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Honoring Our Ancestors
June 27, 2018

www.megansmolenyak.com

Greetings Fellow Family History Sleuths,

Whether you're heading off for your summer holidays or doing the 9 to 5, here's a little genealogical distraction. This month's issue has the usual family history mish-mash – Anthony Bourdain, reunions, DNA, soldier identifications, Prince, hidden connections – well, you get the idea.

If you enjoy what you're reading, please consider sharing it with your genie friends by using the "forward it on!" option on the right side under the books. Much appreciated!

Until next month, stay cool!

Megan

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A Tribute to Anthony Bourdain and His Wild, Vagabond Roots

He never knew it, of course, but Anthony Bourdain and I ever-so-lightly crossed paths once. Several years ago, he wrote about a roots-centered episode of Top Chef:

I was the exhausted researcher who frantically dug into the family histories of a dozen Top Chef contestants (producers had no clue which ones would survive to this Ellis Island episode), doing the genealogical equivalent of sequential quick fires to ensure that the final five would all learn something new about their ancestry, so it was my handiwork he was musing on.

As a long-time fan of Top Chef – not to mention, French-born travel bum – I suppose it was just a matter of time before I would set my sights on Bourdain, who was a gifted chef and possibly even more talented writer. A professional vagabond and reformed but unapologetic scoundrel, he managed (on shows such as Parts Unknown, No Reservations, and The Layover) to make watching someone else travel fascinating.

Click here to continue reading.

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Seton Shields Genealogy Grants

When some people hear about my Seton Shields Genealogy Grant program, they ask who Seton Shields is. She was my mother and in her later years, she went on to become the rarest of creatures – a female CEO in the 1980s. To this day, she’s the only CEO I’ve heard of who could run a corporation by day and whip up a feast for a dozen or sew Halloween costumes for her grandchildren by night. The photo above shows Mom with the first of her grandchildren.

Watch for information about the next grant recipient shortly. And then, I'll be considering applications for the third quarter of 2018, so here's a reminder to get yours in if you've been intending to. Submissions remain active candidates for six months from the date I receive them.

You can apply for a Seton Shields grant here. Don't miss checking out the cool projects I've had the opportunity to contribute to over the years, plus an article that will give you a behind-the-scenes peek into my grants program (and might help you increase your odds of being selected when you apply)!

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Genealogy Round Up, June 20


Photo Credit: Olivia McClure

About 500 descendants of slaves sold by Jesuit priests gather for unique reunion in Iberville Parish – Filmed for "Finding Your Roots"

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Genealogy Round Up, June 13

7 Things You Didn’t Know about Prince’s Roots – Wish he were still with us.

Waterloo man reunites with 100-year-old mother

Howie Mandel Reveals His Long-Lost Relatives – I didn't see the one older fellow immediately, so my first thought was, "Yikes, these must be his kids through sperm donation!" Howie Mandel: "23 and me" taken literally

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Genealogy Round Up, June 6


Photo Credits: Brunnhilde, 1936. photographer unknown. Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division

From 14 million photos in the Library of Congress, she chose 440 to tell the story of America – More of this, please.

I wrote a novel about my family. What could go wrong?

Genealogy site MyHeritage says 92 million user accounts compromised – Change your password if you've got an account with MyHeritage.

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Genealogy Round Up, May 30


Photo Credit: Jean-Philippe Rebuffet

Why #WhereAreTheChildren Is Personal to Joaquín Castro – I really meant to take this weekend off, but can't stop thinking about the missing children.

Correcting the Record of WWI Hero and Medal of Honor Recipient Sgt. Henry Johnson

After almost 52 years, Calumet's MIA soldier was never forgotten

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Genealogy Round Up, May 23


Photo Credit: The U.S. Army

Soldier Killed During Korean War Accounted For (Hall, J.) – Very pleased that Sgt. John W. Hall who was killed in Korea in 1950 is now coming home. Honored to have researched his family. RIP, Sir.

Meghan Markle, Michelle Obama, trace families to Jonesboro – This Megan talks about THE Meghan. And Michelle!

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Upcoming Events

After traveling around and speaking in 40 states and half a dozen countries, I decided to take a breather from the road to tend to some projects. That said, I'm sharing exceptions here. And by the way, you can see if I’ll be in your area any time by checking my Events Calendar.

  • May 7, 2019 – Morning Forum, Los Altos, CA

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