"Who Do You Think You Are?" Season Two: Episode Oneby Julie Hill
Posted on February 7, 2011
The actress and former beauty queen Vanessa Williams was featured, exploring the lives of several ancestors who much like Vanessa herself broke through racial barriers and stereotypes in their day. The search took her from New York, to the National Archives in Washington DC, South Carolina, and Tennessee. Through these trips, she discovers a rich family history with the help of knowledgeable historians who uncover many historical documents detailing the lives of her ancestors.
She finds her great-great-grandfather David Carll enlisted in the Union Army during the Civil War and married a white woman, two moves which for a man of mixed-race must have required considerable courage at the time.
Using the 1910 census, Williams discovers another great-great-grandfather William A. Fields. Fields was schoolteacher and among the earliest black men elected to the Tennessee state legislature. In an emotional moment, Williams uncovers court records indicating Fields was born a slave.
Williams' journey was touching, and a great start to the new "Who Do You Think You Are?" season. It was also well-timed to have the episode air in February, Black History Month. We look forward to tuning-in again next week to learn more about famed country music singer Tim McGraw's family history.
It's important for viewers to remember that you don't have to be famous or a professional genealogist to start on your own family history journey. Online resources like Archives.com can provide you with the tools to get started. Archives.com has a database of over 1.1 billion historical records, consisting of both U.S. and international collections. Visit our collections page to learn more.
Did you enjoy watching "Who Do You Think You Are" Episode One? Let us know in comments below.
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