findmypast.co.uk click the image to enlarge it:
Here we can see Elizabeth (June's maternal great-great-great-grandmother) living in Whitechapel, London with five children, including Sarah Bitton, June's maternal great-great-grandmother.
According to this census return, Elizabeth was working as a General Dealer. We found the following definition of a General Dealer: a 'dealer in cheap, mainly second hand goods, junk shop man'. The 'F' in the 'Where born' column tells us that Elizabeth had been born in 'Foreign Parts'.
Ten years on, we found Elizabeth and family in the 1851 census on findmypast.co.uk. In 1851 Elizabeth was still living in Whitechapel with four of her five children click the image to enlarge it:
Elizabeth was still working as a General Dealer in 1851. We can see that her daughter Abigail, aged 16, was working as a Cap Maker at the time the census was taken.
The census return also reveals Amsterdam, Holland as the 'Foreign Parts' in which Elizabeth was born.
Try searching our 1841-1911 England & Wales census records yourself you never know who you might find...