Blackadder star Tony aids Dorchester family history bash

Dorset Echo: ANCESTORS: Tony Robinson in the archive room at Dorset History Centre with Sam Johnston looking at one of the Royal Charters from 1557 ANCESTORS: Tony Robinson in the archive room at Dorset History Centre with Sam Johnston looking at one of the Royal Charters from 1557

BLACKADDER star and history buff Tony Robinson dug deep into records in an exclusive family research event.

The recently-knighted TV star, best known for his role as Baldrick in Blackadder and for hosting Channel 4’s Time Team, paid a visit to the Dorset History Centre in Dorchester yesterday to talk about how residents can discover their family history.

The visit marked the first of four trips across the UK in conjunction with Ancestry.co.uk, with Sir Tony discussing the history of Dorset before taking questions from visitors, who also got to meet him personally.

Sir Tony said: “I am so interested in genealogy and want to help those who are looking to trace relatives or discover their history.

“It’s also a huge bonus to come to centres with archives like this, because you get to see the records first hand – and Dorset itself is brimming with history. Not only will those interested in the family history of Dorset hopefully appreciate what were offering but we’re also going to be learning an awful lot from people down here.”

The evening also included a talk from the Dorset History Centre’s county archivist, Sam Johnston.

He said: “We’re delighted that Tony Robinson is visiting; we’re really looking forward to him speaking at this family history seminar and he will help those looking to discover more about their family history.

“Hopefully this event will also raise awareness of the history centre and help anyone interested to discover the wonderful heritage that Dorset has.”

The Dorset History Centre houses the county’s archives and serves as a main location for people interested in researching their own family history.

The centre currently has 9,500 collections to search, with records dating back over 1,000 years.

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