Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Britney Spurs! Pop star is a Tottenham girl at heart as archives reveal her British roots

She may look like an all-American girl, but Britney Spears' ancestral lineage has been traced back to Tottenham in North London.

Details of her ancestors in the London Metropolitan Archives reveal that her great-grandparents probably 'lived in sin' before they got around to getting married.

The 26-year-old star, who made a triumphant return at the MTV Video Music Awards this week, is descended from George Anthony Portell and Lillian Esther Lewis.

Parish records show they married at St John's Church in Tottenham in 1923, but they both gave the same address on the marriage certificate, indicating they were already living together - a scandal at the time.

The couple had a daughter, Britney's grandmother Lillian Woolmore-Portell, who married US Navy sailor Barnett O'Field Bridges in London during the Second World War.

They moved to a farm near New Orleans and had three children, including Miss Spears's mother Lynne.

Britney's secret will be on show when the archives go online - with the records of more than 77m people available.

Laurence Ward, head of digital resources at the archives, said there could be an innocent explanation.

He said: 'Her great-grandparents have certainly listed the same address in the records for their marriage.

'But as her great-grandfather is recorded as being an able seaman, he may have been away with the Navy a lot. They could have recorded the same address for convenience.'