Blair Underwood is our celebrity guest on tonight's "Who Do You Think You Are". Blair first takes us to Petersburg, Virginia to his parents home. His brother Blake is also present and we learn he has done quite a bit of research on the Underwood line. Blair wants to know more about his mother's side.
At the end of the program we learn the results of a DNA test done to show additional information on Bair Underwood's lines.
The first line we start with is the Royal (Royall). Blair's mother's name was Marilyn Scales Underwood, her mother was Bessie Mae Royal, daughter of Harry Royal. Harry's parents were Benjamin Royal and Fanny Early. Fanny Early's father was Sauney (Sawney) Early, we learn Sauney he was a blacksmith, then a cooper (barrelmaker),then he is a farm laborer. In 1900 we learn he is in a state hospital, which is a mental institute. Sauney had been in slavery. Watch the video to learn more about Sauney's character and why he made the newspapers.
Also more information on slavery and slave schedules.
Next we learn about Ada Belle White Royal, wife of Harry and mother to Bessie Royal. Ada Belle White's parents were Thomas White and Mary Scott White. We pick up on Mary S. White's father Delaware Scott, who we learn was born free, as was his mother. Delaware Scott a free black man owned two slaves, watch the video and see the possible reasons for his ownership. Also learn about the laws and rules of Virginia inre: emancipation and being resold into slavery.
We now learn the DNA test results on the Underwood line. Blair learns he is 74% African descent and 26% European, which for him means he has French, Swiss and German blood. This test also matched with a cousin who is in Babungo, Cameroon, Africa, where we see Blair Underwood and his father traveling to meet there African
Some of the people and resources for this program: Joseph Shumway, genealogist.
Dr. Eva Sheppard Wolf of Library of Virginia at Richmond, Virginia.
Dr. Dan Fountain, Professor of History at Meredith College.
Dr. Ken Chahine, General Manager Ancestry DNA.
Dr. Martin Summers, Professor of History, Boston College.
You can see from this program and previous episodes the number of people and organizations it takes to do
the research. Never get discouraged when doing your own genealogy research.
There are some scenes that were deleted. Following are the televised version and video clip titled
"Searching for Sauney", in this one you learn who was his 2 masters and how they took the search
Hope you enjoy the Blair Underwood videos.
It looks like NBC has archived these videos. Go to: www.nbc.com and click on search or videos.