Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling and her family have always honoured a French ancestor who they believed was a World War I war hero. In a recent investigation for the U.K. version of the Who Do You Think You Are? television program, genealogy researchers found that the family legend isn't true. How many of us have had similar experiences about family stories handed down from generation to generation?
Rowling has recorded a television program with the BBC that shows her coming to terms with the revelation that her family had confused Louis Volant, a war hero awarded with the Legion d'honneur for his bravery during the Battle of Verdun, with her real great-grandfather, who had the same name and also fought for France. Same name, different men.
Rowling told the BBC magazine show Radio Times that the experience was an upsetting and emotional one. She said taking part in her genealogy research made her so emotional that she cried several times. "There were a lot of big surprises, some wonderful, and one rather upsetting," she said in an interview.
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