During the latest episode of Finding Your Roots, actress Julia Roberts learned that she’s not actually the Julia we all know her to be, and her family has some pretty interesting secrets…

The hit show follows Dr Henry Louis Gates Jr as he delves deep into the genealogical records of some of our most beloved celebrities, uncovering the forgotten lives of their ancestry using DNA analysis.

In last week’s episode, which also featured Ed Norton, who learns that he’s actually a direct descendant of Pocahontas, Roberts found out something shocking about her family history. 

Gates started out by explaining: “The story begins with her great grandfather, John Roberts, and with his mother, a woman named Rhoda Suttle.”

This took Roberts by surprise, as she had never come across the name before, she then joked that there was nothing ‘subtle’ about her family.

Delving deeper into the records of her family tree, Gates urges Roberts to read part of the 1880 census for Douglas County, Georgia, which details information about John Pendleton Roberts, her great-great-grandfather, as well as other members of her family. 

Gates reveals that John, whose mother was Rhoda Suttle Roberts had three brothers. After this, things get a little more interesting, as it turns out that John’s father is actually missing from the records.

He says: “Digging into Georgia’s County archives, we discovered that sometime in the 1850s, Rhoda married a man named Willis Roberts.

“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.”

He explains to the Pretty Woman star: “Willis Roberts could not possibly be your great, great grandfather. He was dead.”

Shocked by the revelation, Roberts asks: “But am I not a Roberts?”

And if the Douglas County records are anything to go off, it seems that Roberts isn’t actually Roberts after all. But in an attempt to piece everything together and get an answer, Gates decides to use DNA analysis to give the actress an answer to who she really is. 

“Julia and one of her father’s first cousins, a fellow descendant of John Roberts, both agreed to take DNA tests,” Gates said.

“We then compared their results to people in publicly available databases, searching for matches, hoping to identify John’s father through the DNA of his descendants.

“In the end, we found a cluster of matches that tie Julia and her cousin to one man.”

And as it turns out, shockingly, Henry MacDonald Mitchell Jr. was that man. 

It’s clear Roberts was taken aback by the news, and after the discovery, she asks: “So we’re Mitchells?” Gates confirms, replying: “You’re Julia Mitchell.”

Despite learning that her name is actually Mitchell, it doesn’t seem like she’s willing to make the name change official any time soon. 

What do you think, should she lean into Julia Mitchell, or stick with the Roberts we all know and love?

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