(JustPatriots.com)- Actress Julie Roberts discovered that she isn’t a Roberts at all.
Two weeks ago, the “Pretty Woman” star appeared on Ancestry’s “Finding Your Roots” with Dr. Henry Louis Gates, Jr., where she discovered that her great-great-grandfather couldn’t possibly have been a Roberts.
Gates told the actress that his research found that her great-grandfather, John Pendleton Roberts was born in 1878. According to Georgia’s 1880 census, John lived with his mother Rhoda Suttle Roberts. But what Gates was unable to find, however, was the name of John Pendleton Roberts’ father.
He did find that in the 1850s, Rhoda married a man named Willis R. Roberts. But he passed away in 1864, over a decade before Rhoda gave birth to John Pendleton Roberts.
In short, Willis Roberts wasn’t John’s father.
Gates told the actress that there are no records in Douglas County listing John’s father.
Julia and one of her father’s first cousins submitted DNA samples which Ancestry then matched to another descendent through publicly available databases.
Ancestry found a “cluster of matches” tying Roberts and her cousin to a man named Henry McDonald Mitchell, Jr., Gates told Roberts.
The news that she is really Julia Mitchell came as a surprise to the actress.
Gates theorized that the reason Rhoda did not reveal the name of John’s father was that Henry McDonald Mitchell, Jr. was already married to a woman named Sarah with whom he had six children, according to the 1880 census.
Gates said that Mitchell lived a few miles away from Rhoda while his mother lived only four doors down from her, prompting Roberts to joke that Mitchell probably told his wife that he was visiting his mother when he was actually visiting Rhoda.
Julia told Gates, “my mind is blown” by the news, but added that it was “fascinating.” She said she prefers the name Roberts, adding, “this was a very unexpected turn.”
Watch the segment HERE.