WDYTYA? key documents: Clare Balding's episode

By Harriet Beadnell, 21 July 2017 - 7:38am

Clare Balding's episode of WDYTYA? was filled with an exciting array of British and American sources. We take a look at some of the most interesting documents seen on screen...


Clare Balding meets Jason Barr and goes in search of her Hoagland ancestors in New York City. 

Star source

American Census Records  

Clare searches American census records to find her Hoagland ancestors living in New York. She finds her Great-Grandfather Joseph Hoagland living in Madison Avenue, Manhattan in the 1920 Federal Census for New York. She later views the 1860 Ohio Census to discover that Joseph’s Grandfather, Joseph C. Hoagland started his career in Ohio before moving to New York.

United States census records are available to view at Ancestry and Find My Past with a Worldwide Subscription. The indexes only for census returns made between 1790 and 1940 are available to search for free at Family Search. The images and index for the 1940 United States census are fully available to view at Family Search

Other key sources

Rex Whistler Collection 

Clare meets Nikki Frater who is an expert on the life and work of Rex Whistler. Nikki shows Clare a calendar from the 1930s and a number of letters, which reveal the close nature of Rex’s relationship with Clare’s Great-Grandfather. The Whistler collection is held at the Salisbury Museum and includes personal letters and diaries, sketches and original works of art. The museum purchased the collection in 2013.

Derby Collection 

Clare visits the former home of her Great-Grandmother, Lady Victoria Stanley, to find out more about her life. She reads personal letters from Lady Victoria’s husband, William Bullock and her Father, the 17th Earl of Derby. These documents form part of the Derby collection which is stored at Knowsley Hall

American Newspapers  

Clare is able to discover details about the careers and personality of her Hoagland ancestors by reading a number of newspaper clippings. Jason Barr shows Clare an article from the New York Evening Post from 1920. The newspaper is not fully available to view online, but you can read some historic copies at Old Fulton NY Postcards. Clare views Joseph C. Hoagland’s death notice in the Brooklyn Daily Eagle from July 30 1889. The Brooklyn Daily Eagle is available to search at Brooklyn Newsstand

Lynda Sivitello shows Clare a number of Royal Baking Powder advertisements, which are also available to view by searching US newspaper archives. Many American newspapers have been digitalised and Family Search offers a useful guide to locating which historic American newspapers are available online. 

City Directories 

By viewing the Brooklyn City Directory from 1878 and 1879, Clare is able to discover that Joseph C. Hoagland was the owner of Royal Baking Powder in New York. She later examines the Indiana Directory from the 1860s to find that Joseph started his career working in a pharmacy. You can search many American City Directories at Ancestry with a Worldwide Subscription.

King’s Notable New Yorkers 

Clare is able to view a photograph of her 3X Great-Grandfather, Joseph C. Hoagland in a book by Moses King titled Kings Notable New Yorkers, published in 1899. The full book is available to view and search at the Internet Archive.

Trace your New York ancestors like Clare Balding
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Clare Balding's unseen WDYTYA? footage
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Trace your New York ancestors like Clare Balding
previous blog Article
Clare Balding's unseen WDYTYA? footage
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