I was first lured into the highly addictive hobby of genealogy by Shaun Montgomery, younger brother of the late Michael “Monty” Montgomery, my fellow musician and good mate. (Monty was my best man when I got married for the first time, to Susan in 1966.)
Shaun, whose daughter Janet is a well-known film and TV actress (see Wikipedia article), was at the time a semi-professional genealogist, and he gave me invaluable advice to get started on tracing my ancestors, who mostly hail from County Durham. Since then I’ve traced my father’s line back to 1630, and some branches of my mother’s (the Blacketts) back to well before the Norman Conquest. You can take a look at The Blacketts site by clicking here.
The photo above is of my 2nd cousin, John ‘Kav’ Kavanagh and me with Sally Magnusson, who came down and interviewed us for BBC Radio 4’s Tracing Your Roots programme. For a recording of the show, (which includes me playing and singing a music hall song that my great-uncle, Johnny Kavanagh used to perform in the 19th century) please click here. (It’s the third item in the programme.)