Interweaving her search for her African ancestors, director Princess A. Hairston unravels the history of the largest slave-holding family in the U.S. through the personal stories of Black and white individuals in the Hairston clan as her journey unveils a harrowing, hidden familial history, exposing America’s distorted narrative about slavery.

Towards the end of the American Civil War, the Hairstons, a unique family from Scotland, owned over 42 plantations and over 10,000 slaves in Virginia, North Carolina, and Mississippi. This film features interviews from both Black and white Hairstons, some of whom admit finding out the truth about their family’s history was appalling and scandalous. Tracing the Hairstons chronicles the unique story of the only family with the name Hairston to arrive in America and their journey to becoming one of the largest slave-holding families in American history. The descendants of the white Hairstons, finally open up about their troubled ancestry and the descendants of the enslaved finally get to tell their ancestor’s stories that have been silenced for far too long. Tracing the Hairstons reveals the struggles and triumphs of a family that is connected together through the worst atrocity in American History. We learn why this dynamic family sets itself apart to be one of the most unique and largest family names in American history as the director herself peels away the layers of her ancestral history.