Tracey Emin

Tracey Emin

Brought up in Margate, her father split his time with his second family...

TheGenealogist, TheGenealogist



The tenth episode of ‘Who Do You Think You Are’ will this week look into the family history of the British artist Tracey Emin. Born on 3rd July 1963 in Croydon, Surrey to parents Pam and Enver Emin, Tracey was brought up in Margate with her twin brother Paul. Her father owned the Hotel International in Margate. He was not married to her mother but was married to another woman with whom he had a separate family and he split his time between the two.

When Tracey was seven her father’s business failed and their standard of living dropped dramatically, this change in her life has been reflected in the many art works she has produced. She left school with no O Levels but went on to study fashion in 1980 at the Medway College of Design. In 1984 she studied printing at Maidstone Art College before moving onto the Royal College of Art to complete an MA in painting.

The Genealogist has School, College and University registers available for 28 counties in England with dates ranging from 1220 to 1949. University registers are also available for Aberdeen (1901-1925) and Glasgow (1728-1858).

Tracey’s father, Enver Emin, a Turkish Cypriot brought up in a Greek village in Cyprus emigrated from Cyprus to Britain after the Second World War. Her Great Grandfather Abdullah was a Sudanese slave in the Ottoman Empire in 1860.

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Abdullah, thirteen and his twelve year old sister, believing they were safe from the slave traders on their father’s estate went fishing only to be kidnapped from the shore by slave traders. Their father gave chase but was unable to catch them. Abdullah and his sister were separated at the slave market, and Abdullah was purchased by a wealthy Greek-Cypriot trader. The trader, a Christian was determined that Abdullah would convert his faith by force from Islam however he refused. He was sold to a Turkish trader who accepted his faith.

He was eventually granted his freedom becoming a merchant and marrying the local midwife. They had seven children and numerous grandchildren, many of whom emigrated from Cyprus to Britain with Enver after the war.

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