BBC1’s Who Do You Think You Are? continued last night with the family story of New Tricks star Tamzin Outhwaite, who traced her family history all over the UK and Europe through wars and tragedies.
Although already aware of her Italian heritage, Tamzin was shocked to learn that her great grandfather Adelmo Santi and great uncle Peter Santi were interred on the Isle of Man during World War II, a fate that befell all Italian men resident in Britain for less than 20 years during the war. Tamzin heard the emotional story of her ancestors’ internment, including the humiliating walk along a Douglas promenade, jeered at and heckled as enemy aliens.
Tamzin’s journey continued to follow Adelmo Santi, an ice cream vendor originally from Barga, Italy, who moved to Glasgow in 1913 to make ice cream, as did so many Italians. Noting a gap in the market, Adelmo eventually moved his family to Fishburn, Co. Durham, where he worked tirelessly, eventually becoming ‘the richest man in Fishburn’.
A much-loved pillar of the community, Adelmo donated a piece of land to Fishburn on which nothing could be built, and children would always be allowed to play.
We searched our records for Tamzin’s ancestors, and found the whole family, including Tamzin’s grandparents’ marriage record and great uncle Peter’s marriage record with Tamzin’s great aunt Iris who featured on the show!
You never know what you might discover once you start delving into your family's history. Start hunting now, and who knows what incredible stories you could uncover!