SHARON Osbourne broke down in tears tonight as she learned the sad fate of her great-great grandmother’s six children.
While taking part in BBC family tree documentary Who Do You Think You Are?, the former X Factor judge learned that her great-great grandmother Catherine O’Donnell had six children but five died under the age of two of consumption, weakness and chlorea.
The mum-of-six later died in a work house aged just 35.
“She lost five kids and then worked to death,” Sharon said.
The last surviving child – Sharon’s great-grandmother Annie – moved back to England with her father.
Sharon was presented with the five records of death in quick succession and she choked up while reading them.
And viewers rushed to Twitter to share their sympathies.
Sharon travels to Newport, New England, in the States, where she learns that her ancestors were forced to work in the cotton mills and treated as “slaves” after emigrating from Europe during the mid-19th century.
She discovers that her great-great-grandmother Catherine lost five of her six children due to the horrific conditions.
During the show, she explores her mother Hope’s Irish Catholic roots and her time as a music hall dancer in London.
When Sharon is handed a newspaper article by a historian, she reads the headline: “A Brixton Incident. Mother and daughter charged. Child takes the blame.”
She finds out that 12-year-old Hope and her mum Dolly were flung into a South London jail after Dolly was caught stealing stockings. With a shaky voice, Sharon says: “It broke my heart when I read that. My mum must have been terrified, just terrified. Can you imagine? I never knew any of this.”
Sharon and husband Ozzy Osbourne got married in the 1980s[/caption]
The Sun previously reported how her husband Ozzy tried to convince her not to do the show, knowing how painful she could find it.
She said: “I was recording and I was saying, ‘It was so sad’. And he was going, ‘I told you, I told you not to do it’. But I’m glad I did it.”
So having heard how pleased Sharon was, might we see Ozzy trace his bloodline, too? Sharon replies: “No, because Ozzy’s story is heartbreaking.
“His sister, for one of Ozzy’s birthdays, went back and traced the family and it’s just one after the other, workhouse, workhouse, workhouse.”
Before we wrap up, our chat moves back to Sharon’s mum Hope, who died in 1999. Her voice goes quiet when I ask if there is anything she would have liked to say to her.
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With regret, she replies: “Now I understand why she was the way she was. It’s like, ‘Oh my God, what a bitch I was for never asking her’.
“I’d just like to say that I am so sorry about the time that was wasted between us. The years that we could have had an amazing relationship and I judged her so harshly.”
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