US actor Tom Selleck is a descendant of miners from Worsbrough Dale.
Research has confirmed a link between Barnsley and Tom, who is probably best known for his role as TV’s Magnum.
Tom was rumoured online to have links to Barnsley through his maternal line and that has now been proven thanks to the research of Dave Cherry, Jane Ainsworth and Lin Taylor.
Tom, now 78, famously played investigator Thomas Magnum over eight seasons in the hit-show Magnum P.I.
The Detroit-born actor has won numerous accolades throughout his career which has also seen him star in the likes of Three Men and a Baby, Friends and Blue Bloods.
And Barnsley can now rightly claim him as one of their own as he has ancestors, and probably relations, in Worsbrough, Stairfoot and Cawthorne.
Following in the footsteps of Selleck, the detective trio all did their own to cement the links.
Dave said: “Being a Worsbrough Bridge lad – I was very interested in the story.
“I asked my good friends Jane and Lin, who are skilled with ancestry and social history, for assistance.
“The results they have come up are fascinating.
“Tom’s mother Martha Selleck (nee Jagger) was a descendant of miners from Worsbrough Dale.
“Her grandfather Thomas Jagger had emigrated to Pennsylvania in 1881.
“Thomas Jagger’s grandfather, also named Thomas, was killed at the Worsbrough Old Park Coal Pits in 1844 aged 28.
“The remarkable thing is that 30 men of the Jagger family were allegedly killed in the Worsbrough mines.
“Lin has traced the location of the mine.
“It was close to the site of Barrow colliery that opened later in 1875.”
The links to Barnsley adds even further to the town’s great acting history – from Katherine Kelly to Shaun Dooley and from Dai Bradley to Kenny Doughty.
But Tom Selleck is perhaps the biggest name to have history with the borough.
His tale also pays tribute to the ‘tragic story of our cruel Victorian mining heritage’.
Dave added: “Thomas was knocking out a ‘punch’ or ‘short supporting timber prop’ or ‘sprag’ when the roof fell in on him.
“It happened on a Saturday afternoon on May 5, 1844 and The Leeds Times said ‘he lingered in a state of insensibility and death put an end to his sufferings’.
“He lived on Caulker Lane in Worsbrough Dale and he left behind a wife and six children having lost another four children in infancy.
“We tried to find Caulker Lane on the old maps but failed.
“The nearest spelling is Cawker Row which was on the canal bank in Worsbrough Bridge opposite to the Wharf Inn on West Street.
“Five years before the Leeds Intelligencer on June 1, 1839 reported that two of his brothers and a nephew were killed at the Worsbrough Park-field colliery in a shaft accident.
“Arriving at the top of the 120 yard shaft the rope broke and they fell to the bottom in the ‘corve’ or bucket.
“It seems that the family were cursed.
“Jane has traced the plight of the widow Elizabeth and her six children.
“One of her sons Robert Jagger, also a miner, resided at Bedfords Row which we think was at Worsbrough Common.
“It was his son Thomas Charles Jagger who emigrated in 1881 to Pennsylvania in the USA where he had seven children.
“He was Martha Selleck’s grandfather. Martha died in 2017 at the age of 96.”
Tom’s ancestry on his paternal side is deep rooted in the United States.