Monday, July 15, 2024

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Top 10 Cringe-Worthy Moments on “Finding Your Roots” You Can’t Miss (Video)

1. Laura Linney’s Felonious Ancestors

Laura Linney discovered her fifth great-grandfather, William Linney, was convicted of receiving stolen goods and transported to Virginia in 1768. Linney took this revelation in stride with a laugh, learning about her ancestor’s transportation to America from England on the ship Neptune.

2. Soledad O’Brien’s Ancestor Falls on Hard Times

Soledad O’Brien found out that her third great-grandmother, Lilias Whitman, was arrested in Scotland for robbery alongside teenage boys, suggesting she led a gang of young thieves. The revelation that her ancestor turned to crime after her husband’s death changed O’Brien’s perspective.

3. Julia Roberts’ Real Surname

Julia Roberts discovered that her great-grandfather John was born a decade after Willis Roberts, her supposed great-great-grandfather, had died. DNA analysis traced her ancestry to Henry McDonald Mitchell Jr., revealing her true biological surname should be Mitchell, not Roberts.

4. Issa Rae’s Free Ancestors

Issa Rae learned that her third great-grandfather, Dorson Chabanet, was documented by name due to his mother, Mite, being freed by her owner, a black man. Rae also discovered that her ancestor’s father was a white man engaged in a clandestine relationship with Mite, revealing a complex family history.

5. Gayle King’s European Ancestry

Gayle King uncovered that her maternal grandmother, Emma Brown, was the product of a white father and a black mother, a fact concealed out of shame. DNA analysis revealed that King’s ancestry is over 30% European, a revelation she didn’t seem pleased with.

6. Angela Davis Descended from White Settlers

Political activist Angela Davis was shocked to find out she is a direct descendant of William Brewster, one of the Mayflower settlers. This revelation about her ancestors being early American settlers contrasted sharply with her lifelong advocacy for civil rights.

7. George R.R. Martin’s Grandmother’s Affair

George R.R. Martin discovered that his believed Italian grandfather was not biologically related to him. DNA analysis revealed that his true grandfather was Ashkenazi Jewish, suggesting his grandmother, Grace, had an affair, adding complexity to Martin’s family history.

8. Viola Davis’ Great-Grandfather’s Mystery

Viola Davis learned that her grandfather, Henry Logan, had two different men listed as his father in various documents. DNA analysis inferred that Henry’s mother, Karin, likely had an affair with neighbor John Young, revealing messy familial secrets.

9. Kathryn Hahn’s Ancestors’ Scandal

Kathryn Hahn discovered her third great-grandfather, Wilhelm Lunen Schloss, abandoned his family in Germany to start a new one in America with his neighbor’s daughter, Eliza. This scandalous revelation highlighted the complex nature of her ancestry.

10. Niecy Nash Learns Her Grandfather’s True Identity

Niecy Nash found out that the man she believed to be her paternal grandfather was not biologically related to her. DNA analysis revealed her true grandfather was Frank Jackson, who likely had an affair with Nash’s grandmother, resulting in Nash’s father.

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