JK Rowling, the creator of the Harry Potter novels and one of Britain’s most famous lone parents, has discovered she comes from a long line of single mothers while taking part in the BBC genealogy series Who Do You Think You Are?.

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.

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