Senior Lecturer, Dr Peter Donaldson, featured in a recent episode of BBC’s Who Do You Think You Are? to advise actress Claire Foy on her family history.
Peter met Claire at Carlisle Castle, a former military barracks where her great-great-grandparents Henry and Maria Stimpson lived until Henry’s death. Peter was able to share the tragic circumstances of Henry’s untimely passing – a drowning during an off-duty cross-country race – which enabled Claire to visit the river where her great-great-grandad died.
The story concludes on a happier note as documents provided by Peter describe how the local community rallied together to raise money for Maria and her five children, allowing them to continue their lives.
Reflecting on the experience, Peter said: ‘It was great fun to be able to help Claire find out more about the lives of her ancestors in Carlisle’.
The full episode is available to view on BBC iPlayer, with Peter’s segment beginning around nine minutes in.