Page last updated at 07:16 GMT, Monday, 23 November 2009
Gabby's 'draining' family journey
Advertisement

Gabby Logan returned to the area where her great, great grandparents found life hard at the turn of the 20th Century.

TV presenter Gabby Logan has taken an "emotionally draining" journey to discover her roots in Cardiff.

Exploring her family history for the BBC Wales TV series Coming Home, she was deeply moved by the grim life of her great, great grandmother.

Clara Yorath was widowed and left with five children when her husband David died of tuberculosis at the age of 35.

The daughter of Wales football legend Terry Yorath said the experience had strengthened her Welsh identity.

Gabby was born and brought up in Leeds, where her father was a star player in the 1970s, before he and the family moved to Coventry.

She's now married to former Scottish rugby international Kenny Logan with whom she has four-year-old twins.

Gabby Logan
Exploring her family history has reinforced Gabby's sense of Welsh identity

Having spent most of her childhood on the move, Gabby is keen to find out more about her Welsh ancestry - with the hope of passing on the stories of her family and a sense of Welsh identity to her children.

"I'm full of questions and full of excitement," she said as she embarked on the journey.

Travelling to Cardiff Bay she met genealogist Michael Churchill Jones - who has managed to retrace her family back to her seven times great grandfather.

Gabby's determination to find out what happened to Clara and her orphaned children, at the turn of the 20th Century, led her to more heart-breaking discoveries.

As a mother she was devastated to hear how two of Clara's children died of malnutrition.

And the fate of Clara's surviving three children also made for uncomfortable listening.

Gabby said: "I felt absolutely heart-broken. It's beyond any comprehension of people in our society today. I feel really drained.

"You don't realise how emotionally draining it is to hear and take on all that information. I can't begin to imagine how she dealt with all these deaths as a mother."

Terry Yorath and Gabby Logan
Terry Yorath followed the family's early roots in the Vale of Glamorgan

But of the process of tracing her roots back to Wales, Gabby remained positive about the experience.

"It's made me more Welsh being here and learning all this," she said.

"I really hope I can pass that Welshness on to my children.

"It's been a brilliant experience from start to finish - I've enjoyed every minute."

The programme also features Gabby's father Terry and uncle David who travelled to St Lythan's in the Vale of Glamorgan to learn of their ancient ancestors.

Coming Home with Gabby Logan is on BBC One Wales on Monday, 23 November, at 1930 GMT




SEE ALSO
Soap actress' valleys roots pride
11 Nov 09 |  Wales
Newton-John searches Welsh roots
14 Dec 07 |  South east
Sarandon learns about Welsh roots
28 Nov 06 |  South east

OTHER RELATED BBC LINKS

BBC iD

Sign in

BBC navigation

Copyright © 2019 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific