Paltrow’s Family Past Riddled With Tragedy

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April 3, 2011 | 6:30pm EST

Gwyneth Paltrow discovered her family’s past is riddled with misery and tragedy during a recent taping of genealogy show Who Do You Think You Are? – her great grandmothers from both sides of the family were left devastated by the loss of loved ones.
Tracing her mother Blythe Danner’s family tree to Barbados on the hit U.S. show, the actress unearthed documented records which revealed her mom’s grandmother lost her parents at the age of 13 and was forced to trek to America with a sister onboard a commercial ship to seek employment and a better life.

And her late father’s grandmother lost her eldest daughter, Helen, in a horrific wagon accident while she was pregnant with the tragic girl’s sister Marian.

Paltrow, who suffered post partum depression following the birth of her second child Moses, revealed the shocking events helped her to understand why her late great great grandmother was considered a poor mom by her kids.

She said, “I can only imagine it’s the loss of her daughter that really spun her out, and then the hormones of having the baby right away while still being in the depths of grief and depression over the loss of a child really made her incapable of caring for them.”

But the Oscar winner’s family tree search wasn’t all doom and gloom – her great great grandfather, Tzyi Hirsch Pelterowicz, was a beloved holy man in his native Poland, and considered a Kabbalah master. Paltrow held back proud tears as she realized his faith was one she shared.

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