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Birmingham man takes DNA test. Discovers dirty little secret

What do you really know about your family? One man from Birmingham recently decided to try to find out. Like many people in the UK Kenneth Shepherd was curious about his family history. Possibly it was reaching middle age that stimulated his curiosity. The feeling that time is starting to run out and he knew next to nothing about his heritage. Maybe the desire to understand more about where we come from is an inate feeling within us all. Where did my journey begin?

Kenneth’s journey began as with all of us with his father Albert. Albert was a bookmaker in Worcester who moved to Birmingham soon after Kenneth was born. He had been a well known and popular figure at Worcester racecourse and the Birmingham dog tracks in Hall Green and Perry Bar. It was this sporting association that was to encourage Kenneth’s lifelong love of horses.

The Shepherd family connection with horses did not begin at the racetrack though. By going further back in his family’s history Kenneth discovered that his great great grandfather owned a coal merchant’s in Birmingham city centre.

In the years before WWI Birmingham was still very much an industrial city. The factories that Birmingham was famous for, producing steel and guns and ammunition, needed coal to operate the furnaces. It was dirty but necessary work and Kenneth’s family were heavily involved in keeping local industry working.

Thanks to Birmingham’s extensive network of canals the Shepherd’s were able to transport coal from all over the Midlands. Many of the male members of the family also worked on the barges, bringing in coal from the surrounding counties and other parts of the UK. It was this reliance on coal that led to the Midlands getting its name of the Black Country.

Discover your family’s dirty little secret at My Heritage UK. Dive into their huge international records database, just search your name to learn more about your ancestors. With exclusive content and accurate results My Heritage UK will help you uncover more than you ever imagined.

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