S02EP07: ‘The Sapper’ with Emma Jolly

In this, the seventh and final episode of Series Two (sorry folks!), host Andrew is joined by professional genealogist and author, Emma Jolly. He’ll be finding out how Emma got hooked on family history, how she turned up on TV screens alongside Kate Winslet on her episode of Who Do You Think You Are?, and as series researcher for Absolutely India: Mancs In Mumbai, and how to encourage and support younger people in genealogy.

Life Story – William Jolly

Emma has chosen her Great Great Grandfather William Jolly for her Life Story.

William was born in 1842 in Montrose, Forfarshire (now modern-day Angus) in Scotland, but it wasn’t long before he was on the move. After signing up as a Sapper with the Royal Engineers he found his way to Malta, Sudan, Egypt, Ireland, and he even lived at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London!

William’s story is one of a traveling soldier – going where the military needed him to be, but with a growing family in tow, as well as some wonderful coincidences with Emma’s own life generations later.

The Brick Wall – Elizabeth Holmes

It’s off to Sedgley in the West Midlands of England, for Emma’s research Brick Wall, and we’re looking for information about her maternal 5x Great Grandmother (up her maternal-only line), Elizabeth Holmes.

Emma knows that Elizabeth had a daughter Violetta in about 1809, baptising her in 1811, and that after Elizabeth married Violetta’s presumed father 4th April 1797 at Wolverhampton, Staffordshire. Elizabeth died and is buried in Sedgley on 1st October 1827. Violetta followed her mother to the grave just five years later – in her 20’s in 1832, during a cholera outbreak. Violetta was buried on 3rd August 1832 at Sedgley, Staffordshire (as it was then).

Who were Elizabeth’s family? Did Violetta die of cholera? Will Emma’s mtDNA results help her find more of Elizabeth Holmes’ family. Emma has her mtDNA, and her haplogroup is T2b, but is this too broad to help find more relatives?

If you think you can help Emma with her brick wall, then you can send her a tweet on Twitter at @EmmaJolly, or alternatively you can use our Contact page, and we’ll pass your message on to her.

Unsure, Emma accepts Andrew’s offer of research help in the garage, but little do they realise that they’re about to be interrupted by a very unexpected visitor….


Episode Credits:
Series Two, Episode Seven

  • Andrew Martin: Host and Producer
  • Emma Jolly: Guest
  • John Spike: Sándor Petőfi
  • Father Christmas: As himself
  • JP Wright: Voice Actor

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