Posted by Kristen Hyde on September 23, 2016 in AncestryDNA

For a lot of people, researching their family history can be a huge undertaking that can span months, or even years. So when you finally reach a point of personal fulfilment, it’s natural to want to do something with all those findings. People often print and frame their family trees; produce coffee table books; write blogs; even stitch narrative quilts.

But when we heard that Shakin’ Stevens had produced a new album inspired by his family history – with blues, roots, Americana and classic rock taking centre stage – suffice to say that we sat up with interest.

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Shakin’ Stevens (Michael Barratt) was the UK’s biggest-selling singles artist of a decade, and has achieved international success. Born in Ely, Cardiff, Shaky was the youngest of 13 children – but despite coming from a large family, Stevens knew very little about his ancestors and their stories. If anything, his past was shrouded in mystery, hidden behind secrets and lies that had been long maintained by his extended family.

However, through his research with Ancestry, and by taking the AncestryDNA test, Shaky was able to solve some of those mysteries, and uncover the history of his family. From tales of death and suffering in the Cornish copper mines, to bravery and loss in war, together with philanthropic preachers and spiritual Salvationists, Stevens’ new album ‘Echoes of our Times’ recognises and celebrates the stories of his ancestors’ lives. We caught up with Shaky to chat about his new album and the impact of his family history research on his sense of identity.

We caught up with Shaky to chat about his new album and the impact of his family history research on his sense of identity.

Want to hear more from Shakin’ Stevens and ‘Echoes of our Times’? Join us as we go behind the tracks that made the album.

“I would say that, in retrospect, in finding the origins of my family I have gone back to the roots of my music.” – Shakin’ Stevens 2016

‘Echoes of our Times’ can be found on iTunes or ordered online at


  1. Rhonda

    Just had to add this as well. A long lost cousin sent me a recording he did about one of our ancestors. And it will be cherished in my heirlooms until I am gone. I read mystery books to do with genealogy and now I can listen to music about it.

  2. Marsha Binkley

    don’t want a stupid blog . Want searches back . Pay nearly $ 300 a year and it’s now worthless. Thank you for ripping off the public

  3. Griselda De Los Angeles Sanchez Tejera VanGorden

    Last time I seen my dad in the sixties he was a colonel in the air force that Dominican Republic Air Force he also was able to get my mother’s brother my uncle his name is uncle Angel Raphael Sanchez they were both in the Air Force when Castro was the dictator of Cuba that much my mom told me and no more no birthday no names of grandmothers are on calls or anything like that except that my son had twins and she did happen to mention that my father had twin brothers and then one of my grandsons look just like his brother please help me this has been bothering me for over 50 years I hope that you can come through with some information for me and our family again God bless you and thank you

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