Who Do You Think You Are: Jodie Kidd

Great-grandparents on both sides of Jodie’s family were awarded titles. Her father’s grandfather was Lord Beaverbrook, the legendary newspaper magnate who served in the British cabinet during both World Wars. Her mother’s grandfather was the mysterious Sir Rowland Hodge, a Newcastle shipbuilder.

Knowing next to nothing about Sir Rowland, Jodie first went to Newcastle. She discovered he had made a fortune building ships during the First World War, but later fled the city following a terrible scandal. Puzzlingly, despite the scandal Rowland Hodge was still awarded a title a few years later. Two astonishing letters in the Houses of Parliament archives, one from Sir Winston Churchill and the other from King George V, solved the riddle.

Jodie’s other great-grandfather, Lord Beaverbrook, was Canadian and Jodie was keen to discover how deep her roots went on the other side of the Atlantic. Her investigations in Canada revealed that her family were embroiled in an infamous 19th century murder. She managed to trace her family back much further than she ever imagined, and discovered that she descends from some of the earliest European settlers to arrive in 17th century America.