Bruce Forsyth

Bruce Forsyth

Nice to see you, to see you...

Nick Thorne, Writer at TheGenealogist

Nick Thorne

Writer at TheGenealogist

Who Do You Think You Are? kicks off series 8 with family favourite Bruce Forsyth.

Bruce’s training in dance started in Tottenham London and then went onto Brixton. He was performing in show business at the age of 14 and made his first TV debut in 1939. He continued performing throughout WW2, which saw the death of his brother John in 1943, a pilot in the Royal Air Force.

Bruce has starred in many TV favourites including; The Bruce Forsyth Show, Bruce Forsyth and the Generation Game, Bruce Forsyth’s Big Night, Bruce Forsyth’s Play Your Cards Right, You Bet!, Bruce’s Price is Right and more recently Strictly Come Dancing.

Brucie was born in Edmonton North London in 1928, to John Thomas Forsyth Johnson and Florence Ada Pocknell. Bruce’s 4x great grandfather William Forsyth was famously a co-founder of the Royal Horticultural Society and the Forsythia plant was named in his honour. William’s son John carried on the horticultural tradition and is seen on the Yorkshire 1851 census as a Florist.

Complete census records for England and Wales are available from 1841 to 1901 on With our full census transcripts you can also search using any criteria including Name, Age, Relation to Head, Occupation, Birth Place or Address. Bruce’s family can be found on numerous census records across the country ranging from Yorkshire down to London and across to Worcestershire.

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Using the records available at we have started compiling Bruce Forsyth’s family tree. Click here to view Bruce’s Family Tree in TreeView, the free online family tree builder.

One of the biggest discoveries in Bruce’s family tree was that his great grandfather Joseph Forsyth Johnson lead two lives. He first married Elizabeth Trowsdale in 1861, and had a son John Forsyth Johnson (Bruce’s paternal grandfather).

It is believed that Joseph went to New York with Frances Clarke onboard the S.S. Servia which sailed to America before 1885, when they both discovered that Frances was pregnant. They went on to have three children; Roy Albert Johnson, Cecil Forsyth Johnson and Edwina Johnson Mundy.

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