16:38 PM

EXCLUSIVE: Donny Osmond on RootsTech London and his love of family history


Donny is polite, attentive and fascinated by family history. He asks me about my great grandparents, and I can hear him tapping away on FamilySearch trying to see if we have a connection.

His interest in family history came from his mother. “My mom was way ahead of her time as far as technology was concerned. I remember in the mid-1970s looking over her shoulder, and she would have books of information about ancestors. She would put all of this information onto a computer and keep it on floppy discs, and it intrigued me.”

The interest he showed meant that in the 1980s his mother decided to hand all of her files over to him. “She made me responsible for the Osmond family archive, and I thought that was cool because I didn’t realise the complexity of what I had accepted. 

I went to Merthyr Tydfil to investigate the life of my maternal ancestor Dr Thomas Martin. I went and sang with a Welsh choir, and it was almost a spiritual experience. I don’t know if my singing abilities come from Wales, but it was like going back home singing with my relatives. It was really cool.”

That kind of connection clearly means a lot to Donny. “My father comes from Oxfordshire, and in the late 1980s I flew over to the UK with my wife and children.