There’s a certain pride in having a last name with prestige attached to it. In actress Julia Roberts’ case, her surname is world famous.
However, the Oscar-winning star, 53, recently learned an earth-shattering fact about her connection to the Roberts family, dating back over 150 years.
In an interview with Ancestry’s Finding Your Roots series, Dr Henry Louis Gates Jr dug into the Pretty Woman star’s family tree and discovered her great-great-grandmother Rhoda Scuttle had an affair.
Watch the video above
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“Digging into Georgia’s County archives, we discovered that sometime in the 1850s, Rhoda married a man named Willis Roberts,” Dr Gates explained.
“Julia carries Willis’ last name, but Willis passed away in 1864, over a decade before Rhoda gave birth to Julia’s great-grandfather, John, leading to an inescapable conclusion.”
Gates told Roberts that Willis Roberts, the man from whom her surname was earned, “could not possibly” be her blood relative.
“He was dead,” the ancestry historian revealed. Roberts, unsurprisingly, was left speechless at the revelation.
“But am I not a Roberts?” she asked Dr Gates.
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The ancestry expert said he delved deep into Roberts’ DNA to find her real great-great-grandfather.
This uncovered the fact she and other blood relatives were linked to one man: Henry McDonald Mitchell Jr.
“We found a cluster of matches that tie Julia and her cousin to one man,” Dr Gates said.
“So, we’re Mitchells?” Julia wondered, as Gates confirmed her real name should be ‘Julia Mitchell’.
“Truly, my mind is blown,” the Eat, Pray, Love star responded.
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“It is fascinating and, on the other hand, there’s, you know, part of me that, you know, that when I’m calmer, you know, can still wrap my arms around the idea that my family is my family. And I do prefer the name Roberts.”
She added: “This was a very unexpected turn.”
Roberts is also the aunt of fellow actress Emma Roberts, meaning the Scream Queens star is also officially a Mitchell.
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