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media conference call with “Who Do You Think You Are?” producer Lisa Kudrow and
season two, episode one celebrity Vanessa Williams, we were able to screen the first
While we won’t reveal all the juicy details of Williams’ ancestry, here are
a few things to look forward to in her “WDYTYA?” episode:
Civil War history buffs, rejoice! This episode is chock full of Civil War and Reconstruction
history, including the effect of slavery and Jim Crow laws on Williams’ ancestors.
Williams made history as the first African American crowned Miss America, but she
isn’t the only noteworthy person in her family tree. She delves into the astonishing
history of one of her former slave ancestors.
On a trip to Washington, D.C., National Archives researcher Vonnie Zullo stumbles
upon a rare genealogical find while researching Williams’ great-great grandfather
David Carll. The item is so unheard of, Zullo says it’s the only one she’s come across
in her 20-plus years at the depository.
If the first episode is any indication of what’s to come on “WDYTYA?”, expect more
air time devoted to original documents and what goes into tracing your roots.
“WDYTYA?” premieres Friday, Feb. 4, at 8pm EST on NBC. Check the Genealogy Insider
blog for a brief recap of each episode.