Monday, October 12, 2009

Hello Cousin!



So, tonight, Dave and I sat down to watch a recorded episode of Who Do You Think YOu Are, which airs on SBS (can't tell you when because we have a season pass on TiVo, so haven't bothered to take notice of when it's actually on)... The last episode was about Ben Mendelsohn, who traced his father's side of the family back to Prussia, and his mother's side of the family back to England. His mother's great-great-great-grandfather was one Andrew John Tempany, who, among other things, built only remaining Regency Theatre in England. He also owned property on in London, that included the Old Curiosity Shop which was immortalised in the Charles Dickens novel by the same name! Andrew Tempany fell on hard times after his wife, Honour, died from cholera, leaving him to care for 4 children. The youngest of those children, Elizabeth came out to Australia at some point, and so did her brothers and sister. One of her brother's, Henry, is Dave's, mother's, mother's, father...

Now, as a point of interest. Henry had several children, including a daughter Florence Ethel, who was known as Ethel. Henry built four houses on Barkly Street in Carlton, which bore the names of his four daughters in their stonework. Ethel had three daughters, one of them (the youngest) is my mother-in-law. The oldest daughter, Margot, had two daughter, who each had two daughters, one of those girls being Tempany Deckert, who was named after her great-grandmother's maiden name, Tempany!



Anyway, as we watched the show, and realised there was a very good chance we were not only watching Ben Mendelsohn ancestral history, but Dave's as well, we just sat there speechless. As soon as the show finished we called MIL who confirmed our suspicions (she didn't know the Mendelsohn link)...

Then she came back with a story of her own... It seems one of the judge on Masterchef, Gary Mehigan, is the son of MIL's cousin, Les, who is the grandson of Henry Tempany, son of Andrew John Tempany...



So, basically, Andrew John Tempany who dabbled in theatre, and built the last remaining Regency Theatre in Britain has at least THREE decendants who went on to either act, or being in television somehow! Not shabby for a man who died alone in a workhouse...

What I want to know is, do these three Aussie actors/personalities know they're related (if distantly)???

11 comments:

Leah said...

Wow, we know someone related to them as well! Small world it is!

Sif said...

Ooooh, i wanna know!

Nic said...

Oh wow, how interesting! Bet your glad you watched that episode.

ian Tempany said...

I knew about the tempany Deckert link, but didnt know about Ben and gary being linked into the family.Amdrew John Tempany is my Grt Grt Grandfather and Henry Tempany Grt Grandfather, Leslie Tempany Greandfather and Ron Tempany Father
Regards
Ian Tempany
Cairns
itempany@yahoo.com.au

Sif said...

Ben is definitely linked, but since writing this post, it seems John may just happen to have the very same name as a family member - thank you for commenting!

Sif said...

Ian, I just spoke with my MIL who confirmed that your father is her cousin and her mother would be your great aunt. That would make my husband your second cousin, hello cousin!

ian Tempany said...

Who do you think you are episode told alot about the family and there is even more interesting facts untold. Andrew tempany's son John was killed at the Seige of Delhi in India.George Tempany circa 1684 in New Cumnock Scotland was listed as fugitive for not attending church.This made him and his wife Covenanters. Edmund M'tempany circa 1665 in Ireland was on a scottish Plantation in Donegal called Mullaveagh(1000acres). And now there are clumps of Tempany family in England, South west Scotland and Sligo Ireland.Still havnt worked out where the family originated from?
regards Ian

Debbie said...

so what nationality was Andrew John Tempany? He looks dark skinned?

Sif said...

Just checking in here after tonight's repeat of this show (17/01/2011) and saw Debbie's comment. Andrew John Tempany was English as far as I know, however there was talk of someone tracing the family line back to a survivor from the Spanish Armada who came ashore after the spanish fleet was broken up and dashed against the rocks on the southern English coat...

Mike Barber said...

My wife’s mother was Doris Tempany one of the children of Leslie Tempany whose father was Henry Tempanius Tempany , son of Andrew John Tempany.Yet more family connections brought about by this great tv series!


mike59@dodo.com.au

meryle maxwell said...

andrew john tempany his parents grandparents great are on my site http://mydadroy.tribalpages.com/

regards Meryle

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