BARNSLEY’S own private investigators have delved even deeper into the devastating story of Tom Selleck’s roots to the town.
The Chronicle - alongside researchers Dave Cherry, Jane Ainsworth and Lin Taylor - revealed that one of the most recognisable faces on the silver screen has links to the town through his maternal line.
Tom, now 78, famously played investigator Thomas Magnum over eight seasons in the hit show Magnum P.I.
He has ancestors, and probably relations, in Worsbrough, Stairfoot and Cawthorne.
But the three investigators have delved deeper into his past - and have now revealed the family’s devastating story.
Dave told the Chronicle: “While doing the research for Tom Selleck and his Barnsley connection we have uncovered some more interesting facts.
“We discovered that Tom’s three times great-grandfather Thomas Jagger was killed by a roof fall at the Worsbrough Park Field Colliery on May 5, 1844.
“Jane has done extensive research into what happened to his widow Elizabeth and her children.
“They lived in Caulker Lane in Worsbrough Dale and Lin has discovered that this was renamed West Street in the 1850s.
”Just before Tom’s death their youngest daughter Eliza had died, aged eleven months, leaving her with six children.
“On July 3, 1844, just two months after Thomas was killed a court order was granted to two Worsbrough Overseers by John Spencer Stanhope of Cannon Hall and Godfrey Wentworth of Woolley Manor to remove Elizabeth and her five children, who were under working age, to Crigglestone.
“Colliery owners had no legal responsibility for miners killed or injured in their collieries at that time and the Overseers, as members of the wider Barnsley Poor Law Union, just wanted to minimise the cost to taxpayers.
“Neither had genuine sympathy for the plight of widows and children and we can only imagine the distress it caused to Elizabeth.”
On July 7 1845, Elizabeth and her children were officially evicted and were forced to move to Crigglestone, Wakefield.
Dave said this would have been a ‘nightmare’ ordeal - and she likely stayed in a workhouse or with relations.
“Her whereabouts between the 1841 and 1851 censuses are unknown but on both of these dates the family were living next door to Thomas’ older brother, William Jagger,” he added.
“By 1851, Elizabeth was in Worsbrough Dale with three children, including her only son Robert.
“She died in 1858 aged 54.
“Robert Jagger (1836 - 1917) worked as a coal miner and was the direct ancestor of Tom Selleck.
“Their story is one of typical Victorian cruelty with pit owners along with the land-owning classes putting profits before people, treating workers as dispensable and their families with contempt.
“However, the Jagger family had resilient genes and have enjoyed the last laugh - or sweet revenge - by producing a Hollywood star, Tom Selleck.”