London, Sept 10 : Britney Spears' personal life has always been a subject of controversy, and now it has emerged that scandals run deep in her family history, for documents show that the singer's British great-grandparents may have 'lived in sin'.
The 26-year old singer's ancestry has been traced back to Tottenham in north London where her great grandparents, George Anthony Portell and Lillian Esther Lewis, appear to have been together before they were married - a major scandal back in the 1920s.
Parish records show that George, the son of a newsagent, and Lillian, daughter of a lighting inspector named James Lewis, tied the knot on July 29, 1923 at St John's Church in Tottenham.
However, they gave the same home address on their marriage certificate, indicating they were already living together.
The insight into the 'Toxic' hitmaker's background is just one of several extraordinary pieces of family history buried in the depths of the London Metropolitan Archives.
That history will soon be available to Internet users across the world at the mere tap of a mouse, under a plan to place the records of more than 77 million people online in one of the largest archiving projects ever attempted.
Laurence Ward, head of digital resources at the archives, believes there could be a perfectly innocent explanation for the scandalous record - Britney's great grandfather was an able seaman in the Navy and was probably required to be away for long spells.
"Her great grandparents have certainly listed the same address in the records for their marriage," the Telegraph quoted him, as saying.
"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 as convenience. If they did live together before marriage, it would have been quite controversial for that time," he added.
Britney's grandmother, also born in London, then went onto marry a US serviceman and moved to a farm near New Orleans. They went onto have three children, including the pop star's mother Lynne.