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Friday, 20 April, 2001, 12:09 GMT 13:09 UK
The Osmonds trace Welsh ancestors
Donny Osmond, performing
Donny Osmond was a huge star in the Seventies
Seventies pop star Donny Osmond has turned historian to trace his family's Welsh roots.

Donny, 43, believes has tracked down his great-great-great grandmother to a small village near Merthyr Tydfil, south Wales.

The pop star took over the job of tracking down his Welsh ancestors from his mother Olive several years ago.

The Donny and Marie Show
The Donny and Marie Show was a hit programme
Olive's maiden name before she married in 1945 was Davis and she has spent many years studying the family history.

She apparently fell in love with Wales during a visit to the UK with the Mormon church in the 1980s.

Now the Osmonds - whose hits included Puppy Love and Long-Haired Lover from Liverpool - have Donny busy discovering their roots.

Elizabeth Landeck was born in 1800 and history records show she gave birth to a son, Thomas, in Neath in 1820.

I am quite surprised that such a well known family has connections with the town

Phillip Whitcombe

Donny - who is on a promotional visit to the UK - said he would be happy to bring his family over to Wales to dig deeper into the past.

A local historian has now offered Donny his services.

Phillip Whitcombe said he was delighted to hear that the town had such famous descendants.

Mr Whitcombe said he would be glad to use his sleuthing skills to help Donny further with his research.

The Osmonds
The Osmonds were household names round the world
"If Donny came to me, I would certainly have a go. We get an awful lot of enquiries from America and sometimes the information to go on is very limited, but this sounds promising."

He added: "I had heard talk of the Osmonds recently but I am quite surprised that such a well known family has connections with the town.

"A lot of families came to Merthyr Tydfil when the town was established and later went on to become the iron and steel capital of the world."

Donny performed with his older brothers becoming a huge star.

He later performed with his sister Marie in a hit BBC tv show, which attracted millions of viewers.

Merthyr Tydfil boasts other famous names, including as fashion designers Julien McDonald and Laura Ashley, world champion boxer Howard Winstone, composer Joseph Parry and steam engine inventor Richard Trevithick.

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See also:

03 Apr 01 | Showbiz
Donny's doting dames
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21 Apr 99 | Entertainment
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