In summer 2016 the American tv series Finding your roots approached me to do some research.  They could not tell me the name of the famous person whose ancestry I would work on. Not a problem, research is research.

All is now revealed

I’ve just found out that Christopher Walken was the celebrity whose ancestor I was researching so I’m quite excited! If his name is not familiar, he was in the Deerhunter, Annie Hall and voiced King Louie in the 2016 remake of the Jungle Book. Anyway, the latest series of Finding your roots broadcast last autumn and he featured in episode 2 Unfamiliar kin. It’s on YouTube with the and the work I was involved in starts about 12 minutes in.

What was I researching?

My work focused on his “Scottish felon grandfather”, Joseph Egan or Egen. He spent time in Pentonville and Portland prisons for reset of stolen goods. I found court and prison records including a photograph of Joseph. (Hint: Findmypast UK has some prisoner photographs.) You can see the  I also looked at his slightly complicated personal life. You can watch the

Would you like me to help you find your roots?


There is quite an interesting blog that talks about the Finding Your Roots episode 2 which also looked at the ancestors of Carly Simon and Fred Armesin. See Can you find your deep family history by watching T.V. ?




Posted on 30 April 2018.   Filed under General

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One comment so far

  1. Jane Steel says:

    I’ll look forward to watching that ! Well done.

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