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Who Do You Think You Are Project Page

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Surnames/tags: Australia Notables
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Genealogy in the Media Project

(Edit 30 June 2018): Please note: As a result of the recent changes to the way in which the profiles of living people on WikiTree are handled, this project is no longer really viable, nor is the larger Genealogy in the Media Project, which also aims to publish the information presented in the TV shows.

(Edit 28 July 2021): Added 2021 Season (8 episodes)

The goal of this project is to add the information presented on the SBS show "Who do you think you are?" to WikiTree, and join the featured people to the main tree.



Please note an empty page will be returned when clicking on these links above as these individuals are living.

I'm hoping some members of WikiTree in Australia (Facebook page) might want to join :)

Here are some of the tasks that I think need to be done. I'll be working on them. Help!

  • Check if all of the people who have been the subject of an episode have already been profiled on WikiTree and link it to the table
  • Rewatch favorite episodes (you know you want to!) and add profiles for the people featured in the show
  • Copy and paste this category into the profile of the celebrity,
  • Add to the tree until they join to the main tree
  • Can anyone make this page look better?

List of Episodes (Wikipedia page)

(Edit 28 Jul 2021) I have added lines between the names below, in preparation for episode summaries to be added at some later date.

Season 1 (2008)

  • Episode 2: Kate Ceberano - no Wikitree profile as at 22 Apr 2018
  • Episode 3: Geoffrey Robertson - no Wikitree profile as at 22 Apr 2018
  • Episode 4: Cathy Freeman - no Wikitree profile as at 22 Apr 2018
  • Episode 5: Dennis Cometti - no Wikitree profile as at 22 Apr 2018
  • Episode 6: Ita Buttrose - no Wikitree profile as at 22 Apr 2018

Season 2 (2009)

  • Episode 3: Ben Mendelsohn currently being worked on, not yet connected to the main tree.
  • Episode 4: Christine Anu - no Wikitree profile as at 22 Apr 2018

Season 3 (2010-11)

  • Episode 2: Rod Marsh
  • Episode 3: Tina Arena (Philippina Arena) - no Wikitree profile as at 22 Apr 2018
  • Episode 4: Shane Bourne

Season 4 (2012)

  • Episode 4: Vince Colosimo
  • Episode 5: John Wood - no Wikitree profile as at 22 Apr 2018
  • Episode 6: Michael O'Loughlin

Season 5 (2013)

  • Episode 1: Adam Hills
  • Episode 2: Asher Keddie - No Wikitree profile as at 22 Apr 2018
  • Episode 3: Don Hany
  • Episode 4: Michael Caton
  • Episode 5: Lex Marinos
  • Episode 6: Susie Porter - no Wikitree profile as at 22 Apr 2018
  • Episode 7: Rove McManus created, still working on it, and not yet connected to main tree.

Season 6 (2014)

  • Episode 1: Andrew Denton - no Wikitree profile as at 22 Apr 2018
  • Episode 2: Rebecca Gibney
  • Episode 3: Jacki Weaver - no Wikitree profile as at 22 Apr 2018
  • Episode 4: Richard Roxburgh - no Wikitree profile as at 22 Apr 2018
  • Episode 5: Amanda Keller but year of birth is wrong should be 1962
  • Episode 6: Adam Goodes
  • Episode 7: Lisa McCune - no Wikitree profile as at 22 Apr 2018
  • Episode 8: Paul McDermott

Season 7 (2015)

  • Episode 1: Geoffrey Rush
  • Episode 3: Luke Nguyen
  • Episode 4: David Wenham. Info added, not yet linked to the main tree. Note: David Wenham is very likely a family member of David's foster father, Edward Richard Wenham.
  • Episode 6: Peter Rowsthorn - no Wikitree profile as at 22 Apr 2018
  • Episode 8: Ray Martin - no Wikitree profile as at 22 Apr 2018

Season 8 (2016)

  • Episode 2: Peter Garrett - Information added. Could only start from great-grandparents as no information other than names were given for his parents and paternal grandparents in the episode. Peter's entry contains all individuals and their relationship at the end of the biography. Assistance welcomed.
  • Episode 4: Mal Meninga
  • Episode 6: Shane Jacobsen
  • Episode 7: Jane Turner - no Wikitree profile as at 22 Apr 2018
  • Episode 8: John Newcombe

Season 9 (2018)

  • Episode 2: Charlie Teo
  • Episode 4: John Jarratt Info added, not yet connected to the main tree
  • Episode 6: Todd McKenney
  • Episode 7: Ernie Dingo
  • Episode 8: Patti Newton

Season 10 (2019)

  • Episode 1: Scott Cam
  • Episode 2: Jennifer Byrne
  • Episode 3: Marta Dusseldorp
  • Episode 4: Karl Kruszelnicki
  • Episode 5: Casey Donovan
  • Episode 6: Kurt Fearnley
  • Episode 7: Kerri-Anne Kennerley
  • Episode 8: Rodger Corser

Season 11 (2020)

  • Episode 1: Lisa Wilkinson
  • Episode 2: Bert Newton
  • Episode 3: Cameron Daddo
  • Episode 4: Lisa Curry
  • Episode 5: Denise Scott
  • Episode 6: Kat Stewart

Maternal great grandparents Myles Devine and Eliza Redman arrived in Geelong, Australia on 4 May 1854 from County Wicklow, Ireland and they settled in Collingwood, Victoria.

  • Episode 7: Julie Bishop
  • Episode 8: Troy Cassar-Daley

Season 12 (2021)

  • Episode 1: Celia Pacquola

On her mother's side, Celia looked into the life of John Rae (b 1813-1900) who became the Town Clerk of the City of Sydney in 1843. John Rae married Elizabeth Thompson in 1845. Their son John Charles Rae drowned in Rushcutters Bay (then as Rushcutters' Bay), part of Sydney Harbour. Celia also looked into William Sherwin, who is related to her through her ancestor Amy Rae. William Sherwin was a member of the NSW Corps.

  • Episode 2: Malcolm Turnbull
  • Episode 3: Denise Drysdale

Denise looked into the history of her 3x great grandparents John Fanning and Mary Macnamara, who as a family travelled to Australia on the ill-fated ship Ticonderoga, a 'fever' ship in which many of the people on board were affected by typhus. On her paternal name, she looked into her Drysdale ancestors, where it was revealed that Drysdale was an adopted surname from a valley near Dumfries by a group of people who were running away from the law. Denise's great grandparents were James Drysdale (b Alloa, Clackmannanshire) and Betsy Cregan, who married in Melbourne, Victoria in 1872.

  • Episode 4: Jeff Fatt

Jeff's episode featured his maternal grandmother, Suk Fong (Rose) Ho, who married David Wong Lee on 2 Mar 1901 at the (Chinese Christian) Manse, Mary Street, Surry Hills. He also looked into an English ancestor Elizabeth Wright (1830-1892) who married John A. Young (an anglicised version of Lee Yung or Young) on 1 Jan 1856. John (known as Lee) worked for the colonial court system in the Victorian goldfield districts of Ballarat, Ararat and Stawell.

  • Episode 5: 'Uncle' Jack Charles
  • Episode 6: Grant Denyer

Grant's family tree showed that his 2x great grandparents were Charles Denyer and Cathleener Ward, and his relative wanted him to look further into Cathleener Ward. Unfortunately the story was extremely sordid, and Catheleneer's father, Charles Kennard Ward, was shown to be a very disreputable individual. The black episode in Grant's family history commenced with the death of Charles' wife, Sally in 1867, whereby Mary Ann, the eldest daughter was required to assume the role occupied by Sally, in more ways than simply looking after and caring for the other children. Grant's direct ancestor Alfred William Denyer was the husband of Isabella Ross, the last in a long line of Rosses who hailed from the Ross and Cromarty 'county' of Scotland, and where Highland Cattle were farmed by Isabella's forebears. The Ross family were one of thousands subjected to the particularly awful episode in British history known as the Highland Clearances, which saw hundreds of thousands of Scots emigrate to places like Canada, Australia and New Zealand. Isabella's grandparents William Ross and Anne Ross arrived in Geelong in 1855.

  • Episode 7: Chris Bath

Chris looked further into the life of her 2x great grandfather Joseph Springall who arrived on the Star of England in the port of Moreton Bay (Brisbane) on 17 Sep 1863. Over the course of his life, Joseph married 3 women but none of them fared all that well. His first wife, Clara Morris (b Brentwood, Essex) died in 1875, having given birth to 6 children. Second wife Alice Morgan whom Joseph married in 1878 died not long after from tuberculosis. Joseph then married Annie Elizabeth Bennett (b Geelong), but who curiously often went by the name Annetta, which the consultant told us was an Italian version of Annie, and could possibly be the person behind a "Spanish governess" family myth. On her paternal line, Chris looked into the story behind the Hagenow (aka Hogno) family of Walcha. Her 2x great grandfather, Alfred Bath married Sophia Hagenow, the daughter of Johann Hagenow and Caroline Werner.

  • Episode 8: Natalie Bassingthwaite

After viewing an extended family tree, Natalie wanted to look further into Philip Hogan, an Irish Catholic convict transported to Australia, along with his wife-to-be, Mary McMahon, who was also an Irish Catholic convict, but who had committed a much less serious offence. After marrying Philip, she then wrote to NSW Governor Lachlan Macquarie, seeking a pardon for Philip. Mary remained active in petitioning seeking fairer outcomes for her family, particularly one of her children, who was charged with killing his wife by drowning. Natalie's desire to know where her desire to perform emanates, led her to an ancestor called Wilhelmina Bassmann who was active in the performing arts scene in Sydney, Corowa and Orange. Her husband, Henry Eastwick, also came from a strong tradition of performing artists.

Example of sourcing if you are going to use the show as a secondary source:

  • Warner Bros. International Television Productions, 2018, Who Do You Think You Are, Season 9, Episode 1 (57), Leonie Elva (Noni) Hazlehurst AM, screen date 17 April 2018, SBS One, Australian domestic broadcast

Will you join me? Please post a comment here on this page, in G2G using the project tag, or send me a private message. Thanks!

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Comments: 2

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Hi, I seen your post on FB and love the show. I will help out. It is a great excuse to re-watch the episodes :)
posted by Kylie Haese
i am interested but really not sure where or (how) to begin ??
posted by Private (Hayes) Living