Not all family tree revelations turn out to be good as the former TOWIE star, Mark Wright, found out when delving into his family history as part of the BBC genealogy programme, Who Do You Think You Are.

As our article on the Australian actress Marta Dusseldorp related, celebrities face a mixed bag when finding out about their families. Marta’s history revealed a strong representation in the medical profession, while Mark Wright’s background included a murderer.

Mark is set to follow his wife, Michelle Keegan who took part in an earlier series of Who Do You Think You Are. She discovered she was related to the famous suffragette Emmeline Pankhurst. (1858 to 1928).

Traced family tree

Rattling the skeletons in the cupboards, Mark Wright discovered his past included a killer. According to The Sun newspaper, Mark had been hoping for results such as the ones his wife discovered. When the programme’s researchers traced his family tree, they discovered his family had origins in Eastern Europe and among the travelling community. But the most shocking revelation was that of the criminal relative.

Previous celebrities who have found out more about their past include Danny Dyer, J K Rowling, Frances de la Tour and Amanda Holden.

Perhaps most famously, Eastenders actor Danny Dyer discovered he was related to royalty—with a family that could be traced back to William the Conqueror and Edward III.

Awards for bravery

The writer JK Rowling found a French head waiter who worked at the Savoy Hotel in the 1920s and who had been awarded the Croix de Guerre for his bravery during the First World War.

The actress Frances de la Tour discovered she had aristocratic origins, with an ancestor Maria Elizabeth Adderly, the step-daughter of Robert Hobart, the 4th Earl of Buckinghamshire, and who married Captain Alan Gardner in 1796. The couple divorced in 1805 after he discovered her affair.

The TV presenter Amanda Holden investigated her French heritage, discovering an ancestor who’d enlisted in the British Army and fought in the Peninsular War (1807-1814). He’d met a French woman while in Bordeaux with his regiment and deserted, marrying her and later moving back to Cornwall.

The 16th series of Who Do You Think You Are will be out later this summer.

Finders International founder and CEO Danny Curran said: “We love the Who Do You Think We Are show and follow it with interest, though as Mark Wright’s experience shows, family tree digging doesn’t always turn up good news!”