Legal scholar Anita Hill take journeys through their family trees on the eighth season of the acclaimed PBS show “Finding Your Roots,” which premieres this week.
Hosted by Henry Louis Gates Jr., a historian and Harvard University professor, the show takes notable people on a quest to learn more about their ancestry.
In the season’s second episode, Hill learns of her great-great-grandfather, who resided in Bowie County, Texas, in 1850. At the time, Bowie County was one of only three known counties — including Utah County, Utah, and Scott County, Tennessee — that documented the names and information of its enslaved residents.
“This is like winning the lottery here,” Hill said on the show.
Before emancipation, enslaved people were not documented by name in the U.S. census, making it difficult for genealogists and family record-keepers to find enslaved Black ancestors in the country before the 1860s. They were typically listed without their names but instead by age and gender as property in county documents.
You can learn more in an article by Claretta Bellamy published in the NBC News web site at: https://nbcnews.to/3FiuYeu.