Early look at J.K. Rowling’s ancestry uncovered by “Who Do You Think You Are?”

In late June we told you that Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling would appearing on the BBC program Who Do You Think You Are?, which helps celebrities learn about their ancestry.

While the episode isn’t airing for a few more months, Rowling sat down for an interview with the Telegraph, and revealed some of her findings:

The novelist learnt during her research for the programme that her great-grandmother, Lizzie, her great-great-grandmother, Salomé, and her great-great-great-grandmother, Christine, raised their children alone.

Her maternal grandmother, Louisa, is also believed to have been born out of wedlock.

Rowling, whose personal wealth is thought to be half a billion pounds, wrote the first book of the Harry Potter series following her divorce while living on benefits in a cold Edinburgh flat with her baby daughter. The experience left her clinically depressed.

“What I’m very struck by is how many single mothers I’m descended from in this line of the family,” she said in an interview for the programme.

“Twenty years ago, I was teaching and writing in my spare time and was very skint. And not long after that, I became a single mum, so I feel the connection.”