January 21, 2016 10:37:25 am
Actress Maya Rudolph was reduced to tears when she discovered her ancestors were slaves on genealogy show “Finding Your Roots”.
The 43-year-old “Bridesmaids” actress, the daughter of singer Minnie Riperton and composer Richard Rudolph, is the latest star to appear on the genealogy programme, and tells host Henry Louis Gates Jr that her main aim is to find her identity, reported Entertainment Weekly.
“I have this thing where I just feel I can be anyone. And I think being mixed, too, I kind of, sort of grew up feeling a little orphaned by the idea of my heritage,” Rudolph said.
“I know I’m from ‘peoples,’ but I don’t know who they are. I want to know people’s names, I want to know what they did, I want to know where they lived. I want to go as far back as possible.”
Her journey begins when Henry traces back one of the star’s lines from mother Minnie and found that two of her ancestors Manuel Grigsby and Mary Thurman were born into slavery in Lincoln County, Kentucky.
After discovering the names and that Manuel and Mary were born in 1827 and 1830 respectively, the genealogy team do a search for John Warren Grigsby, discovering that name due to Manuel having taken the surname of his slave owner.
They then came across John’s slave census, which listed all his slaves by gender and age instead of name.
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