Who Do You Think You Are? 2011
TV presenter Richard Madeley found he had some Canadian roots in his maternal line as he researched his family tree.
We discovered that Richard's maternal line is not his only connection to Canada, however, as we started to explore his paternal ancestors.
Richard's paternal grandfather, Geoffrey Madeley, can be found living with his parents Henry and Louisa Madeley and three siblings in Worcestershire in the 1901 census. Geoffrey's father was a provisions merchant, or shopkeeper click on the census return for a larger version:
Unfortunately this apparently happy family scene was not all it seemed. The Madeley family reputedly fell on hard times after Henry lost his job. Henry appealed to his brother William (who owned a farm in Shropshire) to lend him the money for tickets to Canada so that he and his family could make a fresh start.
William lent his brother the money, but the loan came at a high price. Henry and Louisa were required to leave their 11 year old son Geoffrey (Richard's grandfather) behind to work on his uncle's farm in exchange for the money to start a new life in Canada.
We found the Madeley family making their voyage to Canada in the passenger lists on findmypast.co.uk. They are recorded as 3rd class passengers on Lake Erie which departed for Quebec, Canada on 7 July 1909 note that Geoffrey is absent from the passenger list. Click on the image to enlarge it:
We discovered Geoffrey on the 1911 census on findmypast.co.uk he was living with his uncle in Shropshire when the census was taken. Click on the image for a larger version:
Following further investigation, we were glad to find a happy ending to the story. Another passenger list reveals that Geoffrey travelled to Canada himself at the age of 22 and was reunited with his family. We found Geoffrey's passenger list record on findmypast.co.uk which reveals that he departed Liverpool on 20 September 1919 on board the Carmania:
Passenger lists can be really useful when trying to fill in the gaps of your family tree. Search for your ancestors' voyages in the passenger lists leaving the UK 1890-1960 on findmypast.co.uk they could just hold the missing piece of the puzzle.