Who Do You Think You Are? - Chris Moyles
Chris Moyles, Radio 1 DJ, found himself unexpectedly at a loss for words as he went back to his Irish roots. Chris is proud of his Leeds background but he's always felt that his heart lies in Ireland. Chris' mother originates from Dublin and his father's family roots are in Ballina, in the west of Ireland. Chris knew little about his Irish ancestry and was keen to explore it.
In Dublin, Chris was surprised to discover that his maternal grandmother, Hannah Nelson, grew up in the care of her grandmother from the age of three. Hannah's own mother had ended up in a workhouse suffering from tuberculosis in 1913.
On his father's side, Chris has always believed that the Moyles surname means 'soldier' in Gaelic. On the next stage of his journey he's disappointed to find out the real, and much less heroic, meaning of his surname. In Ballina, Chris searches local records that reveal the Moyles family lived in the area for generations. However, Chris is saddened when he discovers that in his great, great-grandparents' time it was one of the poorest areas in the west of Ireland and they suffered huge tragedy.
However, Chris' story doesn't end there, as he moves forward a generation to find out what happened to his great-grandfather who died in 1914. The trail leads to the First World War battlefield of Ypres, evoking a reaction Chris never expected to have about a relative who died nearly 100 years ago.
Looking for your ancestors
If, like Chris, you have a military ancestor, there are several sources you can use to investigate their military history. You can search and download First World War medal index cards online and you may find their regimental war diary. Our podcast will also help you work out the sources you need for First World War ancestry (MP3, 7.8Mb).